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SOLDIER
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(09-15-2017, 11:27 PM)
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Simple enough thread question. I've been out of the emulator scene for a while, and with the uncertainty of whether I'll manage to get an SNES Classic (and I've long given up on the NES Classic), I'm looking for the most superior, pixel-perfect emulators on the PC side.

Before you recommend it, I have no interest in a Raspberry Pi. My PC is hooked up to my TV, so I can enjoy comfy couch gaming just fine.

The only criteria I have is that it's controller friendly and can be easily launched out of Steam BPM as a non-Steam shortcut.

And while I know that we can't talk about where to get the ROMs themselves, I would be interested to know what kind of naming scheme or type of ROM I should be looking for in order to get the most perfect experience. Keep in mind I mean "perfect", not "definitive"...if there are versions of games that clean up slowdown, flickering and other features that people would insist should be kept for historic purposes, I prefer the modern conveniences of today versus the bullshit I don't have to deal with anymore.

Bonus points for emulators that do auto-saving, fast-forwarding and so on.
TheMadMan007
Member
(09-15-2017, 11:30 PM)
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RetroArch. All in one emulation system. It does pretty much everything and is in active development unlike most stand alone emulators. Also lookup LaunchBox for an amazing front end (it's a billion times easier to setup compared to Hyperspin)
Sophia
Member
(09-15-2017, 11:30 PM)
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NES - Nestopia UE

SNES - Higan's BSNES core

GBA - mGBA.

All three are available as Libretro cores, and thus available in RetroArch.
SOLDIER
Member
(09-15-2017, 11:31 PM)
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Originally Posted by TheMadMan007

RetroArch. All in one emulation system. It does pretty much everything and is in active development unlike most stand alone emulators. Also lookup LaunchBox for an amazing front end (it's a billion times easier to setup compared to Hyperspin)

Messed with it a little bit but it all seemed rather overwhelming.

What would be the ideal settings for NES/SNES/GBA? And how do I apply the theme that features box-art as thumbnails?
NZerker12
Member
(09-15-2017, 11:32 PM)
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I like using VBA (Visual Boy Advance) for GBA emulation.
yamaneko
This is why I can no longer create new threads.
(09-15-2017, 11:34 PM)
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NES - Nestopia

SNES - Snes9x

GBA - VBA NEXT
SOLDIER
Member
(09-15-2017, 11:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by Sophia

NES - Nestopia UE

SNES - Higan's BSNES core

GBA - mGBA.

All three are available as Libretro cores, and thus available in RetroArch.

Does RetroArch also auto-update? If so, does it auto-update its cores as well (meaning I won't have to manually apply the latest version of each emulator)?
Aeana
Medal Princess
(09-15-2017, 11:35 PM)
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"Retroarch" is not an emulator. It's a fantastic shell for emulators, though, and it's my personal choice. For cores, I use mgba for GBA, nestopia for NES, and bsnes for SNES.
Sophia
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(09-15-2017, 11:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by SOLDIER

Does RetroArch also auto-update? If so, does it auto-update its cores as well (meaning I won't have to manually apply the latest version of each emulator)?

It doesn't auto-update by default, and I'm not sure if there's a toggle. But it has an updater built into the program for the cores themselves.
KojiKnight
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(09-15-2017, 11:36 PM)
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Originally Posted by yamaneko

NES - Nestopia

SNES - Snes9x

GBA - VBA NEXT

Is this a list of emulators from 2005?
inner-G
Member
(09-15-2017, 11:37 PM)
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NESticle has a really cool cursor
BiggNife
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(09-15-2017, 11:39 PM)
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FYI, last I checked, BSNES requires a pretty beefy computer to run because it's doing 1:1 emulation. I think most people would be fine with Snes9x, and it runs on basically anything. I would avoid ZSNES because it's kind of notorious for having shitty emulation accuracy compared to real hardware.
Aeana
Medal Princess
(09-15-2017, 11:41 PM)
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Originally Posted by BiggNife

FYI, last I checked, BSNES requires a pretty beefy computer to run because it's doing 1:1 emulation. I think most people would be fine with Snes9x, and it runs on basically anything. I would avoid ZSNES because it's kind of notorious for having shitty emulation accuracy compared to real hardware.

There are three BSNES profiles: performance, balanced, and accuracy. Performance runs on much more reasonable hardware specs just fine and you don't sacrifice a ton. With that said, BSNES in accuracy mode will still run on the average PC that can play reasonably recent games otherwise. It's not a "top of the line" kind of thing like it used to be.
Sophia
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(09-15-2017, 11:43 PM)
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Yeah, most modern computers should be able to handle Higan's BSNES core now.
TheMadMan007
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(09-15-2017, 11:45 PM)
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RetroArch doesn't have updates for the program itself built in, but has a core updated inside of it, but it's pretty bad since it'll never tell you which cores have been updated, so it's a guessing game.

There is a program called Stellar, which will scan RetroArch and the Cores and tell you what was updated and will updated everything with a click of a button. It's great!
MrCunningham
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(09-15-2017, 11:50 PM)
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Retroarch is generally the best way to go here for retro consoles. The UI can be a little unwieldy on your first use, but once you get used to it, it works really well and supports a lot of different cores. Plus it is fun to mess around with all the the different shader options...


Originally Posted by TheMadMan007

RetroArch doesn't have updates for the program itself built in, but has a core updated inside of it, but it's pretty bad since it'll never tell you which cores have been updated, so it's a guessing game.

There is a program called Stellar, which will scan RetroArch and the Cores and tell you what was updated and will updated everything with a click of a button. It's great!

I use Retroarch on Linux, and there are some good repositories out there that will update the entire program automatically when a new version is released. I will have to check out Stellar for Windows.
SOLDIER
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(09-16-2017, 02:10 AM)
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So again, how do you set up the main menu of Retroarch to be controller-friendly, looking something like this:

Zeneric
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(09-16-2017, 02:15 AM)
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Originally Posted by SOLDIER

So again, how do you set up the main menu of Retroarch to be controller-friendly, looking something like this:

Just mess around with Retroarch. Look at options. Tweak stuff. Etc. Retroarch is already controller friendly tho. Retroarch even already has the guide button on xbox controller configured to open Retroarch's menu in game.

OT:

Retroarch is the best all in one emulator out there atm. Check it out.
Last edited by Zeneric; 09-16-2017 at 02:18 AM.
pretty done
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(09-16-2017, 02:18 AM)
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Originally Posted by BiggNife

FYI, last I checked, BSNES requires a pretty beefy computer to run because it's doing 1:1 emulation. I think most people would be fine with Snes9x, and it runs on basically anything. I would avoid ZSNES because it's kind of notorious for having shitty emulation accuracy compared to real hardware.

Snes9x never felt right for me. Feels a little laggy tbh.

Don't really agree about BSNES requiring a beefy rig either. I mean it probably won't run good on a netbook but uh...
Minsc
(09-16-2017, 02:20 AM)
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Originally Posted by SOLDIER

So again, how do you set up the main menu of Retroarch to be controller-friendly, looking something like this:

You use LaunchBox (or Steam's Big Picture Mode works too).
RRockman
Member
(09-16-2017, 02:21 AM)
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I don't suppose you guys know anything about the android version? Get this fizzy noise instead of sound whenever I play a gba game no matter what the core
Like the hat?
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(09-16-2017, 02:33 AM)
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Nesticle
Zsnes
No$gba
Raw64life
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(09-16-2017, 02:35 AM)
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NES - FCEUX
SNES - higan
GBA - No$gba

I also use Launchbox. One you setup Retroarch with it it's pretty nice. I haven't messed with Retroarch on it's own in a while but last I checked it still wasn't very user friendly.
caffeware
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(09-16-2017, 02:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by DiipuSurotu

ZSNES

if byuu sees this he's going to have a heart attack.
bionic77
Please, don't ask ME about Michael Jordan!
(09-16-2017, 02:40 AM)
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I was really disappointed in the Pi3 experience and subbed to this thread.

Is Retroarch also on Macs?

Could I run this stuff well on one of those Windows computers on a stick?
MrDoctor
Member
(09-16-2017, 02:41 AM)
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puNES, Higan, and mGBA

never done anything with nestopia
Aeana
Medal Princess
(09-16-2017, 02:46 AM)
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Originally Posted by MrDoctor

puNES, Higan, and mGBA

never done anything with nestopia

puNES and mesen are the most accurate NES emulators now. Nestopia held the crown for a while. I don't think there's Retroarch cores for puNES or mesen, though, so Nestopia is the best option under that for the time being.
fester
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(09-16-2017, 02:53 AM)
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Originally Posted by caffeware

if byuu sees this he's going to have a heart attack.

Heh, seriously folks, don't use zsnes. It was awesome in 1999 when emulation was first cutting its teeth, but so much progress has been made since then with other projects. I agree with the bsnes recommendation, with the mercury balanced variant option (via RetroArch) my personal favorite. Add a good CRT shader and you'll be in great shape.
Aeana
Medal Princess
(09-16-2017, 03:00 AM)
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I don't actually know the difference between mercury and non-mercury BSNES. Not that I've ever tried to find out.
gngf123
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(09-16-2017, 03:01 AM)
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Not ZSNES. Fuck that. Nobody should be using it any more. Not when Bsnes exists, or almost anything developed after 2003.
CrashPrime
(09-16-2017, 03:02 AM)
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NES - Nestopia UE (Undead Edition)
SNES - BSNES or sometimes Snes9x 2010 depending on the cpu power available.
GBA - mGBA

All executed through RetroArch in Windows 10. No scanlines or crt shaders. GPU Hard Sync on. HW Billinear Filtering off.

I'm sure you would enjoy ticking off the box to remove the sprite limitation in Nestopia UE. It basically removes all flicker from NES games.

I usually scale NES and SNES to 6:5 integer scale on a 1080p monitor using a virtual screen space configured to 1200p.

For GBA I usually do integer 6x scaling to 1440x960

I am finding the Pixellate shader does a reasonable job on most games when non integer is used. Especially so when playing on a TV instead of a monitor. Very nice for NES/SNES games designed with 4:3 DAR in mind.

I really would like to get a 1440p monitor for better integer scale options.
Last edited by CrashPrime; 09-16-2017 at 03:15 AM.
ddikxela
Junior Member
(09-16-2017, 03:04 AM)
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Originally Posted by SOLDIER

So again, how do you set up the main menu of Retroarch to be controller-friendly, looking something like this:

Go into settings and look for the drivers option, once in there look for the menu driver and change it to XMB, exit Retroarch to save this setting.

Or are you talking about creating a playlist with thumnails?
Lebon14
Member
(09-16-2017, 03:07 AM)
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ZSNES is HANDS DOWN the SINGLE WORST SNES EMULATOR. It's extremely inacurate. Hell, I don't know if it's still like that, but it once was breaking Donkey Kong Country 2. Hell, in speedrunning, it's OUTRIGHT banned in most SNES titles because it's so inacurate and how it fails to replicate a SNES at a decent level. At least, if you are going this way, choose SNES9x. Otherwise, BSNES/Higan is the most accurate SNES emulator out there... and my favorite.

For NES, I don't have an opinion. I seldomly play NES titles.

For GBA, I use VisualBoy Advance. I don't know how accurate it is though...
GearFourth
Banned
(09-16-2017, 03:09 AM)

Originally Posted by Sophia

NES - Nestopia UE

SNES - Higan's BSNES core

GBA - mGBA.

All three are available as Libretro cores, and thus available in RetroArch.

Yep these ones to get the most accurately emulated in both visuals and audio. Especially BSNES accept nothing less
SOLDIER
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(09-16-2017, 03:17 AM)
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Originally Posted by ddikxela

Go into settings and look for the drivers option, once in there look for the menu driver and change it to XMB, exit Retroarch to save this setting.

Or are you talking about creating a playlist with thumnails?

Both I guess. I just want to easily navigate it with a controller. Having thumbnails of the box art would be nice too.

Is Launch Box a separate program? If so, now do I combine it with Retroarch (and put it all as a shortcut on steam)?
Lyriell
Member
(09-16-2017, 03:19 AM)
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Too many people here referring to Retroarch as an emulator.
SOLDIER
Member
(09-16-2017, 04:11 AM)
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Messing around with Retroarch right now, my primary question so far:

1. How do I configure the controls for the program itself? Every time I hit start on my controller (which I would use for Pause) it shuts down the entire program.

2. Is there a skin that has separate tabs for each console? Right now it just puts all the games under one tab.

3. Are there any settings that change the performance of the games, like less slowdown and otherwise?
LincolnSixEcho
Junior Member
(09-16-2017, 06:09 AM)
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The only correct choice for SNES these days is higan. Cycle-accurate, and most accurate by far.

For NES, I use puNES, which also stresses high accuracy.

I've messed around with Retroarch before, but it's a big pain in the ass. If you want an emulator launcher, look into Emulation Station. Personally, I just stick with the desktop shortcuts.


Avoid Nesticle and ZNES. They're very old, full of hacks, and not so great with accuracy or compatibility.
Last edited by LincolnSixEcho; 09-16-2017 at 06:21 AM.
Bjoern the Smexy
Member
(09-16-2017, 06:13 AM)
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I use Higan for everything. It's made for accurate emulation so it requires a pretty beefy PC.

Only exception is GBA, which I use mGBA for.
ForkNetwork
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(09-16-2017, 06:16 AM)
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Higan is a really good SNES emulator
Zeneric
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(09-16-2017, 06:18 AM)
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Originally Posted by Lyriell

Too many people here referring to Retroarch as an emulator.

It kinda is. You use Retroarch to emulate pretty much all of retro games. Retroarch is backed by cores (aka bare-boned emulators with Retroarch's interface).
Last edited by Zeneric; 09-16-2017 at 06:30 AM.
Chiramii
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(09-16-2017, 06:20 AM)
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What I prefer:

NES - FCEUX
SNES - Higan
GBA - VBA

ZSNES is the work of the devil.
Demigod Mac
Member
(09-16-2017, 06:22 AM)
Interesting read on Higan/BSNES, why it's so accurate and requires so much horsepower (at least it did when the article was written in 2011, not so much anymore)

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/...snes-emulator/

Since someone in the thread asked about a Mac alternative to RetroArch, check this one out:
http://openemu.org/
s_mirage
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(09-16-2017, 06:24 AM)
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While Higan is accurate, it's worth bearing in mind that without Gsync or a lot of fiddling current versions will likely stutter like crazy thanks to sync issues. The Retroarch cores don't have this problem.
Demigod Mac
Member
(09-16-2017, 06:28 AM)
Also if you want a selection of nicely made retro-style controllers, check these out:
http://8bitdo.com/
Neith
Banned
(09-16-2017, 06:29 AM)
I tend to use the newest stand alone versions of the emulators I want to choose. I know retro is the hottest thing and everyone loves it, and I have it as well I guess I just don't like updating it all the time. For things like Ishiiruka and stuff it is useless to me. I have save states and games on all the stand alone emulators too so it's hard to bring all that back into retroarch.

I do like its shader system though. The one thing I find that is painful is that ScaleFX does not currently work in SNES9X standalone properly. That shader is amazing, and really gets rid of all the shitty jaggy curves in these games at the slight expense of some small saw tooth edges. It's reason alone I want to start playing newer games on RA.

I have SNES9x standalone and too many save states that don't seem to carry over properly. For some emu's like PCSX2, PSPPP and Dolphin I am updating them way too much to bother with retroarch.

I just hate that new versions of emulators appear so much, and I also hate that save states and even save games are often not compatible through retroarch. It makes it impossible for me to convert to it unless I am starting a brand new game, and even then I don't care to half the time.
Knurek
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(09-16-2017, 06:32 AM)
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Originally Posted by Aeana

I don't actually know the difference between mercury and non-mercury BSNES. Not that I've ever tried to find out.

Mercury adds in some speed hacks and the ability to overclock SuperFX
Zeneric
Member
(09-16-2017, 06:33 AM)
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Originally Posted by Demigod Mac

Also if you want a selection of nicely made retro-style controllers, check these out:
http://8bitdo.com/

I'd love to own some of those 8bitdo controllers, but money, man.
Sir_Crocodile
Member
(09-16-2017, 06:47 AM)
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Most accurate per platform are:
NES = Mesen (punes and nintendulator are also very good)
SNES = Higan
GBA = mGBA (Higan is also very good)

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