How To

How to Play Arcade Games on PC? The Complete Guide

Do you remember the arcades of old? Have you listened with awe at the many stories about them? The video game community has a soft spot for the old arcade games. Experiencing them, though, is often hard to do these days.

That is unless you’re willing to dive deep into the wonderful world of game ROMs and emulators. This realm of nostalgia and programming brings back old software into the modern era, taking the arcade games of old and putting them right on your home PC. Also, read Overwatch Player Count.

Eager to learn how to play arcade games on PC? We have a complete guide on the whats and hows you need. Let’s get started!

Your Complete Guide on How to Play Arcade Games on PC

Computer gaming has had a lot of tricks up its sleeve over the years. With such a customizable system over consoles, it is no surprise that PCs have a lot more wiggle room for what and how they can play games.

As technology advances, backward compatibility becomes harder and harder to maintain. Most modern machines can’t even comprehend the bizarre program of old school games.

Where there is a will, there is a way, though. Through the works of Nicola Salmoria came MAME and the home PC arcade was born.

What is MAME?

MAME, or Multiple Arcade Machine Emulation, is a simple command-line tool that can act as a middle man to allow arcade game software to work with the modern lines of computers.

It is a free product, crafted out of love and continued by a massive community of programmers and developers. It built one of the internet’s many gaming communities.

The tweaks and changes of the product over time made it easier on newer users and soon various versions were outpouring from the internet, complete with modded and refurbished arcade game software.

  1. The Many Faces of MAME

The various versions of MAME cover a variety of options, from the ease of use to certain operating systems. One of the most common forms is MAMEUI64, a free program for Windows.

  1. Hardware

There are a few additions you can get to supplement your MAME arcade games. These are there to enhance your experience, though with some ROMs they can be helpful.

For fun, you can get your own arcade cabinet controller. These are a popular item to get the full experience of the arcade right in your home. They come in a variety of styles and sizes.

You can also get some programs to use modern console controllers on your PC. These may not work well with many ROMs, but experimenting can be fun!

  1. Getting ROMs

While the hardware can be optional, the non-optional addition is the ROMs of the games you wish to play. MAME does not come with ROMs, only information on them.

There are also hosts of websites that offer up free downloads of ROMs for all the various old arcade games. ROM stands for Read-Only Memory and acts as a copy of all the game’s key files.

The Installation and Configuration Process

Now we get to the nitty-gritty details. For this process, we will focus on the common MAMEUI64, but a lot of the processes will work for many versions of MAME.

MAMEUI64 is portable, meaning that when you have the download, everything is there. Extract the file and run the .exe program to install it. It should have a clean and clear install process.

Once you have the program installed, there will be two major items in the MAMEUI64 folder you need to care about. The .exe will launch the game after you ran the installation, the other is the ROMs folder.

There are lots of ROMs listed in the MAME program, but none come with the MAME download. The listings are all the games that have notes on how well they work on MAME.

Getting the Games to Play

To get access to the games you want, you may have to do some digging. The MAME website has a host of ROMs that the original developers put up for free. The more popular ones should be easy to find, but rarer titles may take some effort to find.

This where a lot of the community comes in. Each ROM is a project, emulated and restructured for work with MAME. Thanks to them, the internet has a massive library to choose from.

In your quest to find the games you remember or have heard about so often, there is a good chance you will find the many members of the MAME community. There are hundreds of them out there, often working for free, so give them your regards!

When the Real Thing Can’t Be Beat

Your new MAME setup can let you explore a near-limitless library of delightful arcade games from throughout video games past. This kind of system also explores the areas of other emulators, keeping every past generation of gaming alive for years to come.

There is little, though, that can replace the social excitement and general feel of an old arcade. Many arcades these days have gone out of business, folding to the easier and more dynamic home console systems over a decade ago.

Not all of them! There are still some places you can find old arcade games and they are a great treasure for a community from long ago.

Check one out and discover the real feel of arcades!

From Old to New, Keeping up with Video Games

Now with a better understanding of how to play arcade games on your PC, a brand new landscape opens up to you. Emulators are a fantastic way to revisit old classics and experience them in all their glory. What’s the first game you want to play?

Whether it is the games of the past or the latest tech of the future, there is a lot going on these days in the world of video games. We at Gamers Suffice share your passion and are eager to bring you all the latest news. Check out our articles today!

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Rupesh Kumar

First, I am an online marketing professional, as well as a night time gamer with a wide array of interests. Aside from constantly writing about games, I also enjoy writing about my other hobbies such as fitness, cooking, home DIY projects and travel. Contact me at

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