How To Make An Atari Game


The basis of this tutorial is to provide an introductory look at programming in BASIC. Here, we’ll be using Batari Basic to create an Atari 2600 game that’s playable on most Atari emulators.

You can download Visual BBasic from here-

You can download my sample game and source code from here –


  1. Informacje i Media
    May 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

    • cj8tacos123
      July 19, 2013 at 12:14 am

      Same and i actually ended up bookmarking it too!!!! : )

  2. dan
    June 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    The download links appear to be broken πŸ™

  3. Aniket
    July 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Download link does not work.

  4. Mubo
    July 10, 2011 at 2:03 am

    the links work fine… right click and save file.

    however the VisualBBasic program wont install on my windows 7 64bit πŸ™

  5. Kronos
    November 9, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Everything works but I cant run after I compile!

  6. Talha Khalil
    Talha Khalil
    January 8, 2012 at 6:31 am

    This is a very good video!

  7. Thomas Ertle
    January 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Going to create a Atari game is nothing. I have a Atari game I found and it is jr. Pac-Man

  8. Thomas Ertle
    January 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    if you want to go to my Webpage without a CLICK on my name, go to

  9. Thomas Ertle
    January 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    πŸ™‚ DARN

  10. Thomas Ertle
    January 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm


  11. Thomas Ertle
    January 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    πŸ™ DARN

  12. Thomas Ertle
    January 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Darn that face for smile πŸ™

  13. Jonathan O'Dell
    Jonathan O'Dell
    February 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I’m having trouble with Visual bB. I am new to this sort of thing so I don’t know how to debug this… I create a little game like you teach, debug the game, put in the loop,blah,blah,blah…
    THEN I go to play the screen using “Stella” and I get a BIG, FAT, ANNOING error message.
    it says this:

    (could not locate default.bas.bin and could not recompile. Please make sure it was compiled correctly.)

    As I said, I set my emulator to “Stella.exe”.
    I also set the bB compiler to “2600basic.exe” and the ALT Batch File to “2600bas.bat”

    I hope you can help!

    • Jonathan O'Dell
      Jonathan O'Dell
      February 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      ok, so I fixed that. but now, all of a sudden, the editor is picking up my cursor as a syntax error…

      • Jonathan O'Dell
        Jonathan O'Dell
        February 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm

        WELL! it seems i can solve my own problems.

        my first comment (missing binary) was solved using the “bB” folder inside of the “atari2600” folder located in the C:/ drive. “atari2600” has most everything you need for ‘/|\ ATARI’ programming.

        my second comment was solved because not all of my Keywords were colored blue. I don’t know why, but it just goes and thinks your cursor is an error. SO MAKE SURE YOUR TEXT APPLIES TO THE COLOR CODING!!! or it will not be very fun to program in “Visual bB”… πŸ™

        • RatcheT2497
          August 31, 2013 at 9:05 am

          Wait, using the bB folder inside of the atari2600 folder? Whaa?

  14. Mspeter97
    April 21, 2012 at 7:58 am

    When I put the player0x=50:player0y=50 and player1x=20:player1y=20 I got a synthax error but I wrote what was in the video…whan can I do?

    • computermaster
      May 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      That happens to me too!

    • computermaster
      June 26, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      player0x = 50
      player0y = 50
      player1x = 20
      player1y = 20

      Remember spaces and indents

  15. joshthenesnerd
    April 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    i have been trying to make games for a while this looks very helpful thanks bub

  16. tailsisawesome1997
    July 15, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Quick question. What do you set as the compiler for visual bB? Or do you not set it as anything at all?

  17. WTF
    July 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Could not locate sed.exe. Please copy sed.exe to D:\NIDZA\PROGRAMI\Atari2600. This will improve DASM error reporting
    Precompilation failed, aborted at 7/21/2012 5:57:17 PM

  18. Jeff
    January 5, 2013 at 4:24 am

    You’ll get a lot more help from the batari Basic Atari Age Forum

  19. Simon
    January 14, 2013 at 9:32 am

    If I want to run the visualbB.exe a message appears it says: “The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click OK to terminate the application.”

  20. Koen
    February 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Why can’t I change the font size? whenever i slecet it and try to edit it, nothing happens, it stays at 975. And i can’t open the playfield, it says ”Unable to open, wanna open in tekst file?”

    • computermaster
      May 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Say yes. And write capital X’s where you want the front colors and dots (.) where you want the back colors.

      P.S. It’s text not tekst

  21. CJ
    February 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    whenever I try to compile my game, this message appears:

    See the end of this message for details on invoking
    just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

    ************** Exception Text **************
    System.ArgumentNullException: Argument cannot be Nothing.
    Parameter name: file
    at Microsoft.VisualBasic.FileIO.FileSystem.CheckFilePathTrailingSeparator(String path, String paramName)
    at Microsoft.VisualBasic.MyServices.FileSystemProxy.GetFileInfo(String file)
    at VisualbB.mainIDE.preCompile(String BASfile)
    at VisualbB.mainIDE.Compile(String filePath, String filename, String sourceDirectory)
    at VisualbB.mainIDE.CompileToolStripMenuItem_Click(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.RaiseEvent(Object key, EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.HandleClick(EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.HandleMouseUp(MouseEventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStrip.OnMouseUp(MouseEventArgs mea)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmMouseUp(Message& m, MouseButtons button, Int32 clicks)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStrip.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

    ************** Loaded Assemblies **************
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.6400 (Win8RTMGDR.050727-6400)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.NET/Framework64/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version:
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Atari2600/VisualbB.exe
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 8.0.50727.6387 (Win8RTM.050727-6300)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/Microsoft.VisualBasic/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.6401 (Win8RTMGDR.050727-6400)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.6401 (Win8RTMGDR.050727-6400)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.6401 (Win8RTMGDR.050727-6400)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.6387 (Win8RTM.050727-6300)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Runtime.Remoting/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.6387 (Win8RTM.050727-6300)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Configuration/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.6387 (Win8RTM.050727-6300)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Xml/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.6387 (Win8RTM.050727-6300)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/Accessibility/

    ************** JIT Debugging **************
    To enable just-in-time (JIT) debugging, the .config file for this
    application or computer (machine.config) must have the
    jitDebugging value set in the section.
    The application must also be compiled with debugging

    For example:

    When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception
    will be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computer
    rather than be handled by this dialog box.

    How do I fix this?

  22. BoyCruz
    May 26, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Could someone help me!
    I had create a Playfield but
    when i open, it said “Could not open C:\Atari2600\My Game\Background.pla Would you like to view the file in Notepad?”
    when i open it in Notepad, It had no pattern to enjoy to create a playfield.

    same in creating Sprites

    and i have no idea in using Stella Emulator
    and i wan to to know how to use it

    this is my first time in using Visual bB and Stella Emulator

    • computermaster
      June 26, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      To use Stella:

      arrow keys for joystick
      spacebar for button

      y for up
      g for left
      h for down
      j for right
      f for button

      In Notepad, you have to use X’s for one color and dots (.) for the other color. When making a sprite, the X’s are the part that you see.

  23. Robert Miles
    Robert Miles
    August 12, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Please update the batari Basic installer! Apparently it is out of date.

  24. Tinkernut
    October 30, 2013 at 8:56 am

    You can’t make GTA using Batari Basic. That’s impossible.

    Today, Atari games are old and simple. Using Batari Basic, you can make simple Atari games.

  25. Tinkernut
    October 30, 2013 at 8:56 am

    You can’t make GTA using Batari Basic.

  26. Random Terrain
    Random Terrain
    January 28, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Note to any batari Basic users: Don’t use the Tinkernut installer. Go to the batari Basic Commands page at and read the Getting Started section. There have been a lot of changes to batari Basic and Visual batari Basic since the Tinkernut installer was made. That includes bug fixes and all kinds of improvements, so quit using the Tinkernut installer.


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