The Non-Existence Glitch establishes a precedent as for what to do when there is no Chip tile in a level. As levels were never meant to work without a Chip tile, it fits the definition of a glitch even though it is not strictly one.
The glitch exists only in the MS ruleset. In Tile World's Lynx emulation, levels with no Chip tile are unplayable, and the original Atari Lynx game as well as Chip's Challenge 2 crash when trying to play a level without a player tile.
In the event there is no Chip tile on the map, the game will start Chip at (0, 0) on the grid, and after 3/5 of a second (or  moves), plus any time within that period where the square is occupied by a monster, and barring any input from the player, Chip will appear on that square. However, if the player attempts to move Chip, he will appear immediately even if a monster is occupying the square at (0, 0); alternatively, if the player repeatedly clicks the mouse on (0, 0) while Chip still hasn't made his appearance, then he will remain unseen for an extended period of time. This instance is generally what is referred to as the pre-move bug variation.
The length of time it takes for Chip to appear seems to vary, possibly on other factors (more information is needed regarding this aspect of the glitch). If the repeated clicking is ceased, Chip will appear 3/5 of a second after the clicking ends. The Non-Existence Glitch also activates after a monster destroys a bomb underneath Chip, with the same time period.
When Chip does appear in one manner or another, he will erase the upper layer of (0, 0), and will reveal, but not activate, any tile on the lower layer, with the exception of monsters in specific states.
There are special cases in the case of monsters:
- If a monster moves onto (0, 0) on a turn where Chip is still non-existent, Chip will simply wait an extra move; should they both enter the space at the same time, Chip will be killed. As long as the monster remains on the space, and it is not totally blocked from moving (in such possible cases as gravel or recessed walls on both sides), Chip will stay non-existent unless an arrow key is touched. The rules are different if a monster starts on (0, 0).
- If the monster starting on, or has moved into, (0, 0) is unable to move at all, as when there is gravel, walls, recessed walls, a thief, or other items which block monsters at (0, 1) and (1, 0), it will be erased if Chip tries to enter the grid at that point. Should it be released first, normal rules then apply.
- If the monster in (0, 0) is a teeth, and thus could move, but will not because it is programmed to chase Chip, then the teeth and Chip will remain in simultaneous existence, each "flashing" into view alternately, until Chip decides to move, at which point whether the teeth is in odd step or even step will determine if he can eat Chip.
- In the case of any of the seven monsters that move at his speed, should Chip move on the same turn that the monster enters (0, 0), Chip will need some type of sliding mechanism to avoid being hit if the monster continues in the direction he just moved. This will be seen in the image below.
- If the monster starting on or moving into (0, 0) is a tank, it will always be erased, because it will no longer be moving.
- If a non-moving monster starts on (0, 0), it will be erased.
The Non-Existence Glitch can also be used in gameplay, as shown in this segment of pi.dat's level 10:
When the pink ball bounces to the west, as he moves onto (0, 0), Chip must immediately run 2R and then another 27R to reach the exit without requiring the computer chip or any of the Doublemaze-esque theatrics in the level proper. The key piece is the ice at (1, 0), allowing Chip to boost off it and keep just far enough ahead of the ball. This bust was intentional and was also considered for use in Mice Are Good for Something, but its creator, David Stolp, would ultimately decide that playing the level out would be fun enough to remove the bust.