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Snes9X is one of the most well optimized NES emulators on the market for Windows. It has a vast array of features, and is divided into two variants: The 64 bit version and the 32 bit variant. It’s a favorite among nostalgic gamers who wish to experience their childhood games in all their glory, without having to go through the headache of setting up complicated software.
Specifically if you use a lower end PC, Snes9X offers extremely high game compatibility. It’s extremely user accessible, keeping its interface very simple and direct. As far as emulating the Super Nintendo console goes, the Snes9X is by far the best option to go for if you prefer a standalone emulator. If you’re a purist, you would be better off with a cycle-accurate emulator such as the BSNES, which is very CPU heavy. Multiple core emulation is better done on RetroArch.
Depending on the Windows system you have, you’ll need to choose between the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Snes9X. A majority of PCs run the 64-bit version of Windows, but you can check using the following steps:
Now that you know what you’re working with, download the variant of Snes9X based on your operating system.
Since Snes9X is a standalone program, you simply have to extract it from the downloaded zip file.
Snes9X shouldn’t be placed in private folders as it may be restricted to read-only access. Being placed here will prevent Snes9X from saving files. It’s recommended to place the files in Documents, Downloads or on a specific folder on your desktop.
As with any software, you will run into errors when you use Snes9X. Here are some of the most common errors users experience, and how you can fix them:
This error code appears on PCs using 64-bit Windows 7. You can solve this issue by downloading Snes9X-32.
When you see this error code, you will fail to hear any sound effects or music. The main cause of this not having the most recent DIrectX release installed.
This issue is also related to lacking the most recent DirectX release. You can fix this by installing the full DirectX package.
You can use the shortcut Alt+F7, or open the Input tab and select Joypad Configuration. This will lead you to this page:
You can create new keybinds or reassign keys to your keyboard or gamepad buttons here. Select the field you want to alter, and press the key you wish to rebind it to.
For user convenience, reassigning one button will immediately move you to the next keybind. In practice, if you change the configuration for ‘Up’, you will immediately be prompted to change ‘Left’, and so on. When you click ‘OK’, Snes9X will apply and save your changes.
After you boot up Snes9X, a folder called ‘Roms’ will be created within it. You can store your games here to access all of them in one convenient location. This isn’t required, but it makes life much easier instead of searching for a game each time you want to play something. Here’s how you load a game:
Sometimes you’ll be met with the error ‘Failed to initialize currently selected display output! Try switching to a different output method in the display setting’ when trying to launch a game. Go through this list to solve the problem:
If these steps haven’t fixed the issue, chances are that the problem is being caused by your computer possibly lacking support for OpenGL. This is usually because your computer has a dated video card. You may fix this issue by changing the output method to DirectDraw. Follow these steps:
If this doesn’t fix your game and you continue to receive the same error codes, you will fail running Snes9X. This problem relates to your computer, and not Snes9X. If your computer cannot run OpenGL or DirectDraw, you can’t run video game emulators.
You can use the shortcut Alt+Enter to enter full screen and to go back to window mode. Pressing Esc also disables/enables the top menu bar during forget.
This is a feature you can enable in Snes9X by clicking on Video and heading to Display Configuration. You’ll find a box named “Output Image Processing”, as shown below:
Click on the highlighted box, where you currently see ‘None’. A variety of different filters will appear. The only issue is that Snes9X doesn’t have a preview feature, so you have to apply and change each filter. What these filters do is enhance graphics to make them look better than the original. They’re also called Screen Renders or Screen Filters.
You can also find a “Hi Res” option in that box. Enabling this will allow certain SNES games, such as Seiken Densetsu 3, Romancing SaGa 3 and Treasure of the Rudras to render its font higher than the default 16-bit. This scales up the font for modern displays and makes it look well defined instead of a pixelated mess.
Save States are simply put, save files. They store your progress so that you don’t lose it each time you quit. You can use save states through keyboard shortcuts or by going through the file menu. You can have up to 9 different save states at a time. This is how you can create and load save states:
This speeds up the pacing of the game. All elements will move faster, as long as you hold down the Tab key. Fast forwarding will cease when you let go of the Tab key.
Every NES game has unique cheat codes. Once you find them online, you need to be able to implement them into your emulator. Here’s how.
The two main paths of recording media on Snes9X is through screenshots and AVI movies.
While playing a game, pressing F12 will capture a screenshot. An alternate method is by going to File, then Save Other and choosing Save Screenshot. Your screenshots will be saved as PNG images in a “Screenshots” subfolder.
To capture a sprite: This is easier to do if you disable the background layers before capturing a screenshot. As Super Nintendo graphics have 5 layers, any of these layers can be turned off or on. Your keyboards 1-4 buttons will toggle these layers. The 5 button will toggle the sprite layers on/off.
Gameplay footage can be recorded by the following method:
This is one reputable site to download ROMs from.
This usually occurs if you’re playing a fan translation or ROM hack. The reason for this occurrence is because the size of the ROM increases substantially due to ROM hacking. The error message you receive won’t impact your gameplay in any meaningful way. If you have any game breaking problems, they aren’t related to this error.
This is a rare error, and unfortunately has no direct fix. Your options are to either download a new ROM, or use a different emulator. There’s no guarantee this will work though.
There are two methods through which you can save games in Snes9X. Only one of these two can be used to transfer saves to a different emulator.
First, you need to figure out which issue you have. Check if the following issues are the ones you face:
If these are the problems you face, it’s because you have Snes9X in a read-only location on your PC. You can solve this issue by moving the emulator to a common location.
The main goal in mind for this emulator was for it to be easy to set up. Even the least tech savvy folks would be able to play their favorite Super Nintendo games with ease, and that’s what Snes9X achieved. It has a simple interface and quick setup, meaning you spend less time fiddling around trying to make it work, and more time playing your favorite childhood games. For anyone who wants to experience their old Nintendo games again in all its glory, Snes9X is the way to go!
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