Comparison of Emulator Frontends

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Below is a basic comparison table for all the known multi-system front-ends for emulators. The table does not include single system front-ends (such as EmuCon, Mame Classic, Negatron, pfeMame, QMC2, etc.) or front-ends for other dedicated software such as Kodi.

Name Creator Open Source Free (FOSS) First public release date Latest stable version release date Windows Macintosh GNU/Linux Other platforms
Atomic 'Youki' 2005-02-08 (v0.11) 2010-01-23 (v0.20)
Attract-Mode Andrew Mickelson [1] ✓ (GPLv3) 2013-11-17 (v1.0) 2018-11-14 (v2.5.1) N/A
Aurora Game Hub Carlos Machado, Sammy Guergachi [2][3] ✓ (GPLv3) 2013-08-14 (Alpha_8_b794) 2013-08-14 (Alpha_8_b794) N/A BSD
BizHawk 'Nach' [4] "minefield"[5] 2018-03-15 (v1.0.0) 2019-01-06 (v2.3.1) N/A To be compiled[6] N/A
Bottlenose Quinton Ashley [7] ✓ (MIT) 2019-03-04 (v1.0.12) 2019-04-09 (v1.0.65) N/A
CabrioFE Steve Maddison [8] ✓ (GPLv2) 2009-10-26 (v0.3.0) 2011-06-24 (v0.8.2 - beta version) v0.8.1 N/A
CoinOPS N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
EmuCenter 2 N/A 2010-03-20 (v0.6) 2016-09-01 (v7.1.0.181)
EmuCon N/A [9] 2008-04-23 (v2.0) 2017-11-21 (v2.7.7)
Emulation Station Alec Lofquist and others [10][11] ✓ (MIT) 2013-10-26 (v1.0.0) 2019-03-09 (v2.7.6 - on retropie repo) Raspberry Pi[12]
EmuLoader N/A [13] 2007-08-27 (v5.1.6) 2019-05-31 (v8.7.6)
FEEL 'Sincro' [14] ✓ (LGPLv3) 2015-09-12 (v1.8.1) 2018-06-08 (v1.9.8.5)
GameEx Tom Speirs 2016-04-14 (v14.44) 2019-05-15 (v15.60)
GameRoom Max 'n0xew' ?? 2016-12-13 (v0.0.0.9) 2018-03-12 (v1.1.2.0)
Games (Gnome) Various contributors [15] ✓ (GPLv3) 2015-10-20 (v3.18.0) 2019-05-24 (v3.33.2) N/A N/A
HyperSpin Jonathan Habers N/A 2018-05-07 (v1.5.1) Android[16]
Ice Scott Rice [17] ✓ (MIT) 2016-01-29 (v1.0.0) 2016-01-29 (v1.0.0) N/A
Launch Box Jason Carr N/A N/A
LusSpace 'Space1' N/A 2016-11-08 (v1.23)
Lutris Mathieu Comandon and others [18] ✓ (GPLv3) 2013-12-15 (v0.3.2) 2019-04-09 (v0.5.2)
MaLa Stefan 'swindus' Windus, Simon 'loadman' Loader 2005-07-26 (v0.9.7b) 2011-03-27 (v1.74)
Maximus Arcade N/A N/A N/A
Metropolis Launcher Jörg 'MK2k' Sonntag [19] ✓ (GPLv3) 2017-04-27 (v1.0.0) 2018-09-07 (v1.2.0)
mGalaxy N/A 2007-02-05 (v1.0) 2019-04-?? (v7.5)
Pegasus Mátyás Mustoha [20] ✓ (GPLv3) 2017-08-07 (Alpha 3) 2019-03-10 (Alpha 11) Android, Raspberry Pi
Photon Game Manager Thomas Preece N/A N/A Experimental
Playnite Josef Nemec [21] ✓ (MIT) 2017-03-28 (v0.70 Alpha) 2019-02-25 (v4.74)
Project Ascension Jake Schadewe and others [22] ✓ (MIT) 2016-01-30 (v1.0.34) 2016-01-30 (v1.0.34)
QuickPlay John Scott [23] ✓ (BSD-3) 2014-04-14 (v3.9.0) 2019-10-19 (v4.7.1) N/A N/A N/A
RetroArch 'Twinaphex' and others [24] ✓ (GPLv3) 2011-01-25 (v0.2) 2019-05-08 (v1.7.7) DOS, BSD, Haiku, Solaris, PS2, PS3, PSP, PSVita, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, Switch, NES/SNES Classic Edition, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Web Browser
RetroFe Don Honerbrink [25] ✓ (GPLv3) 2016-07-26 (v0.7.2-beta-1) 2019-05-26 (v0.9.0) To be compiled N/A
RoM-Jacket 'Jinx' ✓ (.bat files) N/A N/A
skeletonKey 'romjacket' [26] 2018-05-22 (v0.99.34.34) 2019-05-30 (v0.99.69.81)
Snowflake Ronny Chan [27] ✓ (MPLv2.0) 2015-01-15 (v0.1.0) 2017-07-10 (v0.2.1158) To be compiled To be compiled To be compiled N/A
Steam Rom Manager Lukas Senionis [28] ✓ (GPLv3) 2017-04-30 (v1.0.0) 2019-03-10 (v2.2.19) N/A

Technical facts[edit]

Name Download size Current status Language used Libraries used
Atomic 35.2 MiB Discontinued Visual Basic N/A
Attract-Mode 34.5 - 35.9 MiB Actively maintained C++ SFML, OpenAL, Zlib, FreeType 2, FFmpeg (avformat, avcodec, swscale, avutil, swresample/avresample), OpenGL+GLU, JPEG. Optionally: Fontconfig, Xinerama, libarchive, Libcurl.
Aurora Game Hub 12.2 MiB Discontinued Java h2 database Engine
BizHawk 48.1 MiB (+43 MiB on windows) Actively maintained C++ & C# DirectX 9, libblip_buf
Bottlenose 56.4 - 87.2 MiB Actively maintained HTML/JS/CSS await-spawn, bootstrap, chrome-finder, circletype, contro, contro-ui, copy-paste, deep-extend, delay, diacritics, electron-pug, fs-extra, fuse.js, gca-js, gooder, jquery, klaw, markdown-it, material-design-icons-iconfont, moment, mousetrap, node-7z, opn, popper.js, probe-image-size, pug, puppeteer-core, requisition, tether, three, yauzl-promise
CabrioFE 1.5 MiB Discontinued C SDL, SDL_image, SDL_gfx, SDL_mixer, SDL_ttf, glut, libxml2, ffmpeg
CoinOPS ? Discontinued ? ?
EmuCenter 2 176 MiB Possibly discontinued C++ and/or C# N/A
EmuCon 5.54 MiB Discontinued Pascal
Emulation Station 13.1 MiB Actively maintained C++ SDL2, Boost (System, Filesystem, DateTime, Locale), FreeImage, FreeType, Eigen3, and cURL
EmuLoader 16.50 MiB Actively maintained Pascal
FEEL 26.4 MiB Possibly discontinued C# XNA, SharpDx, SmartASD, "other smaller libs" (sic)
GameEx 81.8 MiB Actively maintained C#
GameRoom 67.7 MiB Possibly discontinued Java
Games (Gnome) 8.9 MiB Actively maintained Vala retro-gtk, libmanette, libhandy
HyperSpin 479.12 MiB Possibly discontinued ActionScript
Ice 11.3 MiB Possibly discontinued Python appdirs, pastebin, psutil, pysteam
Launch Box 218 MiB Actively maintained C#
LusSpace 2.9 MiB Possibly discontinued Visual Basic 6
Lutris 1.7 MiB Actively maintained Python PyYAML, PyGObject, evdev, requests, optional pypresence for discord
MaLa
Maximus Arcade
Metropolis Launcher 261.16 MiB Actively maintained VB.Net 4.0 DevExpress WinForms v15.2, DiscUtils, HtmlAgilityPack, Newtonsoft.Json, Ookii.Dialogs, SgmlReaderDll, SharpCompress
mGalaxy
Pegasus
Photon Game Manager
Playnite
Project Ascension
QuickPlay 32.8 MiB Actively maintained Delphi
RetroArch 4.8 - 165 - 806 MiB (Android - Win10 64bit - PS3 DEX) Actively maintained C libretro, an audio library (ALSA, OSS, etc.), optional dependencies
RetroFe
RoM-Jacket
skeletonKey
Snowflake
Steam Rom Manager

Emulator support[edit]

Name RetroArch MAME NEStopia FCEUX Snes9x ZSnes Mupen64Plus Dolphin Cemu VisualBoyAdvance(-M) Citra NeoCD EPSXe PCSX2 RPCS3 PPSSPP
Atomic
Attract-Mode
Aurora Game Hub
BizHawk
Bottlenose
CabrioFE
CoinOPS
EmuCenter 2
EmuCon
Emulation Station
EmuLoader
FEEL
GameEx
GameRoom
Games (Gnome)
HyperSpin
Ice
Launch Box
LusSpace
Lutris
MaLa
Maximus Arcade
Metropolis Launcher
mGalaxy
Pegasus
Photon Game Manager
Playnite
Project Ascension
QuickPlay
RetroArch
RetroFe
RoM-Jacket
skeletonKey
Snowflake
Steam Rom Manager

Features[edit]

Name Has console categories Theme support Display descriptions Display box arts Display video previews Scrape descriptions Scrape box arts Scrape video previews
Atomic
Attract-Mode
Aurora Game Hub
BizHawk
Bottlenose
CabrioFE
CoinOPS
EmuCenter 2
EmuCon
Emulation Station
EmuLoader
FEEL
GameEx
GameRoom
Games (Gnome)
HyperSpin
Ice
Launch Box
LusSpace
Lutris
MaLa
Maximus Arcade
Metropolis Launcher ✓ (built-in only) ✓ (offline db)
mGalaxy
Pegasus
Photon Game Manager
Playnite
Project Ascension
QuickPlay
RetroArch
RetroFe
RoM-Jacket
skeletonKey
Snowflake
Steam Rom Manager