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Identifying Atari 7800 Difficulty Switches

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A lot of newcomers to the 7800 have a problem identifying the difficulty switches on the 7800, since they are unlabeled, small and a little hidden.

They are located next to the joystick ports. When pushed to the left, they are in the B position, and when pushed to the right, they are in the A position.

B<->A   But wait? B comes before A?  Doesn't that seem backwards? Why did Atari do that? Because the B stands for Beginner and A for Advanced. Some games switch this, but for most games you want to start with them in the B position. Just remember B(eginner) <-> A(dvanced)

FYI-Some games also use them for different functions while other games don't use them at all.

(A quick thanks goes to RIckR. I used a picture he shared in the Canyon Bomber High Score Squad thread, and added the letters as a visual aid)

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22 hours ago, Justin said:

This is a great resource, thanks for sharing nsg! I've been playing 7800 for 32 years and I still find myself trying to figure out which switch is which. I don't think I even knew that those were difficulty switches until the late 1990s ?

I remember using them for Tomcat F-14 and I think Ace of Aces, but beyond that I don't think I used them that much. It makes me wonder how many 2600 games I played on the harder setting without knowing it.

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I know those switches change the firing in 7800's Devious.  Left switch turns on/off rapid firing and right one changes firing button properties.  Meaning that you can pick whether one button fires main weapon and the other drops bombs or you fire both with a single button.  Helps a lot from hand fatigue when using standard 7800 joysticks.

I'm surprised Atari didn't mark those somehow.

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