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This page contains all the information you may need to get melonDS going. If you still need something, don't hesitate to ask on our forums!
|Getting started with melonDS|
First of all, melonDS requires BIOS and firmware dumps from a DS or if you want to emulate the DSi, melonDS requires the BIOS, firmware and NAND image. We haven't gotten around to making alternate BIOS/firmware yet. So, you will need to obtain those:
You can then configure the BIOS and Firmware by going to Emu Settings -> DS-mode and then navigate to the paths of each file.
You can dump these files from a DS/DSi/3DS with this dumper by running it on a flashcart on a DS, (R4, Acekard, etc) or through nds-bootstrap or similar on a DSi/3DS.
The firmware can come in three flavors:
DSi/3DS DS-mode firmwares are not bootable. They only contain configuration data.
As of melonDS 0.9, melonDS can also emulate the DSi. To get the DSi BIOS, firmware and NAND image, you need these files:
Once that is done, you can launch melonDS and set it up.
This is where you map keyboard and joystick input. To map a button, click it, then press the desired key or joystick button. You can press Escape to cancel the mapping process, leaving the previous mapping unchanged. Joystick mappings can also be cleared by pressing Backspace.
As of 0.8.1, it is possible to map keys with modifiers (Ctrl+Z, Shift+Q, Ctrl+Alt+K...). Key mappings can also be cleared by pressing Backspace, just like for joystick mappings. And joystick mappings can have both a button/hat direction and axis assigned; mapping one type will leave the other mapping type intact (for example mapping a button leaves the axis mapping intact). Pressing Backspace clears both mappings.
This functions the same as input config, but pertains to hotkeys, which are like special buttons controlling the emulator's features (for example, fullscreen, closing the lid, playing a microphone sample, ...).
Once melonDS is set up to your liking, well, load a game and enjoy!
Running the system menu/Pictochat/download play
Use System -> Run with no ROM loaded. If you already had a ROM loaded, you can use System -> Stop to unload it.
Importing a savefile from another emulator
melonDS uses raw save files, which should be compatible with most other emulators. Note that melonDS determines the save memory type (and thus protocol) from the size of the save file, so it is important that the file be exactly the correct size.
Since version 0.9.1 the easiest way to use a savefile from DeSmuME, DraStic or a flashcard is by using the Import savefile function found in melonDS. Otherwise you can either use the Export backup memory feature (for DeSmuME), or open the .dsv save file in a hex editor, remove excess bytes at the end until the size is a power of two, and save with a .sav extension.
To use a savefile from NO$GBA you need go into it's settings and change the SAV/SNA File Format to Raw.
The following games may be problematic:
You can save a state at any time by using the keyboard shortcuts: Shift+F1..F8 for slots 1..8, or Shift+F9 to specify your own filename.
Similarly, you can load a saved state with F1..F8 for slots 1..8, or F9 to load any savestate file.
You can use F12 to undo a spurious state load.
Savestates for slots 1..8 are placed alongside the ROM file.
Local multiplayer/download play
You can open two melonDS instances on your computer and have them connect together. Or atleast try, wifi support is still WIP and not guaranteed to work. Local multiplayer is currently unstable due to the timing requirements. Disabling the framerate limiter has been found to help getting a stable connection.
By enabling the Bind socket to any address setting, you can try playing over LAN, but don't hold your breath. Nintendo's local multiplayer protocol requires tight timing for a good connection.
You can try connecting more than two melonDS instances together, but it will likely not function correctly.
Online connectivity is achieved by emulating an access point (melonAP) the game can connect to. Past this, there are two methods for forwarding network traffic to the outer world:
|I am running into an issue / have a feature to suggest|
melonDS is a work in progress, so we are open to requests for new features or bug fixes.
You can post those:
|Latest Development Builds|
The latest development builds are the latest changes made to melonDS. This may fix bugs, but it also might be unstable. To try these out, click the build badge corresponding to your operating system.
Click the topmost result in the list, then click the download under 'Artifacts'. To download you need a GitHub account.
Click the topmost result in the list, then click '1 published'. From there you can download melonDS.dmg.
Where do I get ROMs?
You can dump your carts using a DSi/3DS system and copy these over to a computer.
I can't get multiplayer to work
Keep in mind that wifi support is still WIP. Not all games work with it.
Why name it melonDS?
Why not? :D
|Minimum system requirements|
(more seriously, though, just try it out and see how well it runs; if it's too slow, remember there are other emulators you can try)