Wii U emulators

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Nintendo Wii U
Wii U.png
Developer Nintendo
Type Home video game console
Generation Eighth generation
Release date November 2012
Discontinued January 2017
Predecessor Wii
Successor Nintendo Switch
Emulated
For other emulators that run on Wii U hardware, see Emulators on Wii U.

The Wii U is an eighth-generation console released by Nintendo on November 18, 2012, at $349.99. It has a 3-core IBM PowerPC CPU at 1.24 GHz with 2 GBs of RAM and an AMD Radeon GPU. It is the first console by Nintendo to output high-definition (HD) resolutions, such as 720p and 1080p. It includes a tablet-like controller, known as the Wii U GamePad, to provide certain additional gameplay. Notably, it can play all Wii games as well as support the Wii Remote controllers for native Wii U games.

Emulators[edit]

Name Platform(s) Latest Version Nintendo
Network
FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
Cemu Windows Linux macOS 2.0
git
[N 1]
Decaf Windows Linux git
Kinnay Linux git
  1. Possible with Pretendo: Open-source project that aims to recreate Nintendo Network for the 3DS and Wii U using clean-room reverse engineering. Pretendo supports any client that can interact with Nintendo Network. Currently the only emulator with this kind of functionality is Cemu. Cemu 2.0 officially supports Pretendo under your network account options in the emulator. For information on how to get started with Cemu, check out the documentation.

Comparisons[edit]

Cemu (compatibility)
An open-source Wii U emulator created in October 2015, regularly updated every 2 to 5 weeks. It can run a sizeable amount of games, with 12% of the tested ones listed as Perfect (can be played with no issues) and 40% of the tested ones listed as Playable (can be played through with minor audio or graphical glitches). As of October 2022, Cemu is no longer in the experimental stage, and a macOS port has been released.
Decaf
Can boot some commercial games. It is no longer in development as of August 2022.
Kinnay
Emulates the Wii U processors and hardware at the lowest level. It's able to emulate all the way through boot1, IOSU, and Cafe OS up to the Wii U menu. Written by the leading Decaf developers, exjam and kinnay.

Dolphin[edit]

You might have read about an unofficial branch of Dolphin with Wii U support — but don't get your hopes up. While the PowerPC architecture in the Wii U is the same as the Wii and GameCube (this fact alone was the reason why Wii emulation was added to Dolphin. It was originally GameCube-only), this support is nothing more than the file viewer features (region, internal name, various info, list of files and folders inside ISO and a way to extract them) being expanded to Wii U disc images. Nothing has been done on the actual emulation front as far as Dolphin is concerned, and the Dolphin developers have said that they are not interested in adding Wii U support to Dolphin.