Mednafen – multi-system emulator

Mednafen is a portable, utilizing OpenGL and SDL, argument (command-line)-driven multi-system emulator with many advanced features.

It emulates:

  • Atari Lynx.
  • Neo Geo Pocket (Color).
  • WonderSwan.
  • GameBoy (Color).
  • GameBoy Advance.
  • Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Super Famicom.
  • Virtual Boy.
  • PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 (CD).
  • SuperGrafx.
  • PC-FX.
  • Sega Game Gear.
  • Sega Genesis/Megadrive.
  • Sega Master System.
  • Sega Saturn (experimental, x86_64 only).
  • Sony PlayStation.

Save states are supported, as is real-time game rewinding. Screen snapshots may be taken at the press of a button, and are saved in the popular PNG file format.

Due to the threaded model of emulation used in Mednafen, and limitations of SDL, a joystick is preferred over a keyboard to play games, as the joystick will have slightly less latency, although the latency differences may not be perceptible to most people.

Features include:

  • Double-buffered video, enabled by default.
  • Multi-threaded video blitting, allowing for a kind of software triple-buffering, and improving performance on SMP systems.
  • Joystick support.
  • Extremely versatile input configuration system; assign multiple physical buttons to a virtual button or action.
  • Full-screen modes.
  • Save states.
  • Real-time game rewinding, up to 10 seconds.
  • Remap hotkey functions and virtual system inputs to a keyboard, a joystick, or both simultaneously.
  • Screen snapshots, saved in PNG format.
  • Loading games from gzip and (pk)zip compressed archives.

Support: Documentation
Developer: bugzoom
License: GNU GPL v2


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

Return to Video Console Game Emulators Home Page | Return to SNES Emulators Home Page

Popular series
Guide to LinuxNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you to make informed decisions.
ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to Proprietary SoftwareReplace proprietary software with open source alternatives: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Autodesk, Oracle, Atlassian, Corel, Cisco, Intuit, and SAS.
Linux Around The WorldLinux Around The World showcases events and usergroups that are Linux-related. This is a new series.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
Home ComputersHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Share this article


  1. Huh. I thought Mednafen could run SNES and Mega Drive/Sega Genesis games too, among others. I had heard of it as a many-in-one emulator, so I thought of picking it up. Guess I was misled.

    1. The project makes it VERY clear what it supports:

      Atari Lynx
      Neo Geo Pocket (Color)
      GameBoy (Color)
      GameBoy Advance
      Nintendo Entertainment System
      Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Super Famicom
      Virtual Boy
      PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 (CD)
      Sega Game Gear
      Sega Genesis/Megadrive
      Sega Master System
      Sega Saturn (experimental, x86_64 only)
      Sony PlayStation

      SNES and Megadrive are supported…

  2. Mednafen is **** emulator. I was forced to port install from its source code. How to assign A-button on keyboard of my macbook? How to fix wrong aspect ration? I have no mind to read long long readme to start gaming. Only thing I can do is deleting this **** ****. Thack Madnafen. The ****, RIP.

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.