Wii emulators

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Revision as of 09:25, 29 June 2022 by Randname (talk | contribs) (Arcade Variations)
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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

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


Name Platform(s) Latest Version WiiWare Triforce libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
Dolphin Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD Dev ~[N 1]
Ishiiruka-Dolphin Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD Dev ~ (WIP) ~
Mobile / ARM
Dolphin Android Devgit ~[N 1]
DolphiniOS iOS Release Beta
Dolphin MMJR Android git (MMJR)
git (MMJR2)
  1. 1.0 1.1 Requires the Triforce branch to work. It is very old and unsupported.

Dolphin is 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 lifespan of the console. 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.

Wii System Menu emulation

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 get the System Menu along with all other system software automatically by performing an online update (in the Tools menu).


Wi-Fi Connection

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. There are various No-Intro sets that include DLC data for the games that used to have it that can be installed.

DS connectivity

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[2] can do it, including but not limited to:

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

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



The main selling point of the Wii - motion control devices relying on gyroscopic sensors to detect motion, and an IR sensor plus a "Wii Sensor Bar" on the top or bottom of the TV screen (which is just 2 red LEDs, and you can even use two candles on each side of the screen to get the same effect) to detect the screen and simulate pointers. 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 allows exposing a Bluetooth adapter to the emulated software directly, bypassing all host stack limitations. Given 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 towards 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 for 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. 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.


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 Wiimotion Plus controller can also be used.

Arcade Variations

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

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 and Bluetooth hardware, and runs a specifically developed version of Wii iOS which has no system menu and boots right into the game after powered on.

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


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