Emulators on the DS


There are many emulators present for the DS and DSi. This page provides a comprehensive explanation on the many emulators and loaders bundled into TWiLight Menu++.

List of systems supported by TWiLight Menu++ #

Format Loader Extensions Save file
ARGV1 Native .argv  
Atari 2600 StellaDS .a26  
Atari 5200 A5200DS .a52  
Atari 7800 A7800DS .a78  
Atari XEGS XEGS-DS .xex, .atr  
DS nds-bootstrap, flashcard kernel, native .nds, .dsi, .ids, .srl, .app saves/[rom name].sav2
DSiWare Unlaunch, nds-bootstrap .nds, .dsi, .ids, .srl, .app saves/[rom name].pub, saves/[rom name].prv
DSTWO Plugin DSTWO3 .plg  
Game Boy (Color) GameYob .gb, .sgb, .gbc [rom name].sav
Game Boy Advance GBARunner24, native5 .agb, .gba, .mb [rom name].sav
Game Gear S8DS .gg [rom name].gg.sav
Genesis/Mega Drive jEnesisDS, PicoDriveTWL .gen [rom name].srm6
Master System S8DS .sms [rom name].sms.sav
Fast Video Coming Soon .fv  
NES/Famicom nesDS .nes, .fds [rom name].sav
PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 NitroGrafx .pce  
Rocket Video Rocket Video Player .rvid  
SNES7 SNEmulDS .smc, .sfc [rom name].srm8
  1. Text files containing the path to a DS homebrew app and arguments to launch it with, see nds-hb-menu’s README for more info 

  2. Only for retail ROMs, homebrew do not have specific save files 

  3. Only works from a SuperCard DSTWO flashcard as it has additional processing power and RAM inside the flashcard 

  4. When running in DSi Mode, it can use the DSP for better sound 

  5. Requires a Slot-2 flashcart and thus only works on DS Phat and DS Lite 

  6. jEnesis can only save when running from a flashcard, but PicoDriveTWL can save from SD and flashcard 

  7. Only shown when using a flashcard, 3DS’s internal SD card, or DSi with Unlaunch installed 

  8. Can only save when running from a flashcard 

These are just recommended emulators and loaders that are present in TWiLight Menu++. There are other emulators for these consoles (such as lolSnes, Gbaemu4ds, etc.)

Other emulators for the DS #

Format Loader Extensions Save file
Neo Geo neoDS .neo (unknown)

Notes on specific emulators #

RAM Disks #

  • In order for jEnesisDS, neoDS and SNEmulDS to work on the DSi SD card, you’ll have to use a RAM disk with nds-bootstrap
    • RAM disk makers exist for jEnesisDS & SNEmulDS and are built into TWiLight Menu++. You will need to create your own RAM disk for neoDS. See Creating RAM Disks on how to do so
    • The reason why RAM disks are used is because these emulators’ ARM7 hooks don’t work properly

Comparison between PicoDriveTWL and jEnesisDS #

  • PicoDriveTWL
    • Was made for DSi
    • Does not require nds-bootstrap RAM Disks
      • Saving is supported on DSi SD cards
      • Quicker load times between TWiLight Menu++ to the emulator on the DSi SD card
    • Supports arguments
    • Limit is 2.5 MB on a Flashcard
      • Takes advantage of the DSi extra RAM or DS Memory Pak to extend this limit
    • No sound emulation
    • Framerate is extremely choppy
  • jEnesisDS
    • DS Mode
      • Requires nds-bootstrap’s RAM disk to be used for DSi SD cards
      • Saving is unavailable for DSi SD cards
    • Takes a while to load
    • No argument support
    • Limit is 3 MB on all platforms (due to roms loading in RAM)
      • No DS Memory Pak or DSi Extended Memory support
      • There is a patch for Sonic 3 & Knuckles that removes the multiplayer, getting the size count down
    • Sound Emulation
    • Framerate is smooth