Retro Palette Swapper is a bit more than just a shader; it is an entire system for drawing sprites, surfaces, tiles, and backgrounds with a manipulated palette.

Have you ever created a character in your game and wished you could change the character's hair or clothing color without uploading a complete new set of sprites for every single one of that character's animations? What about making a sprite appear on fire in a much more vibrant way than just putting a red or orange image_blend on it? Maybe you've got a black outline around your sprite and want to make it red when the player mouses over it?

All of this and much more is possible with Retro Palette Swapper!


  • Draw any sprite, surface, tile layer, or background with a specific palette!
  • Use surfaces to build dynamic palettes on the fly!
  • Gradually shift between palettes to create dynamic effects!
  • No known color limit (although 256 is suspected)!
  • Easy to drop into any existing project!
  • Fully commented example code!
  • Helpful scripts for manipulating palettes!
  • Full featured tool available to help non-artists build palette sprites!


BEFORE BUYING RUN THE DEMO!! (Demo runs at an unlimited framerate... You're cpu won't be happy)


Desktop or Mobile targets only. HTML 5 IS NOT SUPPORTED!

This shader will make your project require a video card that supports Shader Model 3.0. So make sure the demo functions before purchasing.

Additionally, your graphics need to be "retro"... or at the very least you should NOT be using the "interpolate colors between pixels" graphical option.




Tool Download:

End User Licence Agreement (EULA).

Version 1.0.1. Published April 6, 2015

Created with GameMaker: Studio v1.4.1567

Age Rating: 4+

Average Rating

Your review

You can only review assets you've bought.


Aidan S 18 March 2018


Before this, I had to create separate sets of sprites for each character recolor... used to take me a few hours per sprite set. Now, I can get a new palette up and running within minutes! Best time saver I've ever seen, and easily worth the price!


Dylan T 29 January 2018


David f 01 January 2018


Tyler E 18 December 2017


Shane E 13 December 2017


Kesly C 23 November 2017


Glenn G 18 November 2017


Benjamin L 24 October 2017


Anonymous 21 October 2017


This well crafted system works perfectly and is easy to get working in your project. Could not be happier.


Dennis O 18 September 2017


Claudio E 01 September 2017

Wonderful Shader!

I really like it, you save so much time using this shader. It's easy to use and the tool for creating the basic palette works like a charm. Also, it work perfect with the new GM2.

Are there a possibility to export the PaletteGenerator for MAC? Thanks (For Mac's users of GM2)


Digital Vatican Games (Publisher) 07 March 2018

Unfortunately I don't have a mac so I can't build for mac. Maybe I could get a friend to export it for me. Thanks for the support and the review!


Anonymous 11 August 2017

This saves so much time and hassle!

If you're doing a game with pixel art you need this. It's so easy and quick to fiddle colours once you've got things sorted. It opens up so many ideas for things to try. I'm so glad I found this when I did. This should be a staff favourite.


Maxime B 08 April 2017

Awesome shader

Looking foward learning to use this shader. Looks awesome, so many possibilities!


Devon M 07 April 2017

Works exactly as expected

It requires a little modification to get it going with GM2, but it's an excellent option that works flawlessly. Not nearly enough praise can be heaped on this, it's a must have if you are dealing with pixel art.


Digital Vatican Games (Publisher) 08 August 2017

Thanks for the review, Devon! I've updated the package with a GMS2 specific version that should work right out of the box. Give it a shot and let me know if you run into any other issues.


Alexei R 14 February 2017

Seemed to good to be true...

Turns out if wasn't! It does exactly as advertised and after some simple setup you've got it working. The custom-made tool created for making palettes makes things even easier, so kudos to the publisher for putting such effort in.


Marcus J 17 August 2016

Just what I've wanted for so long

Finnaly I can do palette swapping in Game Maker! It took just three lines of code to try it in my project.


Richard H 11 July 2015

Very useful for customization and effects!

Hey, this was very easy to implement in my game (took less than 5 minutes), and is very helpful as I am creating a fairly complex character customization system. So far, it works like a charm. I'm looking forward to finding out if it will work with many objects on the screen at once, so that I can palette swap the enemies as well. I'm excited to try it out.

When publishing a game made with this shader, are there any additional system requirements the user should be made aware of before purchase, other than needing a graphics card capable of processing Shader Model 3.0?

Thanks for the product!


Digital Vatican Games (Publisher) 10 August 2015

Besides Shader Model 3.0 I'm not aware of any additional requirements. The impact on performance should be very, very minimal, regardless of how many characters you have on screen that are palette swapping.

You can check out my Zelda fan-game video on youtube:

At 9:06 I enter a room that has over 20 enemies and link all palette swapping. The blobbies even have a 52 color palette (they very very gradually move through the entire rainbow). And the system has been vastly improved since I took that video.

Thanks for the review and the support! Good luck with your project, and let me know if you have any issues.


Phill E 29 June 2015

Great extension and a super useful tool as well!

The linked palette creation tool and video explains the set-up really well; once you've done that and had a look at the example code it's incredibly simple to swap palettes to your heart's content. Should be part of every GM:S pixel artist's toolkit.


Jonathan M 24 March 2015

Liked it at first sight!

You need to setup a little bit more but you've got so much control! I have tons of ideas and will try to implement it as soon as possible.

This review was left for a previous version of this asset.


Digital Vatican Games (Publisher) 24 March 2015

Yeah. The setup can be a bit intimidating. I'm working on a companion app that will be released for free to help those who aren't familiar with graphic applications to create, modify, and export their palette sprite. Should be much easier than the method described in the tutorial video.

Thanks for the support and review! Let me know if you run into any issues.

Package contents

Total size 30.6 KB

What is the issue?

Back to Top