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Guidelines for submitting cartridge scans


If you want to submit a cartridge label scan for SNES Central, please follow these guidelines.

By: Evan G
Last updated: October 29, 2016

I appreciate anyone who will take the time to add to the SNES Central collection of scans. Cartridge labels can tell us which regions a game was released in, and give us an exact title for the game. If you are submitting scans, email me. Most of the cart scans on this site were done by byuu, and I thank him for all the effort that went into that. He scanned just the front of the cart like this:

Just the front of the label

However, it is definitely my preference to get a good scan of the top of the label as well. I personally have done this for all the games in my collection, like so:

Top and front

In order to get a good scan of the top, I suggest getting something that you can lean the cart on, since the top is slanted. I used a small box. I then edited the top and front together with GIMP. Note, if there is a scan of just the front label, and you can provide a scan with the top as well, I will replace it on the site.

PAL and Super Famicom games are far more straight forward, and shouldn't require editing:

example of a Super Famicom cart label

I highly recommend scanning at a fairly high resolution before editing. At least 300 DPI. Then rotate and crop the images, and merge the top (in the case of US games). Resize the labels so they are 650 pixels wide (in the case of US games) or 815 pixels (in the case of PAL/Super Famicom games). That corresponds to a roughly 200 DPI resolution in both cases. I've been using GIMP with a quality setting of 90 for all the scans on this site, which is pretty good quality. Note, if you do not want to go through the trouble of top label scans for US games, I will accept the front label only if it is a variant not on the site.

Note, if you are scanning a curved surface, like a PAL/Super Famicom game, with a CIS scanner, it is going to be really blurry. As a result, I will only accept scans using a CCD scanner. The filename of the scans should correspond to the serial code of the game. For the above games:

Eek! The Cat:


Tetris Attack (replace the slash with a dash, as slashes are not allowed in a file name):


Super Tennis (early Japanese games do not have a region code):


If you are really ambitious, you can photoshop the imperfections out of the scan. I have done this for many games:

Photoshopped scan

If you are going to do this, you really should be scanning at 600 DPI, it will save you a lot of headaches.

If you have more than one scan to submit, put them in separate folders, with the folder name being the game name, so I can quickly identify it.

Preservation grade scans

I'm working with game preservation organizations, and one of the goals is to get high resolution scans for long term preservation. Note, these will not necessarily be online, but in secure long term storage. If you would like to send a preservation grade scan in addition to scans that will be added to SNES Central, there is a much higher quality threshold. The scan will need to be at least 600 DPI, saved as a lossless PNG image. Note that it may be a requirement to include a colour standard sheet scan to be able to match up any imperfections in the colours of your scanner (it has not been made clear to me how stringent this rule would be). I will curate these high quality scans and put a notice here once I find out where these will be stored.

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