It takes 5 different cartridges. Four for color printing (281 - C-Y-M-BK) and 280PGBK. One of each comes with the printer, but I would suggest purchasing extra right away. It is very easy to set up. It does most of the work for you. I had to run about five copies through it at the beginning to get the ink flowing properly. After that it was fine. As a last resort you could read the documentation that comes with it, although I know that no one ever does that!