With MAME emulator you can play old arcade arcades on PC

With the MAME emulator for PC, it is possible to play the original versions of the old Arcade games of the Arcade Coin-ops

MAME emulator for PC

Many years ago it was not as easy to play video games as it is today. It was in fact necessary to have a lot of coins and go to the arcades or bars by queuing up to play your favorite videogame.

MAME emulator for PC
MAME emulator for PC

The video games in the arcades were almost all of the Arcade genre and there was not much to understand or think about: you picked up the joystick or pressed buttons, guided the character or a spaceship, and went on in the pictures killing the enemies.

Today these old games that marked the youth of those who are 40 or 50 today can be played on the PC through the MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator), a free and open-source program.  which allows you to emulate arcade cabinets, so you can play those old arcade titles and savor what it meant to play in the 80s.

How to download MAME

MAME, an easy-to-use emulator on PC, which allows you to play retro video games that are always beautiful and unforgettable such as Street Fighter 2, Final Fight, Shinobi, Toky, Samurai Shodown, Bubble Bobble, Fatal Fury, Pang, Gals Panic, Golden Ax, R-Type, Mortal Kombat, Puzzle Bubble and many others. To run these games you need to download the ROMs, that is the digital file that contains the whole game (usually a few MegaBytes). These ROMs can be found on Emule or on the Torrent network but also by starting a targeted search on DuckDuckGo (the alternative search engine.

MAME can be downloaded from the official site . Once the site is open, press directly on the link mameXXXX_64bit.exe, in order to download the 64-bit version of the program.

After downloading the self-extracting file, click on the file and extract all the contents of the archive in a folder of your choice, taking care to choose a new folder (called for example MAME ). At the end of the extraction let’s go inside the folder and start the executable mame.exe.

The interface does not tell us anything, but from here it is possible to start new games by downloading the ROMs and placing them in the right folder, as we will see in the following chapter.

How to download new games for MAME

The ROMs as mentioned can be downloaded from eMule or BitTorrent , but we can also find the ROMs available for download using DuckDuckGo as an anonymous search engine .

After downloading a ROM (in .zip format) we just have to copy it to the Roms folder without decompressing it; this folder is present in the directory where the MAME emulator was extracted and is used to store all compatible games.

After copying the game, click on the mame.exe file to start playing. At start-up, in the first starting screen, there is the list of games that have been copied to the roms folder, among which you can choose one and press Enter to play.

Some free and open source games that we can download freely (without infringing copyrights) are available on the MAME website .

How to play on MAME

The ROMs downloaded from the Internet are faithful reproductions of arcade arcades so at the beginning, the hardware emulator shows the videogame is turned on and then, inside the game, we will end up with the typical writing ” Insert Coin “.

Obviously we don’t have to insert any coins into the PC! The “virtual” currency is inserted with the F5 key , the mode a player starts with the 1 key, CTRL on the left is the main button, Alt is the second and so on then the bar and the letters ZXCV, the keyboard arrows move the player and ESC quit the game.

All keys can be remapped and changed in the initial mame setup menu but, in the beginning, you need to get a little familiar, try the various keys by seeing what they do and follow the instructions here .

You can also use a gamepad or joystick to play more comfortably.

If, when starting MAME, the lower part of the prompt is red when a game is highlighted, there is a good chance that the ROM will not work; if it’s green, it should go instead. Some games start in a flash, others load a little more because they require hardware emulation but, in general, always within a reasonable time.

The screen, at times, can flicker a little with the appearance of strange messages but there is nothing to worry about, after a while they disappear, just wait for the end of the setup and get to the initial game screen.


MAME is a great program that allows you to savor the first real video games, and to rediscover the taste of the past: you cannot imagine the enormous amount of coins thrown into the cabinets to be able to score a new record or to be able to finish a particular game. hard!

Some old arcade games are fun because they are fast and straightforward, simple but more engaging than some complicated and difficult to understand today’s games. Those who love retro games and the 80s in particular must have the MAME installed on their computer, so that they can savor the games that have marked more than one generation.

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