Installing and Using Console Emulators – Part 4

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. Part 2 and part 3 continued with information about SNES and Sega Genesis emulators. Part 4 will be the final post in this series and will cover Project64 for the N64.


Unlike the previous emulators, Project64 requires a traditional installation; you cannot simply unzip files to run the emulator. Once you have downloaded the installer, run it to install Project64 on your computer. On the first screen of the installer, click the Next button.

Project64 - Install
Run the installation program for Project64

The next screen will allow you to choose the folder in which you want to install Project64. I simply used the default setting (the Program Files (x86) folder). Click the Next button to continue.

Project64 - Install Location
Choose the folder in which to install Project64

The next screen will confirm that you want to continue with the installation. Click the Install button to install Project64.

Project64 - Install Confirmation
Confirm that you want to install Project64

Once the installation is complete, select the Launch Project64 1.6 checkbox, and click the Finish button to complete the installation and run Project64.

Project64 - Install Complete
Complete the installation and run Project64

Project64 has several graphics options that can make a big difference thanks to the 3D nature of Nintendo 64 games. In the program’s menu, go to Options > Configure Graphics Plugin… and set the Full Screen Resolution to your primary display’s native resolution (this is usually the highest setting available). The other settings can be adjusted as you see fit for a good quality/performance ratio. The emulator’s graphics plugin allows Nintendo 64 games to be played in HD resolutions with antialiasing (to reduce jagged edges of objects) and texture filtering to sharpen textures. You’ll need a decent video card to run the emulator at high settings, but the results are impressive. I use the following settings:

Project64 - Graphics Configuration
Configure the graphics options for a good quality/performance ratio

Next you should set up the input configuration (Options > Configure Controller Plugin… tab). 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 set up two controllers, you’ll need to set up a controller in the Player 1 tab, then set up another controller in the Player 2 tab. You can set up controllers for up to four players. For each player, you’ll need to assign buttons on your gamepad to each control. To assign buttons, simply click the small square button next to each control, then press the button on your gamepad that you want to use for that control. For the analog stick controls, move the analog stick on your gamepad in the direction of the control (e.g. for the Analog Stick L control, move the analog stick on your gamepad to the left). Repeat this process for all players that you want to set up.

Note: If you have a gamepad with vibration or rumble support, you can select this option and use that feature with any ROMs that support it. Also note that saving game progress using memory paks may not work, but you can use the emulator’s built-in save function to save your progress at any point in a game (F5 is the shortcut key to save your game).

Project64 - Input Configuration
Setup controls for your gamepad

You should also enable advanced options so you can set up the directories that Project64 will use for ROMs, save games, and screenshots. To do this, go to Options > Settings… > Options tab and uncheck the Hide Advanced Settings option. Click OK to save your settings.

Uncheck the Hide Advanced Settings option

Now that advanced settings are available, go back to Options > Settings… again. You should now see several more tabs available. Go to the Directories tab and set up the directories that you want to use for ROMs, save games, and screenshots.

Project64 - Options Advanced
Set up directories for your ROMs, save games, and screenshots

I leave all other settings at their default values, but feel free to experiment. The program includes a user manual with more information if you need further help or want to learn about additional features.


I hope this series has helped you enjoy console emulation on your PC. Playing console games can be a lot of fun and adds a touch of nostalgia to the gaming experience. Be sure to post your feedback, questions, or suggestions in the comments!