MAME FAQ: Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator
You most probably have heard of MAME and MAMEUI. We're currently working on a MAME tutorial, so you can play those great arcade games again on your Windows PC. In the meantime, here are some frequently asked questions and, more importantly, their answers. There's also a good tutorial on youtube.
What is MAME?
MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. It's software that emulates arcade machine hardware. MAME doesn't have a user interface; you'll have to type in commands on a command line to get it going.
What is MAMEUI?
As MAME does not have a graphical interface, it's hard to use it within a graphical environment such as Windows. MAMEUI is MAME with a graphical user interface (GUI), which basicly means you have a list of games, you can manage your games within the GUI and you can start them with a mouse click (or two).
Why use MAME if there's MAMEUI?
If you're a Windows user, there's no point in using MAME instead of MAMEUI. Unless you just love command lines. Or you want another user interface. Then you can use MAME with a separate interface, called front-end, such as mGalaxy or IV/Play.
What's a ROM file?
Arcade cabinets have one or more ROM (Read Only Memory) cartridges which contain the game(s) you can play. The information in these ROMs have been converted to files, hence the name ROM files.
So what's this thing about MAME versions and ROM compatibility?
In many cases, every new version of MAME most likely will need a new version of the ROM file(s) of the game. Why? Both are an interpretation of respectively the cabinet hardware and the ROM cartridge(s). When MAME is updated, it might need data that wasn't included in older ROM files. Just for the sake of perfect emulation and gaming experience. So when you're using MAME 0.155, you'll have to look for version 0.155 game ROMs. You could try older versions of course. If they don't work, you'll know why.
What do the coloured squares in MAMEUI mean?
Games with a green or light green square can be played with MAME(UI), provided you have the correct ROM file(s). Games with red squares cannot be played. However, you might encounter ROM files of those red squared games. They are in the list for the moment that a MAME update does allow you to play those game ROMs. Until that moment you'll have to live with the fact that you can't. You can try though; the list isn't 100% accurate.
Some handy keys, in case you're lost:
- 5 - Insert Coin
- 1 - Start
- Arrows - Move
- Ctrl - Action Button 1
- Alt - Action Button 2
- Space - Action Button 3
- Mouse - Analog Control (needed for some games)
- P - Pause
- ESC - Quit MAME
- F2 - Service Mode
- Tab - MAME Options Menu
Looking for a tutorial?
There are a lot of tutorials on youtube, a lot of crap ones too, we found this one to be the most informative.