Getting Started with Pico 8

programming Sep 22, 2018

Creating your first Pico 8 game, what is Pico 8?

It is a virtual machine created by Lexaloffle Games, It is designed to simulate a fantasy gaming console, writing application is achieved using Lua. It is easy to use and offers a lot of features

I introduced gifs in my article because words would not describe it the best and seeing it in action might get you more interested in it. What you look at is a 128×128 pixel display, that renders sixteen colors.

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What we will learn?

We will now head straight to writing some code, we can always learn more later, its time for the action and why we are here.

First step

First, let’s start with how to display a list of commands.
help displays all the commands available.

The output of help is






CD ..





### What individual commands do explained. 

LOAD – Is a command used to load cartridges.


Starts the cartidge.

`load jelpi


`shutdown` – power off the console and closes the application.

`cd` – current directory


`cd demos`

`cd ..` – exit current directory and go one step back

`keyconfig` – opens keybind settings.

`save` – saves file


`save test_build`

`splore` – The Pico 8 community repository to share and access games created by the community members

`ls` – lists all file and directory in current location

### Writing our first program.

We will create the `_draw` function

function _draw()


print("Hello World !")


What do those function means.

cls() clears screen.

print() – prints given paramater or string



This should render as shown in the screenshot.

There will be more content out about Pico 8, which will offer more insight into this fantastic fantasy virtual console.

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Darryl Dias

I am a student, artist, and author currently living in Florida. My interests range from technology to arts. I am also interested in programming, writing

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