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

24 July 2014

Rolling out VGBA 4.4.6 this morning. Starting with this release, I have added the ability to move and resize the game screen in the Joystick Editor. Many users asked me to add this feature, so here it is. Note that there are separate screen positions for landscape and portrait modes, so you may want to adjust both. Clicking on the "recycle" icon resets screen positions and the joystick layout. In this release, I have also fixed a bunch of bugs in the Joystick Editor and added a hack to make some misbehaving hardware keyboards work. If your Bluetooth keyboard does not work, try enabling the "Input | Ignore Fake KeyUp Events" option. Have a good weekend! :)

23 July 2014

Released fMSX 3.9.4 today. In this release, I am trying to address the problem reported by some Bluetooth keyboard users who find most of their keys unresponsive. If you are stuck with such a keyboard, try enabling the "Input | Ignore Fake KeyUp Events" option and see if it helps. I have also replaced the Layout Editor with the all new Virtual Joystick Editor. The new editor lets you independently resize buttons, shows their labels and the screen edges every button sticks to. Finally, the Assign Keys screen now shows current key assignments for each button.

21 July 2014

Just published MasterGear 2.9.13, switching to the new Virtual Joystick Editor and adding indendently resizable buttons. The new version also shows current key assignments and adds Cheatopedia cheats for 17 new games.

17 July 2014

Released iNES 3.9.12, adding the new Virtual Joystick Editor with button labels, gravity display, and independent button resizing. All virtual joystick settings have been migrated to the new editor, uncluttering the "Input" settings page. Furthermore, the "Input | Assign Keys" screen will now show current key assignments.

15 July 2014

Published ColEm 3.1, rolling out all the changes introduced into my other emulators over the last month. The new ColEm comes with the easy Wiimote support and the new Virtual Joystick Editor. Virtual controls can be individually resized, and the editor shows button labels and gravity. Finally, if your gamepad has a BACK button, that button will be fully usable and assignable now.

14 July 2014

Beginning a new week with VGB 4.3, which replaces the old and clunky Layout Editor with the new Virtual Joystick Editor letting you indepently resize controls. It also shows button labels and which screen edges each button sticks to. Both features have been sorely missing from the old Layout Editor. Finally, I have moved all virtual joystick shape, size, and opacity settings to the new Joystick Editor, making the "Settings | Input" dialog less crowded.

10 July 2014

Starting with VGBA 4.4.3, released today, I am introducing the new Layout Editor that lets you control individual joystick button sizes, shape and opacity. It also shows button labels (something it has been missing for a while) and the screen edges buttons stick to. If the new Layout Editor is not working for you, or you have a suggestion about it, please, email me. Also, the "Assign Keys" screen will now show current key assignments for each button. It is another obvious feature that should have been there from the start.

8 July 2014

Released Speccy 3.1.1, with easier Wiimote support, fully assignable gamepad BACK button, and some fixes. Now allowing LuckyPatcher use, by public request.

7 July 2014

MasterGear 2.9.12 is now available from the Google Play. This version adds proper Wiimote support and adds cheats for 18 new games. I have also got a chance to test MasterGear on an x86-based Dell Venue 8 tablet and fix a few bugs there.

3 July 2014

Just published iNES 3.9.11, adding support for 100+ undocumented 6502 opcodes. While not official, these opcodes are sometimes used in games, especially homebrew ones. Also added easy Wiimote support and made a few fixes. iNES has now been successfully tested on a real x86-based Android device (Dell Venue 8). For those rare x86 Android users, all my apps offer native x86 support.

2 July 2014

This morning's release is fMSX 3.9.3. It adds Wiimote support, fixes .ZIP files on Kitkat and special video effects on x86-based devices. Hardware media keys will save, restore, and replay your gameplay, or you can assign these functions to any other buttons. LuckyPatcher use now allowed.

30 June 2014

Just released VGB 4.2.8, adding [hopefully] painless support for Wiimote controllers. Simply enable "Input | Wiimote Support" option for that. If you have a gamepad with the BACK button, this button should be now fully usable and assignable. Starting with this release, I am allowing LuckyPatcher use, by public request, but please, do not use it as an excuse to pirate VGB. Finally, I had a chance to test VGB on a real x86-based Android device, found and fixed some minor issues.

26 June 2014

VGBA 4.4.2 is on Google Play. The hardware media keys will now save, restore, and replay your gameplay. If you do not have media keys, assign these functions to any other key on your gamepad or keyboard via "Input | Assign Keys".

Starting with this release, I am no longer prohibiting LuckyPatcher use. Too many users complained about not being able to run my emulators with LuckyPatcher installed, so from now on you will see a warning, but no crash. Please, do not use this as an excuse to pirate my apps: I can't keep developing them if people keep stealing them.

By popular demand, I have added proper, hopefully painless Wiimote support. You won't even need to assign anything, just enable "Input | Wiimote Support" in the Settings. Also, the BACK button found on some gamepads should be fully usable and assignable.

Finally, while testing VGBA on a real x86-based Android tablet, I have found a problem with the scanline effects and fixed it. Glad to say that these x86 Dell Venue tablets run VGBA very smoothly, even with all the special effects enabled.

24 June 2014

Published ColEm 3.0, adding support for Super Game Cartridges containing >32kB ROMs. These larger cartridges have become popular among ColecoVision homebrew scene lately. The new release also adds assignable physical keys for saving, restoring and replaying gameplay and fixes ZIP file support on Android Kitkat, among other things.

23 June 2014

Released MasterGear 2.9.11 this morning. This release contains the same changes as iNES 3.9.10 released the last week. You can save, restore, or replay your gameplay with the hardware media keys. These functions can be assigned to any other gamepad keys via "Input | Assign Keys". ZIP files should work, and LuckPatcher use is tolerated now, just don't use it to pirate my products please.

19 June 2014

Just published iNES 3.9.10. The hardware media keys now save, restore, or replay the gameplay. You can also assign your own keys to these functions via "Input | Assign Keys". The Xperia O is also assignable now. ZIP files should work again for Kitkat users. Finally, addressing popular request, I no longer block the use of LuckyPatcher: upon finding this tool on your device, iNES will show an anti-piracy warning, but continue running.

18 June 2014

Due to many requests from the users, Speccy 3.1, released today, comes with the Spectrum128 extended virtual keyboard. Other changes include customizable backdrop image and the ability to disable it completely, if you do not like it. Kitkat users will find ZIP files working again, while Sony Xperia users should be able to remap and use the O button on their gamepads. Finally, you can now assign freeze/restore functions to custom buttons on your gamepad or keyboard, for quick access.

16 June 2014

In the VGB 4.2.7, released today, I started improving the save/restore functionality, the way users asked me to. The new release lets you assign custom keys for the Freeze, Restore, and Replay functions. So, if you have got a gamepad with many extra keys, you now have something to do with them in VGB. Also, some users complained that it is really easy to overwrite a saved state by mistake. To fix that, I have added the "Confirm Freezing State" option. When enabled, it requires you to click the "Freeze" button twice to save state. Finally, ZIP files should now work for people with Kitkat devices, while Xperia Play owners will appreciate the ability to assign functions to their O button.

12 June 2014

VGBA 4.4.1 is now online, get it from the Google Play. Whoever complained about .ZIP file problems, your pleas have been answered in this release. VGBA is now able to use .ZIP files from SD cards inserted into Kitkat devices. As it cannot unpack these files in-place, the unzipped ROMs are now cached in the application's private directory. Running .ZIP files from internal storage, on rooted and pre-Kitkat devices works as it did before. I have also added the ability to assign and use the O button on Xperia Play devices and made the backdrop image customizable. Place your own backdrop into /sdcard/VGBA/Backdrop.png, or you can disable the backdrop completely, via the "General | Show Portrait Backdrop" setting.

10 June 2014

Released fMSX 3.9.2, making Xperia Play O button configurable and adding ability to change the background by supplying your own /sdcard/fMSX/Backdrop.png file. Or, if you do not like the background at all, turn it off by disabling the "General | Show Portrait Backdrop" option.

9 June 2014

MasterGear 2.9.10, published today, makes Cheatopedia easier to use by automatically finding the cheats for the game you are playing. In most cases, you will no longer have to browse through the list to find your game. Also, MasterGear now comes with a decorative backdrop similar to the SMS gamepad. If you do not like this backdrop, disable it via "General | Show Portrait Backdrop", or supply your own in /sdcard/MasterGear/Backdrop.png. Sony Xperia owners should now be able to assign and use their O key with "Input | Assign Keys". Finally, I have added 29 new games to the Cheatopedia, include Alex Kidd and Asterix games, Alf, and Astro Warrior. Have fun!

5 June 2014

Wrapping up the week with the iNES 3.9.9 release. The new version comes with a better palette editor, addressing complaints about difficulty changing the RGB values by a single digit at a time. The new editor lets you change these values in bigger steps. Of course, the new iNES also lets you download the game box artwork, either for individual games, or for the entire folder. The automatic box art download only works over WiFi, to save cellular traffic. Finally, you can now customize decorative screen backdrop, by placing it into /sdcard/iNES/Backdrop.png, or disable it altogether by clearing the "Show Portrait Backdrop" option. Enjoy your weekend! :)

4 June 2014

The new AlmostTI 2.3.9 fixes buttons response in the magnified display mode, corrects a few misspelled button labels, and searches for firmware ROMs in both internal and removable storage.

3 June 2014

Published ColEm 2.9.15, bringing up all the changes introduced into my other emulators over the last two weeks. The new ColEm comes with the box art downloader and better DropBox integration: it will now automatically upload your gameplay state as you finish playing a DropBox game. For those, who absolutely hate the decorative backdrop image, I have added an option to disable it. You can also supply your own backdrop in /sdcard/ColEm/Backdrop.png.

2 June 2014

The next VGB 4.2.6 release is now available on Google Play. It comes with improved Palette Editor, automated Box Art Downloader, and better DropBox integration. People who do not like the backdrop image, can now supply their own in /sdcard/VGB/Backdrop.png or disable it altogether via the "General | Show Portrait Backdrop" option. Please note that you can either search for individual game box art (by selecting "Download Box Art" from the context menu), or enable fully automated download (by enabling the same option in the File Selector main menu).

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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