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sprocketnes is an emulator for the Nintendo Entertainment System written in the Rust programming language.

Its purpose is to serve as a technology demonstration to show how the Rust programming language is suitable for systems software such as emulators. It has many shortcomings and is not intended to be a production-quality emulator. sprocketnes is also designed to be a relatively clean example codebase, showing off various Rust idioms.

The NES was chosen for this project because:

  • It's familiar to most hackers.

  • It's a reasonably simple system to emulate.

  • Because of its popularity, its workings are relatively well-documented.

  • It's CPU-bound, so it can serve as a benchmark to help optimize Rust code.

  • The audio requires some measure of real-time operation, which tests Rust's real-time capabilities.

The main controls are as follows:

  • A: Z

  • B: X

  • Start: Enter

  • Select: Right shift

  • D-Pad: Arrows

Other keys:

  • Save state: S

  • Load state: L

  • Quit: Escape

If you want to build sprocketnes, you will first need the Speex codec library installed; on the Mac you can install it with brew install speex.

To build (add --release if you actually want playable speed):

cargo build

There are numerous demos and games available for free for use with this emulator at