Nintendo 64 was (and still is) one of the most exciting consoles of all time. Can you play these games on your PC? Yes (although you're not really supposed, but I'm not going to tattle.) This step by step tutorial will get you playing your favorite classic games in no time!
Step 1: Downloading: Project N64
Basically, to emulate a game, you will first need the emulator. The emulator acts as the console (in this case, the console is the N64). The most used and probably best emulator you can get is Project 64. You can find the download here. When you click the link, you will be prompted to choose which platform you would like Project 64 on: Windows or Android. Click your desired platform and wait for the download. If the download doesn't start automatically, click the link.
Step 2: Installing: Project 64
Run the program when prompted to Save or Run. If you would like to save the launcher to a different location for some reason, do it by saving, but I don't see why you would need to. Then, follow these steps:
- Click Next on the first screen. This is just the initial prompt.
- The next step is the install path. The path is the location where your file will be stored on your computer. Program Files x86, the default install location, should be fine due to the next step. Click next, or if you want a different path, browse for it and then click next.
- Next, 2 boxes should appear on your screen: Portable Mode and Create a Desktop Shortcut. Unless you are installing on a mobile device, which is not covered here, DO NOT check this box. I would recommend leaving the desktop shortcut box checked, so you can access it easily. When you are done, hit next.
- Now the installer will do its job. Don't click anything until the progress bar has completed its run, and the screen has moved to the final slide.
- The installer will confirm that you are done, and ask if you want to launch Project 64. Check the box and look at the interface.
Step 3: Finding and Downloading ROMS
ROMS are ripped files of games from their original cartridges. As a result, they are not completely legal. Continue at your own discretion.
The best site for ROMS is by far emuparadise.me . I have linked the section of the website containing N64 ROMS at the above link. Find a ROM you want, click it, scroll down to the download link, and click that. You will then be prompted to solve a Captcha, to prove that you are human. Solve the puzzle and click Verify & Download.
The site will say that it is preparing your download link. It is labeled under Direct Download. Click the orange link to get your file.
When prompted, I recommend that you save the .zip file to your Desktop. This will help you load your ROM faster and without hassle. I will continue as if you did this. Then, find your file (last photo).
Step 4: Unzipping and Extracting Your ROM File
Now we can pull the ROM out of its container, the .zip file. If you got any other type of file, it is likely a virus, and you should delete it. It is always recommended to have an Internet Security program, like Norton, on and scanning when messing with ROMS and Emulators.
Follow these instructions to get your game file:
- Double click on your .zip file.
- Click the Extract all button
- Choose a path
Now your files are extracted. Open your new, unzipped folder and move the inside file (mine was .n64) out to the desktop.
Step 5: Playing!
Finally! Head back into Project 64 and follow these steps:
- Click File
- Hit Open ROM
- IN the window that opens, navigate to your ROM file, the one that you extracted with the .n64 file name
- Select it and click open
And you are finished! Enjoy your game!