Wii emulators

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Nintendo Wii
Developer Nintendo
Type Home video game console
Generation Seventh generation
Release date 2006
Discontinued 2013
Predecessor GameCube
Successor Wii U
For other emulators that run on Wii hardware, see Emulators on Wii.

The Wii is a seventh-generation home video game console by Nintendo released on November 19, 2006, and priced at $249.99. It has an IBM PowerPC CPU at 729 MHz with 88 MBs of RAM and an ATI Hollywood GPU. Because of the Wii's and the GameCube's similarity, Wii emulation happened very quickly through GameCube emulation.


Name Platform(s) Latest version Texture
Libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
Dolphin Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD Dev[N 1]
Beta[N 1]
libretro core[N 2]
Dev (Ishiiruka-Dolphin)
[N 3] ~[N 2]
Mobile / ARM
Dolphin Android Dev
libretro core[N 2]
[N 3] ~[N 2]
DolphiniOS iOS Release Beta ?
Dolphin MMJR Android git ?
Hagi Switch Patch-based
Virtual Wii Wii U v5.5.6
Dolphin Xbox One Xbox Series X/S 1.1.5[N 4]
libretro core[N 2]
[N 3] ~[N 2]
  1. 1.0 1.1 The stable versions are years out-of-date and missing countless features and bug fixes. Beta or development versions are a better choice for almost all users; the stable versions should only be used if you have a specific need for them.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Dolphin libretro core is currently at Alpha release and has bugs that are not present on standalone Dolphin.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 work-in-progress, Topic: Gamecube Dolphin achievements soon?
  4. Use these builds until this PR merge.


Dolphin (compatibility) (servers)
The only option for Wii emulation. This is probably due to the project going open-source, allowing more developers to pursue it early in the console's lifespan. It's updated on a near-daily basis and is very compatible, barring some noticeable issues with GameCube games. In addition, it is recommended to sync a Wii remote to play games, mainly because it can be difficult mapping the motion controls to a controller.
A fork of Dolphin optimized towards performance at the cost of accuracy and stability in the process.
An official GameCube/Wii emulator developed by Nintendo European Research & Development (NERD). Hagi has been used primarily for re-releases on the Switch, such as Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy, Pikmin, and Pikmin 2.

Hardware Features[edit]

Name Dolphin Virtual Wii
Wii system software Wii System Menu * *
Virtual Console * ?
Connectivity Wi-Fi & WFC [N2 1]
WiiConnect24 TBD TBD
DS connectivity *
Controllers Nunchuck
Classic Controller
Nintendo GameCube Controller
Wii MotionPlus ~

Wii System Menu[edit]

Dolphin is capable of running the system menu. To get the system menu, one needs to use BootMii to dump the NAND of the Wii and import it. Refer to the NAND usage guide on the Dolphin wiki for more details.

As of 5.0-4588, it is possible to automatically get the System Menu, along with all other system software, by performing an online update (in the Tools menu).


Wi-Fi Connection[edit]

Main article: Dolphin Online

This was the first Nintendo console to make online a standard feature. The service was discontinued on May 20, 2014, for most games.[1] Dragon Quest X continued to support the service until November 2017, and support for the Wii Shop Channel ended on January 30, 2019. Online emulation improved enough to cover these while they were still functional. A Wii NAND is required, and there are some restrictions on what controllers are allowed.

Custom servers for some of the more popular games exist thanks to the Wiimmfi project. However, some popular servers ban emulator users who drop frames since it can give some unfair competitive advantages. Various No-Intro sets that include DLC data for the games that used to have it that can be installed.

DS connectivity[edit]

An unadvertised feature of the Wii is being able to connect to the Nintendo DS (and, by extension, the DSi and the 3DS through their respective retro-compatibility features). A few DS titles can do it, including but not limited to:

  • Mii Channel (a hidden feature that can be used in conjunction with a 3DS' Mii Maker application or some DS games)[2]
  • Pokémon Battle Revolution
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
  • Nintendo Channel

Unlike GameCube/GBA connectivity, this feature is still not yet emulated. So far, neither Dolphin nor any DS emulator supports this feature.


Wii Remote[edit]

The main selling point of the Wii is its motion control devices relying on gyroscopic sensors to detect motion to detect the screen and simulate pointers, an IR sensor, and a "Wii Sensor Bar" on the top or bottom of the TV screen. The "Wii Sensor Bar" is just 2 red LEDs, and you can even use two candles on each side of the screen to get the same effect. Optionally, a nunchuck with an analog pad can be plugged into the Wiimote, and it also has its own gyroscopic controls. Some other, yet less common add-ons may be plugged in too.

You can simulate these controls with one of these modes:

  • Bluetooth Passthrough (since 5.0-910). This directly exposes a Bluetooth adapter to the emulated software, bypassing all host stack limitations. With a good enough adapter, this mode guarantees identical connectivity and behavior to the Wii.
  • Real Wiimote: Controlled only with an actual, physical Wiimote connected to the PC with Bluetooth. You may need to hold 1+2 on the Wiimote before clicking "Pair" in Dolphin.
  • Emulated Wiimote: Controlled only with a keyboard or gamepad controls you set up in the configuration. Considering the motion controls were basic enough for the first Wiimote, there are just options to set the directions for "Tilt", "Swing", and "Shake". The IR sensor is mapped to the mouse by default, though the option to go toward the screen is empty by default but available for remapping. The Nunchuck has its own motion controls. Depending on the game, you can just set up a few of these (typically, a button dedicated to shaking) and leave the rest empty. With presets, you can have each game use its own configuration. There are settings for sideways and vertical Wiimote positions.
  • Hybrid Wiimote: Allows for using both emulated controls and real Wiimote controls. It can be useful to control the IR pointer with a mouse in case there's no sensor bar. This feature has been removed since 5.0-7038.[3]

Up to 4 Wiimotes can be added. If they desynch and disconnect, they can be reconnected by pressing Alt+F5~8.

Wii MotionPlus[edit]

The enhanced incarnation of the Wiimote with better motion detection. It was used to great effect for improved swordplay in Wii Sports Resort and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. However, with this improvement comes additional complexity for setting up the gyroscopic controls.

As of May 2019, Dolphin now includes the option for an emulated MotionPlus controller, though some minor issues remain, and configuration is still being figured out. A real Wii MotionPlus controller can also be used.


Name Dolphin
Wii Speak TBD
Wii Balance Board TBD
PDP Headbanger Chat Headset TBD
Skylanders Portal of Power *
Disney Infinity Base *
Ubisoft Your Shape Camera TBD
uDraw GameTablet *

Arcade variations[edit]

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars[edit]

Capcom's Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars is the only arcade game that runs on Wii-based hardware, which supports JVS inputs, has no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth hardware, and runs a specifically developed version of the Wii's OS (named IOS) which has no system menu and boots right into the game after powered on.

The game, related hardware, and operating system are yet left unemulated.

Twitter user @dev_console claims to be working on dumping this board NAND and keys, which could result in this hardware being emulated.


  • Dolphin Wiki - The most comprehensive wiki for the Dolphin emulator and games. Good for any fixes/tweaks/settings you should know beforehand.