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
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.


Name Platform(s) Latest Version Retro
FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
Cemu Windows Linux macOS Artifacts
Decaf Windows Linux git
Kinnay Linux git
Mobile / ARM
Cemu Android 1.0


Cemu (compatibility)
An initially closed-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 2022, Cemu is no longer in the experimental stage, it's now fully open-source, and a macOS port has been released.
Can boot some commercial games. It's developed sporadically.
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.

Hardware Features[edit]

Name cemu
Nintendo Network
Amiibo ~*
Wii U Menu ~*
GamePad Screen *
Virtual Console *
Wii Mode

Nintendo Network[edit]

The Nintendo Network is Nintendo's online service which provides online functionality for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems and their compatible games.

Emulation of Nintendo Network is 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.

Wii Mode[edit]

The Wii U is compatible with all Wii games and Wii accessories such as the Wii Remote (Plus), Wii Nunchuk, and the Wii Balance Board. It is possible to migrate most downloaded software and save files from a Wii to a Wii U.

Also it supports Wii games that allow you to connect to the DS if you're gonna play them on the WiiU.[1]

The Wii U is not compatible with GameCube discs or accessories, although a homebrew application for Wii Mode exists that enables GameCube hardware and GameCube controller support. A USB GameCube controller adapter with four ports was released exclusively for use with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and does not support any other Wii or Wii U games.[2]


Name cemu
Skylanders Portal of Power ~
LEGO Dimensions Toy Pad ~

Skylanders Portal of Power[edit]

Cemu can communicate to the USB device directly if you have the Skylanders portal even though currently it has minor issues[N3 1]. There is no official Skylanders portal emulation for Cemu at the moment, but you can use this unofficial modified version which has an emulated portal of power included.

LEGO Dimensions Toy Pad[edit]

cemu can communicate to the USB device if you have the Toy Pad. Just like RPCS3 there is no Toy Pad emulation for the cemu at the moment but you can use LD-ToyPad-Emulator for that.

Dolphin support for Wii U[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.