There were several commands to load Commodore 64 games, although the most common was LOAD “*”,8,1. If you need to know more than that, read on.
Connecting the 64
If you’re using the real thing, turn on the disk drive first, then turn on the computer. The order isn’t incredibly important but Commodore recommended turning on the drive first.
It’s best not to turn the drive on or off with a disk in it. It’s remotely possible for a drive to write data to a disk as it powers off. It’s not supposed to do that, and I’ve never heard of anything bad happening by doing it, but removing the disk before powering off is an easy precaution to take.
Disks with one game on them
The 64 didn’t autoboot disks, unlike some of its competitors. To load the game off a disk that has one game on it (most commercial disks, or bit-for-bit copies of commercial disks), use the command LOAD “*”,8,1.
Disks with multiple games on them
Many copied disks have more than one game on them. To see what’s on the disk, type LOAD “$”,8 and hit return, then type LIST and hit return. You’ll see a list of files on the disk.
To load one of the games you find, type LOAD “filename”,8 and hit return. After you get the READY prompt, type RUN and hit return.
If the game doesn’t run, try LOAD “filename”,8,1. Some games autorun when you load them that way.
In a few rare cases, games didn’t run themselves and you had to issue another command to run them. SYS 49152 was the most common of those oddball commands. For these odd cases, hopefully you have a copy of the manual or can find a copy online.
To load a tape, simply insert the tape, rewind it, then type LOAD and hit return, or hit the shift-Run/Stop key combination.
If a tape has more than one game on it, rewind it, type LOAD “7”,1 and hit return. As the computer finds files, it will print the names. To load a specific title, type LOAD “filename”,1 and hit return, then type RUN.