The easiest way to start playing games is to visit the Pico-8 forum in a web browser. All cartridges published to the forum can be played in a web browser without the Pico-8 app.
From the Pico-8 app or a network-connected device (such as PocketC.H.I.P.), you can use the built-in Splore utility to browse and play all carts published to the forum. Type
splore at the Pico-8 prompt and hit enter.
Pico-8 includes a small set of demonstration carts built in. To access these carts, you must first run the
install_demos command at the Pico-8 prompt. This creates a
demos/ folder in the Pico-8 file system with carts that can be loaded, run, and edited.
You can download carts from the forum by clicking on the "Cartridge" link and saving the file. The file is a
.p8.png file and appears as an image of a cartridge in a web browser. Use the folder command to open the Pico-8 file system location in your operating system's file browser, then move the file to that location to make it accessible to Pico-8.
To save a cartridge discovered within Splore, load and run the cart, hit Escape to open the pause menu, select Splore, then hit Escape again to return to the Pico-8 prompt. The loaded cart is still in memory. Use the save command to save it as a local file.