Supported Game Files

The original ZX Spectrum used cassette tape to hold game programs. Nearly all of these have since been converted to modern computer files. Learn which types are supported by the Vega.

The Vega supports three popular ZX Spectrum game file formats: Z80, SZX and TAP.

The Z80 file format

Z80 files are snapshots taken of a game running on the ZX Spectrum. When they are loaded, the game continues at the point the snapshot was taken. They are a simple format and support most ZX Spectrum machine models.

The SSZ file format

Like Z80 files, SZX files are also snapshots taken of a game running on the ZX Spectrum. They are the most capable snapshot format, much smaller than Z80, and can contain colour palette, joystick and keyboard configuration information.

These are the recommended snapshot format

The TAP file format

The TAP file format represents the original ZX Spectrum cassette tape, but are loaded almost instantaneously, so you no longer have to wait for several minutes. Currently, only games which load using the standard ZX Spectrum loader are supported by the Vega. Those which use custom loading programs are currently not supported, for example those that change the border colour from it’s familiar stripy blue and yellow or those with display a loading counter.

What if a TAP file doesn’t load?

More often than not, a game that fails to load is usually an unsupported TAP file that uses its own custom tape loading program. In these cases the simple solution is to use a Z80 or, preferably, SZX file format of the game. These will either be obtainable from the source of the TAP file, or can be converted using a ZX Spectrum emulator running on a computer.