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Say hi to the newest member of the PICO-8 family! A free, web-based, account-less version of the console making it a more accessible way to learn how to program, push pixels and write chip tunes. It comes with a fully functional set of cartridge editing tools, and can load and save .p8 and .p8.png files to and from your local drive (as well as storing them to a temporary filesystem in the browser's cache).

Just run it from any browser that has a keyboard + mouse attached:


If you are new to PICO-8 you can find a manual and tutorials on the main site, or click on the blue bunny for some tips. Here's a 2-minute GIF showing the creaton of a simple PICO-8 cartridge from scatch:

In addition to the standard 32k .p8.png cartridges, PICO-8 Education Edition also comes with a new cartridge format: the URL CARTRIDGE. GFX and CODE can be encoded as a URL string, as long as it fits within 2040 characters. Here's one I prepared earlier:


// EDIT: changed to a bit.ly url so that the BBS doesn't munge it!

To generate a url cartridge, use SAVE @URL and you should see the address bar change. I'm hoping this will make it easier to pass snippets around, and will add a new dimension to code size golfing and tweetcart'ing. And of course, it is still possible to capture screenshots (ctrl-6) and gifs (ctrl-8, ctrl-9).

Although exporters and SPLORE (the built-in cartridge browser) are not included, larger cartridges can also be shared either as .p8.png files or by first uploading to the BBS as usual (publicly listed or semi-private) and then giving students the cartridge id to load directly from their machine:


I hope you enjoy it, and I'll be back soon with some 0.2.4c binaries to match the web version!

-- zep

P#109795 2022-04-06 20:21 ( Edited 2022-04-08 18:40)


Awesome new educational tool! I imagine it would make for a great, fun lesson in a classroom setting.

P#109799 2022-04-06 21:01

OMY ! Well done, @zep ! Very well done !

And of course the first thing I typed in there was SPLORE to see it was disabled. :)

That's fine. A few suggestions. Allow CTRL + LEFT/RIGHT arrow keys to change tabs as ALT + LEFT/RIGHT keys do in the original Pico-8 EXE.

Likely I'll have more suggests but for now. Well you own this kingdom, I know a gold star and my earlier purchase of Pico-8 is all I can offer, I hope you will accept it.

It does bring up a concern, if people can code and work online in Pico-8 for free now, what is the point for others to purchase it outside of disabled SPLORE ?

P#109800 2022-04-06 21:04 ( Edited 2022-04-06 21:08)

Awesome! FYI, the URL CART DEMO doesn't appear to work. When clicked, I just get a fresh PICO-8 session with no pre-existing data.

P#109801 2022-04-06 21:07

As someone who has been using Pico 8 in teaching for a while, this is amazing. The url support, the loading by IDs, how every desktop cart I have with me at the moment just worked - simply amazing.

Thank you!

P#109802 2022-04-06 21:10

This is amazing! I teach a game development club on my campus and have been wanting to show everyone Pico-8 for ages. This tool will make that a reality!

P#109805 2022-04-06 21:39

Thanks @dw817!
I couldn't get a few things like that working for now, but will gradually improve it over time. Things like alt+cursors / ctrl+tab are tricky because of the way they interact with standard browser controls & the clipboard logic. ESC is similar -- I skipped a fullscreen button for that reason as ESC would automatically disable it on most browsers, and instead went for a mostly empty page that can be F11'ed.

There are certainly users who will be content to just use the web version over buying the binary downloads, and I'm happy for that category to exist. There are still good reasons to opt for the downloadable version though; offline operation, stand-alone cart exporters, nicer fullscreen & performance, proper filesystem, splore, and later features that require logging in.

@trevorade The BBS formatting was clobbering that long url! I shortened it with bit.ly instead (which I think is normally how it will be used -- e.g. automatically getting shorted on twitter).

@ViNull Thanks, I'm really happy to hear it!

P#109806 2022-04-06 21:41

This is awesome, I am a computer science teacher and was considering how to add this into lessons or a club. This will lower the barrier to entry and really help :) I will be giving this a go asap

P#109807 2022-04-06 21:47

Yay! This is sooo cool!

Btw. to be able to use a soft-keyboard on an Android smartphone I found this solution to work for me:

  • I use "Hackers Keyboard" ... but probably many others should work too. [edit: Seems not to work with Swiftkey, though, for example.]
  • In the settings of Hackers Keyboard enable "Permanent Notification".
  • Start pico-8-edu.com in the browser on the phone (Brave Browser in my case).
  • Tap the notification of Hackers Keyboard to bring up the soft-keyboard ... voila!

The keyboards goes away everytime I tap on the screen above the keyboard and has to brought up again like described above ... but at least it's a start to finally being able to code pico-8 on my phone too.

Thanks zep!

P#109808 2022-04-06 22:44 ( Edited 2022-04-06 22:59)

This is fantastic! I always tell people to check out PICO-8 but the $15 barrier means they need to commit before they can start to see the magic. Hopefully this will be a great introduction and get even more people to join the PICO-8 community! :D

P#109809 2022-04-06 23:07

This is awesome, Zep!

Being able to tamper with PICO-8's audio editors for free was a years-ago dream of mine due to being obsessed with chiptune music, but that could've never been made a reality unless you had released this much earlier on in the console's alpha/beta phase.

(For everyone seeing this reply, bear in mind that I already have standalone PICO-8 and had it for almost 4 years now.)

P#109811 2022-04-06 23:36

lol this is blocked on my school computer

P#109838 2022-04-07 12:24 ( Edited 2022-04-07 12:25)

This is brilliant! The data being stored in the URL is really quite neat. A similar idea is used with itty.bitty sites, which compresses HTML and other data into a URL. Apparently different sites and browsers support different URL sizes. According to itty.bitty, Twitter can support up to 4,088 bytes, Discord & iMessage up to 4,000 bytes, and bit.ly at a measly 2,048 :/

P#109887 2022-04-07 23:39

OK a bit of information for those of you wanting to load and save directly to your hard-drive.

To save your work to the temporary online drive in addition to your own personal hard-drive, type out in immediate mode:

save {filename} followed by ENTER. Where {filename} of course is the name of the file you wish to save.

A save will occur on the temporary online drive and a filebox will appear where you can save proper to your hard-drive.

To LOAD a file from the hard-drive, type out:

load followed by ENTER with NO filename.

A filebox will appear where you can load in the P8 file that you want.

If you just want to load from the temporary online hard-drive type load {filename} followed by ENTER. {filename} also being the name of the file to load. use "dir" and ENTER by itself to view contents of your online directory. Refer to main HELP here:


To paste your cart in a lexaloffle message, first off make sure you have a logo screen which is strongly suggested.

The easiest way to do this is to run your cart and while it is running press CTRL+7 (not F7 as the purchased version requires).

Press the ESC key to exit, Then once there in immediate mode type out:

save @clip followed by the ENTER key. Press CTRL+C after this.

Then in any Lexaloffle message, press CTRL+V.

From there you can either PREVIEW (and PREVIEW again when it reappears) or SUBMIT to complete your message.

If you have any further questions regarding this particular Online version of Pico-8, feel free to ask.

Hope This Helps !

P#109921 2022-04-08 17:47 ( Edited 2022-04-09 06:14)

Great addition to the Pico-8 family.
BTW @zep, I did notice a problem.
I was not able to enter the @-character the normal way to test the @URL feature. I'm using a Swedish keyboard, where the @-character is at Alt-Gr-2 (which works perfectly in the desktop version).
But I work around by cut & paste from other place

P#109937 2022-04-08 23:15 ( Edited 2022-04-09 17:48)

This is very cool, way to lower the barrier of entry! Also thinking about what kind of stuff I could fit into a ~2KB URL.

One issue, though. I tried saving a small cart, and while a .p8 icon showed up on my desktop, when I open it, it says "could not load"... and the cart is blank. Not sure what I'm missing here. I'm running 0.2.4b on Windows 10 Pro, if that's any help.

P#109949 2022-04-09 06:08 ( Edited 2022-04-09 06:13)

am I the only one who still doesn't understand how __meta__ works

P#110104 2022-04-12 08:00 ( Edited 2022-04-12 08:01)

maybe, maybe not, but surely wrong thread!

(meta is optional sections that any tool may define and use, leaving the sections created by other tools as-is)

P#110119 2022-04-12 14:28

Wow, this is great and also excellent timing! Next month I will give a workshop on Game Development, which will (obviously) feature PICO-8. This really helps. It means I do not have to bring my own laptop, but more importantly, everyone can now give it a try themselves after I hopefully wet their appetite by showing off what you can (quickly) hack together.

P#110148 2022-04-12 19:03

This opens up so many possibilities, thank you for such a great feature!

P#110336 2022-04-16 21:03

So wait, does that mean Pico-8 is free now? Or is this version missing some features in a way?

P#110341 2022-04-16 23:52

Missing exports, splore, working offline, installing on rapsberry pi...

P#110398 2022-04-18 12:21

i love this! its a great way to get new people into pico 8! like some people already noticed it is more limiting like not being able to go in splore and stuff, but its still awesome concidering its almost free pico8!

P#110403 2022-04-18 13:48

I know this is beyond the intended use case of education edition and most likely a limitation of the browser apps/OS, but is there any way of loading a p8 file into Safari or Chrome on iPad? Typing load without a file name doesn’t bring up a dialog because, well, there probably is no such thing.

I think it would just be nice to not have my PC running occasionally and use the iPad instead. Is there an alternative for coding on iPad with say a Raspberry Pi?

P#112812 2022-06-06 19:55

@WeeblBull One way you could do it is to upload a cart to the BBS without creating a thread. This way it will still have a load tag. Then, in the web version, you could type load #yourcartname and it will load from there.

P#112823 2022-06-06 23:08

I think I may have forgotten to mention that you can save your code to your local hard-drive by typing, SAVE and ENTER all by itself.

Yes it will save a temporary file but ALSO open a true file-box where you can actually save your P8 code.

To load it back, type LOAD followed by ENTER. So aside from missing SPLORE, this is a pretty complete version of Pico-8 with ability to both load and save to your true hard-drive.

I know a lot of people are really glad for this version, I just wonder if it cuts into Zep's sales.

P#112859 2022-06-07 20:00

Can I bug-report here? I have students using this on Chrome (yay! love this btw!) and it seems like the local file save that generates on 'SAVE' alone with no filename is sometimes glitching and saving a 1kb invalid file. So far it only seems to happen when Chrome is two layers into stacking (1)(2) type numbers onto the filename, although I can't reproduce it 100% of the time by doing this.

P#112895 2022-06-08 15:53

how do I type lowercase characters in the code editor

P#113265 2022-06-17 15:57

Hi, @Nbrother1607. That can be done by pressing CTRL+P for PUNY mode. Press it again to return to normal uppercase letters.

P#113266 2022-06-17 15:59
P#113800 2022-06-29 13:28
P#115527 2022-08-09 22:34

sandwich was probably replying to someone who asked how to save cart label and then deleted their message.

P#115563 2022-08-10 13:43

LOAD #GAMENAME loads carts from bbs. Is that intentional?

P#115889 2022-08-16 19:56

@Xero0 Yes, that's intentional. See the last part of the original post above.

> Although exporters and SPLORE (the built-in cartridge browser) are not included, larger cartridges can also be shared either as .p8.png files or by first uploading to the BBS as usual....

P#115892 2022-08-16 20:06

This is absolutely amazing!

P#117585 2022-09-17 18:34

Hello, how can i export my game into html with this?

P#118212 2022-09-30 14:08

Excerpt from the educational edition announcement above: "it is missing some features (exporters"

Paid version only

P#118217 2022-09-30 15:11 ( Edited 2022-09-30 15:12)

@zep it would be a game-changer if I could use this to program on my phone. I am so frustrated that I can't tinker in Pico-8 in all the downtime on my phone.

P#123903 2023-01-07 18:28

Hi @VgBlade and @ECOPHOCIAC. Actually you can use PICOKNIFE to get around this limitation.

I'm working on a simpler edition of this and will have it done soon.


P#124017 2023-01-09 18:49 ( Edited 2023-01-09 20:35)

If exporters are not included on purpose, is it really cool to hack them in?

P#124037 2023-01-10 04:11

That is a good question, @caranha. PicoKnife does exist, it does work, and it does export quite nicely, and no-one has said anything against it. Also Pico-knife is not a hack, nor is my completed tool. They are both separate programs entirely. Neither cannot run Pico-8 code. They only transfer the PNG from one P8 code to another. That is all.

Yet I would like to hear what @zep has to say on this.

Truly I was working on mine, before I even knew about the Knife version. Yet - I also want to do right by Pico-8 - and still find time to assist the Piconian community. Bit of a rock and a hard place. :)

P#124054 2023-01-10 16:47 ( Edited 2023-02-07 00:56)

Is it possible to load a locally saved file on iOS (specifically iPad)? I saw @MBoffin suggest uploading a cart and loading it that way but I was hoping to use a different editor and load the changes as I want to test them.
Understandable if it’s not possible, just trying to make do with what I have access to.

P#125406 2023-02-06 12:52

yes, type LOAD in the command prompt to get the OS file chooser and pick your cartridge!

see also https://www.lexaloffle.com/dl/docs/pico-8_manual.html#_Using_an_External_Text_Editor about using an external editor

P#125420 2023-02-06 16:51

@merwok unfortunately nothing happens in Safari/Chrome on iPadOS when you type LOAD. It just goes to the next line and no upload box shows up.

P#125440 2023-02-06 22:16

do you have drag n drop on that system? if yes you could try that

P#125441 2023-02-06 22:27

There is some form of drag and drop however the dialog to upload a file doesn’t show up, it just moves onto the next line.
It would be a nice feature to have on iPadOS but I understand @zep is a busy guy and already graciously created Education Edition in the first place.

P#125459 2023-02-07 05:30

oh I was suggesting drag n drop because that’s a way to load cartridges without an file open dialog!

P#125474 2023-02-07 15:07


P#132579 2023-07-31 03:00

^^^ this is a joke btw ive heard of minecraft education edition but i just think this is a really generous offer

P#132580 2023-07-31 03:02

There is a problem with some keyboard layouts. Danish keyboard layout for example uses ALT-7 and ALT-0 to type { and }, ALT-8 and ALT-9 are [ and ].
Those characters are imposible to write in the web-editor, as the keys are mapped to shortcuts. I know it is a silly layout, but it is the standard on all nordic computers. And it is hard to teach programming without those symbols. ;)

P#134872 2023-09-25 07:10

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