PICO-8! Now Free for All C.H.I.P.s


C.H.I.P.sters, PICO-8 is now available for C.H.I.P. and it’s completely free!

Plus, check out our new $29 PICO-8 Console Kit. It comes with a C.H.I.P., HDMI DIP, C.H.I.P. power adapter, game controller, and of course PICO-8! It’s the perfect little package for the aspiring game developer on your holiday shopping list.


Whether you build a game from scratch or modify one of the 1000s of existing open source games, PICO-8 on C.H.I.P. is an easy and fun way to learn game development. Thanks to our super-friends at lexaloffle who created PICO-8, we are thrilled that every PocketC.H.I.P. and now every C.H.I.P. has access to PICO-8 for free! Here’s a step-by-step guide to get your game on with PICO-8 on C.H.I.P.!

1. Install PICO-8 on C.H.I.P.

Once installed, PICO-8 will automatically be added to the Game menu

Once installed, PICO-8 will automatically be added to the Game menu

With your C.H.I.P. connected to the internet, click the Computer Things! menu and select Terminal. Type the command below and then press enter. This updates the list of available packages on your C.H.I.P. and installs PICO-8. It’s that easy!
sudo apt update && sudo apt install chip-pico-8

To launch PICO-8, click the Computer Things! menu, hover over the Games submenu and select PICO-8.

2. Configure the Keys

Configuring the keyboard in PICO-8

Configuring the keyboard in PICO-8

By default, PICO-8 uses x to affirm a selection. To change the key bindings, press ESC, use the arrow keys to select Exit to Console, and press x to affirm the selection. At the new screen, type in keyconfig and press enter and configure the keys.

3. Take it to the Next Level!


Once you’ve installed PICO-8 on C.H.I.P., you’ll want to check out the following resources to really get the most out of the software. A great place to start is with the PICO-8 docs for PocketC.H.I.P.. Some of the information you’ll find there is PocketC.H.I.P. specific (like mention of the touchscreen), but it will provide you with a good starting point for gaining familiarity with PICO-8.

Here a few more helpful links:


Now that PICO-8 is free for all C.H.I.P.s and PocketC.H.I.P.s, what type of game are you planning to write? Tell us in the comments below, share your screenshots on Twitter, and join the conversation in the forum. We can’t wait to see what you’ll create!

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I second @Baerius’s question…can I run that update/install command on my PocketCHIP and get the v0.1.9 of Pico-8 without having to flash the whole thing?

Rather than sudoku try sudo instead!
Just do sudo apt update and sudo apt upgrade on your pocket chip and see what happens!
Version 0.1.9 in my pocket!

Since I already have the chip and hdmi dip I only need the power brick und the controller. Could you just write which controller it is and what kind of power brick it is? 5V 2A or lower?

Was looking at the NES Classic for $60, except they are basically unobtainable and the scalpers want $250+ for them… and this pops up. Half the price. Runs emulators *and* pico-8 and many other fun linuxy things. Tiny, fun, open. Done and done.

PLEASE HELP! I followed all the instructions but whem I click on pico 8, it opens then auto-closes right away! I was waiting so long for this, and not it doesn’t even work!

That’s not a lot of information to go on, are you trying to launch PICO-8 from the drop-down menu? Do you have any DIPs plugged in? What happens when you launch PICO-8 from the command-line? The more info you provide, the easier it will be to find a solution.

Oops, I forgot to press reply earlier. Well, I have no DIP’s, did not know how to launch it from command line, and tried to start it from the drop down menu? Does that help? Is there a solution?

David, Same issue here. Flashed 4.4 GUI. Updated apps. Then installed chip-pico-8. Attempted to launch pico from terminal and from GUI but no dice. The App flickers on the screen, then nothing – no icon or window.

Thanks to @WereCatf for the hint on this fix. The issue is that PICO tries to open in full screen mode. For whatever reason this causes the program to crash. Instead set PICO to open with a fixed window width. Simply set the windowed parameter in the config.txt to windowed 1 . It was also necessary to set the video_mode config to video_mode 480 360 8 so that all of the console window would fit onto my monitor. Note that the 4:3 ratio must be maintained in the video_mode parameters or PICO will open at 640 x 480. Where to find the config.txt file: Windows: /Users/Yourname/AppData/Roaming/pico-8/config.txt
OSX: /Users/Yourname/Library/Application Support/pico-8/config.txt
Linux: ~/.lexaloffle/pico-8/config.txt
On CHIP run in terminal $leafpad ~/.lexaloffle/pico-8/config.txt to open and make the changes. Then save the file and restart PICO. Here’s more detail about the config.txt file: http://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=2279

I found that changing fullscreen to 0 in config.text also lets it launch. Now I hit a new error, pico8 doesn’t recognize the enter key on my BT keyboard.

My config.txt file is blank. And Pico 8 auto closes when I try to open it from the drop down menu. I have a HDMI dip on my chip. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have the same isse. On the command line I get this message:

chip@chip:~$ pico8
X Error of failed request: BadValue (integer parameter out of range for operation)
Major opcode of failed request: 140 (RANDR)
Minor opcode of failed request: 21 (RRSetCrtcConfig)
Value in failed request: 0x0
Serial number of failed request: 122
Current serial number in output stream: 122

Congratulations, you found a bug. We apologize for the inconvenience .
We will update the .deb package as soon as possible.

For the impatient, please try the following work-around:
Edit the file ~/.lexaloffle/pico-8/config.txt and search for the line containing:
video_mode 640 480 8
Please change this line to
video_mode 320 240 8
and save your file.

Pico-8 should start now. Have fun!

i also try to install and when i try to start from shell i got:

X Error of failed request: BadValue (integer parameter out of range for operation)
Major opcode of failed request: 140 (RANDR)
Minor opcode of failed request: 21 (RRSetCrtConfig)
Value in failed request: 0x0
Serial number of failed request: 122
Current serial numver in output stream: 122

It`s connected via composite port…

Thank you very much for the detailed information.
We could identify the bug and will update the .deb package as soon as possible.
Please try the work-around posted above.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

I use the Chip with 4.4 GUI flashed, with DIP for the HDMI. Tried to run the command line above to install Pico-8, but the installation didn’t succeed, there was an error message in the shell: something like…
Error: Timeout was reached

other errors:
E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/dpkg/status
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

Is it possible to run Pico-8 on CHIP (not a PocketCHIP) over VNC/TightVNC? Or a DIP and TV/monitor is required? When I start Pico-8 over the VNC connection to the CHIP, a splash screen is shown, but none of the keyboard keys have any effect, the picture just hangs there forever…

So, apart from fact that this is neat little dev.gizmo, I might ask you is it possible for pledgers that bought Chip [HDMI] in the first place over Kickstarter, get this kit with special price?

Can you clarify what “we are thrilled that every PocketC.H.I.P. and now every C.H.I.P. has access to PICO-8 for free!” means?


Previously, only the Pocket C.H.I.P. had PICO-8 for free (pre-installed). Now you can install it on any C.H.I.P. from the command line:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install chip-pico-8

So… My “PICO-8 Console Kit” just arrived. One major question: Is there any way to launch PICO-8 with just the included game controller connected? I can connect a keyboard long enough to launch it, sure, but since it’s meant to be an “all-in-one” game system, I was hoping there was some mechanism for launching PICO-8 built in.

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