Retro Game Colour Palettes And Tools

Here is a collection of colour palettes for pixel art that can be used, as well as some useful resources. Feel free to download the palettes. I will update this periodically as I discover more cool colour palette related resources.

The palettes are set up to be imported into a program like Pyxel Edit, which is currently my Pixel Art software of choice. They’ll line up as shown if you put the width and height I have provided in to Pyxel Edit’s colour palette tools.

How To Practice Pixel Art

Generally, as a beginner, working with less colours is better to practice and learn how to use colours properly. I would recommend practising with Gameboy, and then maybe following it up with Pico8, Micro 12 or AAP 16.

The video below is a great example of how to get started:

Auto-Generate Your Own Custom Palette

There’s a fantastic website that lets you auto-generate your own colour ramps for free.

Generator

Source

Design Your Own Colour Palette Tutorial

Here’s a really good tutorial that teaches you the basics to get started making your own custom colour palettes. Starting out, I liked to use the auto-generator above mixed with the techniques in this tutorial.

Make Colour Ramp

Source

Resizing And Using Palettes

You can right click and save any of the palettes as an image. You can import them into software like Pyxel Edit and it will set up the colour palette for you as the only colours you can choose from.

For Pyxel Edit you won’t need to resize the images, but if for some other reason you do need to resize them:

  1. Shrink the images down to a 1 pixel scale – set the pixel width and height to be the width and height given in this post (if you’re using Photoshop, use Nearest Neighbour as your resize settings)
  2. Enlarge the palette, ideally in multiples of 100%, to the size that you want
  3. Save the image

Gameboy Palette

Gameboy

Width: 4 colours
Height: 3 colours

Example

Gameboy Example

Matriax8C

Matriax8C

Width: 8 colours
Height: 1 colour

Example

Matriax8C Example

Source

AAP Micro 12 Palette

AAP Micro 12 Palette

Width: 12 colours
Height: 1 colour

Example

AAP Micro 12 Example

Source

AAP 16 Palette

Intended for beginners.

AAP 16

Width: 16 colours
Height: 1 colour

Example

AAP 16 Example

Source

Pico8 Palette

Pico8

Width: 8 colours
Height: 2 colours

Example:

Pico8 Example.png

Source

Fantasy 24 Palette

Fantasy 24

Width: 12 colours
Height: 2 colours

Example

Fantasy 24 example.jpg

Source

Arcade Standard 29 Palette

Arcade Standard 29

Width: 16 colours
Height: 1 colour

Using the above version of the palette will result in a blank spot in your palette on the second row.

Example

Arcade Standard 29 Examples.png

Source

Vine’s Flexible Colour Ramps Palette

Vines Flexible Linear Ramps

Width: 7 colours
Height: 6 colours

Example

Vine's Colour Ramp Example

Source

Arne16 Palette

Arne16

Width: 8 colours
Height: 2 colours

Source

Pyxel Edit Default Palette

Pyxel Edit Default

Width: 8 colours
Height: 2 colours

Example:

Pyxel Edit Example

Source

Zughy 32 Palette

Zughy32

Width: 16 colours
Height: 2 colours

Example

Zughy32 Example

Source

Dawnbringer32 Palette

Dawnbringer 32

Width: 16 colours
Height: 2 colours

Example:

Dawnbringer Example.gif

Source

Endesga 32 Palette

Endesda 32

Width: 12 colours
Height: 3 colours

Example

Endesda 32 Example.png

Source

NES Palette

NES palette

Width: 16 colours
Height: 4 colours

Example:

NES example 2

Source

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