Xbox emulators

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The Xbox console and controller
The Xbox is a sixth-generation console released by Microsoft in 2001. Known originally as the DirectXbox, this console is notable for essentially being a PC, as a result of using components from both Intel and Nvidia as well as being x86-based. It is the most powerful console from the sixth generation.


Name Operating System(s) Latest Version Active Recommended
Cxbx-Reloaded Windows Git
XQEMU Windows, macOS, Linux Git
OpenXBOX Windows, Linux Git
Cxbx Windows Git
Dxbx Windows 0.5
Xenoborg Windows r19
Xeon Windows 1.0
MAME Windows, macOS, Linux 0.195
Fusion Xbox 360 1.7
Fission Xbox One ?


Note: xboxdevwiki's own list of emulators contain over 20 different emulator projects, most of which were abandoned not long after they started. Only about 2 or 4 emulators have been making progress.


This fork is built for 64-bit systems, and includes a ton of improvements to it's (HLE) kernel, some LLE and code ported back from Dxbx and various Cxbx forks. It's had a good development momentum since mid-2016. See this compatibility list.
An LLE-focused emulator that's also gradually advancing. It can emulate the BIOS and many games at very slow speeds, but is sometimes faster than Cxbx with acceptable graphics. Audio has not been tested but has been assumed to be emulated, just not forwarded to the audio hardware for some reason. See this compatibility list that was taken from John GodGames' 2015 list.
This is a port of Cxbx to Delphi, expanded with a redesigned symbol detection engine, and many rendering improvements, a new pixel shader converter, etc.
One of the first Xbox emulators, started as a converter of Xbox executables to 32 bit Windows executables. Can boot around 56 games, with around a dozen in an already playable state. See this compatibility list.
This one can emulate Halo CE to the point where the first stage is semi-playable. The walls and ground are pitch black, and the game crashes after you complete first stage or right after you select the difficulty on modern versions of Windows.
Existing x86 emulation in MAME has given way to an xbox driver... that they've marked overall as not working and sound as unimplemented (graphics are OK though).


  • The Xbox 360 is backwards compatible with a specific list of games that, while some work right off the bat, may need additional patches to play properly. It also requires your console to have system storage. Some games still have issues from graphical glitches and slowdowns to errors that can make standard gameplay basically impossible.

Emulation issues[edit]

The pratfalls of Xbox emulation
Due to a lack of interest, a lack of console-exclusive games, or in some case very toxic behavior or potential legal threats towards developers, the Xbox emulation scene has remained dormant until recently. For the projects currently available, there is a high barrier to entry for the effort involved. In spite of its very PC-like hardware, the Xbox has enough proprietary elements to make emulation non-trivial. Many aspects of the Xbox's CPU, GPU, audio and BIOS are undocumented and not fully understood[1][2][3][4]. Reddit threads with more links to other threads & many detailed comments by JayFoxRox, with the explanations that XQEMU is the best suited emulator for developers to focus on in terms of improving accuracy and portability: [5][6]. Also of note is the fact that the APU, one of two sound processors on the MCPX southbridge chip of the Xbox chipset is incredibly powerful and uses complex processing steps.

However, as of May of 2017, serious strides have been happening in the Xbox emulation scene with CXBX-Reloaded and XQEMU making some games run at half a stable framerate or at a stable framerate with the game Smashing Drive. CXBX-Reloaded was also able to go ingame in Jet Set Radio Future with a somewhat decent framerate. Things are looking up for the Xbox emulation scene.

JayFoxRox, a contributor to the open-source XQEMU emulator team and regular commenter for that emulator's foundation and progress, has appeared at a Reddit thread[7] stating the fact that many more original Xbox games have been able to get in-game and, in some cases, at decent speeds on XQEMU. The first of the many bullet points on that original post has a link to the extremely large and growing XQEMU compatibility list.


CXBX-Reloaded's example videos:

[8] [9] [10] [11]


XQEMU's example videos:

[12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]



  • XQEMU's shots of various Xbox games booting to load and title screens.