How to play SNES roms on a computer with Snes9X


The SNES (Super Nintendo) was a success in the 90s, conquering a legion of fans thanks to games like Super Mario World, F-Zero, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy and so many other successes. If you were one of the millions of happy owners of 16-bit Nintendo and would like to remember some of these classics, but you don’t have a device anymore – which went out of line in 2003 one option is emulation.

Emulators are easy to use, don’t require a lot of knowledge to configure and although they don’t provide a complete experience (for those who enjoy the nostalgic and original thing with TV, controls, cables, etc.), they faithfully reproduce the games, sometimes even better thanks to the filters and shaders. It’s like having SNES Roms on your computer, easy, fast, and hassle-free.

This series is to help those who are not familiar with this type of software. It’s almost as simple as opening and using Word, Movie Maker, or any other, requiring just a little attention to small details, but that can even prevent it from working.

If you want to know more about emulation, read the introduction in the first part of this series. Today we are going to see how to play SNES roms at TechToRoms.Com on the computer (PC Windows, Mac, or Linux standards) with Snes9X.

Introducing Snes9X


One of the best SNES emulators. It emulates almost any game from it and the Super Famicom, in addition to having netplay support. The original project was started by Gary Henderson and Jerremy Koot, starting from their isolated attempts with Snes96 and Snes97. Over the years, the program has undergone changes and there were so many contributors that some names even got lost along the way.

With the last update in mid-2011, it is the result of a solid collaborative project, with thousands of users and a community around it, including a  very busy forum.


Download Snes9X from the official website or go straight to the mirror link that works (some are broken). In the upper left corner, look for the right option for your system (32-bit or 64-bit, Windows, Mac, etc).

snes9x download links-techtoroms

The file will be compressed in ZIP format, unzip it. If you don’t know, just right-click on the file and choose ” Extract to… “, if you have WinRar installed. If you have 7-Zip, right-click and follow the menu ” 7-Zip > Extract to…

if you have 7zip

Open the folder that came up, it will contain the emulator files. You don’t need to run any installers. Double-click the file with the SNES controller icon and the emulator starts, with the automatic creation of some auto-configuration files.

snes9x working-techtoroms

Now, what is missing? Games, of course.

Games and the legal issue

In order to work, games must be in a compatible format, usually with a . SMC extension. Got cartridges in the drawer and wanted to play? Give up, it’s not easy to extract the data from it to use; you need ready-made files, the so-called ROMs.

Zipped games – ZIP, GZIP, and JMA formats – do not need to be unzipped if they are well formed, that is, with the right format within the package, and with only one game. To be sure, just open the file (not unzip) in WinRar, 7-Zip, etc, and check if there is only 1 file with the smc extension inside. If there are others like HTML, text, etc, that’s fine, but in smc format, there should only be one.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of websites that offer links to download game ROMs ready to emulate. It is important to remember that the emulator is allowed by law, but it does not accompany any game and, still legally speaking, you can only emulate a game if you have it in physical format (and even then, some companies disagree).

Because it’s illegal, I won’t pass any links to games, but just show you how the emulator works. Getting ROMs is at your own risk (read: I have nothing to do with what you do with the emulator). Do not comment asking about games, as it will not be published.

With the game file on your computer, open the emulator and click on File > Load Game… (File > Load Game…). Or use the shortcut Ctrl + O. In the opened window, browse to the file in zip, SMC, or other compatible formats. You can put game ROMs in the Roms folder, created automatically inside the emulator folder for exactly this purpose.

See that I have two games there, one in SMC format and another zipped. I repeat that the emulator can read the zipped file, so you don’t need to unzip it unless you want to waste space on your HD. Double-click to confirm opening, or choose one and click the Open button.

snes game roms-techtoroms

That’s all, the game should run.

super mario kart running on snes9x-techtoroms

color system

When opening the game, the emulator displays some information in English, with letters in a specific color. They help determine if it is in the right format if it has been hacked, modified, etc. The color legend is:

  • White: Perfectly original ROM, as it was extracted from the cartridge.
  • Green: ROM in interleaving mode 1.
  • Orange: ROM in interlacing mode 2.
  • Aqua (light blue): Game Doctor 24M interlaced ROM.
  • Yellow: ROM has probably undergone some kind of change.
  • Red: ROM was certainly hacked. Tools like NSRT can patch these ROMs.

Colors do not mean that the ROM will not work. If the letters are yellow, for example, the ROM may have been translated, gaining subtle or drastic changes. They are a reference to understand what may have happened to them.

chole bar

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