When you buy a new DS lite some kind of placeholder is sitting in slot 2 of the DS. It appears to have electrical contacts but I can not find any documentation anywhere that says what it does, if anything.Top ViewSide ViewOther side

2 Answers 2


It's simply there to plug the port (protect it from dust) when you don't have a GBA game in it. There's no real purpose to it, it just makes the device look more complete, rather than having a huge hole on the bottom.

The Cartridge Slot Cover is a replacement for the one included with your Nintendo DS Lite. The Cartridge Slot Cover is a removable cover that keeps the Game Boy Advance cartridge slot clear from dust and debris when it's not in use. - Nintendo Online Store

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    Then why does it have electrical contacts? Commented May 19, 2011 at 2:30
  • I've wondered that myself. However, even Nintendo themselves state it's just a cover to protect it from dust. (see edit)
    – Kevin Yap
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 2:32
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    Jeez, Nintendo uses insanely long URLs for their online store pages.
    – Kevin Yap
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 2:35
  • Perhaps the contacts are there just to give you a hint that it's meant to be connected in the slot. Looking at the board, it doesn't have any real function since they are all floating. Also, it's held in place by putting pressure on them. Perhaps that is the function. Commented May 19, 2011 at 2:59
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    @Scott: Here it is. Just note that this is a replacement cover and not the one that came with the DS. But I don't think there would be any difference any way. Commented May 19, 2011 at 6:39

The contacts are to keep the card slot contact bus clean, burnished, and free from plastic residues.

Plastic wheels on model trains can leave a buildup on the track which functions as an insulator and is hard to remove. If the placeholder card in the DS Lite were all plastic, a similar buildup could accumulate on the DS's electrical contacts and interfere with it reading real cards.

If the slot filler card had only phenolic circuit board material, however, it would cause wear to the card slot bus, and would not mate smoothly with the copper card slot fingers. Having a card in the slot rather than leaving it empty also keeps the contacts from moisture and corrosives in the atmosphere.

  • There is no way this is an answer. Reviewers, please pay attention when reviewing.
    – Frank
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 2:17
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    This actually seems like an answer... except why the trains? Just copied from a similar question?
    – DCShannon
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 2:37
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    The answerer is applying his model train knowledge to an analogous situation (the interactions between electronic and plastic components). The answer makes perfect sense, but the analogy is introduced abruptly and the last sentence is unnecessarily and unhelpfully curt. I've submitted an edit. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 2:57
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    Seems pretty clear to me...
    – Robotnik
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 3:46
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    @ScottChamberlain Or maybe there's a parallel here. Model train tracks, which conduct the electricity to run the train, being coated by the plastic from the wheels, damage the ability for the rails to be electrically contacted. The answer states that, like this analogy, if the cartridge were all plastic, it would eventually build up a plastic residue on the internal cartridge contacts that would damage the ability for electrical charge to pass through them, making the slot useless until cleaned.
    – nukeforum
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 14:55

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