Color/Graphics Adapter

There are 1226 games documented on PixelatedArcade supporting CGA.
CGA is part of the category Display Hardware Supported.

The Color/Graphics Adapter (also known as Color Graphics Adapter or IBM Color/Graphics Monitor Adapter) was the first color graphics video card released for the IBM PC in 1981. CGA cards could display up to 16 colors with the number of colors available at one time (either 2, 4, or 16) being dependent on the particular video mode and monitor type in use. A wide variety of displays could be connected to the card including both direct-drive or composite monitors in either color, black & white, or monochrome. As the first graphics standard for the IBM PC compatible line, CGA graphics were very commonly supported; even a handfull of games in the early nineties featured compatibility, over a decade after the card's release.

The following graphics modes were available with an RGB monitor:

resolution colors notes
40x25 Text 16 colors
80x25 Text 16 colors
320x200 graphics 4 colors 3 of the 4 colors were not freely selectable; instead, they needed to be chosen from one of 6 predefined palettes. The 4th background color could be any one of 16 colors and defaulted to black.
640x200 graphics 2 colors The forground color (defaulting to white) could be set to any one of 16 colors.
160x100 graphics 16 colors This mode is actually a tweak of the 80x25 text mode.

Although there were different color palettes available, CGA graphics are often remembered for their unattractive default colors consisting of cyan, magenta, white, and black.

Some games also offered support for CGA cards connected to a composite monitor which provided improved color capabilities but had poorer resolution and clarity.

Through the use of careful timing, a handful of games were able to display more than 4 colors at a time in the 320x200 color mode with an RGB monitor. See also this list of CGA "More Color" Mode games.

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IBM CGA card
IBM CGA card box and contents
3rd Party CGA card
MA Systems PC Peacock CGA card


Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation CGA has appeared in.
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