How The NES Zapper Worked


Forget about the Wii controller, ever wonder how the NES Zapper worked? Wikipedia writes: “When the [Zapper] trigger was pulled, the game blanked out the screen with a black background for one frame, then, for one additional frame, drew a solid white rectangle around the sprite the user was supposed to be shooting at… Zapper would detect these changes in intensity and send a signal to the NES to indicate whether it was over a lit pixel or not. A drop followed by a spike in intensity signaled a hit.”

Follow the link for more Zapper information than one should know.



  2. Wow. I still don’t get it.

  3. Really?

    I very much doubt that 1 frame talk, you should be able to see that.

    I always thought the color coding of the sprites was measured by the Zapper’s light sensor…

  4. Then how would putting the zapper right to the TV screen = successful hits.