Picture of How to run a game emulator
According to Wikipedia, an emulator in computer sciences duplicates (provides an emulation of) the functions of one system using a different system, so that the second system behaves like (and appears to be) the first system. This focus on exact reproduction of external behavior is in contrast to some other forms of computer simulation, which can concern an abstract model of the system being simulated.

In Layman's terms "I play N64 on my PC"

This instructable is dedicated to the use of game emulators (PSone, NES, Gameboy, ect); by that i mean how to install them, inserting roms into their correct folders, and playing them. 
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Step 1: What console do you want to emulate / getting an emulator

Picture of what console do you want to emulate / getting an emulator
This step really depends what you want to play, but whatever it is, go to They have a large selection of emulators, the ones that work the best are rated the highest and are near the top of the list.

I will be using the Gameboy Advance emulator, Visual Boy Advance as an example

Emulators ARE legal. Opposition to this fact will be smacked

Step 2: Installing the emulator

Picture of Installing the emulator
Depending on which emulator you decide to download, you will have to do one of two things. either unzip the file using a program called winrar, which is INCREDIBLY EASY to use. You can download a trial here The trial lasts indefinetly, so there is no need to buy an actual copy. Make sure you get the one labeled WinRAR x86 (32 bit) 3.90

Or if your lucky, You will get a .exe file, which will self extract (install itself once it is double clicked). All you need to do is select the folder where you want the emulator to be installed to.

You forgot to talk about controllers, not needed no but makes it much better.

WinterD4 months ago

It's you're done not your.

I have simpsons hit and run on my original xbox that got handed to me but I didn't buy the game but I own it. does this mean I can download simpsons hit and run legally?

*ahem* yes, emulators are completely legal, but ROMS aren't. ROMS aren't legal unless you purchased a physical copy of the game. The physical game can be busted, just as long as you own it. It's just like downloading free music; it's illegal unless the original publisher of the music says "Yes, you can download this for free".(And we all know that Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo will NOT say that). And you are allowed to rip songs from a CD if you buy it, because you paid for it.

Not to hurt the popularity of this Instructable, but this is a very controversial topic that could either end you up happy and playing games on your PC or angry and regretful in jail (Or paying a fine of several thousand dollars).
Korbolt (author)  videogamemaster3 years ago
This is very much true. I *think* I mentioned something about this later on in the instructions, but I have written it so long ago (and I'm too lazy to look).

But, I think companies are now more concerned about current gen systems, games, etc. I have seen more cases for people bootlegging DS, PSP, XBOX games than I have for people bootlegging N64, Dreamcast, NES, etc. Honestly, I think that video game companies care more about the profit being made on current releases then on rather than games that have come out years ago. For example, Bungie would be pissed if I were to bootleg the Halo re-release, but not as much so as if I were to bootleg a copy of Marathon.

I'm not saying that its ok to go and bootleg whatever is old, I'm just voicing my opinion (which can be subject to change)
EDGE V.5 years ago
 How do you get a rom from the game? Is there a program for that or what?
Hallmar EDGE V.3 years ago
Try they have plenty of emulator and roms, including this game!!!
Korbolt (author)  EDGE V.5 years ago
*cough* a quick google search for "roms" should help *cough*

To get the roms in the first place, there is special hardware you can get that copies the rom from a cartridge (N64, GBA, ect) to a PC
EDGE V. Korbolt5 years ago
 What's the program called?
Korbolt (author)  EDGE V.5 years ago
You dont need to actually copy the rom from the cartridge, chances are it is already on the internet. has the widest selection i have seen in a while
find the console you want to get games for, download, open the .zip file you just downloaded, and there is the rom. Copy paste it to the roms section in your emulator, and your set

If you actually wanted to go through the trouble of copying the rom from the cartridge to your PC, your will have to resort to some homebrew device that you have to make yourself. In a nutshell its like a console that plugs into your PC, giving you access to the rom file.

EDGE V. Korbolt5 years ago
 I can easily say that, but I just want to know incase of safety precautions with the law.
Korbolt (author)  EDGE V.5 years ago
the law regarding roms is a funny thing.
from what i can make of it, It is legal to have a rom while you physically own the game, while its illegal to own the just the rom. The rom dosent have to be taken from the cartridge to be legal, It can be downloaded.

The possibilities of being caught however are slim to almost none. The only thing you have to worry about are DS roms, Nintendo will hunt your ass down if they find out if you have any.
Everything else is relativley safe
EDGE V. Korbolt5 years ago
 great. Now nintendo actually does something about roms?
Korbolt (author)  EDGE V.5 years ago
only DS roms
even if you own them?
Korbolt (author)  arduinoer4 years ago
im sure they would crack down on it even if you own a hard copy
An Villain4 years ago
Nobody Cares. For some reason I find that really funny, but I agree with you.
Madrias3574 years ago
Instead of WinRar, I have a tendancy to use JZip.  It'll open just about anything, including .RAR files.

Just a thought and a preference, and yes, it's free.
Korbolt (author)  Madrias3574 years ago
free is always good

however when you bootleg, everything is free
 I did Game boy color emulater Super Mario Bros. deluxe rules

just thought I'd throw it out there that 7-zip works very well for any archive i've come across (rar, zip, tar.gz, jar, 7z, compressed .exe files, etc...) and is completely free (unless I'm mistaken, the same can't be said about winrar)
Korbolt (author)  killersquirel115 years ago
Winrar is free to an extent. I say that because once the trial runs out. the software proceeds to say that "winrar is not free soft ware and you must remove it from your computer unless you buy it ect, ect". However, it will continue to work once you exit out from that message, revealing a still working copy of winrar.
all right... I'm mistaken
Korbolt (author)  killersquirel115 years ago
software loopholes FTW
Xilcon5 years ago
Cool, I've been thinking about getting in to emulators but I have a question.  What controller(s) do you use?
Korbolt (author)  Xilcon5 years ago
I use a regular Xbox controller. Depending on the version of windows you have, it will automatically look for the drivers for you
(removed by author or community request)
Korbolt (author)  DELETED_cdousley5 years ago
regular controllers no, you have to modify an existing controller yourself. There are tutorials on the web.
Use a pc game pad or mod a real one to work with usb.
i have the very first view WOOT!!!
Korbolt (author)  Zaphod Beeblebrox5 years ago
cool story bro