Video Game Emulation for Newbies

Need help with video game emulators?

This is the BEST site for help with video game emulation. Here you will find a thorough introduction to emulation and tutorials for the most popular emulators.

1

Intro to Emulation

Everything a newcomer needs to know about video game emulation: what it is, the cool things it offers, and the legality.

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2

Download & Setup

I review a few details pertaining to downloading ROMs. I also walk you through some basic Windows tasks such as how to work with zip files.

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3

Gamepads

The emulation experience isn't complete without a gamepad! Here I list the best ones and review every category of gamepads.

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Nintendo

Nintendo 64

Project64

The #1 emulator for N64. It has good game compatibility, and conveniently comes bundled with the best plug-ins.

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Nintendo DS

DeSmuME

An excellent emulator. Offers good options for handling the DS's dual display. Game compatibility is good and getting better.

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GBA

Visual Boy Adv

Visual Boy Advance is the #1 Game Boy and Game Boy Advance emulator! Offers lots of features and games run great.

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GBA

mGBA

Focused on being fast enough to run on lower end hardware than other emulators support, without sacrificing accuracy or portability.

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Super Nintendo

Snes9X

A top emulator with near perfect compatibility, high quality performance, and a nice selection of features.

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Super Nintendo

ZSNES

The original SNES emulator! Although old, it still has some cool features that other emulators don't have.

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NES

Nestopia

A top NES emulator. People tend to favor Nestopia over FCE Ultra. Nestopia has more features such as better screen filters.

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NES

FCEUX

Versus Nestopia, FCEUX seems to be friendlier with computer compatibility. If Nestopia is acting up then try this emulator.

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Gameboy

Gambatte

The best cycle accurate emulator for Game Boy Classic and Game Boy Color. Although it lacks cool features such as what VBA offers.

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Sega

Saturn

SSF

SSF is (unfortunately) the #1 Saturn emulator. It's frustrating to use. Game compatibility is poor, but this is all we've got.

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Genesis

Kega Fusion

An excellent, powerhouse emulator that supports Genesis, Sega CD, 32X, Sega CD+32X, Game Gear, and SMS!

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Genesis

Gens/GS

This emulator is a build based on Gens, a legendary Genesis emulator. It also supports Sega CD and 32X.

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Sony

PlayStation 2

PCSX2

The first and best PlayStation 2 emulator! Offers good game compatibility. Its speed hacks really help for slower systems.

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PlayStation 1

ePSXe

The #1 PlayStation 1 emulator! Its strength is its awesome and flexible plug-ins system, but it can be tricky to setup for newbies.

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PlayStation 1

pSX

Not as awesome as ePSXe or PCSX-R, but it's easier to use (no fussy plug-in system) and works better on older/slower systems.

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PSP

PPSSPP

Currently the best PSP emulator. It's open source and has ports for every system! Has the usual assortment of features.

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NEC & Multi-system

TurboGrafx16

MagicEngine

The #1 emulator for TurboGrafx16/PC Engine. However, it costs $20 US and does not support booting CD images.

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TurboGrafx16

Ootake

This is a free alternative if you don't want to pay for MagicEngine. Like MagicEngine, Ootake also does not support CD images.

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Multi-system

Mednafen

Supports 14 systems: NES, SNES, Genesis, GBA, and more! Even boots TurboGrafx16 CD images! But usability is awful.

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Arcade

Arcade

MAME

Everyone knows about MAME. It's a powerhouse that supports ALL arcade games. However, it can be confusing for new users.

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Arcade

FB Alpha

FinalBurn Alpha is a top arcade emulator. It only supports Capcom, NeoGeo, Konami, and Cave games.

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Arcade

Kawaks

Similar to FinalBurn Alpha, but offers more and cooler features. It only supports Capcom and NeoGeo games.

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