Play Your Favorite GameCube and Wii Games in HD with Dolphin Emulator
Note: For more information regarding CPU performance, please check out this handy benchmark that contains results from tons of users. It's important to remember that Dolphin is a console emulator with tons of optimizations and features. But, in the end, it does what the game instructs it to do. Some games only use features that are easy to emulate, and thus will run full-speed on just about any computer that supports Dolphin. Meanwhile, others struggle to run full speed at all times on even the most powerful of processors.
This type of error usually only happens when trying to run a 64 bit Dolphin build, with 32 bit builds working perfectly fine. When people see one of the error messages about vcomp100.dll or xinput1_3.dll missing they often download 32 bit builds of these files from the internet and expect them to work fine with 64 bit applications.
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If you're suffering from this issue, make sure to delete any manually downloaded DLL files which are stored in your system paths and in the path where the Dolphin binary is stored and reinstall them with the proper runtime installers instead. Refer to the two questions above for further information.
Even with a decade of work, Dolphin isn't a perfect emulator. This means you may encounter various issues that range from minor sound or graphics defects to game breaking errors and crashes. In order to provide users with as much information as possible, the Dolphin website hosts a wiki with thousands of pages dedicated to games and various features of the emulator. Game Specific pages often list problems a game has, solutions, and what settings are needed to make it run as accurately as possible.
Dolphin is configured to run as fast as possible by default. However, for some games, that will cause a lot of problems, and they need more accurate and more demanding settings to run properly. For user convenience, many games have had these settings preconfigured in the "GameINI", a file with custom settings for each game.
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Long answer: Downloading commercial games is illegal and thus strongly frowned upon by the Dolphin developers. To prevent legal issues, this includes gray areas like downloading games which you purchased earlier. You don't necessarily need to own a gaming console by yourself because you can buy a game disc and dump them with a friend's console. On the other hand, copying a friend's game dump is considered illegal again.
Note that WBFS and CISO are lossy compression formats: they remove some of the unused information stored on the discs to make files smaller. As such, we recommend you try dumping your games as GCM/ISO if you get issues using a WBFS dump.
The GameCube was officially released in Japan in 2001 by Nintendo and was also the first console that used optical discs as its primary storage. Although the size of the disc was smaller, it did support emulator games online through the use of modem adapters which could be connected to a Gameboy advance with the aid of a link cable.
The GameCube roms sold about 22 million globally and was effectively discontinued in 2007. In graphic terms, its graphics were just a bit better than those on the Sony PlayStation 2 console but were not at par with the Xbox. A few of the emulators you can use to play GameCube games on your PC are highlighted as we continue.
With nostalgia, most game lovers would want to keep playing games they have played in yesteryears on the GameCube Isos console. However, that console is outdated and the games that were playable on it in similar manner, outdated too. Emulators can let you emulate games and gaming environments for one to enjoy those old games. Here, we look at GameCube emulators that are seemingly the best amongst the lot, as well as the best GameCube ROMs available and platforms that support them.
To be able to play a game while using an emulator, one would require a CD ROM which works as a game cartridge, working to compact a games memory into what becomes a usable and readable ISO file. Such files can then be used as copies of the original game files. These free Game Cube ROMs working through emulators then allow users to be able to play the games. These are then only usable with specific software or even a process referred to as mounting.
Emulators also need BIOS files to be able to function properly. The BIOS information for PC and that for GameCube are slightly different and cannot be interchanged. The BIOS on your emulator will dictate the version of your GameCube just like a Japanese BIOS will allow for Japanese language during game play and American BIOS will allow for English language during game play.
This is basically based on the Power PC derivative processor and was designed in C language. This emulator uses techniques which include the interpreter and an in-time compiler with a very friendly interface. The Dolwin emulator for game cube roms also supports high level emulation as well as hardware emulation which is based on systems plugins. It is very accurate but does require a fast computer, but it is still unable to run commercial games at the moment.
This remains one of the best emulators to use to run GameCube games on your PC. Most of the games may run with minor bugs but you can go ahead to play your games on HD quality and is a feature that particular GameCube consoles may not be capable of. One of the best things about this emulator is that it is an open source project which means anyone can work on it and contribute to its improvements. Apart from being able to play your favorite games on 1080p resolution, it is quite fast and stable. The controls are also configurable, and it basically has no cons as far as we know.
This is another emulator that is developed in C++ language and has the ability to load and run ELF, DOL formats. It does so with great sound and graphics but is unable to run any commercial games as yet. However, it is able to run a few homebrew games and also provides the option for you to be able to turn off and on the debug logging. The Whine Cube emulator also has a dynamic compiler as well as an interpreter and a primitive HLE system.
This is a GameCube emulator that allows GameCube games to be played on PC. It is an open source emulator developed for the purpose of being able to run at least one commercial game with full emulation. It is yet to run any commercial games as yet with its current version aimed towards homebrew programs.
The GameCube emulators as described above can enable you to run your favorite games on Android, iPhone, Mac or PC devices. Various emulators are able to run these games on different devices dependent on platforms ie GameCube ROMs for Android, Mac, Linux or even Windows platforms.
Since the merger of the Wii-Network branch in 3.5-2143, Dolphin can now use the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to play Wii games online. Since it uses the official Nintendo platform for Wii online gameplay, Dolphin users can play online with not only other Dolphin players, but with real Wii players as well. For copyright reasons, some of the files required to access the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection cannot be distributed with Dolphin and have to be obtained by the user.
Starting with 5.0-5179, a system update can be installed offline from a Wii disc containing an update partition by right-clicking the game on Dolphin's game list and selecting "Perform System Update". Additionally, on 5.0-7062 and newer, the system update can also be downloaded directly from Nintendo's official servers by going into Tools => Perform Online System Update => Current Region (or the desired region on a fresh install).
Once the download has completed, browse to the newly created directory under its executable directory: \titles\000000010000000D\1032\. Make sure that the 00000011.app file exists; it's the only file required for this guide.
The (optional) BIOS file goes in the directory retroarch/saves/User/GC/, with the file name IPL.bin for all regions. It is not necessary to provide a BIOS for most games, but certain titles (particularly those which make heavy use of the system fonts, like Star Fox Assault) can be unplayable without it.
To play the Gamecube BIOS animation at game launch, once you have the aforementioned BIOS file placed and named correctly, open the Dolphin.ini file located in retroarch/saves/User/Config/ with a text editor and change the line SkipIPL = True to SkipIPL = False.
Much like the PC version, we recommend you create a folder on your phone to stash your ROMs. It makes it easier for the emulator to find new games, and it also makes it vastly easier to back up if you ever need to switch your phone. For this tutorial, we use Solid Explorer (Google Play), but you can use any good file browser app.
We would need to create an online database of banners in order to be able to do this. I'm not sure if that's something we're actually going to do. Even then, there are a few Wii games that don't have save files at all and thus don't have any official banners.
No. It's read directly from the disc image for GameCube games and from the save file for Wii games (which is why Wii games don't show a banner before a save file is created). Creating a database would be far from trivial.
If using an older build or not dealing with copyrighted content, we highly recommend just generating an SD card on one computer, and then copying that SD card to all other computers to ensure that things are the same. However, if that virtual SD card was used offline or online with write block disabled, the MD5 checksum will change ("Date Accessed" of the files are what's different in virtual SD card), but will not cause immediate syncs. If you are using a Wii game launcher app for various mods, users on all ends must have the same copies of homebrew app and the game in their game list first, then set the game as default ISO, as mentioned in previous section.