MAME guide


Zoo Keeper
Writen by Demonicus edited and EZed some by Epsi :)

The very first thing you should grab in any emulation situation is, of course, the emulator. Mame is originally a Dos prompt run program. If you do not feel comfortable with Dos, then it would be best to grab a Windows derivative. Mame32, Mame32FX, MAME Plus!, and usually any other Mame with 32 in the title is a Windows version of Mame. This faq is written for the Windows version.

Once you have found the emulator, unzip it. It's usually an executable file, so just double click it. Once that's done, you'll find the .exe to run the emu inside whichever folder you uncompressed to.

1.1 Taking a look at Mame32:
The very most left column displays all the different rom view filters available. What that means is that you can have your roms displayed by either genre, manufacturer, date, ect. So, let's say that you only wanted to see the fighting games in your mame collection. You would press the plus next to, or double click on Genre. You would then choose one of the Fighter filter options.

The middle column is your game list. For the games you have to be displayed, you must set up your Rom directory under the Directories option, which is in Options. That will be covered more later. You may notice that different games have different color coded blocks beside them. The meaning is:

Green - Parent Rom: This is the main rom that you need to run a game. It has the universal game programming that all revisions of that game need to run. Parent roms are also denoted by the brick being to the left in the list. Once you have the parent rom of the game you wish to play, you can get Clones to play different versions of the game.

Pale Green - Clones: This is the small bit of programming that seperates certain revisions of a game from others. Wether it be different Country info, how many players allowed in a game, to actual whole other games based off of the original games programming. They will NOT work if you do not have the Parent file. They are not the whole game. Picture them as an add-on.

Red - Not Working: This game does not work. It is not emulated by Mame. The info is there for the day that the rom info is perfected, the emu is updated to support it, ect. If it is labeled as Not Working, it is not your copy of the rom. No rom of that particular game works.

The third and final column is where all screenshots/flyers/other artwork is displayed. You have to set up the emu for directories of these the same way that you do the roms. Each type of image goes into it's own folder i.e. screenshots go in snap, artwork goes in Artwork.

You can also enable the the History tab from the title bar and select "Show" -> "Show Pictures" -> "History". Now you have to download either Mameinfo.dat or History.dat. Now just extract them to the same place your Mame32.exe is located. So if done correctly the .dat files will be in the same place as the .exe.

1.2 The Mame Options File
It gives you your play and recording options. Contains Properties, where you can check the properties of a game. And finally contains Audit Games (also Alt+A), which refreshes your rom list, as well as checks the completeness and existance of all the roms in your Rom folder.

View: Lets you change all sorts of view option. Turning on and off image options, changing and resizing icons, everything image related with the emu is in here.

Options: This is the bread and butter of the Options bar. Here, you can set up your graphics settings, audio settings, turn on joystick/mouse interfaces, and several other features.

Help: Help notes, and other documentation about the emulator.

2.0 That's Nice, I Want to Play Now!
Yeah, I had that feeling about you. You figured out the emulator all by yourself. Here, have a cookie.

The first thing you'll want to do pro-emulator, is grab all of the bios roms you need. Bios roms are the particular programming that certain video game creators put on their arcade boards. To play a game that was on one of these boards, you need the right bios. The most popular bios files are:

CVS Bios
Crystal System BIOS
Hyper Neogeo 64 Bios
Megaplay Bios
Megatech Bios
Nintendo Super System BIOS
PGM (PolyGame Master) BIOS
ST-V Bios
Taito FX1
Capcom ZN1
Capcom ZN2

For all the supported Bioses just check on the right side column for "BIOS" and click on it. Once you have the ones you need, put them in your Rom folder along with your other roms. Do not extract them!

The next thing to do is to grab the parent rom of the games you wish to play. If you want to play the different versions, grab the clones to accompany the parent rom of the game. All are just clumped together in the Rom folder. You can get a few legaly free roms from here, just to help you get started.

2.1 I downloaded the rom zip of Killer Instinct, but it won't work!
I'm sure this is a common problem for first time users of Mame. The game will not play, because that rom is not the complete game. You require a .chd for the game. .Chd files are image copies of the hard disk that later arcade machines use. You can find out which games requre these files by selecting the .chd filter from the left column. You need both the .zip and the .chd for the game to be playable. Place both in your Rom folder you have set up.

3.0 New Version of Mame released, Some of my old games won't work!
With every new release of Mame, changes are made to different aspects of different games. Some game zips will be renamed to another name. Some will have files removed, and some will require files added. Other games will be removed from the emulator entirely. You will need to update your collection, so that you still have a full set, if that's what you're after. Your options in this situation are as follows:

1) Update with Clrmamepro: For this option, you will need a copy of Clrmamepro, and a .dat file of the currently updated Mame version. You can also use a dos prompt based Mame emu to create a .dat file, but it doesn't seem as efficient. When this has all been found, you will need to find a "update pack," which contains all of the new games, as well as the files needed to update games already released. You will then follow the instructions listed on the clrmamepro official website:

2) Update by hand: This option is very time consuming, but has a much higher chance of success than crlmamepro. You will still need the update packs, but you will be doing the integrating manually. The update pack contains folders named after the rom zip. If a folder matches the name of a rom already in your collection, you just want to add the contents of the folder into the zip. If it's not there, you have to find out if the folder is a new game just added to Mame, or if the old game's rom zips have been renamed for the new emu release. This method can still be tricky, tho.

3) If you have a pretty complete set, you can wait for rom sites to update their collection. Then, just grab the ones that are missing from your set, and presto, instant update!

4.0 Other Mame questions/troubleshooting

Mame doesn't recognize my controller!
First step, make sure your controller is plugged into your pc (yes, I'm serious). Next, go to Control Panel>Game Controllers, and check to see if Windows recognizes your controller. If not, make sure the drivers are installed (if needed), there's no cut/break in the controller cable, and that your port (serial/usb) is working. Once Windows recognizes it, get into your Mame emu, and go into Options>Default Game Options>Controllers. Check the "Enable Joystick Input" box, and Apply. Then, start a game (any game). Once the game is started, press the Tab key on your keyboard. That will lead to all the button configuration options for the emu.

I downloaded a game not officially supported by Mame, and it's giving me errors
First thing to do is to make sure the Mame emu you're trying to run the game on supports the rom. If you have, and the emu doesn't list that game, it's not going to work. The problem you're most likely having is that when you try to run the game, it gives you the error "2xx.xx rom missing (sha00000) expected: CRC 651267981 found: CRC 131614841." This means that your rom is incomplete, or put together from incompatible roms. When looking for these missing/correct roms, keep in mind it has to match that expected CRC it gave you. Roms with other CRCs will most likely not work, regardless if it's the same name.

I want to play Mame online with friends!
You and your friend will both need to get a copy of Mame with Kailera. Once you both have the same emu with Kailera, configure the online portion, and have fun.
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New member
mameui32 emulator problems

i recently downloaded this emulator - but when i try to play a game it says
the file is unsupported and that it cant intialize direct3d so i cant play can anyone help me ?


New member
Do Neo Geo arcade games work with MAME?


Zoo Keeper
This guide is ancient thou, and needs a rewrite. but glad if it stil has some relevance.


New member
Found many files but still can't play some games:
cyberlip: neodebug.rom (131072 bytes) - NOT FOUND (BIOS)
cyberlip: neo-epo.bin (131072 bytes) - NOT FOUND (BIOS)
cyberlip: neo-po.bin (131072 bytes) - NOT FOUND (BIOS)
cyberlip: 010-m1.bin (131072 bytes) - NOT FOUND
romset cyberlip [neogeo] is bad
1 romsets found, 0 were OK.



Abusus non tollit usum
Your neogeo bios is out of date find a new up to date source for, a lot of your other roms will also be out of date if you've sourced them from the same place.

As mame develops, new protection is cracked and new drivers written, roms are changed, updated and renamed (even redumped from new sources). your roms need to be compatible with the version number of mame you are running. Most sites that host them will specify what version of Mame they are designed to run with.

So you need to update your roms or find a source for up to date roms. The rules at this site prevent discussion of romsites or where to source material that's subject to copyright.


New member
Hmm... I see... thx for the information. But I'm googling a lot, and a BIOS with those files... I just can't find =\


Abusus non tollit usum
Can you tell me how to play the SegaSonic The Hedgehog Rom with this. I Can start it but not play it.

This game used a trackball meaning you'll need to use mouse control to play it properly. Make sure you have mouse enabled in your mame settings or ini file.


Abusus non tollit usum
Hit the TAB key in-game, go to controls for this game and define your analogue controls in the analogue control menu. Should work but really you need to use a mouse as its the closest optical equivalent to a trackball.
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New member
It also keeps telling me to hit the start button, I keep hiting the button programed as P1Start but nothing happens.


Abusus non tollit usum
Some games the start button would also be P1 B1, others had different assignments for P1 Start. Use the TAB menu to check what's assigned as P1 Start, try that as well as the P1 action buttons.