How to Use MAME to Play Arcade Games

So you guys want to play arcade games on your PC? Well, let’s now start with MAME is not easy for the average Joe. There is actually a lot to learn. Where do you guys put the game files? What commands actually do you use? How do you guys get the joystick working? Well, here’s a mini-guide for those that just want to quickly get up and running along with MAME for Windows. Read this How to Use MAME to Play Arcade Games.

How to Use MAME to Play Arcade Games

  • First of all, you have to download MAME Binaries.
  • Just extract the files. When prompted for a directory, give a folder that you want to extract the files to. In this example, that we use “C:\mame“.
  • You guys will want to download ROMs to use with MAME. You can search ROMs for almost any arcade game. But, it may not be legal for you in order to use many of them. You can always get legal ROMS as we did.
  • Whenever you download MAME Roms, then they come in ZIP format. You guys do not need to extract them. Just leave them zipped and place them in the “C:\mame\roms” folder.
  • Bring up a DOS command prompt as well. In order to do so tap on “Start” > “Run” and type “CMD“.
  • Just type “cd\” to head to the root directory.
  • Now type “cd mame” to go into the “C:\mame” folder.

Now in orde to start mame, you type mame, then space, and then the game file that you want to use:

  • For example: mame robby

If you guys have a joystick or gamepad you want to use, then you guys have to use the -joystick switch:

  • For example: mame robby -joystick

Now the game ROM should run.

  • If you want to insert a quarter, then just press 5.
  • For 1 player, just press 1. And for 2 players, then press 2.
  • P basically pauses the rom.
  • You guys can press Tab in order to access the options in MAME.

Configuring Keys

It is always up to you guys to decide how you can control your game. Thus, developers of emulators give you along with an opportunity in order to remap the keys according to your liking. Suffice it in order to press Tab and get into the configuration menu, from where you guys will be able to choose the buttons in order to control your game. Still, if you guys are reluctant to tinker along with settings. Then you always can take benefit of the default configuration options.

When you are done along with configuring, just start your MAME. Now choose your favorite game from it, and then head straight into the magical world of arcade adventures!


Well, I hope you like this article and understand all the steps. However, if you still have any problems and queries related to this article. Then feel free to ask me in the comments section below. I’ll get back to you shortly.

Keep Smiling!

Also See: Stream Origin Games to Your Steam Library

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