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is there a good portable device to play pico-8 games on? i see that the pocket chip can play them. but it seems using that keyboard can be a bit of a pain from what i understand. and carrying a controller with it, makes it much less portable.

thanks for your help.

P#33021 2016-12-04 19:48 ( Edited 2016-12-10 01:23)

Good question. I'm about to buy myself the pocket chip, but if there is something better out there, I would be happy to get that instead.

P#33035 2016-12-05 02:30 ( Edited 2016-12-05 07:30)

ArduBoy looks like the perfect device for Pico8, too bad it cant handle it :/

P#33037 2016-12-05 02:44 ( Edited 2016-12-05 07:44)

i thought there was a raspberry pi version of pico 8. I don't know how well it would work with mapping buttons though, because it seems like different games sometimes use different keys for the buttons. if not , then maybe a pigrrl zero would work

P#33062 2016-12-05 11:06 ( Edited 2016-12-05 16:06)

I have used PICO-8 across all platforms for which it is suited.
I have to say that by far the most frustrating version is that on the pocketchip, or more so the pocketchip is a pain to use. Period.
BTW. PICO-8 on PCHIP is not fullscreen (center screen; square).

Unfortunately. If you want portability for PICO-8 the PCHIP is probably your best bet.
Unless you make yourself something portable using a Raspberry PI with a MUCH better keyboard.

Here is Some Basic information to Consider Before Purchasing a Pocket.C.H.I.P.

The Raspberry Pi PICO-8 version operates like the rest.
The only problem I have had (this is documented) is closing out of the program.
But there is a simple work around (also documented); use ALT-F4.
The reason ALT-F4 is recommended is because using 'SHUTDOWN' or CTRL-Q cause PICO-8 to hang.
If this happens then press CTRL-ALT-T to bring of a terminal (you won't be able to see it but it's there) then type sudo shutdown -h now OR sudo reboot and press ENTER.

P#33069 2016-12-05 12:02 ( Edited 2016-12-05 17:25)

I really only play games on portable devices. I have tried to sit in front of a pc or tv and it just isn't for me. so If I cant find a reasonable way to make pico-8 portable, I just most likely wont play the games. especially seeing as I have no interest in making the games, just playing them.

P#33073 2016-12-05 12:38 ( Edited 2016-12-05 17:38)

I think the best device depends on what your environment is, kind of like others have suggested.

If you want Pico-8 on a handheld, the PocketCHIP is the way to go. It's a fun little device that isn't too bad for playing games if you get the d-pad add-on for it. But the PocketCHIP keyboard is bad and isn't great for word typing/coding.

If portable doesn't really matter, then just your normal PC is probably the best. Assuming you have the Pico-8 client and not the web players. Runs great and you can use whatever controller you want.

I play most often on the PocketCHIP because I like to play Pico-8 games at work or when I'm just sitting on the couch. But if I'm in deep with a game to try and get a high score or something, then I'll play on my Windows desktop.

I'm not a electronic DIY guy or anything so I just want something that will work out of the box. I'm not interested in building anything to play (or create) games. I'm sure all the Pi versions are great but can't speak to those since they require effort.

P#33074 2016-12-05 12:50 ( Edited 2016-12-05 17:50)


The PocketCHIP isn't a very good handheld for playing video games.
Morningtoast states this very well.


Not quite clear on what you mean about "All the Pi versions".
Please elaborate if my following response is incorrect.

Did you mean installing PICO-8 on RPi, or mean installing Raspian along with PICO-8?

As far as installing PICO-8 on the RPi; it's not a .deb and there is no terminal use involved.

It's as easy as.

  1. Download.
  2. Unzip.
  3. Copy the PICO-8 folder to the Home directory (may also stay where unzipped).
  4. Click the PICO8 file and when prompted 'Open in Terminal'
  5. ALT-F4 to close PICO-8

Creating a link in the Menu is a little complicated, but it's really just following some prompt windows to set it up. :-)

P#33111 2016-12-06 08:40 ( Edited 2016-12-06 13:41)

The software side of a RaspPi machine is straightforward. The hardware side is trickier depending on your definition of "portable." If you want a Gameboy form factor, PiGrrl et al work fine, but it's a fidgety hobby project (a fun one but still) and not a professionally assembled solution. My own PiGrrl turned out less than perfect even after using a 3D Hubs vendor for the plastic case. I may try again. The PiGrrl option isn't cheap either, at least not as cheap as a PocketCHIP.

If a lightweight notebook meets the definition of portable, I'd definitely consider hacking a cheap Chromebook to install Debian. I haven't tried this with Pico-8 yet so I'm not aware of limitations.

Re: RaspPi version hanging on "shutdown," see the RetroPie how-to for info on how to launch it so that this doesn't happen. Wrapping it with RetroPie's runcommand.sh cleans up the mess when it tries to exit. (RetroPie is also a good launcher and makes it easy to install other emulators and fun things.)

P#33136 2016-12-06 16:27 ( Edited 2016-12-06 21:27)

I actually have everything, including a DMG housing, to build the Pi-boy.
I just haven't gotten around to building it yet because the TFT I wanted was out of stock when I purchased everything else.

P#33138 2016-12-06 18:10 ( Edited 2016-12-06 23:10)

I like to have one, so now I building one...

P#33152 2016-12-07 00:32 ( Edited 2016-12-07 05:32)

A friend of mine turned me on to this site for Retro Handheld Housings.

P#33164 2016-12-07 09:49 ( Edited 2016-12-07 14:49)

I love my pocketchip, but the input sits in the distressing middle ground of not being a "good" keyboard, and not being "good" arcade controller. How well it suits you depends a lot on your goal - if you want to code, you need a keyboard, and the fact that it is there at all is a good thing. But - if you want to play, that's all wasted real estate.

I have a concept in my head of using a regular bluetooth joystick like a PS3 stick. I have not actually tried it - I have a feeling the result will be "I got it working, but..." - as it is with most things.

Someday - SOMEDAY - I will have pico-8 on my ipad pro, and a nice wireless joystick, and I can get the best of both worlds.

P#33265 2016-12-09 18:19 ( Edited 2016-12-09 23:19)

I have Pico8 installed on my old EeePC4G, runs flawlessly.
(Until zep pulls the plug in 32 bit versions ;) )

Picture is from a retro gaming meetup in Dortmund, the Do-Bit.
There is also the DoReCo, if you happen to live in the Ruhrpott these two could be interesting to you.

P#33276 2016-12-09 20:23 ( Edited 2016-12-10 01:23)

I use now the Clockwork uConsole! It has the optimal Formfactor and you can code in the bed or on the couch, when you press the device between yout hands. My german article about the uConsole:

P#143317 2024-03-16 14:44

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