This page was last modified 13:56, 17 May 2020 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx and Tvalenca.



Reads the content of a VDP register, or writes a value in a VDP register. Reading or writing depends on the use of the instruction in program. Used alone followed by an equal sign (=) and a value implies a write. Otherwise, the instruction will read.

Note: Some registers can also be combined with OUT and/or INP() for more possibilities. (advanced use)


  • VDP(<Number>)
  • VDP(<Number>)=<Value>

The first syntax is used to read, and the next is used to write (except in a condition of course).


<Number> specifies a VDP register. The number of registers that are directly accessible varies according the MSX generation.

Number Corresponding VDP register Modes
0 to 7 Control registers 0 to 7 Read / Write MSX1 and higher
8 Status register 0 Read MSX1 and higher
9 to 24 Control registers 8 to 23 Read / Write MSX2 and higher
26 to 28 Control registers 25 to 27 Read / Write MSX2+ and higher
33 to 47 Control registers 32 to 46 for graphic commands Write MSX2 and higher
-1 to -9 Status registers 1 to 9 Read MSX2 and higher

- Status registers are only readable.
- Most control register are readable but in fact it is the corresponding value from the system variables that is read. The corresponding system variables are refreshed at each writing with the VDP() instruction or when a Bios routine is called.
- The command registers (32 to 46) can only be written with the VDP() instruction. Reading them leads to an "Illegal function call" error message.
- The Sprite Color register is not numbered, the values are stocked in VRAM in sprite color table whose base address is base address of sprite attribute table minus 512 (200 in hexadecimal). Only VPEEK() and VPOKE can be useful with this register, similar to the Table Base Address Registers (control registers 2 to 6, 10, 11).

<Value> can vary between 0 and 255. See VDP Registers for detail.


The following combinations extend the possibilities of the VDP() instruction on MSX2 and higher:

VDP(15) = three senior bits of VRAM address OUT &H99, 8 low-bits of VRAM address OUT &H99, type operation 1 + 6 remaining bits of VRAM address OUT &H98,value Indirect access to write a specific VRAM address
VDP(15) = three senior bits of VRAM address OUT &H99, 8 low-bits of VRAM address OUT &H99, type operation 0 + 6 remaining bits of VRAM address PRINT INP(&H98) Indirect access to read a specific VRAM address
VDP(16) = number of status register (0-9) A = INP(&H99) VDP(16) = 0: PRINT A Indirect access to read a status register
VDP(17) = number of color palette register (0-15) OUT &H9A, red and blue data separated by a 0 bit OUT &H9A, green data Indirect access to write a color palette register
VDP(18) = number of control register (0-23, 25-27, 32-46) OUT &H9B,value Indirect access to write a control register


10 FOR I=0 TO 8
20 A=VDP(I)
30 B$="00000000"+BIN$(A)

Example to modify color 7 on MSX2 and higher with the following RGB values: R=4, G=3, B=5. Binary value of R is 100, of G is 011 and of B is 101, first binary value for OUT is 01000101 = 69, second binary value for OUT is 00000011 = 3.

VDP(17)=7: OUT &H9A,69: OUT &H9A,3
5 ' Make a fast copy VRAM to VRAM (HMMC) with VDP instruction
20 CIRCLE(63,105),127,7,,,2
30 PAINT(0,211),6,7: PAINT(0,0),10,7
40 IF VDP(-2) AND 1 THEN 40 ' Wait the end of a graphical command
50 VDP(33)=0: VDP(34)=0 ' X coordinate of source (two bytes)
60 VDP(35)=0 ' Y coordinate of source
70 VDP(40)=0 ' Source page
80 VDP(37)=128: VDP(38)=0 ' X coordinate of destination (two bytes)
90 VDP(39)=0 ' Y coordinate of destination
100 VDP(40)=0 ' Destination page
110 VDP(41)=128: VDP(42)=0 ' Width (two bytes)
120 VDP(43)=212: VDP(44)=0 ' Height (two bytes)
130 VDP(46)=0 ' Directions
140 VDP(47)=&HD0 ' value to execute the HMMC command
150 IF NOT STRIG(0) THEN 150
160 ' Notes:
170 ' The line 40 is only required to wait the end of precedent graphic command
180 ' The advantage of making a copy with VDP() instructions
190 ' is that there is no limit imposed by the Basic on the ordinate


Related to



MSX-BASIC 1.0 or higher