Why Is Your Gamecube Not Showing Color?

Nintendo equipped the GameCube with a variety of display output options, to make sure that gamers could get the best picture quality for their TV. And because the GameCube is faster than Sony’s PS2, it often delivers superior lighting and textures in games. However, some GameCubes fail to deliver any color whatsoever.

Why is your GameCube not showing color? This is typically an issue with the cable harness; it’s either plugged into the wrong ports on your TV or there’s an issue with the cables themselves. You should check to see if component cables are plugged into the composite inputs, and vice versa.

If you live in a PAL region, your GameCube might be using RGB SCART cables. Make sure they are plugged in properly and replace them with fresh cables if needed. Finally, you need to check if your TV is in “AV” mode.

Why Is Your Gamecube Not Showing Color?

To understand why this might be happening, let’s first talk about the difference between composite and component cables. Both deliver analog AV signals but use very different encoding methods. Composite has one video cable and two audio cables.

Component format splits the video signal into three cables and has two audio cables. If you don’t know which one your GameCube has, it’s very easy to find out. Just look at the number of cables in the AV harness- three means it is a composite harness, and 5 means it is a component harness.

Both standards also use different color schemes. Composite output uses yellow, red, and white. Component output uses green, red, and blue for video, with audio being transmitted through white and red cables.

If you plug the 3-cable composite harness into component inputs on your TV, you’ll get a colorless image. Composite combines luminance (brightness) and chrominance (color) into one signal that has to be decoded by dedicated hardware. The luminance signal is much stronger than the chrominance signal, and your TV will just output that part of the video.

Component format separates luminance and chrominance into different signals. Luminance information is carried in the green cable. Blue carries color information specific to the blue spectrum, and red carries color information specific to the red spectrum.

Composite combines everything into one video signal, component splits them for superior picture quality. GameCube component cables were quite expensive back in the day, and few people had them. Check which ones you have and whether they’re plugged into the correct inputs on your TV.

Finally, make sure you have the right input selected in your TV menu. It should be the same as the type of cable you’re using. And make sure your TV is set to AV mode (to display game consoles) if it has such an option.

Does GameCube Output RGB?

Yes, but only if the GameCube is from a PAL region (Europe and Oceania). If your GameCube supports RGB, I suggest using that for the best video quality. You can also use your RGB GameCube in combination with a scaler box like the RetroTINK to get excellent image quality on modern 4K TVs.

Widescreen Gaming On GameCube

The GameCube does support widescreen output. Back in the mid-2000s, there were widescreen CRTs and plasma TVs. Most people used regular 4:3 CRTs with a resolution of 480i or 480p.

Few GameCube game support 16:9. Some examples are James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, and F-Zero GX.

Getting Progressive Scan On GameCube

If you have a DOL-001 GameCube model, you can select progressive scan in games. For this, you’ll need a TV that supports progressive scanning (some old CRTs don’t). And you also need a digital AV cable, as 480p won’t work with composite or RGB SCART.

Can The GameCube Overheat?

It is possible, but not likely unless you’re using the console on a soft surface like a bed or sofa. In this case, you should just put it on a table or shelf.

There are ventilation slits on the sides and rear. You must make sure these aren’t blocked by any objects or clogged up with dust.

Playing GameCube On A Modern TV

The best way to do it is with a dedicated scaler like RetroTINK. But if you don’t want to shell out the money, you should try hunting for a DOL-001 GameCube. These support digital AV output, and let you play in 480p via component cable (if your modern HDTV supports component).


I hope this article helped you understand why your GameCube isn’t showing color. It is usually caused by people using the wrong type of cable, or not selecting the proper AV mode on their TV. Could also be a faulty cable, so make sure you double-check the fitting and ports.

Swap out the old cable for a fresh one, and see if that makes a difference. Some of those 20-year-old cables that shipped with the GameCube might have degraded significantly by now.


As long as I can remember myself I always enjoyed video games. I had amazing moments playing them and that's why I became a game developer, to create amazing experiences for the players. Read More About Me

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