Missile Command

For: Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST


Main Genre:
Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Visual Presentation:
Fixed / Flip Screen


Atari 5200 version of Missile Command
Atari 5200 version of Missile Command

Missile Command is an action game originally released in arcades in 1980 by Atari and later ported to several game consoles and computers. In the game players are in command of missile bases and need to protect six cities from incoming enemy missiles!


Along the bottom of the screen there are six cities along with three missile bases (in the home versions of the game there are only 1 or 2 bases due to system limitations). Numerous incoming missiles appear starting at the top of the screen represented by lines; if a missle reaches the bottom of the screen it explodes and destroys the city or missile base in the location it hits. Some of the missile lines will also split into multiple warheads. As the game progresses, additional opponents appear including planes and satellites which launch their own additional missiles and smart bombs which take nearly exact hits to destroy.

To defend the cities players control a crosshair which can move anywhere across the sky; pressing the fire button will launch a missile to the crosshair location. If a missile or other opponent is hit by the explosion, it will be destroyed. Each base has a limited amount of missiles that can be launched; if players run out of missiles completely, they will be defenseless for the remainder of the level.

The game ends when players have no remaining cities and have not earned enough points for a bonus city to be awarded. As was common in many early arcade games, it's not possible to "win" Missile Command; the game keeps getting faster and adding more missiles to defend from until eventually all cities are destroyed.


Platform: Arcade
Designed & Programmed by: David Theurer
Platform: Atari 2600
Programmed by: Rob Fulop
Cover artwork by: George Opperman
Platform: Atari 5200
Programmed by: Robert Zdybel
Cover artwork by: Chris Kenyon
Platform: Atari 8-bit
Programmed by: Robert Zdybel
Platform: Atari ST
Designed & Programmed by: Robert Zdybel
Graphics & Animation by: Gary Johnson


Click on a picture below to view a larger version.
Arcade Version
Upright Cabinet
Arcade Version
Cockpit Variation


Instruction Manual
Atari 2600
Sears Tele-Games release
Instruction Manual
Atari 5200
1982 release
Instruction Manual
Atari 5200
1986 Re-release
Instruction manual
Atari 8-bit
Instruction Manual
Atari ST


Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation Missile Command has appeared in.
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Product Catalogs
Atari Video Computer System product catalog Atari VCS - 1982 product catalog

Packaging/Label Styles

This game has releases with the following standardized packaging styles: