In many different games, such as Minecraft and TF2, the default texture is a black and purple checkerboard. Even games that don't use that exact texture incorporate elements of it. Borderlands 2 uses a white and purple checkerboard, and Skyrim uses a solid purple texture. Why is the black and purple checkerboard so prevalent as a default texture?

missing texture


1 Answer 1


The main goal of a default/fallback type of asset like this to be noticeable. That's why very high intensity colors (pure white, red, purple, or whatnot) are often used. They generally would not normally appear in the scene.

Checkerboard patterns can create moire effects when used as textures, or simply provide extra visual noise (especially when the pixel coverage of the asset is small), helping to increase the visibility.

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    \$\begingroup\$ To elaborate on the 'noticable' part: noticable by the development/art team, so they know something is either missing (forgot to create/included in the build) or something went wrong (a texture was not assigned correctly or the build pipeline was configured wrong for that part). \$\endgroup\$
    – Felsir
    Sep 25, 2016 at 15:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Purple (actually pure magenta) is often chosen because it's the least likely pure color (each RGB channel either 100% or 0%) to appear in actual game art. Pure yellow is more likely to be used, pure cyan is certainly possible with sky colors, and pure red, green, and blue are absolutely plausible. Pure magenta is an unusual color not often found in the real world, likely because it's made up of light wavelengths on both the high and low ends of human visual spectrum with nothing in between (no green). \$\endgroup\$ May 2 at 22:28

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