Emulators on the R4

Sorry to do another R4DS post, but people really do seek out information about it and this blog has had over 140 hits every day for 4 days because of newbies wanting info. I’m not calling people that come here for info ‘n00bs’ in a bad way, in fact, I’m still a n00b at the R4DS myself, I’ve only had it about a month and even I’ve been asking people and searching on Google for help and info about stuff to do with the R4. You could say that I’m a n00b passing learned experience onto other n00bs, there’s no shame in it, everyone is a n00b at one point. πŸ˜‰

I’ll just be covering the main consoles here Master System/Game Gear, Mega Drive/Genesis, NES and SNES.

SNES Populous on the DSTo start with the awkward one, the SNES emu has to go in the root directory with the cfg file and you create a folder called SNES to put the ROMs in… and it only works with .smc files, not .srm, so if you were looking at playing Sim City or F-Zero, you can’t. It took me a bit of time to realise what the readme meant by putting what where, but I finally got there in the end. The files should look as follows…

How the files should be on the R4

Next is the PicodriveDS Mega Drive/Genesis emu, there doesn’t seem to be sound with this as I don’t think it’s got to thatMega Drive/Genesis emulator on DS stage yet, but the graphics work well. The only thing I could say was ‘wrong’ with it is that text can look a little squashed or noticeably resized, but that doesn’t affect the gameplay. You don’t need to put files in different folders, it can all be uploaded in one folder and ROM files don’t need to be converted into anything, the emu will run the ROMs as they are.

Excitebike on the DSThe NES emulator used here is called NesterDS and it works quite well, you don’t ‘need’ an emulator onExcite Bike in DS menu the DS to run the games, what you need to do is ‘insert’ the emulator to the ROM and upload that. The only problem with that is each ‘ROM’ is around 1MB instead of the xxKB it was originally, so be sure to have plenty of space on your card if you’re going to upload several ROMs.

How to create a playable NES ROM

I’ve only tried Excitebike so far (for the purpose of this blog) and it worked quite well. There were minor graphical glitches and the sound wasn’t so good, but it’s not bad.

Finally, the Master System and Game Gear emulator DSMasterPlus as used here is a decent emu that runsAlex Kidd Master System Master System games quite well, but didn’t run the Game Gear version of Cosmic Spacehead too well. I’m only giving examples on the single games I’ve tried with the emulators, so other games could run a lot better or maybe worse.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World ran well with hardly any glitches (I didn’t notice any worth mentioning) and the ROMs run from the folder you upload the emulator in (or any other folder as you can choose from a menu) without any patching or converting. DSMasterPlus also comes with DLDI (GUI version) for you to run DSMasterPlus.nds through to make sure it runs properly on the R4.

That’s it, I don’t think there’s any more to say as it’s really quite simple and I’ve hopefully given enough information for you to get them working yourself. πŸ™‚

To download the emulators featured here, they’ve been put together in one zip file ready to download.

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53 thoughts on “Emulators on the R4

  1. Hey dude,

    First I’d like to say your blogs are ace, you seem to have done just what i need to do about a week before me with this R4 stuff.

    However I dunno if your aware but there is another NES emulator which i think is a little better for the job. It only uses one file so less clutter and also it seems to avoid making all the roms 1 mb.

    Here’s the link anyways:

    Keep up the good work =]

  2. my NES roms seem to get onto it, it loads and everything, but then the top screen turns grey!


    1. no there isnt i ran into that problem look up the iplayer ds i found that thing and it works fine but gba doesnt work with r4 saddly….

  3. anono, you probably need to DLDI patch the files, 1.10 Kernel has auto-patching.

    Tim, I did see something about one a while ago, but with the dcemu.co.uk site down, I can’t find that info. There are some at QJ.net, but I haven’t tried any.

  4. I got the DLDI patcher but that won’t except gba files only ds.gba. do you know another way to DLDI patch a gba file?

  5. I have a mac – and it seems I need to have a PC to patch some files or something….anyone know where I can find patched files that I can throw right on my microSD card to run this emulator?

    I have an SNES one that went on very easily and works pretty well – but I cant seem to find an NES one that will work without dealing with nesDS.exe (I can’t run exe files)


  6. Don – How did you manage to get the SNES emulator to work on the DS ? When I open it up on my R4 it demands that I put it in the /SNES/ folder, which I do have SNES roms in it. I have a Mac too and I can’t seem to work the NES emulator as welll.. I would go to a friends house who has a PC.. I did that to get the r4 to work

  7. Great guide, thanks πŸ™‚ Little tip – there’s no requirement for the rom folder to be in the root of your r4. Here’s how to choose a location.

    1) Open snemul.cfg in notepad
    2) Highlight the “/SNES” part at the very start (it’s part of a bit saying “ROMPath = /SNES”)
    3) Change the path to where you want it to be (e.g. say your roms are in Games/Snes, you would change the /SNES bit to /Games/Snes). The initial slash represents the root of the r4.

  8. Everything Reid said is correct and helpful, but one little thing.

    In order to open snemul.cfg in notepad you have to rename it snemul.txt, and then change it back to a .cfg after.

    So one little question about the NES emulator, I have all my NES roms in a NES folder in the root directory of my r4, and they are all .nds files. Does nesterds.nds have to be in there too? And do I run nesterds.nds or the game itself?

  9. 1. Actually you can simply right-click the .cfg file and select “open with”.

    2. You can then select notepad and you can even associate the .cfg extension with it (tick the “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file” box).

    3. So the next time you want to open a .cfg file you can simply double-click and it will open in notepad automatically.


  10. I have uploaded a Master System Emulator onto my R4DS, and it works sucsessfully, i was able to play Alex the kidd with no problems until i saved it. I saved my progress and it said save sucsessful, but when i ask it to load it never can and says there was an error, please may someone help me? all this is stressing me out way more than it should.

    Ah another problem i have, my SNES games constantly crash :-S anyone have an answer to that?


    Aceman, do you have an email adress i can contact you with, just to help me manage to get everything to work? no problem if its any hassle to you but it would be hugely appreiceated if you could do this. πŸ™‚ Thanks x

  11. you sir, are a God-sent!!!

    i was gonna buy an EZ flash and saw this.. thank you so much! does it play GBA roms too?

  12. If you come directly to the post, you see all of it. If you see the post on the ‘front page’ (ie: in the archives), the post is cut off at the you’ll need to click (more…) part.


  13. The bandwidth has been exceeded in your box account. Could you create a YouSendIt or a Rapidshare with all the emulators? I can’t find them online.

  14. I accidently deleted DS_MENU.DAT, _DS_MSHL.NDS these files. So i
    formated the SD card. I thought that if the r4 thought it was a new card it
    would load the files on automatically. Is there any way i can get
    these files back on my SD card?

  15. The advice on here is superb, thanks man !! I only really bought the R4 so I could play my old roms.

    Funny, I have been having issues getting my snes roms to work and it’s amazing how annoyed I got and how quickly !! lol. My life was meaningless until I was playing marioworld !! Does anyone know if their will be an amiga or maim emulator on the way at any point???

    Thanks again.

  16. I was wondering if anyone know of a DOS emulator on the DS, I’m sure it’s more than powerful enough. I was also reading about one, but I haven’t been able to find links yet. The trail stops cold. -Thanks

  17. sojuo411, just get the latest Kernel update and copy those files over, they’re the only files that are updated every time anyway.

    Zakkenayo, the only ‘DOS’ emulator I know of is ScummVM, not sure if there’s another…

  18. This is awesome, thanks. This, combined with Lunar Magic (a super mario world editor), will truly make the DS hundreds of times better.

  19. i tried to load super mario rpg (smc format), and the top screen goes blank!! can anyone help me??

  20. i have downloaded the latest patch for the SNEmulDS (version 0.6). I downloaded chrono trigger. the screen goes in and out, the sound is really choppy and sounds distorted at times, and the text bar is off. the top line of every textbox is cut off about halfway down it. Is there anything im doing wrong


  21. I’m having trouble playing my SNES roms. I downloaded three roms and only one of them works, while all three of them are in the folder they should be and are .smc files. Super mario world works, the other two (Starfox and Kirby) only give a white screen.

    Does anyone know how to fix this?

  22. can some one sent me detailed instructions on how to download these im a bit slow lol. i have an R4 card i got it with a ds lite for Β£100 i want to play gba but everyoen sayd u can;t wthout an E3 card i downlaod using emule

  23. also some game si download have J in the title they are in japanese is there anyway i can get it so they are translated into english

  24. I just tried the snes emu and it works pretty good. However when I put some games on, they just don’t work or have glitches. Maybe someone can address these issues please:

    1) What website do you guys download from which has been giving you consistent quality roms (for snes)? I’ve been going to doperoms.com
    2)What are the other emulators on the blog for besides the snes one? Are they for other systems or do these emulators all play snes roms?
    3) I was playing super metroid and noticed samus sometimes can walk through areas that are meant to be blocked off. Also, when I press start, the map does not show up… Why is that?
    4) Is there a way to scale or stretch the screen within the ds’s screen. I can only seem to be able to move it to the middle, up, or down (which is annoying with mario games and their gaps in the land)
    5) Some of the roms do not work but they end with smc extension. These have been for snes and from doperoms.com: mario kart, mario rpg: legend of the 7 stars, super mario world 2. Mario kart for example beings to show the nintendo logo and then freezes. Some do not even begin to show anything. How come these games do not work?

  25. jacobs101 thanks for the help but could u help me again you see i don;t undertsand anything they all said i se emule to get roms but i need help in findign the emulator to work i dnt have a root folder all i have is a systems folder plus the moonshell folder and in system i have ebook gba frame and cheat.dat please someone help me

  26. Thanks to this post i got the SNES working correctly.
    However, i was hoping that you could help me with the following games,
    MegamanX 1 through 3

    Megaman X works fine-until you fight the first boss, halfway through the battle, you just win, out of nowhere, and cut to the weapon upgrade then you cut back to the intro for no reason at all

    Megaman X 2 and 3- the sprites just dont show up, the levels do, but there is nothing there, just music and a backdrop, all the enemies are not present and there is no character, OR weapon fire.

  27. I have got all the emulators working on my R4! The only bad thing is that Super Mario Kart does not work!!! 😦

  28. the snes is freaky cause uniracers sprites dont show and stuff how can i fix that and with wwf raw and royla rumble and stuffs up alot??? :s

  29. hey man i need help I use a mac and i have no idea how to patch my files for snes please help

  30. Hello, please help me.. I have many snes games, i’ll like to convert or get a emu, so i can play them on my nintendo DS . I got the R4 Card.. but only SAV and NDS files will play on it.. The snes file I got, is SMC .. And i really dont know what to do ????

    Laurcia .

  31. nice work bro keep it up i just like to see some web links for all the software for the emulators

  32. Hi, im just searching the web 4 SNES on the ds and umm where do u get the Snemul.dfg? HELP PLZ =(

  33. Lolz soz i didnt read the whole description at the top now i hv it he he if im suck ill ask again ^^

  34. Thx dude the snes works ^^ and i got a gameboy emulator too ^^ if anyone is looking 4 the GAMEBOY COLOUR emu look it up on youtube and it will give u a couple of other links

  35. Thank you so much for this post! The whole point of purchasing the R4 was to play SNES games (oh so happy to play Earthbound and FFIII again – takes me back).

    The screenshot made all the difference. Thanks again!

  36. Thanks for packing the emulators together. Saves me the trouble of searching other sites. I never thought a two year old article would be so helpful. πŸ™‚

  37. ehyy. first off good article. but i have a problem. i have followed the instructions on the SNES emu, but it is saying that there are no rom files. but i have put my rom files in the SNES directory and they are .smc files. could any one help and/ or send a link for someone to download a fully working r4ds set-up thing (with the moonshell and it all).

    this would v,help full, cheers πŸ˜›

  38. I am having a problem with both the newer NesDS and the NesterDS. I have gotten every other emulator to work except the NES one and I really want to play Megaman. Someone please help. Thanks.

  39. The R4 Card is currently the best on the market for DS consoles, You simply transfer the data you want such as music and videos onto a Micro SD card then simply insert it into a small slot on the R4 DS which then simply slots into the console.

    This is a must have gadget for all DS console owners, The following link is to a good company who sells these cards. Buy R4 DS Card

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