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An NES emulator in C++
C++ CMake
Branch: master
Clone or download


An NES emulator written in C++ for nothing but fun.

Roughly 40-50% of games should work (ie. games that use either no mapper or mappers 1, 2 or 3).

Examples of games that have been tested to run (but NOT limited to):

(USA/Japan or World versions only i.e. NTSC compatible)

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Contra
  • Adventure Island
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Wrecking Crew
  • Megaman and Megaman 2
  • Mario Bros.
  • Donky Kong and Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Battle City
  • Paperboy
  • Legend of Zelda
  • Pacman
  • Tennis
  • Excitebike

Here's a big list of games that match the supported specs from SimpleNES. (Unlike the list above, these aren't tested. Some may or may not work)


Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2 Screenshot 3 Screenshot 4 Screenshot 5 Screenshot 6


YouTube Playlist



Windows 32-bit Linux 64-bit

ROMs available here for testing.


You need:

  • SFML 2.0+ development headers and library
  • C++11 compliant compiler
  • CMake build system

Compiling is straight forward with cmake, just run cmake on the project directory with CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release and you'll get Makefile or equivalent for your platform, with which you can compile the emulator

For e.g., on Linux/OS X/FreeBSD:

$ git clone
$ cd SimpleNES
$ mkdir build/ && cd build/
$ cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..
$ make -j4    #Replace 4 with however many cores you have to spare


Just pass the path to a .nes image like

$ ./SimpleNES ~/Games/SuperMarioBros.nes

To set size of the window,

$ ./SimpleNES -w 600 ~/Games/Contra.nes

For supported command line options, try

$ ./SimpleNES -h


Keybindings can be configured with keybindings.conf

Default keybindings:

Player 1

Button Mapped to
Start Return/Enter
Select Right Shift
Up W
Down S
Left A
Right D

Player 2

Button Mapped to
Start Numpad9
Select Numpad8
A Numpad5
B Numpad6
Up Up
Down Down
Left Left
Right Right
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