DeSmuMEfor Windows



The Nintendo DS is one of the best-selling handhelds of all time. With its massive library of hit games like Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Metroid Prime: Hunters, and Pokemon Platinum, and innovative dual-screen, it's hard to forget such an iconic console. With DeSmuME for Windows you can revisit your childhood Nintendo DS. The open source emulator sports a wide selection of tools to test DS features from viewing ROM properties to managing Action Replay cheats. Its features make it one of the most accurate NDS emulators that you can run from the command line directly or use as a graphic design software.

Display your ROMs vertically

DeSmuME has all the tools you’ll need to improve your gaming experience and, most importantly, your nostalgia trip. If you want to see your games in all their 2.5 x 2 glory, you can use this tool. 

Games like Grand Theft Auto V and Overwatch have made 4k resolution pretty much a standard feature for games. In comparison, opening your beloved DS game for the first time in years won’t be a pleasant experience. You’ll see pixelated graphics, rough outlines and delayed movement. DeSmuMe fixes all of that by offering sets of tools and scales to make an old game look new. Three of the most useful features are: Display Resize, Pixel Upscale and Screen Separation.

Resizing the display will make the video output appear pixelated. For a better result, you will have to use this in tandem with Display Resize. With Screen Separation you can play popular DS games like Mario Kart DS and Nintendog work with dual-screens.

Cranking up the emulator can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first time using an emulator. However, DeSmuMe is easy to install - it practically does it for you - and the settings can be customized to you preference. All you need to install the emulator on your device is a compression tool. Your computer should have already have one installed by default, but if not, you can use WinZip or 7Zip. When DeSmuME’s vertical window appears, you can open your ROMs in File. This is where things can get a bit tricky. There are a thousand different ways to customize your settings, but it's recommendable to use the tried-and-testing basic settings.

These settings are a reliable foundation for most 2D NDS games. Your gameplay should appear and run smoothly, as if you were playing a remastered version of the title. If you have 3D ROMs like Animal Crossing and Kirby, you’re going to want to adjust your 3D settings. Simply select OpenG.L.3.2 and HD Prescaling to give your games a HD appearance. You’ll also want to enable all the following features: Edge Making, Fog, GL Tex Deposterize and GL Tex Smoothing. These settings will polish out jagged edges and sharpen details. The trade off though is that it could slow down your PC. From there, you’ll have to adjust the settings based on the ROM, your device or both.

Where can you run this program?

If you want a trip down memory lane, you’re going to need the right configuration: You operating system needs to be Windows Vista SP2 or later and macOS X v10.6.8, plus have at least 1 GB of RAM.

Is there a better alternative?

melonDS is a promising, up-and-coming Nintendo DS emulator. You can use it in a similar way you would use DeSmuME. However, the developers of melonDS are already working on local multiplayer and online connectivity for your ROMs as well as Joystick Support. It may be a work and progress, but it’s definitely worth downloading. 

Our take

DeSmuME is popular amongst gamers and netizens for its simplicity and reliability. It has all the tools you'll need to improve your gaming experience and, most importantly, your nostalgia trip. But developers seem to have abandoned this great tool, so you should too.

Should you download it?

No. Move to using melonDS instead so you can get more features, hear from its developers and get tips from an active forum.

DeSmuMEfor Windows


New Apps