Install MAME on Your PC and Enjoy Your Old Arcade Games

Are you a gamer who’s tasted the goodness of classics such as Super Mario Bros and Prince of Persia and wants to relive the magic of classic arcade games from the \’80s and \’90s? Unfortunately, modern gaming systems like PlayStation or Xbox aren\’t designed to run these vintage titles. This is where MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) steps in.

MAME is a free and open-source emulator that\’s here to preserve gaming history and ensure that these retro games are not lost or forgotten. In this article, we\’ll explore MAME and also provide tips on how to install and run it. And if you just don’t have the time to play any of your classics because of a way too demanding schedule, consider an essay service to ease your workload.

What Is MAME?

MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator and is a free and open-source emulator created to preserve gaming history. The MAME project aims to prevent vintage games and software from fading into the darkness.

While there are other alternatives like RetroArch that use multiple emulators for arcade games, MAME stands out. It boasts an extensive library of supported systems, including the NES, Genesis, N64, and more. While RetroArch has its merits, MAME is often the go-to choice for its reliability and wide compatibility.

You can get the MAME download from the official MAME website, where you can download the emulator. Always remember to install the latest updates as these are in constant release.

How to Install MAME

Installing MAME is straightforward, much like other emulators. MAME\’s Windows versions are standalone, meaning they don\’t come with an installer wizard. Here\’s how you can set it up:

  • Download the MAME emulator from the official website.
  • Place the downloaded Zip file into your desired folder.
  • Extract the MAME files from the Zip archive.

Understanding How MAME ROMs Function

Once you have MAME installed, you\’ll run into a list of games when you open the emulator. However, attempting to run these games straight away won\’t work unless you\’ve obtained MAME from a source that includes all the game ROMs.

In most cases, you\’ll need to download the games separately. Keep in mind that not all games will work with the latest MAME build. Some older and more obscure arcade games may not function correctly with newer versions.

To address this issue, you have a few options:

Roll Back to Older Builds: If a game doesn\’t work with the latest MAME build, consider using an older version of the emulator. This can often resolve compatibility issues.

Use MAMEUI64: MAMEUI64 is a user-friendly frontend for MAME that simplifies the process of running arcade games. It can be particularly helpful when dealing with compatibility problems.

Neo Geo BIOS: For Neo Geo games, you\’ll need to obtain the appropriate BIOS files to boot them. Older MAME versions require an older Neo Geo BIOS, while newer versions need the latest one.

Where Can I Get the Games?

We know it isn’t easy to get all your favorite games on demand. While we can\’t provide direct links to ROM websites, a simple Google search will lead you to websites where you can download the games you desire.

Keep in mind that not all games will run flawlessly on your system, and encountering errors is not unusual. Don\’t panic if a game shows an error; it\’s not necessarily due to issues with your system or the emulator.

To address game compatibility and errors, you can try downgrading your MAME version to see if the game runs on an older build.

How to Play Arcade Games on PC


Once you’ve obtained the necessary ROMS, running games on MAME should be quite straightforward. Here\’s how to do it:

After downloading your game ROMs, place them in the ROM folder within the MAME emulator directory. This will enable all your games to be detected.

Open the MAME emulator and navigate to the list of available games, such as in the image above. You\’ll see the titles of the games you\’ve added to the ROM folder.

Double-click on the game you want to play to start it. Make sure you\’ve dumped your games into the ROM folder, as games placed outside this folder will not show up.

How to Play on MAME Using Various Controllers

MAME is a versatile emulator that supports a variety of controllers, making it accessible to different gaming preferences. Before you start gaming, ensure that your controller is working correctly with other emulators and that it\’s enabled in the MAME options. In most cases, modern versions of MAME come with controller support already enabled.

To configure your controls in MAME, follow these steps:

Launch a game and press the TAB key on your keyboard.

A small configuration window will appear. Select \”Input (this game)\” to start remapping your controls.

For Player 1\’s movements (Up-Down-Left-Right), you can use either the joystick or D-pad on your controller.

Assign buttons for Player 1\’s actions, such as shooting and jumping. Some games may have up to four buttons, which you can configure based on your controller\’s capabilities.

For Player 1\’s start button, assign the start button on your controller.

To simulate inserting a coin (Coin 1), press the Select button on your controller.

Configuring keyboard controls is straightforward and typically doesn\’t require additional setup.

Will MAME Run on a Low-End PC?

Yes, MAME is remarkably efficient and can run smoothly on low-end PCs. Even a system with a decade-old GPU, CPU, and 4GB of RAM can handle MAME with ease. MAME\’s official requirements include an Intel Core series CPU (2.0 GHz or higher), a 32-bit OS (for Windows Vista and later), 4GB of RAM (more is better), DirectX 9.0c for Windows, a Direct3D or OpenGL capable graphics card, and any DirectSound capable sound card or onboard audio.

If MAME fails to boot up, it could be due to outdated DirectX drivers or using an incompatible release with your computer. To address this, try updating your DirectX driver or downloading DirectX9, especially if you\’re using Windows 10.

Wrapping Up

MAME is the time machine we all need, allowing us to revisit our childhood and the golden era of arcade gaming. With its extensive library of supported systems and straightforward setup process, MAME provides a gateway to the \’80s and \’90s retro classics.

Hopefully, with this article, you\’ve understood how to install MAME and play all the arcade games you love on your PC. Happy gaming!


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