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Higan screenshot.png
Developer(s) Near (formerly known as byuu), contributors
Latest version v110 [+]
Active Yes
Platform(s) Windows
Emulates NES
Game Boy/Color
Game Boy Advance
WonderSwan/Pocket Challenge V2
Sega SG-1000
Sega Master System/Game Gear
Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
PC Engine/TurboGrafx-6
Neo Geo Pocket/Color
Accuracy System-dependent
License GNU GPLv3
Source code GitHub

higan is an open-source, multi-system emulator. It is now succeeded by the actively updated ares.


Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD Official releases


higan is a project that originally separated from Near's previous SNES emulator bsnes when more system cores were added.

higan's bsnes and bgba cores are its most developed/accurate. The Nintendo 8-bit cores are very early in development, and are inferior to other existing emulators; alternatives include Gambatte, BGB, Mesen, puNES, and Nestopia. Bgba has made amazing strides from v095 on, getting very close to mGBA accuracy. higan also features a WonderSwan/WonderSwan Color core as of v098, which yields satisfactory results. The library-based GUI is not for everyone, though, and doesn't support drag and drop like a lot of other emulators do.

Near noticed that higan's UI is not for everybody and made a standalone version of bsnes that is developed in parallel with higan's SNES core and has a Qt UI that's just like the earlier versions, while also working on a new multi-system emulator byuu that aimed to combine higan with the ease of use of bsnes. For those that still aren't satisfied, RetroArch has its own libretro cores of higan and bsnes to use with its interface.

Game folders

higan is unique among emulators for introducing the concept of game folders. Game folders were about accurately representing the game cartridge and its metadata. Things like SRAM, cheats, input settings, emulator metadata get stored with the game.

List of forks


nSide is a fork of higan that, among other things, adds support for more boards such as the Atari 2600 as well as peripherals and the VS. UniSystem to the NES core. It also retains the SNES Balanced core and thus makes available new improvements to higan, such as the WASAPI driver and the IIR-Biquad interpolation filter, to users whose computers cannot run the Accuracy core-only releases from higan v098 onwards with full speed.

External links

See also