Installing and Using Console Emulators – Part 2

In part 1 of this series, I introduced several console emulators and provided a link to a website where they can be downloaded; this also covered an emulator for the NES. For part 2, we’ll look at using a Super Nintendo emulator called SNES9x.


Just as with FCEUX, installing SNES9x is simply a matter of unzipping the files to a folder on your hard drive. I’d recommend putting them into a folder called “SNES” to separate them from your other emulators. Once the files are extracted, run the SNES9x application and set up the display configuration (Options > Display Configuration…). I set the Output Method to “DirectDraw” because setting it to “Direct3D” makes the emulator run a bit choppy on my machine. I also use the following settings (depending on your processor speed you may need to use lower settings to get a good framerate):

SNES9x - Display Configuration
Use these settings for the Display Configuration

Next you should set up the input configuration (Input > Input Configuration…). If you read part 1, you know that you can use the keyboard as your input device, but I highly recommend a gamepad. I use Logitech gamepads, but any gamepad compatible with Windows should work just fine.

To setup four controllers, you’ll need to choose each controller from the drop-down menu and assign buttons or keys to each virtual button. To assign a button, use your mouse to click on the first virtual button, then press the button on your gamepad that you want to associate with the virtual button. The next virtual button will automatically be selected and ready for assignment, so you just need to press the buttons on your gamepad as the virtual buttons are selected (they will be highlighted in green). Repeat this process for each controller you want to setup.

SNES9x - Input Configuration
Assign your gamepad buttons to the virtual gamepad buttons

Finally, you’ll want to set up the directories configuration ( Options > Settings…). This tells the program where to look for ROMs and where to put save states, screenshots, etc. At a minimum, set up your ROMs directory by clicking the Browse button and browsing to the folder where you keep your SNES ROMs.

SNES9x - Emulation Settings
At a minimum, setup the ROMs directory

I leave all other settings at their default values, but feel free to experiment. The program includes a readme.txt file with some helpful information on using the emulator, so be sure to look it over (particularly the keyboard shortcuts!).

In part 3, I’ll go over Fusion for the Sega Genesis (and other Sega consoles). Stay tuned…

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