How to Use a Nintendo DS Emulator


The Nintendo DS is a hand-held video game console made by Nintendo. The technology inside Nintendo DS is not advanced, and can easily be emulated by modern computers. This means that software developed for the machine can be run on any modern home computer with the keyboard and mouse doubling as the machine's control pad, action buttons and touch screen. These instructions focus on installing a DS emulator on your PC, but if you're wanting to install an emulator on another machine, the procedure can be adapted to suit your computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Download a Nintendo DS emulator for your computer from the left pane of the site in the Resources section. Double-click to unzip and place the unzipped folder in a directory on your computer. (On a Mac, just drag the program executable to the "Applications" folder.)

  • Right-click within your Nintendo DS emulator folder (or your Mac's "Applications" folder) and select "New Folder." Right-click on this folder, choose "Rename" and give the folder the name "ROM."

  • Download Nintendo DS ROM files. These data files serve as the software equivalent of game cartridges for the system. A directory of ROM files for Nintendo DS is provided within the Resources section to get your collection started.

  • Double-click on your downloaded ROM files to unzip them. Move the "NDS" file inside each unzipped folder to your emulator's "ROM" folder.

  • Double-click the "EXE" file for your Nintendo DS emulator (or the file in your Mac's "Applications" menu) to run the program. Open the emulator's "File" menu and select "Open" to choose the "NDS" file you wish to run from the "ROM" directory. Double-click the "NDS" file to open it within your emulator. Some programs require you to click the "Run" button within the program's main menu to start emulation; others will start the game running automatically.

  • Use your mouse to click buttons and options on the bottom half of the screen as you would with the Nintendo DS' stylus.

  • Navigate menu screens and move your on-screen character with your keyboard's arrow keys. The keys used to mimic the console's action buttons are mapped to the "Enter," "Shift," "Z," "X," A," "S," "Q" and "W" keys for most emulators. These can be re-mapped by choosing "Configure Keys" from the emulator's "Options," "Preferences" or "Program" menus.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is illegal to use emulators to run commercially-available software if you do not own the original cartridge for that software. Only use your emulator to run home-brew or public-domain software such as that found in the Resources section.

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