Dolphin – GameCube and Wii emulator

Dolphin is an emulator for two recent Nintendo video game consoles: the GameCube and the Wii.

It allows PC gamers to enjoy games for these two consoles in full HD (1080p) with several enhancements: compatibility with all PC controllers, turbo speed, networked multiplayer, and more.

Dolphin is a dual core application that relies upon IPC (Instructions Per Clock) and clock speed for performance. Additional cores will not make Dolphin go any faster. 2GB of RAM or more is recommended.

It was first developed as closed source in 2003, and released under an open source license from 2008.

Features include:

  • Good support for most titles.
  • Dolphin Netplay – run the same instance of a game on multiple computers by having two or more emulators in the exact same state, only transferring inputs between one another.
  • Cheat codes with Action Replay and Gecko
  • Remap the functions of GameCube controllers and Wii Remotes to PC controllers.
  • Save game progress on virtual GameCube memory cards, emulated Wii flash memory, and save stats.
  • Memory card manager.
  • Load customized texture maps.
  • Output stereoscopic 3D graphics.
  • Supports spatial anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, post-processing pixel shaders, and a widescreen hack for forcing widescreen output on games without native support.
  • Controller support:
    • DualShock 3/Xbox 360 controller.
    • USB Bluetooth adapter.
    • Wiimote (and MotionPlus for games that need it).
    • Nunchuk.
    • Wireless Sensor Bar.
  • Supports playing games dumped in the following formats:
    • GCM/ISO (uncompressed dumps, should be 1.4GB for GameCube games and 4.7GB for Wii games.
    • GCZ (Dolphin can be used to compress your games to this format).
    • CISO.
    • WBFS (not supported in Dolphin 3.0 or earlier).
  • Cross-platform support – runs under Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, and Android. Other Unix-like systems (such as FreeBSD) may work but are not officially supported.

Support: Blog, FAQ, Forums, GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Over 200 contributors
License: GNU General Public License v2.0 or later


Dolphin is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Video Console Game Emulators

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