Everything You Need to Know About Dolphin Emulator: How To’s

Emulators are very popular, especially for retro games. In using emulators, you can play games from PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP. You can also use emulators for Wii games using your PC. It is a great software to use if you don’t have your own Wii or a Playstation device. One of the most popular programs to help you play GameCube or Wii games is downloading Dolphin Emulator on your PC. This software will help you play numerous games from your chosen gaming console. 

How to Download Dolphin Emulator on your PC

The latest version of Dolphin Emulator is available for download by going to their official website. The minimum requirement for you to download this is to have a processor that is compatible with the SSES and a graphics card that supports Pixel Shader 2.0 or higher. 


You can download this software for either of your Windows or Mac devices. It is available in different versions: Beta, Development, and Stable Versions. The best version to download is the Development version since it is updating in real-time.

How to Install the Development Version on Windows

After downloading the Windows 64 bit development version from the official website of Dolphin Emulator, open the folder where your installer is saved then extract the zip file. To extract the zip file, right-click on the folder, select 7-zip, then click extract. After extracting all the files, open the Dolphin-x64 folder and click “Dolphin.exe.”

How to Install the Development Version on Mac 

After downloading the macOS development version from the official website of Dolphin Emulator:

  1. Go to the downloads folder then click on the “dolphin-master-development-version.dmg” file.
  2. Drag the Dolphin Emulator icon to your Applications folder.
  3. Wait for the installation to finish, then click the Dolphin Emulator icon.

How to Use the Dolphin Emulator 

Make sure to organize all your ISOs/ROMs in separate folders that you can quickly locate. After organizing your files, launch your Dolphin Emulator and select Config. Then go to the Paths tab then click the Add button. After that, locate your folder that contains all of your games. Your games will be displayed after you select Refresh.


Double click the specific game you want to play using the Dolphin Emulator. You can save your game’s progress by going to Emulation> Save State in the main panel. If you’re going to continue your previous game, go to Emulation> Save State and select Load State. 

How to Determine if Your Game is Compatible

Before downloading the ISOs/ROMs of your chosen game, make sure to double-check if it is compatible with the Dolphin Emulator. To check its compatibility, search for your chosen game on the Dolphin Emulator Wiki page located under the Compatibility Lists. Right-click on each game and choose “Wiki.”

How to Download on your Android Device

The Dolphin Emulator is also available for your android devices. However, the application is still in beta. The minimum requirement for your device is to have an Android version of 5.0 or higher. 


If you have a device with high-quality specs, you can play GameCube games using your personal controller or a touchscreen overlay. Playing Wii games is not recommended for Android devices since it lacks motion control support. 

How to Make your Gaming Experience Faster

Using Dolphin Emulator will affect your gaming performance compared to the original versions of Wii and GameCube. However, if you own a PC with powerful specs, you can enjoy playing different high graphics games without experiencing lagging and FPS drop. You can change the setting on the Graphics Tab.


Since it is one of the most popular methods to speed up a GameCube or Wii game emulated in the Dolphin Emulator, you can quickly reduce the display resolution. In the General tab, under the View section, disable the V-Sync function. The default setting for the Adapter can be used for Basic.


As most Wii games can display 16:9 in Widescreen, whereas most GameCube games are 4:3 by default, the aspect ratio is significantly essential. That said, depending on the console games you are trying to play at the moment, you can change the Aspect Ratio. To show games like on TV, enable the “Use fullscreen” feature.

How to Use the Hacks Tab

Go to Graphics Configuration and click on the Hacks tab. Untick the “Skip EFB Access from CPU” as this will compromise your overall gaming experience. Tick check on “Ignore Format Changes” to enhance your gaming performance without consequences. Check “Store EFB Copies to Texture Only” to provide higher gaming performance. 


You may change this setting, depending on the game you are currently playing. For the Texture Cache section, change the accuracy to Fast and check “GPU Texture Decoding.” Disable “External Frame Buffer (EFB)” unless the game you will play needs this to be activated. Lastly, check “Fast Depth Calculation” and “Disable Bounding Box.”

How to Use the Advanced Tab

Make sure to untick everything except the “Dump Textures” box unless you have the technical expertise or a developer to help you set up your emulator. However, you can check “Load Custom Textures” if your chosen game needs this feature. The “Enable Progressive Scan” box is safe to activate but it will not have any significant effect on most games.

In A Nutshell 

Downloading the Dolphin Emulator is the best way to experience playing GameCube and Wii games on your PC. It is convenient for gamers who do not own a Wii or a GameCube hardware but still want to experience playing their chosen game. There are different technicalities in downloading the software but worth the shot. You can always go back to this article for your quick dolphin emulator how-to’s. 


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