This popular free assembler supports many microprocessors, including the 6502/6507 that's used in the 2600. It's popular with the VCS programming community, and its current maintainer, Andrew Davies, is a homebrew programmer himself (Qb and the 2008 version of Boulder Dash). Andrew also hosts standard versions of VCS.H and MACRO.H to provide standard system constant definitions for your code.



Cross-platform 2600 emulator with extensive debugging features. This is a GPL-licensed emulator that works on most platforms. The integrated debugger lets you step through your code, viewing the full contents of the TIA RAM and processor registers as you watch its execution. It has support for most of the known bankswitching schemes.


z26 is a x86-only emulator as it's written in x86 assembly for speed. It supports running on Windows and x86 Linux, and also has some debugging features, such as the ability to turn on and off the display of the playfield, players, and missiles. It has very good sound emulation, and also handles emulating a large number of input devices, including the Atari Mindlink and the Compumate keyboard.


Batari Basic

This is an excellent tool for getting started with 2600 development. It lets you combine a variety of generic game kernels with game logic written in a high level language. It doesn't hide the hardware, but it makes it much easier to jump into development and do simpler games. Plus, since it outputs assembly, you can start with Batari Basic to prototype your game, then take its output and tweak it for the final version.

Much discussion of this tool is done online on the Batari Basic programming forum at AtariAge.

Graphics and Sound Tools

Sequencer Kit

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