fMSX


VGB


VGBA


iNES


MG


ColEm


Speccy


AlmostTI


Windows


Android


Symbian


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Emulators for Android

iNES  |  MasterGear  |  Speccy  |  fMSX  |  ColEm  |  AlmostTI  |  VGB  |  VGBA
Features  |  News  |  Tips  |  Downloads  |  FAQ

by Marat Fayzullin

Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, GameBoy, Super GameBoy, GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Pocket Printer, GameLink, and DiskSystem are trademarks of Nintendo. SEGA SG1000, SC3000, SF7000, Master System, and GameGear are trademarks of SEGA. While programs presented at this site attempt to create "compatible" environment for the gaming software, they are not equivalent to the original hardware.

Emulators are programs that run software written for old computers or videogame consoles on the new hardware. Essentially, an emulator makes old software "think" that it is running on the original hardware, while it actually runs on your computer. I am creating emulators since 1993 and have made quite a few of them. For those who would like to try making an emulator on their own but do not know where to start, I have written a short introduction into the craft.

Originally, I developed emulators for PCs and Unix workstations. Once the mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablets, became capable of emulating older hardware, I started porting my emulators to these devices. Thus, at this page you will find my applications for Android-based phones and tablets, as well as some useful tips on setting them up.

If you work for a game company that would like to run its legacy games on mobile phones or other hardware, and need help, contact me.


Features

Optimized for Android
Emulation and screen rendering are heavily optimized for Android platform using hand-written ARM assembly and OpenGLES.
Fast-Forwarding
The fast-forwarding feature lets you quickly skip through long dialogs and demo sequences.
Joystick Emulation
The joystick is emulated with hardware keys, virtual joypad, or accelerometer. Sony Xperia Play, Nyko, MOGA, iCade, and Sixaxis controllers also supported.
Freeze/Restore
The gameplay can be saved at any moment and restored to the same point later. Emulators will also save state on exit, letting you restart where you have left off.
Mouse Emulation
For the old software that requires a mouse, it is emulated with the touch screen.
Recording Music
The soundtrack can be saved to a MIDI file to be played back later or used as a ringtone.
Compressed Files
The emulators will automatically process files with .zip (WinZIP) and .gz (GZIP) extensions. You do not need to unpack these files.
Built-in Debugger
Many emulators include a built-in debugger for hacking or developing your own retro software.
Cheats
Cheatopedia offers hundreds of cheats for popular games, or you can enter your own cheat codes.
Screenshots
The emulators will save stamp-sized screenshots for each game you play, and show them in the file selection dialog.
State Exchange
State Exchange lets you swap gameplay states with other users playing the same game.
Network Play
The NetPlay feature lets you play with other users over local network or Internet.
Normal Display
The picture fills the center of your device screen, while retaining the original display ratio.
Stretched Display
The picture is stretched horizontally to fill the entire device screen, for the biggest possible size.
Softened Display
The picture is softened, hiding individual pixels, as if it were shown on an old analog TV.
TV Scanlines
Horizontal raster lines are added, simulating analog TV interlace effect.
Keyboard Emulation
The keyboard is naturally emulated with the hardware keyboard or the on-screen virtual keyboard, in case your Android device lacks a real one.
Frame Rate Display
The frame rate counter shows how fast your emulation is running. The ideal rates are 60Hz for NTSC video and 50Hz for PAL video.

News

17 April 2014

I have released the VGBA 4.3.12 today. This release fixes Cheatopedia for Kitkat users and takes care of the File Selector bugs accumulated over the last month. For Moga and other analog gamepad users, there is now the "Analog Joystick Blind Radius" setting for adjusting analog controller sensitivity. I have also made the Settings accessible directly from the File Selector and added an option to disable the bottom toolbar in the File Selector, as requested by some users.

16 April 2014

fMSX 3.8.2 is now available at the Google Play. This new fMSX release adds Kitkat SD cards compatibility, slow-motion mode, better configuration for Moga and other analog gamepads, and the decorative background in the portrait orientation. I have also added direct access to the Settings from the File Selector and made many fixes to graphics, multitouch, and the File Selector.

14 April 2014

Published MasterGear 2.9.5, fixing Cheatopedia on Kitkat, File Selector sections navigation, and scanline effects. Moga and other analog gamepad users will find the "Analog Joystick Blind Radius" setting useful for adjusting sensitivity of their analog controls. Finally, I have added cheats for Strider, Super Kickoff, Wonderboy, and 11 more games to the Cheatopedia.

10 April 2014

The iNES 3.9.5 is now available from the Google Play. In this release, I have added Kitkat external SD card compatibility and dedicated buttons for VS System and Famicom DiskSystem games. When running a VS System game, press the COIN button to add coins. When running DiskSystem software, press the DISK button to flip disk sides and switch through disks. The new iNES has also got a nice retro screen background in the portrait mode. It was difficult to make a background that works well with the existing (adjustable) controls, but I think I have got this right. Let me know if not :).

8 April 2014

Published Speccy 3.0.4 today. This version adds slow-motion mode, fixes multitouch and scanline effect bugs. Screen decorations will no longer cover the emulator screen with OpenGLES disabled. Finally, if you are a Kitkat user, you can now store your ZX Spectrum programs on external SD cards (something other Android users take for granted).

7 April 2014

Released VGB 4.2.1. The new release fixes line-coincidence interrupts (so that Street Fighter 2 and a few other games work with no glitches now), makes scanline effects work in the Super GameBoy mode, and adds support for external SD cards on Android Kitkat. Finally, I have removed the MENU button, to avoid accidentally opening rarely used Advanced Settings. You can still access them by selecting "Advanced | Settings" from the Android menu. Please note that if you are a Kitkat user who keeps games on an external SD card, you may want to create the "/sdcard/VGB" folder in the internal storage: VGB will save your gameplay states there. If you do not have this folder, VGB will save gameplay to a private app folder that gets deleted when you uninstall the emulator.

3 April 2014

Today's release of the day is VGBA 4.3.10. This time, I have added the often requested slow-motion mode, enabled via the "Fast-Forwarding and Slow-Motion" setting, and more Pokemon Fire Red cheats, submitted by users. The ARM V flag computation has been fixed on x86 devices, so Caravan Heart works properly now. Finally, Android Kitkat users should now be able to run games from their SD cards. As you know, Kitkat restricts third-party apps from creating or modifying files on the external SD card. Because of this limitation, if you store your games on an SD card, VGBA will save your gameplay states and screenshots to the "/sdcard/VGBA" folder in the internal storage. If this folder does not exist, VGBA will save to the app-specific SD card folder, where it is permitted to write. Please note that all app-specific folders are deleted when you uninstall the app, so you may want to manually create that "/sdcard/VGBA" folder, or simply keep all your GBA games in the internal storage, avoiding Google's draconian restrictions.

1 April 2014

Made ColEm 2.9.10 release today, adding slow-motion mode and audible keypad clicks. Also fixed the display artifacts, the multitouch problem, and improved keypad sensitivity. Also updated the app to work around Kitkat external SD card restrictions. The game saves will now go into /sdcard/ColEm folder in the internal storage, or into the app-specific SD card folder.

31 March 2014

Just published MasterGear 2.9.3. The new release adds the slow-motion mode, fixes a bunch of bugs, but more importantly, adds workarounds for external SD card restrictions imposed by Android KitKat. As you probably know, KitKat prevents third-party apps from writing to arbitrary SD card folders. Thus, if you are a KitKat user, the new MasterGear will let you keep your games on the external SD card, saving their gameplay states to /sdcard/MasterGear or the app-specific SD card folder. Please, also note that you may want to create that /sdcard/MasterGear manually, as KitKat will delete all app-specific folders when you uninstall the app, destroying all your saved states.

27 March 2014

Released iNES 3.9.4 today. In addition to the new slow-motion mode, I have fixed the display edge artifacts, the occasional multitouch problems, the fast-forwarding interaction with the automatic frame skip, and a few other things.

25 March 2014

fMSX 3.8.1 is now on Google Play, ready for download. In spite of a minor version number change, this is a rather major release. It adds support for cassette tape images, requested by may users. There is also slow-motion mode, combined with the fast-forwarding, and the virtual keys now make audible clicks. If you do not like these sound effects, disable them in the Settings. I have also fixed a long standing screen edge artifacts bug and made multitouch work better. Enjoy!

24 March 2014

Published VGB 4.2 today. This version adds support for TAMA5 games, such as Tamagotchi 3, and often requested slow-motion mode. The slow-motion is enabled the same way as fast-forwarding, via the "General | Fast-Forward or Slow-Motion Rate" setting. I also fixed the display artifacts that sometimes showed up at the screen edges when using OpenGLES. People who complained about not being able to press more than one gamepad button at once, should upgrade and try again, as the multitouch has also been fixed. Finally, I have added Pokemon Card Game 2 cheats to the Cheatopedia.

20 March 2014

Released VGBA 4.3.7 this morning. This is mainly a bugfix release, addressing user reports. The in-game saves in Breath of Fire and a bunch of other games should once again work now. I have implemented undocumented CPUSet() behaviour, so that Galidor works. The screen edge artifacts, reported by so many people, are now completely gone. Finally, I have fixed the multitouch input algorithm. If you complained about not being able to press multiple buttons before, give the new version a try and see if it works better for you.

19 March 2014

Speccy 3.0.3 just hit the Google Play. The virtual keyboard has got a major overhaul in this version. It has become more sensitive and the keys now click. I have also removed video artifacts at the screen edges and fixed the auto-load function when running software from the World of Spectrum. Finally, there is now fancy background in the portrait mode. I hope you like it :)

17 March 2014

Released MasterGear 2.9.2, fixing screen edge artifacts in the accelerated video mode and adding 32 more games to the Cheatopedia, including Ninja Gaiden, R-Type, Penguin Land, Rainbow Islands, and more.

15 March 2014

After receiving reports of VGB 4.1 not being able to restore saved states, I have found a bug, accidentally introduced when adding MMM01 mapper support, that broke state restore process. I have just released the bugfixed VGB 4.1.1. If you are a VGB user, please, upgrade as soon as the new version becomes available from the Google Play Store. If you are still unable to restore from a previously saved state, reset emulation by selecting "Reset" from the menu. Sorry for the trouble: these things happen every now and then.

13 March 2014

In the iNES 3.9.3 release, made today, I continue adding support for more ROM mappers. The new release adds multi-game mappers from Active Enterprises and various Chinese manufacturers: mapper #225 (52 Games, 58-in-1, 64-in-1), #226 (Super 42-in-1, 76-in-1), #227 (1200-in-1), and #228 (Action 52, Cheetamen II). Please note that mapper #227 is not perfect yet. Going to improve it in the upcoming releases.

11 March 2014

Released ColEm 2.9.9, fixing VDP status register, so that the Sir Lancelot game works now. Also added proper emulation for the 5th sprite flag and index fields in the status register.

10 March 2014

Published VGB 4.1, adding MMM01 ROM mapper emulation. Multicart games, such as Taito Variety Pack and Momotaro Collection 2, should run now. Also switched to the newest Android NDK and added cheats for 7 more games: four Rugrats games, Seaquest DSV, Samurai Showdown, and Rolan's Curse 2. Enjoy!

6 March 2014

Released VGBA 4.3.6 today. No major changes this time, but I have added 10 new games to the Cheatopedia, including two Yu-Gi-Oh! games requested by the users, two X-Men games, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Top Gear GT Championship, Top Gun: Firestorm Advance, Stuart Little 2, Sonic Pinball Party, and Sonic The Hedgehog Genesis.

5 March 2014

Had to make the second AlmostTI release in two days. AlmostTI 2.3.7 fixes offset button problems on devices that have forced title bar and also makes buttons faster and more responsive. Whoever complained about the previous version being "broken", upgrade to the new one and see if it fixes your issues.

4 March 2014

Just published AlmostTI 2.3.6, including two frequently requested features: the key click sound and the straight (i.e. non-curved) TI84+SE skin. Both new features are optional and available from the Settings menu.

3 March 2014

Starting March with the MasterGear 2.9.1 release, fixing the way multiple file name extensions are handled and adding cheats for 26 more games to the Cheatopedia. This includes five Sonic games, three Outrun versions, Phantasy Star, Prince of Persia, and more.

27 February 2014

Released iNES 3.9.2, improving support for Namcot and CodeMasters games. Added mappers #232 and #210, fixed mappers #71 and #19. Things are still far from perfect, so I am going to improve support for these games in the upcoming releases.

26 February 2014

Published fMSX 3.8, fixing VDP status register behaviour. The 5th/9th sprite overflow status should work correctly now. Additionally, reading the status register will no longer reset the VDP address latch. While I have not seen this cause any problems in MSX, it breaks the Sir Lancelot game on ColecoVision, using the same TMS9918 VDP chip.

24 February 2014

Released a major VGB 4.0 update this morning. The new version adds MBC7, EEPROM, and the tilt sensor emulation, so you should now be able to play Kirby's Tilt'n'Tumble with your phone's accelerometer. Also made drastic fixes to the interrupt processing mechanism. Many games that previously failed due to interrup handling (such as Final Fantasy Legend) will work now.

20 February 2014

Just pushed VGBA 4.3.5 to the Google Play. This release fixes THUMB PUSH instruction so that it can be used to initiate DMA transfers and write into I/O registers. While uncommon, this method is sometimes practiced by developers. Also added the "Hide Title Bar" option, as requested by many users, and three more Cheatopedia entries for Elf Mania, Elf The Movie, and E.T. The Extraterrestrial.

18 February 2014

Released Speccy 3.0.2 with better Sam Coupe emulation. SAA1099 sound chip now has amplitude envelopes and noise frequency control. Also added the "Hide Title Bar" option. Don't forget that you can always get your action bar back by sliding your finger down from the middle of the screen.

17 February 2014

MasterGear 2.9, published a few moments ago, finally adds Pro Action Replay cheats emulation and Cheatopedia. While there is only a handful of most popular games in the Cheatopedia right now, I am going to extend it in the next releases. You can also add your own Cheatopedia entries by modifying the MG/custom.chts file in the internal storage. Also added the "Hide Title Bar" option for those who do not like seeing the action/status bars.


Tips

System ROMs
If an emulator requires you to supply your own system ROMs, place them into /sdcard/AppName directory (such as /sdcard/Speccy) or directly into /sdcard directory.

Fast-Forwarding
To fast-forward gameplay, press and hold the on-screen FFWD button, if present. If you do not see the FFWD button, press and hold the Android SEARCH key. If your device lacks the SEARCH key, you can assign the fast-forwarding feature to a different hardware key in the Android "Settings" menu.

Built-in Menu
All emulators come with their own internal menus, offering wide variety of advanced hardware and emulation settings. The built-in menu shows up when you either press the on-screen MENU button or select "Advanced" from Android menu. You can navigate the built-in menu with the on-screen joystick or by touching menu items. To select a menu item, touch it, or press FIRE-A. To close the menu, touch outside the menu, or press FIRE-B. Remember, these are advanced settings, so be careful changing them.

Keyboard Emulation
If you need a keyboard to operate the emulator (such as fMSX), but your Android device does not have a physical keyboard, you can quickly toggle the virtual keyboard with the on-screen KEYS button. To permanently enable virtual keyboard, set "Virtual Keyboard" in the Android "Settings" menu. Notice that the modal keys (such as SHIFT, etc) can be found at the screen corners.

Network Play
In the emulators that support NetPlay feature, such as iNES or MasterGear, you can play with other users over local WiFi network or Internet. To establish connection, follow these steps:

  • Both players should be running the same game.
  • Both players should be on the same WiFi network or have externally visible IP addresses. NetPlay will not work through NAT.
  • The first player should check "NetPlay" in the menu and then choose "Become Server" option.
  • The second player should check "NetPlay" in the menu and then choose first player's name from the list of available servers.
  • Both emulators will now reset and start playing as if they were the same console with two gamepads.
  • Once you are done playing, uncheck "NetPlay" on both devices to disconnect NetPlay.

...
See below for FAQ and application-specific tips!


Downloads

[#] Google Play Market

All my products are published on the Google Play Market. Please, do not forget to vote!

[#] EMUL8 Discussion Group

Report and discuss your problems here. You may need to create a Google account to post to this group, but you do not have to become a member.

[#] iNES for Android

iNES emulates classic NES and Famicom videogame consoles from Nintendo. It plays NES, Famicom, DiskSystem, and VS System games on your Android phone or tablet. Save game at any time and restart from that point later. You can also use GameGenie cheat codes, make screenshots and save game music in MIDI format. More...

[QR]
  • Network play support
    Since Dec 4 2012, iNES supports playing over local network or Internet with other iNES users. You both have to be playing the same game and be on the same WiFi network, or have Internet-visible IP addresses.
[#] MasterGear for Android

The MasterGear emulates several 8bit videogame consoles from SEGA. It plays Master System, GameGear, Mark 2, Mark 3, SG1000, SC3000, and SF7000 games on your Android phone or target. You can save game at any time and restart from that point if you get killed, make screenshots, and even save game music in MIDI format to play it later. More...

[QR]
  • Network play support
    Since Dec 7 2012, MasterGear supports playing over local network or Internet with other MasterGear users. You both have to be playing the same game and be on the same WiFi network, or have Internet-visible IP addresses.
[#] Speccy for Android (also see free version)

Speccy emulates 16kB, 48kB, and 128kB versions of Sinclair ZX Spectrum, as well as Spectrum +2, +2A, and +3, as well as Timex Sinclair models. Although I had done some ZX-related work in the past, for many years I abstained from writing a Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulator, because there were so many other Spectrum emulators around. On the other hand, it felt like a gaping hole on my resume. So, here it is, yet another Spectrum emulator, trivially named Speccy. More...

[QR]
  • To change joystick type or enable mouse
    Go to the built-in menu, select "Input devices" and set whatever input device(s) you want.
  • 128k Spectrum bootup menu
    This menu can be operated with the on-screen arrow buttons, while holding CSHIFT. Believe it or not, but that is how original 128k Spectrum did it.
  • To load program from a tape (i.e. .tap or .tzx file)
    1. Select "Tape Loader" from the 128k Spectrum bootup menu or type LOAD "" (SSHIFT + J, P, P, ENTER) on 48k Spectrum to start the tape loader.
    2. Press the on-screen MENU button to go to the built-in menu and toggle the "Tape running" option to start the tape. There are also options to rewind and browse tape contents.
    3. Wait for the program to load, which may take a while, just like on a real ZX Spectrum. You can speed things up by holding the Android SEARCH key: it fast-forwards the emulation.
[#] fMSX for Android (also see free version)

fMSX emulates the popular MSX home computer from the 1980s, its MSX2 and MSX2+ upgrades, and many add-ons. fMSX is the first emulator I wrote and one of the first MSX emulators from which many others have been derived. Run your old MSX programs from disks or game cartridges on your Android phone or tablet. More...

[QR]
  • To enable mouse or joystick
    Go to the built-in menu, select "Input devices" and set mouse or joystick in joystick port #1. Same goes for the second joystick port.
[#] ColEm for Android (also see free version)

While developing fMSX, I got a request to take a look at the ColecoVision videogame console. The request contained a short document on the ColecoVision internals, from which I found that ColecoVision was not much different from MSX. Thus, I got to work and in a short while made a ColecoVision emulator, later known as ColEm. More...

[QR]
[#] AlmostTI for Android

AlmostTI emulates a big family of programmable graphing calculators from Texas Instruments, including TI-85, TI-86, TI-81, TI-82, TI-73, TI-83, TI-83+, TI-83+ SE, TI-84+, and TI-84+ SE. Pretty much every Z80-based TI calculator is covered. Please note that in order to run AlmostTI, you will need the system firmware ROM. See instructions on how to obtain that ROM from your own calculator. More...

[QR]
  • Getting ROMs
    In order to use AlmostTI, you need at least one calculator ROM. AlmostTI comes without ROMs, as they are intellectual property of Texas Instruments. But you can dump ROM from a TI calculator you own, by following these simple instructions.
  • Naming ROMs
    On startup, AlmostTI will look for the following files in your internal storage (usually "/sdcard"):

    TI85.ROM, TI86.ROM, TI81.ROM, TI82.ROM, TI73.ROM, TI83.ROM, TI83P.ROM, TI83SE.ROM, TI84P.ROM, TI84SE.ROM, TI-85.ROM, TI-86.ROM, TI-81.ROM, TI-82.ROM, TI-73.ROM, TI-83.ROM, TI-83P.ROM, TI-83SE.ROM, TI-84P.ROM, TI-84SE.ROM

    The names can be in upper or lower case. You can always repeat the search by clicking on the "Scan Files" menu option or the magnifier icon in the action bar.
[#] VGB for Android

VGB emulates Nintendo GameBoy handhelds and their accessories. It plays GameBoy, GameBoy Pocket, GameBoy Color, and Super GameBoy games on your Android phone or tablet. VGB also supports the Pocket Printer, GameGenie cheat codes, and more. Please notice that VGB will not play GameBoy Advance games: you will need VGBA for that. More...

[QR]
  • GameLink support
    As of Dec 17 2012, VGB supports GameLink emulation over a local network or the Internet. To establish connection, check "NetPlay" in the Android menu. Note that both of your devices have to have valid IP addresses. This feature will not work if one of you is behind NAT.
  • RumblePak support
    As of Mar 11 2012, VGB supports RumblePak emulation using your device's built-in vibration. Your phone will vibrate every time a game uses the "rumble" feature.
[#] VGBA for Android

VGBA emulates the Nintendo GameBoy Advance handheld. It plays GameBoy Advance games on your Android phone or tablet. Please notice that VGBA will not play classic GameBoy games: you will need VGB for that. More...

[QR]
  • GameLink support
    As of Jun 13 2012, VGBA supports GameLink multiplayer emulation over a local network or the Internet. To establish connection, check "NetPlay" int the Android menu. Note that both of your devices have to have valid IP addresses. This feature will not work if one of you is behind NAT.
  • VGBA does not require GBA BIOS file
    It emulates GBA BIOS internally instead.
  • VGBA supports light sensor, tilt sensor, and RumblePak
    You can find these features used in such games as Boktai, Boktai 2, Warioware Twisted, and Drill Dozer.
  • If you are having trouble saving games
    Use the gameplay freezing feature instead. Press the Android MENU key and select "Freeze/Restore" to save your game. Later on, select the same option to restore your game back to where you have frozen it. Having said that, I would still appreciate a bug report for any game that fails saving/restoring state on its own.
  • If you are still having trouble saving games
    If you cannot save games, even with the freezing feature, and the games won't even save state when you exit and restart VGBA, you may be low on the disk space. Check how much free space you have got in the folder where your games are. There should be at least 512kB of free space for saving and freezing to work.
  • If nothing works, games do not save, cheats do not work
    Aside from using a pirated version (that is known to fail randomly, on different features) and low disk space, this problem may sometimes be caused by a package upgrade. You can fix it by completely removing VGBA from your device, then reinstalling it from the Google Play.
  • Exporting .SAV files to other emulators
    VGBA will automatically load in-game saves (.SAV) made by other emulators. In order to export VGBA in-game saves, go to "Settings" and enable the "Save VBA Save File on Exit" option. With this option enabled, VGBA will save a VBA-compatible in-game save file that you can rename from .VBA to .SAV and use with VBA and other emulators.
  • Exporting .STA/.FRZ files to other emulators
    Unfortunately, the gameplay state files are in proprietary format and cannot be exported to other emulators. Nor can VGBA load proprietary state files (such as .SGM) from other emulators.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Video

Audio

Input

Network Play

Cheats

Answers

  1. I want to report a bug or make a suggestion!

    The best ways to get help are by reporting your problem on the forum or by emailing me directly. Due to the large number of requests and limited time, I can't handhold you or help you learn how to use my apps. I can only help you if you have found a geniune bug and can explain what it is in clear terms. Generally, it takes a week or two to resolve most issues, unless I am sick, busy, or you are asking about something way over my head.

    Also note that reporting problems in a Google Play review is not very helpful, as it makes more difficult for me to respond to your complaint and clarify what the problem is. Adding negative rating to your Google Play feedback makes it almost certain that I will not waste my time trying to help you. Thus, start by using the forum or emailing me to get help.

    To make my job easier, make sure you...

  2. I want games! I need games! Where do I find games?

    You can find a huge collection of public domain games for old game consoles at the PD ROMs web site. For both legal and ethical reasons, I cannot and will not tell you where to download commercial games for running them with my emulators, even if you email me about it. If you really need to, use an Internet search engine instead. Please, do not download and run any software that you do not already own (i.e. legally bought a cartridge with the same game). It is the right thing to do.

  3. Nothing works, saves fail, everything hangs or crashes!

    Aside from using a pirated version (that is known to fail randomly, on different features) and low disk space, this problem may sometimes be caused by a package upgrade. You can fix it by completely removing emulator from your device, then reinstalling it from the Google Play.

  4. I have bought the app, but now it says I do not have a valid license!

    To protect against piracy, I had to introduce the Google Play license check into commercial versions of my Android apps. Every now and then, the license check will use the Google Play Store app on your device to see if you have actually bought my app. This operation is completely transparent to the user, unless it fails. My statistics show that license checks fail for about 3% of people. In order to stay in the other 97%, make sure that

  5. I cannot save games and screenshots do not show up either.

    The two most common reasons are lack of free disk space and active USB connection to a computer that locks your storage from changes. Also, starting with Android 3.2+, Google essentially disabled writing to the external SD card. This means that if you place emulator files to the external SD card, emulators may not be able to save game states or screenshots. If you encounter this problem with your device, avoid it by always placing files to the internal SD card.

  6. Do your emulators work on rooted devices?

    All my applications run normally on rooted devices. There is a catch though. If you have a rooted device with LuckyPatcher or some other cracking tool installed, my products will not run on your device. You always have a choice of removing the pirate tools: once they are gone, my applications will run, whether your device is rooted or not.

  7. Emulator is too slow. How do I make it faster?

    First of all, my emulators will always try to mimic the actual hardware speed. You can easily verify that by enabling the "Video | Show Frame Rate" option and noting the "fps" value at the top-left screen corner. As long as this value stays close to 60fps (50fps for PAL hardware like ZX Spectrum), your speed is just fine. If you still want emulation to run faster than that, disable the "Video | Sync Display" option and watch things take off.

    Let us now suppose that you are not getting the optimal speed. The emulation speed generally depends on your hardware, the other software you are running, and your emulation settings. Follow these simple steps to improve the speed:

  8. How can I make fast-forward stay on all the time?

    To make FFWD button a toggle switch, enable "General | Persistent Fast-Forward" option. Please note that if you are trying to play games with fast-forwarding always on, you may be better off following performance improvement advice instead.

  9. How do I remove the action bar from the top of my screen?

    To quickly toggle the action bar, place your finger at the middle of the screen and flick it up to hide the action bar, or down to make it reappear. You can also choose to hide the action bar on startup, by enabling the "General | Hide Title Bar" option. This will also hide the menu though. To get the menu back, flick your finger down the screen.

  10. When I rotate my Gingerbread device, the picture disappears!

    There appears to be a bug in Android 2.x (Gingebread) that breaks OpenGLES views when you rotate the device. Starting from August 2013, all my emulators come with a workaround for this bug. So, if you are experiencing this problem, head to Google Play and download the latest version of my app.

  11. When I use video acceleration, the picture becomes fuzzy.

    When scaling pictures, the OpenGLES hardware always adds a bit of blur, to avoid ugly scaling artifacts. If you do not like the fuzzy picture, disable the "Video | Hardware Video Acceleration" option for the crystal clear image, at the cost of lower performance and shorter battery life.

  12. The picture does not fill the screen.

    When not using hardware video acceleration, the emulator will scale picture with the highly optimized assembler code running on your main CPU. This code is tailored for several different screen resolutions. The emulator will choose the resolution that best matches your screen, but may not completely fill it. If you would like the picture to fill your whole screen, enable the "Video | Hardware Video Acceleration" option.

  13. Colors look wrong. I want to change them.

    Several emulators, such as iNES and VGB, let you change the color palette to the one you like. In order to make a custom color palette for a game named Game.nes or Game.gb, create a text file named Game.pal with 64 (for iNES) or 16 (for VGB) color definitions in the RRGGBB format, one per line. If you want to have the same custom palette for all the games, place it into /sdcard/iNES/iNES.pal or /sdcard/VGB/VGB.pal instead. Here is a sample VGB palette file:

    FFFFFF ; Normal colors
    989898
    585858
    000000
    FFFFFF ; Background colors
    989898
    585858
    000000
    FFFFFF ; Sprite colors
    989898
    585858
    000000
    FFFFFF ; Window colors
    989898
    585858
    000000
    

  14. Sound lags. How do I prevent it from lagging?

    If you feel that the sound lags on your device (i.e. you hear shots a little bit after pressing the fire button), try decreasing the "Audio | Audio Latency" setting. Reducing it too much may cause sound distortions though, so be careful. If your audio becomes distorted, increase the latency. You may also want to try toggling the "Audio | Native Audio" option and see if it makes sound better.

  15. Sound clicks and pops. How do I clean it up?

    If you are hearing clicks and pops in the sound, increasing the "Audio | Audio Latency" setting should fix your problem, at the cost of some sound lag. If the sound issues persist, set "Video | Frames to Draw" setting to 35%, or enable "Video | Hardware Acceleration" option to speed up display updates. You may also want to try toggling the "Audio | Native Audio" option and see if it makes sound better.

  16. Sound repeats, like an echo. How do I fix it?

    The echo often occurs on slower devices, where emulation cannot keep up with the audio, so the audio repeats, while emulation catches up. You can avoid this problem by optimizing performance to make emulator run faster. If the sound still echoing, increase the "Audio | Audio Latency" setting. You may also want to try toggling the "Audio | Native Audio" option and see if it makes sound better.

  17. I cannot press more than two virtual buttons at once. How do I fix it?

    A lot of Android devices have limited multitouch that only lets you use two fingers. On these devices, you simply cannot press more than two virtual buttons at once. My emulators offer a workaround of sorts though. Go into the "Input | Edit Layout" setting and drag buttons so that they overlap a little bit. Now, you can press both buttons by touching the overlapped spot.

  18. Virtual joystick buttons are too small, too big, or awkwardly placed. How do I change them?

    To resize joystick buttons, open the "Input | Virtual Joystick Size" setting and choose any size you like. To move buttons, open the "Input | Edit Layout" setting and drag buttons around the screen to the most comfortable spots. Keep in mind that when you rotate your device, each button will "stick" to the closest screen edges.

  19. Virtual joystick buttons obscure my screen. Can I change them?

    Normally, you will see transparent controls overlaid on top of the display. To change their opacity or hide the controls altogether, use the "Input | Virtual Joystick Opacity" and the "Input | Virtual Joystick Shape" settings. You can also control the joystick by physically tilting your device, if your device has an accelerometer and you enable the "Input | Tilt Joystick" option.

  20. Does joystick have auto-fire? How do I enable it?

    See the "Input | Auto Fire Settings" setting. It lets you choose what buttons are going to have auto-fire.

  21. Can I use my hardware keyboard or Xperia Play gamepad?

    Of course you can. Additionally, you can assign keys to joystick controls by using the "Input | Assign Keys" setting. By default, your keys are going to be assigned as follows:

    EmulatorGeneric AndroidXperia Play
    FIRE-ASPACE, A, S, D, F, G, H, J, K, LX (SQUARE)
    FIRE-BZ, X, C, V, B, N, MY (TRIANGLE)
    FIRE-LQ, E, T, U, OL
    FIRE-RW, R, Y, I, PR
    STARTENTERSTART
    SELECTTABSELECT
    FFWDSEARCHSEARCH

  22. Can I use a USB or Bluetooth gamepad, like Nyko Playpad?

    Yes, you should be able to use any standard gamepad or joystick with any of my emulators. In particular, set the switch at the bottom of Nyko Playpad to the "generic gamepad" position. You may also want to visit the "Input | Assign Keys" setting in order to make a comfortable button layout for yourself.

  23. I have a PowerA MOGA controller. Will it work?

    Starting Feb 26 2013, all new releases of my emulators natively support MOGA gaming controller. Simply turn it on, and once you see the "MOGA controller connected" message on the screen, it is ready to play with. You can still use MOGA with older versions of my products with the help of the free universal MOGA driver available from Google Play. This little app should let you use the MOGA with many applications that do not normally support it.

  24. I have an iCade joystick. Will it work?

    Starting Apr 5 2013, all my emulators support iCade joysticks. To enable iCade support, toggle the "Input | iCade Support" option. You may also want to customize the button layout via the "Input | Assign Keys" setting.

  25. I have a Sony Sixaxis gamepad. Will it work?

    If you have got a Sony Sixaxis gamepad and a rooted Android device, you can use the gamepad over Bluetooth, with the help of the Sixaxis Controller app from Dancing Pixel. See the application web site for instructions.

  26. I have a Nintendo Wiimote controller. Will it work?

    For Nintendo Wiimote users, here is a short tutorial on using Wiimote with my applications, provided by Robert McCurdy.

  27. How do I use NetPlay?

    Most of my emulators now support the NetPlay feature that lets you play with other users over your local WiFi network or the Internet. To establish connection, follow these steps:

  28. I do not see the other player's device.

    In order to use network play, both players must be running the same game and have mutually visible IP addresses. It is only possible if

    You will not see each other in the NetPlay dialog, unless these conditions are met.

  29. What is GameLink and how is it different from NetPlay?

    Unlike stationary consoles which came with a pair of gamepads, the GameBoy and GameBoy Advance handhelds had a special serial cable that let users connect 2-4 handhelds together, for cooperative play. This cable is known as the GameLink and supported in my GameBoy emulators, VGBA and VGB. The GameLink connection works exactly the same way as a regular NetPlay connection.

  30. Why does emulator slow down when using NetPlay?

    When using NetPlay, each player must send a lot of data over the network and wait for the other player to acknowledge every packet they send. This wait time slows down the gameplay speed for both players. The wait is slightly worse for GameLink (in VGBA and VGB) because the data needs to be sent more often. While this slowdown is unavoidable and depends on your network speed, I am working to reduce it in the upcoming versions of my products.

  31. My cheats do not work.

    Many games are available in different versions, in different languages, or with bugfixes. In order for a cheat code to work, you need to be running exactly the same version of the game that this cheat code has been discovered for. The codes will not work for a different game version, even on the real GameShark or ActionReplay hardware. Besides, many cheat codes found on the Internet contain errors and will not work on any game version. Given how unreliable cheats are to begin with, I usually can't answer the question why your cheat does not work.

  32. I cannot enter any cheat codes. No matter what I do, they do not work.

    The easiest way to use cheat codes is by going to Android menu and choosing "Cheats | Cheatopedia" there. Cheatopedia contains premade cheats for many popular games.

    To enter cheats manually, go to the Android menu and choose "Cheats | Edit Cheat Codes". Use the cheat editing interface to add, delete, or edit cheat codes. The editor will not let you enter a code unless your code strictly follows one of the relevant formats:

    Please note that emulators will only accept cheat codes in the above formats (whatever ones are relevant). They will not accept codes in any other formats. So, if you cannot enter a code, carefully check its format. Finally, be aware that not all cheats you find on the Internet work, even on the real hardware. Never mix cheats from different sources and try to use cheats that are known to work on at least some other emulator.

  33. I want to add my own cheats to the Cheatopedia.

    Yes, you can extend Cheatopedia with your own cheats. In order to do that, you will have to place a text file called custom.chts into emulator-specific folder: /sdcard/VGBA, /sdcard/VGB, or /sdcard/iNES. This file should have the following format:

    [(Custom Cheats)]
    Menu=Game 1
    Menu=Game 2
    ...
    
    [Game 1]
    Menu=Cheat 1
    Menu=Cheat 2
    ...
    
    [Cheat 1]
    12345678 9ABCDEF0
    87654321 0FEDCBA9
    ...
    
    Instead of adding single-line cheats separately, you can also use a shortened notation for them:
    [Game 1]
    Code=5A5A5A5A 23232323 : Cheat 1
    Code=76767676 01010101 : Cheat 2
    
    Once you are done entering cheats and place custom.chts file into proper folder, you should be able to access your custom cheats from the top Cheatopedia menu by clicking on "(Custom Cheats)".

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