GBDK 2020 Docs
API Documentation for GBDK 2020
Getting Started

Follow the steps in this section to start using GBDK-2020.

1. Download a Release and unzip it

You can get the latest releases from here:

2. Compile Example projects

Make sure your GBDK-2020 installation is working correctly by compiling some of the included example projects.

Navigate to the example projects folder ("examples/gb/" under your GBDK-2020 install folder) and open a command line. Then type:


This should build all of the examples sequentially. You can also navigate into an individual example project's folder and build it by typing make.

If everything works and there are no errors reported each example sub-folder should have it's on .gb ROM file.

3. Use a Template

To create a new project use a template!

There are template projects included in the GBDK example projects to help you get up and running. Their folder names start with template_.

  1. Copy one of the template folders to a new folder name
  2. If you moved the folder out of the GBDK examples then you must update the GBDK path variable and/or the path to LCC in the Makefile or compile.bat so that it will still build correctly.
  3. Type make on the command line in that folder to verify it still builds.
  4. Open main.c to start making changes.

4. If you use GBTD / GBMB, get the fixed version

If you plan to use GBTD / GBMB for making graphics, make sure to get the version with the const fix and other improvements. See const_gbtd_gbmb.

5. Review Coding Guidelines

Take a look at the coding guidelines, even if you have experience writing software for other platforms. There is important information to help you get good results and performance on the Game Boy.

If you haven't written programs in C before, check the C tutorials section.

6. Hardware and Resources

If you have a specific project in mind, consider what hardware want to target. It isn't something that has to be decided up front, but it can influence design and implementation.

What size will your game or program be?

  • 32K Cart (no-MBC required)
  • Larger than 32K (MBC required)
  • See more details about ROM Banking and MBCs.

What hardware will it run on?

7. Set up C Source debugging

Tracking down problems in code is easier with a debugger. Emulicious has a debug adapter that provides C source debugging with GBDK-2020.

8. Try a GBDK Tutorial

You might want to start off with a guided GBDK tutorial from the GBDK Tutorials section.

  • Note: Tutorials (or parts of them) may be based on the older GBDK from the 2000's before it was updated to be GBDK-2020. The general principals are all the same, but the setup and parts of the toolchain (compiler/etc) may be somewhat different and some links may be outdated (pointing to the old GBDK or old tools).

9. Read up!

10. Need help?

Check out the links for online community and support and read the FAQ.