How to Play Arcade Games on the MAME Emulator

mame emulator

For many people, games remain a source of both relaxation and inspiration. Many years ago, game connoisseurs used to gather in arcade cabinets, which, by the way, are coming back into fashion nowadays, to socialize, discuss game news, and help courageous characters save their kingdoms from enemies, of course.

Presently, you have an excellent opportunity to re-experience almost forgotten emotions with emulators. Emulators are special programs designed to help you run retro games on your modern computers. MAME is rightly considered one of the most reliable emulation tools currently available on the market. It is an excellent solution for players eager to play classic games in the comfort of their homes and get maximum pleasure from the gameplay. If you want to learn more about MAME and free MAME ROMs, go on reading our article.

Downloading MAME

MAME, or Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, is an emulation tool that mimics the operation of retro consoles and enables you to run retro games on your PC. F

For starters, you need to make sure that the software you’re planning on installing is authentic MAME. To do it, visit the MAME official website and locate the latest version of the emulator. Once you do it, downloading the emulator file onto your computer.

Then, head to your Downloads folder and save the new file to your desktop.

Installing MAME

Congratulations! Now you’re officially an owner of the most reliable and time-tested emulator. What remains is to install the program properly.

To do it, go to your desktop and double-click on the saved file. After that, the emulator will start unpacking. Make sure to create a special folder for the extracted contents.

Downloading MAME Games

Now that you have MAME installed, it’s about time that you got a couple of cool games for it. Mario, Pokemon, Kirby, and other feisty characters are looking forward to reuniting with you!

Lots of players are convinced that it’s impossible to get free MAME ROMs (games) for their emulators. Luckily for us, retro gamers, it’s a common misconception that ROM files of your favorite games, similarly to cartridges, are paid. In truth, the Internet is teeming with various abandonware websites offering MAME games for free. So, your task is to find a reliable online resource offering MAME ROMs

You can visit such websites as RomsMode, CoolRom, RomsMania, or EmuParadise and download your favorite old-school games from there. These abandonware websites offer a vast arrays of free MAME games for download.

Once you find the desired ROMs on RomsMania, press the “Download” link next to the game. The download should start immediately after that.

When the download is finished, don’t forget to extract the ROM software to the “ROM” folder. You should worry about creating this folder. It was created automatically after you had extracted the emulator contents.

Using the Emulator

Next, you should hold down the Shift button. After that, click on the emulator folder.

Since the downloaded program is a command-line application, you’ll be required to use command prompt every time you want to load it.  So, make sure to choose the “Open Command Window Here” option.

Your task will be to type “mame” and follow it up with the name of a folder you saved your game file to. For instance, if you got a Kirby ROM, type in “mame kirby” and press Enter.

  • Make sure not to capitalize any letters. Neither should you include quotation marks.

Next, open the configuration menu in your MAME emulator to get to know controls wherewith you’ll perform actions in-game. Should you be uncomfortable with the default keys controlling the game, don’t hesitate to remap them to your liking.

Now you can start playing classic games on the best emulator.

About the author


35 years old, married with children (1). My gaming is done exclusively on the Xbox One these days, but my gaming history goes all the way back to the Atari 2600. FPS and racing games mostly, but I dive into other genres on occasion.

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