A card's color represents its card type or monster card type in the TCG/OCG and equivalent games in other media. The card color applies to the card's frame (the background upon which the text, artwork, and various icons are overlaid).
The default color of card names can also vary based on the card's color. Most cards use black text, but to ensure enough contrast for the name to be readable, white text is used on Dark Synchro, Xyz (including Xyz Pendulum Monsters), and Link Monsters as well as on Spell and Trap Cards. Card names can also vary in color due to the card's rarity.
Cards in the manga series have black text on a white frame, except Xyz Monsters, which have white text on a black frame; this is true even for cards shown on the covers of volumes or in full-color pages. Cards are also not colored in the Toei anime.
Older video games usually do not distinguish Ritual Monsters from Normal or Effect Monsters, but do distinguish Ritual Cards as a different card type to Spell Cards, giving them the blue frame color used elsewhere for the monsters themselves.
|Orange||Effect Monsters[N 1]|
|Green||Pendulum Monsters[N 2]|
|Light blue||Ritual Monsters|
|Dark blue||Link Monsters|
|Gray||Monster Tokens / Counters|
|Dark yellow||"The Winged Dragon of Ra"[N 3]|
|Red||"Slifer the Sky Dragon"[N 3]|
|Navy blue||"Obelisk the Tormentor"[N 3]|
Anime and video game-exclusive
|Light blue||"Legendary Dragons"[N 4] / Ritual Cards[N 5]|
|Dark gray||Dark Synchro Monsters[N 4]|
- Effect Monsters that are also another monster type (for example, Synchro/Effect) use the color of the other type instead of the Effect Monster color.
- Pendulum Monsters, because they are effectively a combination of another monster type and a Spell Card, use a vertical gradient that fades from the other monster type's card color to the green color used for Spell Cards.
- Only the non-legal version.
- Only in the anime.
- Only in certain video games.