Play MAME Games

Edited by Johnmensah, Jay

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MAME is a favorite arcade game emulator for Windows, Linux, and Mac. The MAME acronym stands for; multi-purpose emulation framework and does an excellent job of emulating classic arcade cabinet games such as; Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Frogger, Double Dragon, Mortal Kombat, and many more. Although MAME is typically operated from the command prompt, it can also be used right out of the box by running the applications main exe file. Once you get used to running MAME, there are a wealth of customization options that can help enhance game play.

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In the following VisiHow tutorial, we're going to show how to download and setup MAME, in addition to using a controller. For this article, we used a Clevo laptop running Windows 10 Professional.

Download and Extract MAME

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  1. 1
    Open your preferred browser and visit the official MAME development site. Once on the homepage, scroll down and click or tap the platform you wish to download MAME for (we used Windows in this guide).
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  2. 2
    On the MAME Latest Releases page, scroll down and click or tap either the 32bit or 64bit version.
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  3. 3
    When the open dialog window appears, click or tap "Save File".
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  4. 4
    In your browser, click the download location icon. If your browser doesn't have a download icon, navigate to the folder that stores your downloaded file.
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  5. 5
    Once in your downloads folder, copy the "mame zip".
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  6. 6
    For this tutorial we created a new folder directly on the desktop called "MAME". You can call the folder anything you like, create one to store the MAME emulator.
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  7. 7
    Once inside the folder you just made, Paste" the mame zip file.
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  8. 8
    Now that the mame zip package is pasted, right-click it, then select "Extract Here".
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Loading ROMs

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MAME functions by running what is known as ROM files or images. There are many places around the web where you can download ROMs. One such place is on the MAME developers site. ROM files will typically be in zip files, and you don't have to extract them.

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  1. 1
    Once you've collected a few ROMs, navigate to the location you're storing them.
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  2. 2
    Select all the ROMs you wish to use and copy them to the clipboard (Ctrl + C).
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  3. 3
    With your ROM files copied, open the folder where you extracted the MAME archive earlier. Locate the folder called "ROMs", then paste your ROM files in there.
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    You'll see a .txt file called "dir".
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  4. 4
    MAME is usually operated via the command prompt, however, to keep this tutorial simple, we're going to run the directly run the MAME.exe file. Double-click the file called; "mame64" or "mame32".
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  5. 5
    Once the MAME interface opens, double-click "Available" in the left menu pane. Now, double-click one of the ROMs you copied over earlier to launch the game.
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    To start a game, you may have to press the "6" key to Insert a coin. To see the default keys for your keyboard, see this.
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Configure a Controller

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If you have a wired or wireless controller, you can use it to play games instead of the keyboard.

  1. 1
    Ensure that your controller is connected to your computer. Next, double-click mame32 or mame64.
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  • 2
    With the MAME interface open, double-click "Configure Options".
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  • 3
    From the Settings menu, double-click "General Inputs".
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  • 4
    From the User Interface menu, double-click "Player 1 Controls".
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  • 5
    Once on the Player 1 Controls screen, use the up and down arrow on your keyboard to navigate through the button inputs. Press the "Enter" key to change the input, then use your controller to set the new input.
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  • 6
    When you've correctly set an input, it will be displayed in the far right column.
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  • If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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    Article Info

    Categories : Gaming | Software | Use Windows 10

    Recent edits by: Johnmensah

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