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The PICO-8 forum, or BBS (bulletin board system), is the official community center for PICO-8. This is where PICO-8 developers share games, discuss techniques, and get technical support. You can also use the forum to maintain a blog, where blog posts appear in the main activity stream.

The forum has special features for publishing PICO-8 games. When you upload a cartridge, everyone can play the game in a web browser, discuss the game, give the game a star, mark it as a favorite, and download it for offline play or examination in the PICO-8 app.

PICO-8's Splore feature can browse cartridges published to the forum over the Internet, directly from within PICO-8.

In addition to uploading and downloading cartridge files, you can copy and paste sprites and entire cartridges between the PICO-8 app and forum posts via your operating system's clipboard.

The forum is hosted by Lexaloffle Games and uses custom forum software.

Starting a discussion

To start a new discussion thread:

  1. Sign in or register for an account, if you are not already signed in.
  2. Select one of the following categories by clicking its button: Collaboration, Discussion, Editor, or Support.
  3. Click "Start New Thread in ..." for the category.

A new thread can have a title and any number of tags (key words that associate multiple threads on the same subject). Text formatting is available (bold, italics, code blocks, headers, links), and you can attach images and YouTube videos.

Publishing a cartridge

Before you can publish a cartridge, you must prepare the cartridge file. First, give your cart a title and byline by writing them as the first two comments in the Lua code:

-- jelpi
-- by zep


  1. Run the cart in PICO-8, then press F7 to capture the current screen as the cartridge label.
  2. Press Escape to return to the PICO-8 command prompt.
  3. Use the save command, and provide a filename ending in .p8.png.

To publish the cartridge to the forum:

  1. Sign in or register for an account, if you are not already signed in.
  2. Select one of the following categories by clicking its button: Cartridges (for finished works), Work in Progress, or Collaboration.
  3. Click "Submit a cartridge to ..." for the category.
  4. Under "Post a Cartridge," click Continue. Follow the prompts to upload the .p8.png file.
  5. On the following screen, press the button to create a new thread for the cartridge.

Posting a cartridge as a response to another thread

When viewing any thread, you can post a comment using the form at the bottom of the page. To include a cartridge in a comment on an existing thread:

  1. Prepare the cartridge and follow the steps above to publish the cartridge. On the final screen, do not click the button to create a new thread. Instead, note the tag assigned to the uploaded cartridge, such as [#1234#].
  2. Go to the discussion thread where you want to post the cartridge response. In the response text, include the cartridge tag.

Copying and pasting graphics

You can copy sprites from the PICO-8 app and paste them into a forum post or comment.

To copy a sprite, open the sprite editor, select the sprite, then press Control-c (or Command-c in Mac OS X). To copy a rectangle of sprites, hold Shift, click-drag a selection box around the sprites, then press Control-c (or Command-c). This puts an encoded string on the clipboard that looks something like this:

[gfx]2808000000 ... 00000f000[/gfx]

You can paste this string directly into the forum post or comment. After you publish, the sprite will appear in graphical form in the message.

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 1.06.05 PM.png

You can also copy a sprite (or rectangle of sprites) from a forum post to PICO-8. The sprite appears in the post with its size indicated. Click the size to show the [gfx] string, then press Control-c (or Command-c) to copy it to the clipboard. In the PICO-8 sprite editor, select the top-left corner sprite location to use, then press Control-v (or Command-v).

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 1.06.14 PM.png

Note: Pasting a sprite overwrites the sprites already in that location. To undo the paste operation, press Control-z (or Command-z).

Copying and pasting cartridges

You can copy entire cartridges from the PICO-8 app and paste them into a forum post or comment. To copy a cartridge to the clipboard, exit to the Console, then enter this command:

save @clip

This copies a string value to the clipboard that looks something like this:

[cart]89504e470d0a1a0a00 ... 9454e44ae426082[/cart]

This string may be very long. As with sprites, you can paste this string into a forum post or comment, and it will appear as a playable cartridge in the message.

To copy a cartridge from the forum to PICO-8, locate the word "Copy" below the cartridge, then click on it. This copies the [cart] string to the clipboard.

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 1.07.13 PM.png

At the PICO-8 Console, enter the following command:

load @clip

Posting a blog entry

To post a blog entry, start a new discussion thread in the Blog category.

Blog entries are like other discussion threads, except they also appear on your user profile page.