How to start guide

Hi there! I’m starting a HOW TO START GUIDE because I couldn’t find one in the Inside Playdate document and I was a little lost at first. I hope this helps.


  1. Take your Playdate out of the box. Delight in how charming and yellow it is. Is that a crank? Yes it is.
  2. What you will find in your box: Your Playdate. A yellow USB cable. Two twisty ties. 1 cardboard thing to hold the USB cable. A very tiny pamphlet called “The Basics”
  3. Your Playdate will need to be charged. Plug the USB wire into the port at the bottom of the device (it’s the square boi on the right) and power it up. The light on the LOCK button will go from red to white when charged.
  4. The Playdate will go to the PLAYDATE DEVELOPER PREVIEW page - this is where you select from programs and settings.
  5. Press Up/Down on the d-pad to choose from CRAYONS, SETTINGS and INPUT TEST. Press the A button to select it. Press B to go back.

CRAYONS: A pixel-based drawing program (the cow is from Picasso’s Guernica)
Move the D-pad to position the square. Press A to draw a pixel, Press B to erase it.
Use the D-pad to the Left to select the Paint Roller. Press A to bring up a menu to paint the canvas black. Press it again to bring up a menu to paint the canvas white.
Select the 1 to see all of your saved images.
The little screen on the upper right shows you a tiny version of your drawing.
To Exit Crayons, press MENU and select launcher to return to PLAYDATE DEVELOPER PREVIEW menu.

Account: Select this to register your device online. Enter your email and password to generate a code. Register the code at http://
Speaker: Internal/Bluetooth
Wi-Fi: Enter Network Name/Disconnect
Language: English/Japanese
Lock Screen: Analog Clock/Digital Clock/Word Clock
Upside Down: Yes/No - This switches your screen upside down (if you are a leftie)
System: There are lots of selections here:

  • Device Info: SDK Version and Serial Number
  • Installed Games:
    *Check for System Update: You must set your account to access this
    *Check for Game Updates: Coming Soon! This feature has not yet been implemented
  • Sync Game Data: Coming Soon! This feature has not yet been implemented
    *Regulatory Labels: This has model no., FCC ID and IC ID
  • Restart Playdate: Clears all of the settings
  • Factory Reset: Currently not available

INPUT TEST: This is where you test the D-Pad, button, crank and Accelerometer inputs. There are also a icon for headset, (a little person?), and battery life. Getting out of this is a little tricky because pressing B only tests the B button. Press the MENU button (the one on the right above the speaker) and select LAUNCHER and press A. This will take you back to the PLAYDATE DEVELOPER PREVIEW page.

MENU BUTTON: This changes functions depending on the application, but in the PLAYDATE DEVELOPER PREVIEW page, it controls VOLUME and SCREENSHOT! press B to return to the PLAYDATE DEVELOPER PREVIEW menu.

VOLUME: Press the D-pad left and right to raise and lower the volume.
SCREENSHOT!: This takes a screenshot, but I have no idea how to access it.
There is also a little clock (which I have no idea how to change) and a battery meter.

LOCK BUTTON: If you press this button, the clock screen will appear.

I haven’t found a way to turn the Playdate off yet.