Forums  /  Speedrunning  /  Creating a list of Valid/Popular Emulators
(edited: )

Hi there,

After being asked countless times by people new to the community or even just switching to a new platform, I've decided to take it upon myself to create a list of emulators which are valid and popular amongst runners. While it will take a while to try and get info from as many runners as possible, it would help if anyone who reads this to post their emulators of choice below.

Just use the following format (to make compiling it easier at the end):

Name of Platform - Name of Emulator

Edit: Please also provide any info you have on game specific bans for any emulators you list.

If you can please include the version you use. Feel free to contribute as many platforms as you'd like. I'll check back here daily and add any submissions to what I get from individually asking others.



OxkniferOxknifer, cleverpidgeoncleverpidgeon and 18 others like this. 

Alright, let's start then 😃

GBA - Bizhawk (VBA-ReRecording (V23.6 r480) is also allowed, as far as i know, but it's not too good at emulating lag, wich causes HUGE slowdowns on some games, like Boktai)

OReONoRCalOReONoRCal and MopsyFlopsyMopsyFlopsy like this. 

Quoting myself on what xDrHellx said Kappa
Quote of xDrHellx (that he wrote in a thread)

If the emulator is accurate and the community for that game accepts emulator as a valid choice, then yes, you can. The most commonly used emulators for each system include:

NES - FCEUX 2.2.0
GB - bgb
SNES - SNES9x 1.53
GBA - VBA 1.7.2
Genesis/GameGear/SMS - Fusion
N64 - Project64 v1.7

For reference, the following emulators are globally banned for use in racing:

SNES - ZSNES, snes9x 1.4x
N64 - Project64 2.x
GBA - VBA-M (use VBA instead. If VBA does not support your GBA game, please contact an op.)"


(original post: )

if it still an accepted list

MopsyFlopsyMopsyFlopsy and xDrHellxxDrHellx like this. 

• NES - puNES [Best score for accuracy]
• SNES - Higan (aka BSNES) [Best score for accuracy]
• GB - Gambatte [Best score for accuracy]
• GBA - mGBA
• Gamecube - Dolphin
• Wii - Dolphin

N64 and PS1 still have inaccuracies that make them bannable on a game-to-game basis. Honestly I don't see them ever becoming very accurate because of their plugin swamp.

CronokirbyCronokirby, xDrHellxxDrHellx and MopsyFlopsyMopsyFlopsy like this. 

GB/GBC - Gambatte Qt R571, BGB 1.5.2. All versions, distros and revisions of VBA have known emulation errors and inaccuracies with gameboy and color games.

DS - Currently desamune 9.9.9 and 9.9.11 are inaccurate for DS speedruns. Please read vulajin's research efforts for an explanation on this:

xDrHellxxDrHellx, MopsyFlopsyMopsyFlopsy and pldpld like this. 

PS1 - Mednafen and XEBRA

They use a basically replicated PS1 core making them the most accurate for ps1 emulation.

MopsyFlopsyMopsyFlopsy, XYXXYX and EllieEllie like this. 

For NES/SNES I usually use higan (currently version 0.94)

Back when I did GBA, I was a scrub and used VBA - which I now know you're totally not supposed to use ╮(╯ل͜╰)╭

MopsyFlopsyMopsyFlopsy and ROMaster2ROMaster2 like this. 
(edited: )

ePSXe 2.0 seems to have special settings that can be used to reduce lag (by overclocking the PS1 CPU, so nah). I suggest only keeping 1.9.0.

Edit: 2.0.2 has overclocking, 2.0.0 doesn't.

MopsyFlopsyMopsyFlopsy likes this. 

Genesis -- Regan (If you want controller support this one is a winner)

MopsyFlopsyMopsyFlopsy likes this. 

BGB > Gambatte

MopsyFlopsyMopsyFlopsy likes this. 
(edited: )

Gambatte > BGB

MetalHeadMetalHead, MopsyFlopsyMopsyFlopsy and ROMaster2ROMaster2 like this. 

This list makes me think: Should there be a list of selectable emulators when submitting a run? What I mean is, when you check the emulator box, a dropbox menu appears below Platform to select your emulator (and possibly version).

LocalLocal, pldpld and 3 others like this. 

I actually saw on the Breath of Fire 3 leaderboards a ps emu submission, and the guy's load times were worse than people on ps. Obviously it's game to game as mentioned before but there are definitely a lack of discussions specifically on ps emus and I would love to see it fleshed out more.


OpenEMU supports multiple cores, so you should match the core to the above list.

(edited: )

By that logic we should disallow ALL homebrew emulators since we already have the original console, no?

The point of allowing homebrew emulators is to make the games accessible to more people, so we look for MORE ways to make the games accessible, not fewer.

Jaylow7Jaylow7 and xDrHellxxDrHellx like this. 

Pres has a valid point here. The point of allowing emulators is to make playing (and speedrunning) games more accessible. Especially with the way prices have been skyrocketing lately for older systems/games. Case in point, for me to go get a working NES or SNES would cost MORE than my parents paid for BOTH combined back when they were new.

I'm certainly not the only one that's forced to use emulation to do their speedruns. The one run I have posted here (NES Zelda 2 100% AK) was played on emulator.


Can anyone experienced with SSF and Sega Saturn games go into detail about that subject?


If you use OpenEmu (which supports multiple platforms) to do a speedrun of a GB game and it gives you the option to select a core (the core I used was Gambatte), does it count as using Gambatte or OpenEmu?


Specifically in Driver 1, it has been proven that ePSX is faster than the real HW. Mednafen/Xebra seems to be fine.