F-ZERO 99’s lightning-fast machines aren’t just leaving trails on racing tracks, but they are also allegedly etching a phantom outline on the Nintendo Switch’s main display, leaving affected players worried.
On Sept. 20, Reddit user u/BigCballer posted a picture of their Nintendo Switch’s screen, trying to highlight a barely visible outline of a phantom car near the Pictures button that they say happened after playing F-ZERO 99 on the console.
To have your console’s screen ‘burnt’ while playing a game is a significant cause of worry; I’d obviously want answers as to why it happened. No game is worth a burnt outline on my precious Nintendo console. I wouldn’t want to play another Switch title with an outline eating away at the experience, which is already capped at 1080p.
Thankfully, it turns out that there isn’t much to be concerned about, according to players in the comments. A user named u/coolbho3k replied, claiming that it’s just temporary image retention, which “can be common on IPS displays” and should go away after a while.
The user went on to explain why two-dimensional F-ZERO games have always been prone to this problem, saying: “2D F-ZERO games are known for rapidly flashing graphics to simulate transparency, and I believe this is why they are susceptible to this phenomenon.” They supported their argument with examples from the past, where F-ZERO games have left a phantom mark on other devices’ screens as well.
There were several comments backing up coolbho3k’s explanation, and it’s not just F-ZERO games leaving behind such marks. Players have faced the issue with games like Splatoon and Uncharted and on other handheld devices like Steam Deck as well.
Weirdly, the outline doesn’t go away when you switch from handheld mode to dock mode or vice versa, and there are reports claiming that the burn mark even transfers over to the TV screen.
Apparently, since temporary image retention is more common on IPS (LCD) displays, you’re not likely to experience it on a Nintendo Switch OLED. Note that OLED displays are susceptible to permanent image retention though, which happens over longer periods and doesn’t fix itself like its temporary counterpart.
As far as F-ZERO 99 leaving a burn mark behind is concerned, a commonly suggested workaround in the Reddit thread was to reboot the Nintendo Switch and play a different game. If you are experiencing the same problem, there’s no harm in trying the fix, although it’s highly likely you’ve tried it already.
Players also suggested hard resetting the console. You’d have to re-download your games and set things up again, but it’s worth it if that phantom car from F-ZERO 99 is bothering you so much.
Alternatively, you can drop Nintendo Switch support a message for further resolutions.