Guide to getting games
by Ray Kremer
So you've got a new TI graphing calculator, and the first thing in your mind is to use it as a
handheld gaming system. Shame on you. Only kidding. I've been known to play a few calculator
games myself. What follows is a guide to downloading and installing games, with references
back to the main FAQ pages for more detailed descriptions. While Windows is referred to
specifically, most of this is the same or similar for Mac users.
Other game downloading help pages can be found at calcgames.org and ticalc.org.
- Click here to see what model family your calculator is in.
Getting games from the internet
- Games are readily available for free downloading in many program archives across the
internet. ticalc.org tends to be the preferred source.
- Click here for links to other major program archives.
- There may not be many games made specifically for the newer calculator models, but in most
cases, games for the other calculators in the same model family will work.
- Click here for more about program compatibility between calculator models.
- Download the games to your computer using your internet browser. Just click on the link to
the game file and save it as you would any other downloaded file. It doesn't matter where you
save it to as long as you will be able to find it later. You can use Window's Find File function
if you forget where you put it.
- Most files downloaded from the internet will be zipped. If you are using TI Connect 1.5, you
do not have to unzip them first in order to send them to the calculator.
- For directions on playing a particular game, check in the zip file for documentation. Files
ending in .txt or .doc are often documentation files.
- If a particular game does not work properly, e-mail the author for suggestions. Authors
typically leave their e-mail address in the documentation file.
Setting up the TI Connectivity cable
- The TI Connectivity cable is used to send files from the computer to the calculator. The unit to
unit cable will not plug into a computer.
- Click here for more information on the different types of Connectivity cable.
- Click here for information on purchasing a Connectivity cable if you have a model of
calculator that does not come with one.
- If you can't get your hands on a Connectivity cable, you can still read the code of Basic
programs and manually copy it into a program file on your calculator.
- Click here for information about reading the code of a program.
- TI Connect is needed to use the Connectivty cable. Download the most recent version from
TI's website and install it on your computer. Be certain to install it before you plug the
Connectivity cable in. (Windows users who own the TI-82 or 85, download and use the Graph
Link software instead.)
- Click here for the TI Connect download page at TI's website.
- Click here for information about TI Connect and the Graph Link software.
- Plug the Connectivity cable into your computer and calculator.
- Click here for an illustrated guide to plugging the Connectivity cable into your
- Click here for text descriptions of connecting the Graph Link cable to your computer.
- Run TI Connect. Turn the calculator on if it is not. Use TI Connect's ScreenCapture program
to get a screen capture from the calculator or use TI Connect's DeviceExplorer to view the
contents of your calculator's memory. If successful, your Connectivity cable is properly
connected and configured and you are ready to use it.
- Click here for help on setting up the Connectivity cable configuration if TI Connect is
unsuccessful in finding your calculator.
Sending the games from the computer to the calcualtor
- To send files to the calculator, drag and drop them from the Windows File Explorer window
into TI Connect's DeviceExplorer Window. Alternately, right click the file and choose Send
To TI Device. Do not merely double click them in Windows File Explorer as Windows won't
know what to do with them.
- See TI Connect's help file for more about sending files to the calculator.
- If you are using the Graph Link software instead of TI Conenct, use the choices under the Link
menu. For more detail, consult the help file or documentation for the Graph Link software.
Flash files and standard files are sent to the calculator using different menu options.
- Click here for help with sending different types of files to your calculator using the
Graph Link software.
- Flash Applications will appear on the calculator in the APPS menu. Other games and
programs files, including assembly programs, will appear in the PRGM menu on the TI-8x
calculators and in the VAR-LINK screen on the TI-89 family.
- You may have the option to send the files to either RAM or Archive.
- On the TI-83 Flash family, Basic programs will only run from RAM. If they are
archived, they will cause an error if you try to run them. To unarchive a program, press
2nd-MEM, 2, 7, move the cursor to the program, and press Enter. A * appears next to
archived programs in the PRGM and Mem Mgmt menus.
- On the TI-83 Flash family, assembly programs can be run from the archive if you are
- On the TI-89 Flash family, basic and assembly programs may be run from RAM or the
Running assembly games
- Most calculator games are written in assembly and usually require a shell to run. If you try to
run an assembly program using the PRGM menu on the TI-8x calculators, it will cause a
syntax error. On the TI-89 family, if you do not have a kernel installed, many assembly
programs will cause other errors or just display "Done" without actually running. Special
methods and/or programs are used to run assembly games and programs.
- TI-83 Flash family: Most people use the MirageOS shell to run assembly programs.
MirageOS is started from the APPS menu. Refer to the MirageOS documentation for further
- TI-83: Most people use the Ion shell to run assembly programs. Ion is started using prgmA in
the PRGM menu. Refer to the Ion documentation for installation and further usage directions.
- TI-89, TI-92 Plus, Voyage 200: Most people use PreOS or UniversalOS in concert with the
HW2 patch to run assembly programs, refer to their respective documentation for installation
and usage directions.
- TI-89 Titanium: Iceberg can be used in concert with the HW3 patch and older 89 Flash
family programs that have been patched using GhostBuster. The latest version of PreOS also
supports the 89Ti.
- TI-86: Use the Asm( command from the catalog to run assembly programs.
- For other calculator models, more detailed descriptions of using assembly programs, and lists
of other available shells, click on your calculator:
Running Basic games
- TI-83 family: Press PRGM, move the cursor to the program, press Enter to paste the
program's name to the home screen. Press Enter again to run it.
- TI-85/86: Press PRGM, press F1 for NAMES, press MORE to scroll through the choices, and
press the F-key underneath the program's name to paste it to the home screen. Press Enter to
- TI-89 family: Press 2nd-VAR-LINK, move the cursor to the program, press Enter to paste the
program's name to the home screen. Press ), then press Enter again to run it.
- Check the calculator manual for more details about Basic programs.
Deleting games from the calculator
- TI-83 Flash family: Press 2nd-MEM, 2, 7, move the cursor to the program, and press DEL.
- TI-82, TI-83: Press 2nd-MEM, 2, 7, move the cursor to the program, and press ENTER.
- TI-85/86: Press 2nd-MEM, press F2 for DELET, press MORE, press F5 for PRGM, move the
cursor to the program, and press ENTER.
- TI-89 family: Press 2nd-VAR-LINK, move the cursor to the program, press the backspace
key, then Enter.
- Archived files must be unarchived to be deleted.
- Check the calculator manual for more details about the MEM or VAR-LINK menu.
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