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Intro To Video Game Emulation, It’s Pros, Cons

Last update: Sep 25, 2020

Intro To Video Game Emulation

The emulators are praiseworthy, since they keep the old games alive and attract players to them up to this day. They’re almost identical to playing the real thing, you don’t feel the difference.

Hits and misses of video game emulation

Now let’s learn about the main advantages, downsides of video game emulation considered by custom-roms.


  1. You may save the game at any time and continue from that point using an emulator.
  2. These programs preserve the history of games, keeping the old ones alive for players.
  3. You can play games using emulators offline, no internet needed.
  4. Emulators add many useful perks, not available in the original game versions.


  1. Emulators still can’t give you the same levels of graphics as consoles would.
  2. Keyboard use is less fun than using a controller.
  3. Some games on emulators require powerful gaming PCs to run.
  4. The emulators are illegal, but at the same time praised by CEOs of some consoles

Main features of game emulation

A lot of time has passed, and people have learned how to make better games. Now, emulators add functions to games, not available in the original versions of games. This list has been made by custom-roms, the creator of this article. Look at what you can do with the game using an emulator today.

Saving progress

Unlike consoles, emulators easily allow players to save their in-game stats at any point. For example, if important stuff suddenly comes up, then you save the game and don’t worry about losing the progress.

Changing the in-game resolution

It’s also possible to change the screen resolution of the game. You may play fullscreen, or stick with the windowed mode. Some emulators offer even more detailed resolution changing settings, like putting the exact screen sizing.

Playing with several controllers

Due to the emulators working on PCs, you can plug in many possible controllers and play. Controllers give the game a much better atmosphere than a keyboard, so if you have one, then don’t be afraid to put it to good use.

Adding, or removing post-processing effects

If you want the in-game experience to be more realistic, then you’re free to add some effects. These visual effects can turn even the most boring game into a really colorful, fun experience.

Possibility to cheat in the game

Most emulation programs allow cheats to be installed. This way you can quickly skip to the ending of the game, some cutscenes to see them. Or do other fun things, you name the vast possibilities.

Additional achievements added to the game

People also like to add achievements to old games using emulators. Some enjoy them, believing achievements to be making the game more intriguing, fun to play. Others don’t support the topic, thinking achievements to be ruining the original environment of old games.

What’s a ROM and what you can do with it

A ROM is basically a video game, if we’re talking about the old games. It’s a file containing all the game data which was originally on the cartridge. The file can be opened using a video game emulator, but a specific one. For example, you need a NES emulator for NES roms, Genesis emulator for Genesis roms.

A ROM’s always going to be downloaded in a zip file, or a rar file. It’s your choice how to open the files, but a good program is 7z. It’s easy to get a hang of and use on the spot.

ROM archive types

ROM archive types

A single ROM is the first and easiest archive type. You just install the zip, or a rar file, open it using a program, and see one single file. That file is the game itself. Just click on the game file and open it using an emulator on your device.

single ROM

The second type is an All-version ROM archive. You begin to download the zip file just like with a single ROM type. However, once you open it, there’re going to be many files. These are all region versions, popular hacks for a single game.

An ISO and what it means

ISOs are also games, but while ROMs are just video games, ISOs are CD video games. These include old games which were on CDs at the time. Most emulators allow you to easily play an ISO game, like a ROM, but some don’t. In that case, you need to burn the ICO using a program, for example DAEMON Tools.

ISOs also take much more computer space than ROMs. A mobile device with memory from 16 to 32 GB will only fit several ISOs in it. However, it’s still nothing close to how much memory modern games require, so don’t worry too much.

ISO file formats

A single ISO is the first format. If an emulator allows you to immediately run it, then you may just get down to gaming. If it doesn’t then use DAEMON Tools, or another tool to burn the ISO. It’s really easy to do and learn about.

The second format is BIN/CUE. These files are ideal for burning into CD/R with appropriate software. You can burn the file using DAEMON Tools, or another program which appeals to you.

Step-by-step guide on how to install an emulator

Now that you’ve learned the main features, pros, cons of an emulator, it’s time to install one.

Placement of the emulator file

You’re gonna want to avoid placing the emulator into the C drive of your PC. The C drive in modern windows is more strict with security and refuses to accept files such as an emulator. Just put it into a common location on your computer, like Documents, Downloads.

Unzipping the emulator

Emulators aren’t like other programs and don’t require an additional installment procedure. You just download the zip file on your PC and extract the program from there. Once you’re done, the emulator’s ready to be opened.

Opening the emulator

Now, just find the EXE file from the ones you’ve extracted. Double-click on it and open the program itself to test it out. If everything’s launched and is working well, then you’re ready to install ROMs and launch them using this machine.

Creating a shortcut

For easy access to the emulator, you would want to make a shortcut for it. Click on the EXE file out of all, choose Create A Shortcut option. Then, drag the shortcut onto the desktop and you’re done setting up the emulator.

Does a modern PC have enough memory, power to run the emulations?

It definitely does have enough power and even more than enough memory. For modern PCs with their hard drive containing 1TB, these emulations are just like a small piece of dust. If it’s about power, then it’s more than enough as well. These games ran on much slower devices than which we have today. That’s why you don’t even need a gamer PC, or something expensive, just an average PC will do.

Do these emulators contain viruses?

The ROMs, in other words emulators, don't contain viruses in them. However, the sites which you use to install them can bring harm to your PC. In the next section of custom-roms Emulation for beginners article, you can find out how to choose only safe ROM sites.

How to find a safe website to install emulators from

The viruses aren’t in files, but can be hiding on the websites. It’s time for you to find out how to find only secure platforms to install ROM games from.

Don’t fall for PS4, or other relatively new console game emulation websites

The first step is to learn to take a reasonable look at the technology world. Yes, PS2 games can be played on emulators. However, websites offering PS4 games aren’t safe at all and are scams. Just imagine how much power a PC would need to run a PS4 game on an emulator and you’ll get that it’s impossible.


Examine if the website is licensed, has any protection technologies, like SSL which is a must for a website these days. If there’s a license and SSL, then the platform’s probably safe.

Read the reviews about the website

Also, find the reviews of people about the website and the opinion of experts if possible. People tend to tell the truth, so read the reviews carefully. If an expert’s review is perfect, but reviews of clients are negative, then trust people more.

The number of offered games on the site

The number of games offered also defines the safety of the resource. If there’re more than 300 games, then the website is likely to be secure. Less than a 100 games is when you shouldn’t rely on the site too much, but can still use it.

This question brings a lot of arguing in itself. On paper, distributing and installing games, playing them on emulators isn’t legal. However, it’s just a formality. The internet’s been distributing ROMs for a long time now, and it’s okay to do so.

If you still feel guilty downloading games, emulators, then look at what producers of famous games say about it. They appreciate the emulations for saving their games over time. That’s why you shouldn’t feel guilty, and just play the games as much as you want.


This is the end of the custom-roms article about Emulation. As a beginner in the field of emulation you’ve learned the main features, pros, cons of the emulators. How to find safe websites to install the programs from and if your PC is good enough for running them. Don’t hesitate, go on and explore the world of emulation!

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