How do I play Retro Game ROMs On Windows

Video games are always a good moment. It’s something we need during the COVID lockdown. Some time ago I wrote about how to play games from the past on Mac and how you can patch them to run popular ROM hacks, such as Invictus and Grand Poo World. Macs do have one disadvantage: performance. Gaming PCs are generally faster. is faster and offers better gameplay. Let’s look at what Windows can play old games.

Step 1. Download RetroArch & Install It

RetroArch is a completely free and open source software that is the engine behind RetroPie, Recalbox, and other video game applications. RetroArch can be installed on almost every device, but we will only install it on our Windows PC. The installation is easy, so there is no effort to be made here.

Step 2 2. Install emulators

After RetroArch has been installed, open it and select from the following menu choices:

  • Load Core
  • Download a Core
  • Choose the video game system or emulator you like

If you’re presented with more choices such as SNES, you will want to to study the differences between the two. For example, the “higan Accuracy”, while more intensive in terms of resources, is the more popular about it from Our Articles However certain streamers prefer SNES9X and the bsnes2014Performance appears to make games appear more responsive. There are many emulators to choose from.

Step 3 Let’s Play!

It’s time to start! Drag the ROM file you want into RetroArch and RetroArch will start it. It’s really that simple.

…but where can I find or patch games?

Game ROMs

From a legal point of view legal standpoint, you can create ROMs of games you own. But downloading them is not legal. This is real. This isn’t the internet. I’m not going to judge anyone who stumbles upon ROMs via a Google search. It’s not difficult to do…

Modifying ROMs to Create ROM Hacks

The retro gaming scene is big on patching ROM hacks. The legendary Super Mario World hackers Juz King and Barbarous Kings utilize Lunar Magic, to transform the classic Super Mario World in amazing new “Kaizo”. These hacks trigger memories of what I loved playing as a kid and can make the game more enjoyable. These hacks will be released to SMWCentral when they are complete. There, thousands of gamers can download them.

Hacks cannot be shared with the game in general- that would be illegal. Instead, hacks are usually bps files that require patching onto the clean game ROM to create the final modified, playable version. Grand Poo World 2, Invictus (and Super Dram World) are my favorite SNES Mods.

If you own an original ROM that is clean of Super Mario World, SNES, it is possible to patch it in order to implement hacks like the ones mentioned above. Floating IP is the application which will perform the Windows patching. Floating IPS needs only three things which are: the file that is to be patched (bps), the ROM it is to be applied to, and the output name.

This is the most common method to patch your games. You could even go further and modify your game by patching in a replay!


Controls are actually the easiest part of playing games on Windows. A lot of emulators let you make use of your keyboard as a controller. Many USB controllers can function as a controller if you’re like me and want the best input experience possible.

I am a passionate player and software engineer. I find the world of emulators as well as ROM hacks, patching, streaming and streaming fascinating. I am also thankful for the fact that ROM hackers keep childhood games alive and make them more difficult and exciting. RetroArch’s UI is greatly improved. It’s still a bit rough but it was easy to get the emulators installed and running in a matter of minutes.

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