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Coleco - ColecoVision (GearColeco)


Gearcoleco is an open source, cross-platform, ColecoVision emulator written in C++.

  • Accurate Z80 core, including undocumented opcodes and behavior like R and MEMPTR registers.
  • Accurate TMS9918 emulation.
  • Support for ColecoVision Super Game Module (SGM) and MegaCart ROMs.
  • Support for Super Action Controller (SAC), Wheel Controller and Roller Controller.
  • Supported platforms (libretro): Windows, Linux, macOS, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, tvOS, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo WiiU, Nintendo Switch, Emscripten, Classic Mini systems (NES, SNES, C64, ...), OpenDingux and QNX.

The Gearcoleco core has been authored by

The Gearcoleco core is licensed under

A summary of the licenses behind RetroArch and its cores can be found here.


Gearcoleco require a BIOS file to work.

Required or optional firmware files go in the frontend's system directory.


Gearcoleco emulator requires a ColecoVision BIOS. In order to get it to work you must place the following file in RetroArch's system directory.

Filename Description md5sum
colecovision.rom ColecoVision BIOS - Required 2c66f5911e5b42b8ebe113403548eee7


Content that can be loaded by the Gearcoleco core have the following file extensions:

  • .col
  • .cv
  • .bin
  • .rom

RetroArch database(s) that are associated with the Gearcoleco core:


Frontend-level settings or features that the Gearcoleco core respects.

Feature Supported
Core Options
RetroArch Cheats
Native Cheats
Disk Control
Crop Overscan


The Gearcoleco core's library name is 'Gearcoleco'

The Gearcoleco core saves/loads to/from these directories.

Frontend's Save directory

File Description
*.srm Cartridge battery save

Frontend's State directory

File Description
*.state# State

Geometry and timing

  • The Gearcoleco core's core provided FPS is 60 for NTSC games and 50 for PAL games
  • The Gearcoleco core's core provided sample rate is 44100 Hz
  • The Gearcoleco core's width is 256
  • The Gearcoleco core's height is 192
  • The Gearcoleco core's core provided aspect ratio is 4:3

Core options

The Gearcoleco core has the following options that can be tweaked from the core options menu. The default setting is bolded.

Settings with (Restart) means that core has to be closed for the new setting to be applied on next launch.

  • Refresh Rate (restart) [gearcoleco_timing] (Auto|NTSC (60 Hz)|PAL (50 Hz))

    Select which refresh rate will be used in emulation.

    • Auto selects the best refresh rate based in the rom.
    • NTSC (60 Hz) forces 60 Hz.
    • PAL (50 Hz) forces 50 Hz.
  • Aspect Ratio (restart) [gearcoleco_aspect_ratio] (Auto|4:3|16:9)

    Select which aspect ratio will be presented by the core.

    • 1:1 PAR selects an aspect ratio that produces square pixels.
    • 4:3 PAR forces 4:3 aspect ratio.
    • 16:9 PAR forces 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Overscan [gearcoleco_overscan] (Disabled|Top+Bottom|Full)

    Select which overscan (borders) will be used in emulation.

    • Disabled disables overscan.
    • Top+Bottom enables overscan for top and bottom.
    • Full enables overscan for top, bottom, left and right.
  • Allow Up+Down / Left+Right [gearcoleco_up_down_allowed] (Disabled|Enabled)

    Enabling this will allow pressing / quickly alternating / holding both left and right (or up and down in some games) directions at the same time.

    This may cause movement based glitches to occur in certain games.

    It's best to keep this core option disabled.

  • No Sprite Limit [gearcoleco_no_sprite_limit] (Disabled|Enabled)

    Enabling this will remove the sprite limit in a single line.

    This may cause glitches to occur in certain games.

    It's best to keep this core option disabled.

  • Spinner Support [gearcoleco_spinners] (Disabled|Super Action Controller|Wheel Controller|Roller Controller)

    Select which controller will be used in emulation. Spinners are controlled by mouse movement. Mouse buttons are mapped to Left (Yellow) and Right (Red) buttons.

    • Disabled disables spinner support.
    • Super Action Controller enables spinner support for Super Action Controller.
    • Wheel Controller enables spinner support for Wheel Controller.
    • Roller Controller enables spinner support for Roller Controller.
  • Spinner Sensitivity [gearcoleco_spinner_sensitivity] (1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10)

    Select the spinner sensitivity.

    • 1 is the lowest sensitivity.
    • 10 is the highest sensitivity.


User 1 and User 2 input descriptors RetroPad Inputs
Joystick Up
Joystick Down
Joystick Left
Joystick Right
Yellow (Left)
Red (Right)
Keypad 1
Keypad 2
Keypad 3
Keypad 4
Keypad 5
Keypad 6
Keypad 7
Keypad 8
Keypad *
Keypad #
Keypad 9 Left Analog Y
Keypad 0 Left Analog X
Purple Right Analog Y
Blue Right Analog X

See also