How to Play Retro Games on a PC Using the MAME Emulator

Right now it would appear that arcade games are making a rapid comeback. Tired of sophisticated RPGs and mobile games, players are aiming to explore and reconnect with what was thought to have become gaming history. Though old arcade games couldn’t boast exceptional graphics and realistic characters, they continue luring both gaming veterans and the representatives of the younger generation. Back in the day, almost every bar, restaurant, and pizzeria had those fascinating entertainment machines which attracted many visitors. Currently, any player has a chance to take a trip down memory lane and start playing retro arcades on their modern computers. There’s no need to look for amusement arcades or arcade cabinets which, by the way, still exist and enjoy wide popularity among ardent connoisseurs of this genre. All you need is to get a reliable emulator named MAME and to download some cool games to play on it.

MAME Emulator

MAME is an emulator designed to recreate electronic equipment of vintage arcade machines in the form of software to preserve the history of games and prevent the disappearance of legendary retro titles. The name of the program is an acronym for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. The first public release of MAME (version 0.1), authored by Nicola Salmoria, took place on February 5, 1997. The emulator supports 4266 unique games and 8286 MAME ROMs you can find online.

MAME can be ported to many different platforms. There is a version for UNIX-like systems named XMAME and the version for Mac OS X – MacMAME. Still, we recommend that you refrain from availing yourself of the abovementioned Mac version which hasn’t been updated for more than two years and is currently unplayable. Any user can download and install this emulator on their Windows or Linux PC. Lots of enthusiastic programmers work hard to improve MAME. As the emulator receives monthly updates, it becomes more efficient and accurate which attract more and more users willing to try it out. Presently, gamers can enjoy thousands of vintage games which a impossible to emulate on any other emulator.

Despite its technical versatility, MAME is not difficult to install and quite undemanding in hardware requirements. It won’t take much space on your hard drive.

Downloading and Installing MAME

Downloading and installing MAME won’t take much time if you familiarize yourself with a brief guide provided below. We recommend that you visit the MAME official website offering the most recently updated versions of the emulator. Of course, it’s possible to download the emulator from third-party websites. Still, in such a case, you should be prepared to deal with unwanted consequences of your decision, since such sites often offer improperly functioning emulation tools or, even worse, distribute malware under the guise of emulators. Be selective when it comes to downloading any software on your computer and refrain from using non-reputable third-party sources.

On the MAME site, click on the link that leads to the recently updated MAME version. Select the version compatible with your OS and start the download process. Head to your Downloads folder and locate the new file there. Make sure to save the downloaded file to your desktop. The nest step involves decompressing the file of your emulator. As MAME comes with an installer, you need to do is to click on the .zip file and wait for the extraction process to complete. Then, select the folder you want to contain the unpacked files.

MAME Games

Now as you’ve got MAME, you need some games for it. As we have noted above, MAME supports a great many ROM files of retro arcade games. MAME site offers many approved games for your MAME emulator. So, don’t hesitate to visit the site again and download the games you consider worth your attention. If you don’t find some games on MAME official site, don’t be upset. There are other reliable websites offering high-quality MAME games on the Internet. Go check out RomsMode, EmuParadise, Romsmania, or Coolroms for terrific retro games that will run smoothly on your MAME.  When you download your games extract their contents to the default “ROMs” folder. (No need to create any folder by yourself).

Then, hold down “Shift” and right-click on that folder.

To start playing arcade games with MAME, it’s necessary to use command prompt. So, choose “Open Command Window Here” option in your emulator and type in “mame” and the name of the folder of a specific folder that has the same name as the game it contains. For example, if you’ve downloaded Pac-Man and now is aiming to open it on your emulator, you’ll need to type “mame pac-man.”

After that hit the Enter button and prompt your ROM file to load and display on-screen.  We sincerely hope that playing timeless arcade classics will bring you much joy and exciting moments!

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