Dolphin Emulator 60 FPS: How to Enable, Configure, and Troubleshoot
Dolphin emulator is a free and open-source video game console emulator for GameCube and Wii that runs on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S. It was first developed as closed source in 2003, and as open source since 2008.
Dolphin emulator is widely praised for its high compatibility, steady development progress, the number of available features, and the ability to play games with graphical improvements over the original consoles. With Dolphin emulator, you can enjoy hundreds of titles from Nintendo's GameCube and Wii consoles on your PC or mobile device, with enhanced resolution, framerate, sound, and input options.
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In this article, we will guide you through the basics of using Dolphin emulator, from installation and configuration to loading games and enhancing them. We will also provide some tips and tricks for netplay and troubleshooting, as well as some links to useful resources. Whether you are new to emulation or a seasoned veteran, we hope you will find this article helpful and informative.
Every game has different requirements, some titles may require a powerful computer or device while some other titles may not. Generally, these are the minimum recommended requirements for Dolphin emulator.
OS: 64-bit edition of Windows (10 or higher), Linux, or macOS (macOS 10.15 Catalina or higher). Most modern Linux distributions should work given support for Dolphin's dependencies, and FreeBSD is unsupported but also may work.
Processor: A 64-bit x86-64 or AArch64 processor. Highly recommended to have 4 cores or more. Faster is better.
Graphics: A graphics card that supports Direct3D 11 / OpenGL 4.4 / Vulkan 1.1 is recommended. Onboard graphics may work, but drivers may vary.
Input device(s): Any PC input device mouse and keyboard by default for Wii, mouse by default for GameCube.
OS: 64-bit edition of Android (5 or higher). Android 9 or higher recommended.
Processor: A 64-bit x86-64 or AArch64 processor, as powerful as possible. For Qualcomm devices, processors with 2 or more "big cores" recommended. Snapdragon 700 or newer is typically recommended.
Graphics: OpenGL ES 3.0 or higher, OpenGL ES 3.2 / Vulkan 1.1 is recommended. RDNA2 or Snapdragon based graphics processors give the best performance. High-end Mali graphics solutions may also provide playable framerates. All other manufacturers are not generally recommended.
Input device(s): Any Android input device touchscreen by default for Wii and GameCube.
For this guide well be using the latest developer version of Dolphin, which at the time of writing is 5.014866 on Windows 10. If you are on Linux, check out our guide on how to install Dolphin on Ubuntu. Its worth noting that in mere hours, the version will have changed, since nowadays Dolphin is developing at an even more rapid pace than before, with multiple developer versions released every day.
If you dont like those frenetic update rhythms, you can also use the stable version of Dolphin, which is 5.0 as of now. However, the stable version is more than four years old and lacks many features and improvements that the developer version has.
To download Dolphin emulator, you can visit the official website at and click on the Download button. You will be redirected to a page where you can choose between the stable version and the developer version. For this guide, we will use the developer version, which is updated every few hours with the latest changes and fixes.
On the download page, you can select your operating system and architecture, and then click on the Download button for the latest build. You will get a compressed file that contains the Dolphin executable and some other files. You can extract this file to any folder you want, such as C:\Dolphin or D:\Games\Dolphin. There is no need to install anything, just run the Dolphin.exe file to launch the emulator.
If you are using an Android device, you can also download Dolphin emulator from the Google Play Store or from the official website. The Android version has a similar interface and features as the desktop version, but it may have some differences and limitations depending on your device and OS version.
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Once you have downloaded and launched Dolphin emulator, you will see the main window with four tabs: Games, Config, Graphics, and Controllers. The first thing you should do is to configure some general settings for the emulator, such as language, paths, updates, and performance options. To do this, click on the Config tab and you will see a window with several sections.
In this section, you can change the language of the emulator's interface, enable or disable dual core mode (which can improve performance but may cause instability in some games), enable or disable cheats (which can modify game behavior or unlock hidden features), and enable or disable auto-updates (which can keep your emulator up to date with the latest changes).
In this section, you can customize the appearance and behavior of the emulator's interface, such as showing or hiding toolbars, status bar, game list columns, banners, etc. You can also enable or disable confirmations for various actions, such as stopping emulation or exiting Dolphin.
In this section, you can add or remove folders where Dolphin will scan for games in ISO or WBFS format. You can also set a default ISO file that will be loaded when you start Dolphin.
In this section, you can configure some settings related to the GameCube emulation, such as system language, memory card slots, IPL settings (which control some aspects of the GameCube BIOS), and SIDevice (which controls what type of controller is connected to each port).
In this section, you can configure some settings related to the Wii emulation, such as system language, aspect ratio, sensor bar position, speaker volume, rumble mode, network mode (which allows online connectivity for some games), and SD card slot (which emulates a virtual SD card for storing game data). You can also import or export your Wii NAND (which contains your Wii system files and save data) from a real Wii console or another Dolphin instance.
In this section, you can tweak some advanced settings that may affect performance or compatibility of some games. These settings are not recommended for beginners and should be changed only if you know what you are doing or if a specific game requires it. Some of these settings include CPU clock override (which can speed up or slow down games), MMU emulation (which controls how memory is accessed by games), CPU emulation engine (which controls how instructions are executed by games), and custom textures (which allows loading high-resolution textures from external files).
After you have configured your general settings for Dolphin emulator, you are ready to load your games and start playing. There are different ways to load games into Dolphin emulator depending on the source and format of your games. Here are some of the most common methods:
Loading games from discs
If you have a physical disc of a GameCube