Converting your resources to 256 colour images (using Irfanview)

- Aërendyll -

Noodle arms
Mar 26, 2012
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I'm pretty sure that a lot of people who recently got RPG Maker 2003 might be wondering how to make sure that RPG Maker 2003 can import their custom resources. Especially if you make your resources yourself or use resources that aren't specifically for RPG Maker 2003, a big problem can be figuring out how to reduce the colours of the image to 256 colours, as all graphical resources are required to have this colour depth.


Before starting

First of all, download Irfanview from the official website and install it, if you haven't already. This software is completely free, so don't worry about limited features or trial periods! :)

Step 1

Open up the image you want to convert in Irfanview. This should be pretty straight-forward.

Step 2

Go to the menu option Image > Decrease Color Depth... and a new window should pop up.

In the new window, select the following options:

Make sure you do NOT check "Use Floyd-Steinberg dithering (for max. 256 colors)", especially for resources with lots of flat colour fields and lines that have to look sharp! 

Step 3

Go to the menu option File > Save As... to save your image. I recommend using a different name from the source image, as keeping a copy of the image without the colours reduced on hand might be needed if something goes wrong.

When saving your image, make sure you select PNG as the file format. Click on the "Show options dialog" checkbox to check whether it has the following settings:

I personally opt for uncompressed images (Compression level: 0) to prevent colour loss, but you can try out varying compression levels to reduce file size. Other than that, just leave the other boxes unchecked.


There you go, that should help you out with being able to use your images in RPG Maker 2003! :) I hope this tutorial was insightful to you. If you have any suggestions or feedback in general, do drop a comment!


Sep 3, 2017
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Hello! Thank you for this tutorial, I’ve just linked it in another thread. However, the pictures are dead. Maybe you could re-upload them?

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