Meet the Nintendo DS Emulator, melonDS

melonDS is a modern and fully developed Nintendo DS portable emulator, very interesting and you will probably enjoy.

I will not deny that I am a laptop lover and have had the opportunity to own most of them. However, not all my consoles are in perfect condition (or still alive). which is another passion I have, the emulators.


melonDS is an Nintendo DS emulator, one of the most important portables of the gaming industry. Sorry for my excitement, but talking about DS reminds me of my teenage years, the time when I ran after buying my consoles and games (bricklayer, various buzzers, sales, and even my early days in IT).

Many readers will cite the DeSmuME as an alternative to your Nintendo DS games. I agree that the emulator very good, however, since 2015 has not released a new version on its website. I currently enjoy using the modified DeSmuME (I will be able to create a post about) and melonDS. melonDS-nintendo-ds-emulator-dump-game-linux-windows-game-retro

Compared to DeSmuME, melonDS is a newbie, but the promising emulator is getting new features day after day. In addition to the performance and graphic features around its emulation. Currently it uses OpenGL as a graphic renderer, but with the accelerated development of the program, I do not doubt that Vulkan becomes a new option. Some features of the emulator, in a nutshell, are:

  • Nearly complete core (CPU, video, audio,);
  • OpenGL renderer, 3D upscaling (allowing scaling the native resolution of DS, increasing up to 8x);
  • Simulates parts of hardware such as the RTC (internal DS clock), microphone, closed / open lid;
  • Joystick support;
  • Savestates;
  • Various modes of positioning / scaling / rotation of game screen display;
  • (WIP) Wifi: local multiplayer, online connectivity (requires libpcap for its operation);
  • Windows and Linux verse;
  • Free Software under GPL3 License (go to melonDS github);
  • And much more is planned.

Features that will be implemented in the future:

  • Nintendo DSi Emulation;
  • 3D graphics with perfect pixels;
  • Improvement of libui and the emulator interface;
  • Support for rendering screens separately;
  • Emulation of addons;
  • Among other features (debugger, chart viewers, cheat crapo, etc).

Features that are also planned, but in the background:

  • Wifi improvements;
  • Emulate flashcarts or other sophisticated hardware;
  • Big endian compatibility (Wii, etc);
  • LCD refresh time (used by some games for effects blending);
  • Relevant resources suggested by melonDS users.

News, enhancements and more information are always available on melonDS official website. Its development and constant releases are characteristics that cheer me up in this project. After all, if something is still under development, it means that each time the emulator becomes more mature and complete, while something stagnant offers no possible improvements. melonDS-nintendo-ds-emulator-dump-game-linux-windows-game-retro

How to download melonDS

To get the latest versions of melonDS, just download directly from its official website. Both Windows and Linux versions are executable. You do not need to install the application on your system. However, some files are required for their operation.

MelonDS requires BIOS / firmware copies of a DS. Required Files:

  • bios7.bin, 16 KB: ARM7 BIOS
  • bios9.bin, 4KB: ARM9 BIOS
  • firmware.bin, 128/256 / 512KB: firmware

To use the emulator you will need these 3 files, coming from an original DS or DS Lite. For obvious reasons we can not make the files available here on the blog Diolinux. Add the files to the melonDS executable and the emulator will function normally.

Remembering that on Linux you have to give melonDS execution permission. Right-click on the melonDS executable. Comes properties >> Permissions and mark the checkbox.


Even with the English interface the intuitive emulator and in a few minutes you learn all the program settings. If you have only used DeSmuME, I recommend trying melonDS.

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