Remember back when Mario used to have a cape and fly around every level. Back then Yoshi came in a huge variety of colors, graphics were in 32-bit, and Goombas were the least of your worries. Gaming has come a long way since the 1990’s but it can be fun every once in a while to go retro and replay past favorites.
How-to Play Super Nintendo On Your Computer For Free
Step 1 – Get an Emulator
In order to play any of the games we need to first get a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) emulator. An emulator is a program that will mimic the software environment created by the original console, except on your computer.
The best SNES emulator out there, bar none, is the open source project ZSNES. According to zsnes.com the most recent version of the emulator is 1.51, and you can pick it up from Sourceforge at this link:
The download shouldn’t take long, it’s a really small file considering it’s an entire video game operating system. Remember, back in 1993 1MB was considered huge!
Step 2 – Install/Extract the Emulator
The emulator will be in a compressed .zip file and it doesn’t have an installer. Therefore wherever you extract the file to will also be considered where the emulator is installed. To extract the emulator, Right-Click the zsnesw151 file and Select Extract All…
Pick a spot on your computer where you would like to install ZSNES, as for myself I installed it at C:Program FilesZSNES. Check the box for Show extracted files when complete and then Click Extract.
Once the file finishes extracting the new folder it is in should automatically appear since we checked to Show extracted files… Right-Click zsnesw and Select Pin to Start Menu, this is so we can easily find it later on.
Step 3 – Create a Games Folder
In the same folder that you extracted ZSNES to, Create a New folder. Name the new folder Games.
For me the file path of the new folder is now C:Program FilesZSNESGames. You can close this folder now.
Step 4 – Download some games
Now you need to get some games, in the emulator world these are known as Roms. You can always do a Google search for “SNES Roms” but I’ve listed two sites below that should have every Rom you’ll ever need.
Check these sites for the Roms (Games) you want:
Step 5 – Extract the zipped roms to your Games folder
With most roms, they will come compressed in a .zip file to save on file size and bandwidth from the download server. Right-Click the downloaded zipped rom file and Select Extract All…
Browse to, or Paste in your ZSNESGames folder that you created in Step 3 and Click Extract.
Step 6 – Launch ZSNES
Since we pinned it to the Start Menu earlier you can easily launch Zsnes. Click the Start Menu and then Click the zsnesw shortcut.
Step 7 – Load the Rom in ZSNES to Start the game!
In ZSNES Click the Game menu and Select Load.
Double-Click the Games directory
Select the game you want to play from the Filename pane and then Click Load.
The game will load up and now you can start playing right away! DK smash!
Hold on a sec though, you probably are wondering what the controls are.
Hit ESC anytime during gameplay to Pause the game and open the menu. Click the Config menu and Select INPUT.
In the Input window you will see that you can assign up to 5 different controllers here, so multiplayer is a definite option. Anyhow, if you are playing alone just Click the Keyboard or Gamepad and you’ll see all of the keys for each button that is on a normal Super Nintendo controller. If you want to change the keys, Click Set Keys and you can assign a button by pressing each key. You can also plug-in a joystick and assign keys to that.
Enjoy the weekend and have a groovy time with some good ole fashioned retro gaming.