Emulator Problems FAQ

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General[edit]

BIOS[edit]

Depending on the emulator, BIOSes can be either necessary or an added novelty. Generally, emulators of more modern/complex consoles will require BIOS files in order to operate.

Main article: Emulator Files

New systems emulated[edit]

Are there emulators for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, or Nintendo Switch?

Yes! See the following pages for more information:

Note that all emulators are very early in their development and though they're always getting better by the day, they are not stable.

Are there emulators for the Xbox One yet?

No. Many that you come across on YouTube videos and the like are scams.

Save states[edit]

My save states do not work in the new version of the emulator I downloaded. Why?

Save states are not compatible between different versions of emulators, or between different emulators. Don't rely on them. Use real/battery saves which typically can be transferred, even if they need to be converted first.

Performance[edit]

Can I run this emulator?

See Computer specs.

I got a new version of this emulator, and now it's slower! Can this be fixed?

Well, there can be a number of reasons why it can slow down.

  • Try closing other programs first. While CPU usage is one factor, games are not the only thing that could be using the disk, especially if you're not using a solid state drive.
  • It could have been reset to the default CPU priority, which you could have set to max on the old version.
  • The new version didn't detect the previous settings that sped up the games.
  • The new version may have lost support entirely for settings that sped up the games, probably in favor of accuracy.

My PC is a toaster. Are there any emulators I can run?

Most emulators of the 16-bit era (fourth generation) and earlier consoles (e.g., Sega Genesis, NES, Atari 2600, etc.) can be run on any PC, even one with a CPU clock speed of below 1 GHz. higan is the only exception because it's highly accurate and requires a 3 GHz CPU for optimal performance. Other emulators such as Snes9x, Kega Fusion, Mesen, etc. can be run on any PC that can run Windows.

However, emulators of the fifth generation and later consoles are a different story. While fourth generation and earlier consoles could only display pixel art and, in some cases, very primitive 3D graphics, the move to fifth generation consoles saw a massive jump in consoles' graphical capabilities, with full 3D polygon graphics with texture mapping, lighting and shadows, anti-aliasing, texture filtering, etc. The consoles required much more complex CPUs and GPUs with multiple cores to be able to display these types of graphics. Because of this, emulators of the fifth generation and later consoles require a mid- to high-end gaming PC for optimal performance, with a 3 ~ 3.5 GHz or faster CPU clock speed and at least a mid-range AMD / Nvidia graphics card.

Filetypes[edit]

What does this file extension mean?

We have a list of filetypes for information on what's what, and where to use it.

Archives[edit]

I downloaded a compressed archive (zip/rar/7z), but it has a lot of files starting with r00/r01, or part1/part2, or 001/002. What are these?

It's a split archive in a full archive. Why that happens is beyond us, but all you need to do to use it is to unpack it with whatever software you have, which means WinRAR, WinZip, et cetera. If you do not have either of those and don't have a way to decompress split archives, get 7-Zip and extract all the files to a folder nearby. Then, using your software, select the first archive and extract it (some programs insert shell extensions that allow you to extract files straight from the right-click menu), and you should have all the expected files. You can then delete the archives.

Filenames[edit]

What does [!] or (NTSC) refer to?

Codes. They mean different things, and we've provided a list telling you their meanings.

Controllers[edit]

DualShock 3[edit]

I have connected my DualShock 3 controller to the computer. Why doesn't it work?

If you're using Windows, that's because there are no official drivers for it.

Some developers have taken it upon themselves to make these drivers. The first one that ever went public was called MalwareohJoy, but it was plagued with issues, as the author of BetterDS3 wrote in 2013.

So we recommend the SCP Driver Package, and we've written up a bit on using it.

DualShock 4[edit]

Main article: DualShock 4

PS1 emulators[edit]

ECM format[edit]

I downloaded a PS1 game. It's in .ecm format and won't open in an emulator. Why?

ECM is a compressed format. You need to decompress using PakkISO or ECM Tools (both provided on the emuparadise download page). It'll output as a .bin usually, which is what the .cue uses to load the game. Note that recent SVN builds of PCSX-Reloaded DO allow loading of ECM files, however, it's recommended to unpack them anyway. Linux users can use the ECM Tools which should be included in your repository, which is explained on Ubuntu Forums. You then need to use the 'ECM-uncompress' command in terminal.

Keybinds in lilypad[edit]

I use PCSX-R with LilyPad, but the ESC key and various others don't work!

In the keyboard Input API (radio buttons in the top left of the LilyPad options), choose raw input.

Multi track games[edit]

The PlayStation 1 game that I downloaded came with a lot of tracks. How do I play it?

You need to create/run the cue sheet (.cue). Support for multi-track games can be found in Mednafen, RetroArch, PCSX-R and ePSXe.

These multi-track games are often compressed, the first track is usually ecm'd, the audio files are often converted to the .ape format, to easily extract all of these, use PakkISO. Using Monkey's Audio to decode the ape files sometimes result in files that don't match redump's md5 sum.

Mednafen memory cards[edit]

Main article: Using RetroArch#Transfer PS1 Memory Card Files]

To transfer memory cards, follow this guide. Also, in games with multiple discs with saves that carry over, you have to follow the same procedure.

PS2 emulators[edit]

Blurry PS2[edit]

Why is my PS2 game blurry?

It's either interlacing or a filter in the game itself. For the former, switching the de-interlacing mode with F5 may help, and may cause flicker or screen shaking. For the latter, hacks are required. Either Aggressive-CRC if the game is listed there, or skipdraw (toy with the number, 1-100) might work otherwise.

Simply sitting farther back from the screen (similar to how one would normally sit away from a CRT TV) can also reduce the noticeability of the blur filter.

Black lines in PS2 games[edit]

Those lines are caused by scaling to a non-integer internal resolution (anything other than XxNative), texture filtering (Check that shit off or to half at most), improperly offset textures(TC offset hack, Wild Arms hack), or improperly handled texture edges(Sprite hack). Native resolution, for the most part, fixes those. But software rendering may be required as well.

PSP emulators[edit]

PSP audio[edit]

PSP emulation has no audio.

See: PPSSPP common problems and fixes

Specific games[edit]

Main article: Game problems FAQ

See this article for problems with specific games.