Programming and Hacking Tools | Game Editors | Emulators | Batari Basic
 Programming and Hacking Tools
Below are the tools I've used to Hack Atari 2600 Games, and some other useful applications. A Link to the original location of the file is provided, if available.  Many of these tools are older command line utilities that may require a 32bit operating system.

Here's some screenshots of a few of the tools below.

 StellaGraph    Hack-O-Matic    Hack-O-Matic II    Hack-O-Matic 3    Bithacker  






   Link to Original Location

 BitHacker - Point & Click graphic hacking (Edwin Blink)

   AA Link

 The Orginal Hack-O-Matic (by Rob Kudla)

   AA Link
 Hack-O-Matic 2  

 The updated Hack-O-Matic, Windows Native.

 Hack-O-Matic 3  

 The updated Hack-O-Matic, by Jeff Wierer (version 3.030)

 DASM 2.12  

 DASM - The 6502 Assembler.

   DASM Homepage
 Tia Playfield painter  

 Khryssun's TIA Playfield Painter

 DiStella v3.00 | Distella 3.01a  

 DiStella - Disassemble Atari Roms (by Rob Colbert) (Version 3.01a adds 64bit support)

   v3.0 Link | V3.01a Link

 Convert Roms to WAVs for the supercharger (R. Colbert)

 VCS/Macro.H 1.10  

 You need these support files to go along with DASM.

   DASM Homepage

 Dumps contents of ROM to text file for graphics editing

   Link Unavailable

 Atari2600 Playfield Tool (by Christopher James Pepin)

   Link Unavailable

 Paul Slocum's Music Sequencer Kit


 Atari Hacking for Dummies Tool, with AHD Files

   Link | Link

 Playfield Painter for Mac Classic OS, by Emehr


 DOS Space Invaders batch hacking tool (by G. Zumwalt)


 Determine Distortion & Pitch Values (by T.J.)

ST Animation Tool   An Atari 7800 Animation Tool for the Atari ST   Link Unavailable
ST Dev System   An Atari 7800 Development System for the Atari ST   Link Unavailable
AtariVox Includes   AtariVox Include Files   Link
AtariVox Editor   AtariVox Editor .bin file, for use on real hardware   Link
Atari 2600 Fonts   Atari 2600 Windows and Macintosh Fonts   Link Unavailable
 Game Editors
Below is a collection of Atari 2600/7800 game editors that were used in AtariAge contests or released by AA users in years past.
 Combat Editor   Atari 7800 Scramble Editor    Atari 7800 Pac-Man Editor    Indy 500 Track Editor





 File   Description   Link to Original Location
Combat Editor   A Combat Playfield Editor   AA Link
Indy 500 Track Editor   An Indy 500 Track Editor   AA Link
Pac-Man Editor   A visual editor for the Atari 7800 version of Pac-Man, click AA link for instructions   AA Link
Scramble Editor   A Visual editor for the Atari 7800 version of Scramble   AA Link
Below is a collection of Atari 2600 Emulators.  I personally use Stella, as it is the most frequently updated and the most compatible. 


z26   Very accurate Atari 2600 emulator.  
Stella   Very good multiplatform emulator, includes debugger  
PCAE 2.2   Hasn't been updated in a while, includes debugger  
PCAEWin_2.7   PCAE 2.7  

 Batari Basic
Batari Basic is Fred "Batari" Quimby's BASIC compiler for creating Atari 2600 games.  The official homepage is located here, however there is also an AtariAge forum dedicated to it that is more frequently updated. 
Getting Started

Ready to begin but don't know where to start?  There is a whole lot of great information out there to help someone just starting out.  I've outlined some some basic steps for getting started with batariBasic below.

1.  Get the files.  Download and install all the files that you need. 

  • New to Basic programming?  Do some reading.  If you're new to Basic, I'd highly recommend starting with Random Terrain's batariBasic page.  His page is very well organized with lots of answers to beginner questions.  Once you're more familiar with batariBasic his page is also the best place to go for up to date commands and syntax. His site is like the bB bible.

  • Get the batariBasic files.  This AA thread is frequently updated with the latest version of bB.  As of 3/2015 the latest version is 1.1d37 (bB.1.1d.reveng37).

  • Get the Visual batariBaic files.  As a beginner, you'll definitely want to download Visual Batari Basic.  It includes graphical editors for sprites and playfields, support for the titlescreen kernel, and a music editor.

  • Get an Emulator.  I recommend Stella.  It's cross platform and offers the highest level of compatibility with batariBasic features.

2. Read the Tutorials.  AtariAge members CurtisP and SeaGtGruff wrote some excellent tutorials and posted them to the batariBasic forums.

3. Learn from Example.   Below is a collection of Sample Batari Basic applications I wrote to help get you started.  The source code is heavily commented to explain every line of code.  These sample programs are also available for download at AtariAge.

 Sample Application Source


Draw a Sprite Source Binary Drawing a sprite on the screen
Draw a Playfield Source Binary Drawing a playfield on the screen
Move a Sprite Source Binary How to create and move a sprite on the screen with the joystick
Fire a Missile Source Binary How to make the sprite fire a missile
Animate a Sprite Source Binary How to animate a sprite with three frames
Animate a Playfield Source Binary How to animate a playfield
3D Moving Sprite Source Binary Creating the illusion of a 3D srpite moving toward you
Flash Colors Source Binary Flashing colors
Detect Collisions Source Binary How to detect a collision between two sprites
Move an Animated Sprite Source Binary How to move an animated sprite
Adventure Light Source Binary How to create the light around a character, as done in the invisible maze in 'Adventure'.
Bankswitching Demo Source Binary A demonstration of how to use multiple banks in your game
Move, Animate, and Fire Source Binary How to move an animated sprite that can also fire a missile
Move within playfield boundary Source Binary How to keep a sprite from moving through a playfield boundary
Simple Titlescreen Demo Source Binary How to create a simple titlescreen before your game starts

4. Ask for help.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  There are many experienced batariBasic programmers that visit the AtariAge batariBasic forum frequently.  You'll find many people are more than willing to answer questions and help you get started.


The batariBasic files linked below are older versions, go to this AA thread for the latest version of batariBasic.  It's updated frequently enough that it's not practical for me to include each update on my personal site. AA user Random Terrain maintains the bB documentation on his excellent website, which is updated frequently.



bB DOS/Win .Zip v0.35a   Early beta release from 2005. Includes the .exe, README, and sample files  
bB DOS/Win .Zip v0.99b   Later release from 2006. I used this for a few of my early games.  
bB DOS/Win .Zip v1.10d   Recent 32bit release from 2013.  
C Source   For use on other systems  
AA batari Basic Forum   The best place to go for help with batari Basic  
README.txt   Required reading  
FAQ   Frequently Asked Questions  
Helpfile   Alphabetical Reference  
2600IDE   An all-in-one IDE for Windows  
Visual Batari Basic   A modern IDE for batari Basic by jeff Wierer