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Dolphin is regarded as the King of Emulator when it comes to Nintendo consoles. At the current time, this emulator is able to recreate games made for the GameCube and Wii consoles, for your desktop gaming pleasure. This software works with Windows, macOS, and Linux. But for this guide, we’ll be looking at how to get your new Dolphin emulator up and running for your mac or PC.
On PC, you will need to first unzip the installation file into a publicly-accessible folder. It is recommended that you set your archive tool to create a new folder on Desktop or Documents. This allows you to locate it easily to begin installation. Once the files have been unzipped, locate the Dolphin.exe file and run it as administrator. Be careful not to remove this file from the folder or delete it, this may affect your ability to use Dolphin in the future. You can also create a shortcut to Dolphin.exe on your Desktop to make it easier to access, the next time around.
On macOS, the main installation file needs to be unzipped into a public local folder. The best locations for this is on the Desktop or in your Downloads folder. In order to unzip the files, you will need to double-click on the .zip file and it should automatically unzip files into the specified folder. This folder will be in the same location as the original file. In some cases, this method may not work and you may need to tweak elements in Terminal to get it to work. Since that’s a complex step you probably would be glad to skip, you can always get a free third-party archive tool from the App Store to help you extract the installation files.
Pairing your GameCube controller with your PC for it to work on Dolphin isn’t a complicated process. Go to ‘Options’ on Dolphin and select ‘Controller Settings’. Under ‘GameCube Controllers’, select ‘Port 1’ and ‘Configure’. You can add more controllers to Dolphin by assigning them to different port numbers.
The Wii remote also works wonders with your new Dolphin emulator. Go to ‘Options’ on Dolphin and choose ‘Controller Settings’. From there select Wii remotes and configure your controller. You can also add more remotes with the same steps. But, since Wii remotes rely on motion input, you’ll need to set your Motion and IR controls. There will be a red dot on the screen and as you move your mouse, it’ll sense your movements and input it into Dolphin as a Wii remote motion input.
If you want to stick to classic desktop gaming, then you might want your WASD controls intact. To configure your keyboard or gamepad for GameCube games, here’s what you need to do : 1) Go to ‘Options’ and select ‘Controller Settings’ on Dolphin. 2) Select ‘GameCube Controllers’. 3) Choose ‘Configure’ and set it to ‘Port 1’ 4) You’ll now see the configuration screen for your keyboard or gamepad, as the picture above. To change an assignment for the keys, simply replace the existing setting with a setting of your choice. Save your settings and close the dialog box once you’ve made the necessary changes.
For some games that come with the Nintendo Wii, it is almost impossible to play them without the controls on the motion-sensing Wii controller. But, with Dolphin, you recreate the exact buttons with your keyboard or gamepad. Here’s how :
Gamepads can also be altered similarly. However, it is best to use a joystick for maximum sensitivity and directional control.
It’s common for GameCube and Wii games to come in a compressed format due to the size of their original files. However, when accessing them on Dolphin, the games need to be in their original .iso or .gcm format. Here’s a quick tutorial to help you get your favorite Wii or GameCube games to load on Dolphin
To close a current game, just use the ‘X’ button. If you’ve already set up your game directory on Dolphin, you can access any game by just double-clicking on it.
Of course, when you emulate games from different consoles onto your PC and Mac, there could be some issues with the graphics setting being incompatible with your desktop display. But, on this emulator you can tweak a few things to help make your games look just like they do on their original console displays, depending on the graphics capability of your current set-up.
In most cases, the default setting on desktops for emulated game graphics is at the lowest possible settings. Depending on how advanced your graphic cards are, you can make a few changes to obtain a display as close as possible to the original GameCube or Wii graphics. Read on for a quick guide on how to do so.
When porting games between devices, the graphics may not be as defined as they would be when played on the original game console. That’s where anti-aliasing on the Dolphin emulator comes in handy. Depending on your current graphic capabilities, there are some settings that you can play around with to give you the perfect display settings for your Wii or GameCube games.
Dolphin has a few additional graphic adjustments just to make your gaming experience more fun. There are a few post-processing filters that you can apply to your current game to give it a unique display. Here’s how you can get your hands on these filters and give your game characters a cool new look, without drastically altering graphic settings.
Cheats and video games are only natural to be found as a pair. And on Dolphin, you can go ahead and use the same cheats that you’ve used on your consoles, without worry. But, for the time being, this feature is limited to games for GameCube. Hopefully, the Wii ones follow soon. Here’s how to set up your cheats.
The great thing about Dolphin is that this emulator lets you save a game at any point in your game progress. This is great for when you’re facing a hard level or the boss just doesn’t want to let up. Below are the steps to halt your game in time and save it for those tricky parts in the game.
This step is just to help you get all your games organized into Dolphin so that you can get them up and running quickly at a later date. Here’s a quick set up guide for your game directories in Dolphin
To take screenshots, you can use the ‘ScrShot’ button directly from the Dolphin emulator toolbar. Screenshots are saved into the default location which is Documents > Dolphin Emulator > ScreenShots Files will be saved into PNG formats and will need to be manually converted to JPG formats. The hotkey for this is F9. You can also go to ‘Emulation’ and select Take Screenshot, as below.
When you load a GameCube or Wii game on Dolphin, it is set to open in a window by default. But, if you want it to be displayed in fullscreen, you can click on the ‘FullScr’ button on Dolphin to activate fullscreen mode. Another option is to use the Alt+Enter hotkeys to toggle between views. The ‘Esc’ key also works to get out of fullscreen mode, however, this can prompt Dolphin to ask if you want to exit your current game session. So maybe the Alt+Enter hotkeys are a better option.
Video game fans only know too well those unskippable intros and lengthy character chatter between game levels. Dolphin has a neat feature that helps you to fast forward your GameCube or Wii games to avoid waiting for these annoying intros to be over. Just use the ‘Tab’ key on your keyboard to speed up your game. In some cases, the key may not work as it should. To fix this, go to ‘Options’ and select ‘Hotkey Settings’. Disable the emulation speed limit to tab function. Now your ‘Tab’ key should work as a fast-forward button.
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