How to turn your computer into an arcade game machine

How to turn your computer into an arcade game machine

If you are over thirty, this tutorial is designed for you. If, above, names like 'Golden Ax', 'Toki,' Snow Bros' or 'Cadillac & Dinosaurs' sound familiar to you, you should stay and read it until the end. How many 5 hard coins have we spent in arcade machines in lounges and bars? We weren't sure if we should be inside the bar, but the siren songs of fantastic worlds, dragons, street fighters and tokens that fell from the void attracted us like honey to flies.

It is better not to think about how much money we have spent on the 'little machines'. Much better is having a 'machine' on our computer with which we can 'emulate' the classic arcade games and, best of all, without having to ask for change. From the comfort of our living room, on the computer, or connected to the television. Do you want to go back in time? Don't miss out on what's next.

I want to play arcade classics on my computer. How do i do it?

First steps: download the emulator

The emulator that we have to download is MAME. With the MAME emulator you will be able to play the arcades you want, as long as you download the corresponding ROM of the game. But we go in parts:

To download the emulator, first you have to see what operating system you have. Let's suppose you are Window: next dilemma: 32-bit or 64-bit computer? If you don't know, go to the 'My Computer' icon or type in the search bar 'This computer' and enter.

this equipment and properties

In 'Properties' you will see which Windows system is the one you use, if it is 32-bit or 64-bit .

To download the version of the MAME emulator that fits your system, we have to go to the official MAME website on the Internet. Click on the appropriate version: for example, the 64-bit version has a weight of 56.4 MB. Upon acceptance, an executable file will begin to download. This executable file actually contains a compressed folder with a good handful of files inside. When we open the executable, the following screen appears:

mame removable files

If we press 'Extract' we will be placed, in the 'Downloads' folder, all the folders that the file contains and unordered. So that this does not happen, we go to the desktop and create a folder called, for example 'EMULATOR'. Do you already have him? Keep reading.

Now, click on the box that you can see in the upper screenshot, next to the search bar. It is a box that contains three ellipsis. We do this to tell it to put the emulator folders in the one we have created on the desktop. We select the EMULATOR folder on the desktop, and that's it.

Now, we are going to open the emulator for the first time. Of course, we will not be able to play any game because we have not yet downloaded any ROM.

How does the MAME emulator work?

If you don't want to mess with the different folders that the MAME emulator has downloaded, just look at two , which are the important ones. One is called ROMS. In this folder you will have to put the ROMS of the games you download. You just have to cut and paste, that's all.


The other important element is the emulator itself. Click twice on the icon below and it will open. What you will see is this:

mame interface

Here you will only have to select the column 'Available' (available) that you can see on the left. In this section you will see all the games that you have downloaded and included in the emulator. Check it out now: you will see that there are none because you have not downloaded anything.

To download game roms, just do a Google search. There are pages and pages full of ROMS. You just have to download it, copy it and paste it in the ROMS folder as we told you before.

When you have saved the ROMS inside the corresponding folder, close and open the MAME emulator again. Now, in the 'Available' tab you will see that the games you have downloaded appear . To start playing, you just have to double-click the game and, if all goes well, you can start playing with both the keyboard and a USB controller.

How do I configure the game controls?

You have already opened the game, but you have no idea how to move forward or backward or even punch left and right. Or speed up and brake, if it's a car game. Well, it is very simple. Once the splash screen starts, press the tab key . A small menu window will appear where you will have to press 'Input (This Machine)'.

configure mame controls

Stand on each of the controls that you must modify. If it appears in English, look for the translation of the control so that you have everything clear. Once located on the control, press ENTER . Two arrows will appear on the sides such that.

configure controls mame 2

Now you just have to hold down the key you want to assign to that specific command. Do not forget: the trick is to keep it pressed until it appears indicated in the control we want. This is how it should look on screen:

configure controls mame 3

Bonus: How do I extend the gaming experience?

If you want to take your games to another level, you can consider connecting your computer to your television for a much larger picture. To do this, you will only need an HDMI connector that you will take from your PC to the TV. And to play, it is best to get two controllers like the ones before and thus be able to control the game from the comfort of the living room.

In stores like Aliexpress you have replica Nintendo controls for 3.30 euros. If you prefer that they arrive before you and have greater security when returning them, you can order them through Amazon although they will cost a little more: the set of two controls will be for 9 euros.

With this you are ready to turn your living room into a recreational room like the ones you used to frequent when you were little. Shall we play another game?