DOSBox DOS emulator
Play DOS Games on Windows 7 and Windows 8 with DOSBox
The ultimate solution to play DOS games on your PC with Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista or XP is DOSBox. DOSBox emulates DOS and the environment in which DOS ran in the past (like an old pc), including memory management and sound configuration, but with the power of your computer today. On this page we'll show you how to make the classic DOS game Prince of Persia or any other DOS game work. If you want to install a DOS game from an original CD-rom, you can find instructions here.
Download and install DOSBox
- Go to the download section on www.dosbox.com
- Download the desired package (in this example that will be the Windows (win32) installer)
- Install DOSBox
Download and extract Prince of Persia (or any other DOS game)
- Go to one of the many websites that offer shareware and freeware downloads of classic DOS games, for example www.dosgames.com
- Search for and download the desired game, in our example Prince of Persia
- Create a new folder on your computer, for example C:\games\dos\prince
- Extract the downloaded zip file into that folder
Get the game working in DOSBox
Start DOSBox from Windows by double clicking the desktop icon. Once in DOSBox:
- Type in mount c c:\games\dos and press enter (this creates a virtual drive C: within DOSBox, which points to the Games\DOS folder on your local C: drive)
- If your games folder contains spaces, you have to put quotes around the folder path, for example: mount c "c:\games\dos games"
- Type in c: and press enter to go the virtual C: drive
- Type in dir and press enter to look at the contents of the virtual C: drive
- Type in cd PRINCE and press enter to open the Prince folder
- Type in PRINCE and press enter to start the game
As you always will need the virtual drive in DOSBox to play your game, it is recommended to put the mount command in your DOSBox configuration file. This way the games folder will be mounted automatically when you start DOSBox:
- Open the configuration file:
- Windows 7: Press CTRL + ESC (or click the start button), type in dosbox and the options file should appear in the search results, click it
- Windows 8: Press the Windows key + Q, type in dosbox and the options file should appear in the search results, click it
- Scroll down to the autoexec section (at the bottom of the file)
- Copy the mount commands below the comments (indicated by a hash). The lines below apply to this example:
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.
mount c c:\games\dos
# to start Prince of Persia automatically when installed:
- Save the configuration file and restart DOSBox.
Play a game from CD with DOSBox
So you have found the original installation CD of a DOS game. But you can't install the game, because you need to do that in DOS! No worries! We have a guide which explains how to install and play a game from CD, all in DOSBox. Click here for more information!
Some DOS facts to keep in mind
In the DOS environment there are just 3 types of files that you can start/execute. These are .BAT, .COM and .EXE files. In this example (and in general when starting a DOS game), we'll look for files with .BAT (batch) and .EXE (executable) extensions. A batch file contains one or more lines of DOS commands and usually ends with the execution of a .EXE file. If you want to execute a .BAT or .EXE file in DOSBox, you can type in the file name without the extension. If there's a filename.bat and a filename.exe file in a folder, DOS will execute the filename.bat file first. If you don't want that, type in the entire filename including the extension.
DOSBox emulates the DOS environment, but doesn't support all DOS commands. It doesn't have to either. A list of supported DOS commands can be found on the DOSBox wiki section.
With the method mentioned above, you can play a lot of classic DOS games. Here's an overview of some games, cherished by the DOSGamers crew, that you can play with DOSBox:
On the DOSBox website you can find an extensive list of supported DOS games.