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NBA Jam NBA Jam - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

NBA Jam - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


We have all seen it: two-on-two basketball with digitized images of real NBA players, and no referee. Monster dunks and announcers, and a LOT of fun!

NBA Jam was produced by Midway Games in 1993.

Midway Games released 53 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1972. Midway Games was based in United States.

Other machines made by Midway Games during the time period NBA Jam was produced include: Judge Dredd, Mortal Kombat, Double Cheese, Super High Impact, Total Carnage, Mortal Kombat II, NBA Jam Tournament Edition, Cruis'n USA, Revolution X - Aerosmith, and Killer Instinct


Name NBA Jam
Developer Midway Games (United States)
Year 1993
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 8813
Class Wide Release
Genre Sports
Conversion Class JAMMA
Game Specific NBA Jam Pinout
Dipswitch Settings

NBA Jam Dipswitch Settings (user contributed)

# Simultaneous Players 4
# Maximum Players 4
Game Play Either
Control Panel Layout Multiple Player
  • Joystick: 8-way
  • Buttons: 3 - Steal/PassJump/ShootTurbo
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
Instructions NBA Jam Instructions Image
Control Panel NBA Jam Control Panel Image

Game Introduction

Players choose an NBA team, each with two or three superstar players or at least their digitized faces, and play a side-scrolling basketball game, split into four quarters each new 3:00 quarter is a buy-in. Players can also enter their initials to keep track of their progress, which encouraged repeat business. In addition to high-flying dunks and rainbow three-pointers, players can push each other to the ground without being called for fouls -- much like Midway's earlier game, Arch Rivals.

Game Play

If any one player scores three consective baskets, he or she is considered "on fire", a fire animation accompanies each shot, the person's Turbo meter does not diminish, goaltending is never called, and his or her accuracy goes way up. This continues until a player on the opposite team scores a basket, or until the computer decides the hot streak has gone on too long.

NBA Jam KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.95 (15 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.84

Overall Like 4.21
Fun (Social) 4.79
Fun (Solo) 3.47
Collector Desire 3.36

Technical Rating: 4.29

Gameplay 4.29
Graphics 4.43
Originality 4.00
Sound/Music 4.43

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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Cheats, Tricks, Bugs, and Easter Eggs

There are 13 confirmed player codes:

MJT Mar 22 - Mark Turmell, lead designer and the most powerful character in the game SAL Feb 1 - Sal DiVita, who did the artwork for NBA Jam as well as some graphics work for Mortal kombat SL_ Jun 24 - Shawn Liptak, programmer - He is the one on the design team screen with a basketball for a brain. TWG Dec 7 - Tony Goskie, animator RJR Jan 17 - Jamie Rivett, programmer WIL Jan 1 - Willie Air Morris, player mode l HOW Jul 15 - Stephen Howard, player mode l SNO Jan 3 - Sheridan Oursler, Midway staffer JMC Aug 5 - Carleton GNP Oct 8 - George Petro, the main designer of Terminator 2: Judgement Day JWH Sep 20 - On the design team screen, Jon Hey is the one in the checkered shirt and glasses, sticking his tongue out to the rest of the world. JRN Jun 18 - Newcomer TON Jul 3 - Tony Scott helped with digitizing the player movements and performed many of the special dunks.

Big Head: Hold Up-Turbo-Steal at 'Tonight's match up'.


Defense - Press Steal or Block 8 times when it says 'Tonight's match up'. Intercept - Hold Down joystick and hold all three buttons during 'Tonight's match up'. Offense - press Steal or Block 21 times at 'Tonight's match up'. Defense and Intercept - At 'Tonight's Match-Up', Press the Shoot button 7 times, then all at once, hold Down the joystick and all three buttons. Powerup Defense and Big head - press Turbo 6 times, hold Turbo and Steal, then hold the joystick Up at 'Tonight's match-up'. Fair Shake - Tap turbo 10 times when it says 'Tonight's match up'. The Fair shake can ONLY be done in Human vs. Human games and ONLY on machines that are version 3.0 or greater. Fair Shake and Powerup Intercept - press Turbo 7 times, then hold TurboPassShoot, then hold the joystick Down at 'Tonight's match-up'. Fair Shake and Big head - Press turbo 8 times, then hold TurboSteal and hold the joystick Up.

Tank Mini-Game: Hold all buttons for all four players and press Down on all four joysticks at the 'Tonight's match up'. Keep the controls held until the mini-game begins.

More pictures


Since Mark Turmell is a Detroit Pistons fan, he sweetened the arcade code to give them a slight advantage over their regional rivals, the Chicago Bulls. Turmell said in an interview, "If it boiled down to a last second shot, forget about it - the Bulls would never score."

NBA Jam was the first licensed sports coinop video game ever. Originally, the NBA was not keen on the idea, as they did not want the wholesome NBA logo to be seen in seedy coinop locations like bars or strip joints. However, once the Midway team showed them some preliminary footage of the game, they were thrilled and gave it a green light. The success of Jam paved the way for future officially-licensed sports arcade games.

During its original arcade run, NBA Jam earned profits of 1 billion dollars - roughly three times the take of the movie Jurassic Park

The high-flying dunks were performed by Willie Morris Jr., a bouncer at a Chicago club. Morris has returned to do motion capture-video tape work for Midway's other two basketball games as well.

Due to his separate and expensive licensing agreement, Michael Jordan is not in the game, and has not appeared in any Midway basketball coinop to date.

The game was a big hit with the players themselves - Shawn Kemp and Shaquille O'Neal own or owned machines. After the success of the first game, Gary Payton sent his photos to Mark Turmell and asked to be put into the next game.

The addition of the designers as secret players was merely an injoke with the design staff, but ultimately became a huge part of the games appeal and earnings. "We had to chop the heads off the models we videotaped to put the real NBA plauyers heads on," said Turmell in a 1994 interview with SLAM magazine. "So we thought, Shoot, we might as well paste our own heads on there, too. It was supposed to be just for us when we played at home or in the office. We did not intend for it to become a selling point. But it did." Turmell's own secret character is tall, - "I'm as fast as Spud Webb and I can shoot as good as Pippen."

There were rumors about the cheerleaders being playable characters in the original Jam. On the record, Turmell said they are in there, but their codes were intentionally complex and their existence did not please the NBA, so the information has never been released. To date, no valid codes to play as female characters have been found. However, there are cheerleader codes for NBA Jam TE.

Since the name NBA Jam is owned and controlled by the NBA, Acclaim later aquired the license and made a 3D coinop version, NBA Jam Extreme, which was not successful. Acclaim still uses the Jam name for its line of home console NBA games.

The original NBA Jam cabinets with the ver 1.0 code contains a secret Battlezone-style that can be played without using money. This secret was deemed unethical by many of the video game magazines of the time and magazines like EGM and Gamepro were specifically asked not to publish this code. Both magazines agreed and to this date it is the only video game code that is considered taboo by the press. (No longer.)

This minigame was removed in the next update of the machine code.

Cabinet Information

The cabinet shipped with a large closeup of a basketball and a huge NBA logo as the sideart. There are multiple control panels, most of which look like the floor of a basketball court. Some have the NBA Jam logo printed on them along with Pass-Shoot-Turbo over the buttons and red or blue in the circle at the foul lines, while some are just a plain court with white lines. NBA Jam Tournament Edition may have shipped in some of these cabinets as well, but a separate dedicated cabinet also existed for the upgrade.


The NBA Jam hardware became the cornerstone for Midway's action sports games. This cabinet can be upgraded to NBA Jam Tournament Edition, NBA Hangtime or Maximum Hangtime, Open Ice 2-on-2 Challenge, NFL Blitz and its two upgrades, and NBA Showtime NBA on NBC. Blitz and Showtime use 49-way joysticks. This cabinet will also run 4-player JAMMA boards by other manufacturers e.g. Captain America, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and many more.


RELATED NBA Jam Extreme Acclaim

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op NBA Jam Census

There are 14,898 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,529 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 165,153 machines (6,928 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 319 known instances of this machine owned by NBA Jam collectors who are active members. Of these, 142 of them are original dedicated machines. 41 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 134 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 13 active VAPS members with a NBA Jam machines for sale. There are 7 active VAPS members with a NBA Jam circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - Popular - There are 24 active VAPS members currently looking for NBA Jam. There are 3 active VAPS members looking for NBA Jam boards sets.

This game ranks a 67 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 37 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



There are seperate connectors on PCB for the third and fourth player controls. The same hardware is used for this games as in other games of this era, like Mortal Kombat. A seperate audio board is required for sound.


  1. NBA Jam
  2. NBA Jam Tournament Edition
  3. NBA Hangtime
  4. NBA Maximum Hangtime
  5. NBA Showtime - NBA On NBC


See the game at:

This game is available at the following public arcades, bars or museums:

Name Location State Country Details Check-ins
Level One Bar + Arcade 130 Hutchinson Ave, Columbus Ohio United States 0

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Arcade1up NBA Jam Encoder Board

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Midway NBA JAM Arcade Manual (SEE PHOTOS)

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Auction Results

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Auctions Recap

Year Count Median $ Average $
2018 3 1,180.00 1,455.33
All Years 3 1,180.00 1,455.33


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