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DEC (short for "DECrease") is the mnemonic for a machine language instruction which decrements the numerical value of the contents of the address specified, by one, and "wraps over" if the value goes below the numerical limits of a byte.

  • If the byte in question is taken as an unsigned integer, DEC "counts down" from 255 thru 0/$FF thru $0. If a byte already containing the value 0/$0 is DECremented, it "wraps over" to the value 255/$FF.
  • If the byte is taken as a signed integer, DEC will "count down" from +127 thru −128, or +$7F thru −$80. If a byte already holding the value −128/−$80 is DECremented, it "wraps over" to the value +127/$7F.

Addressing modes[edit]

Opcode Addressing
in bytes
Number of
Dec Hex
206 CE Absolute DEC nnnn 3 6
222 DE Absolute,X DEC nnnn,X 3 7
198 C6 Zeropage DEC nn 2 5
214 D6 Zeropage,X DEC nn,X 2 6

DEC supports the four different addressing modes shown in the table at right. In the assembler formats listed, nn represents a single-byte (8-bit) figure, and nnnn is a two-byte (16-bit) address.

CPU flags[edit]

DEC affects 2 of the CPU's status flags:

  • The negative status flag is set if the result is negative, i.e. has it's most significant bit set.
  • The zero flag is set if the result is zero, or cleared if it is non-zero.