Creating an emulator that is capable of running Dreamcast games on PC has always been a difficult task. There is no denying that the Dreamcast has a plethora of games that will never be brought back to newer hardware and PC. Nevertheless, enthusiastic fans took it upon their shoulders to make the impossible, possible. Although many problems tended to arise the development of these emulators which was simply hard to ignore.
However, one emulator managed to survive, and that is Redream. This emulator is capable of running any Dreamcast game that comes to your mind, and it’s quite facile to configure. Lucky for you, Redream is not demanding as it can run pretty smoothly on low-end hardware. Even a dual-core with an Intel HD 4000 will suffice at running it full speed. So, why don’t you sit tight, and come read all about this magnificent emulator?
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Redream – The Best DreamCast Emulator
- 2 2. How to Install Redream & Play DreamCast Games on Your PC
- 3 3. How to Get Dreamcast Games
- 4 4. Configuring Redream:
- 5 5. Alternative DreamCast Emulators
- 6 Conclusion
1. Redream – The Best DreamCast Emulator
Redream is quite easy to track. You can head to their official website, or head straight to emulator-zone. Although it is safe to just download it from the official website to make sure you get the up-to-date version of the emulator. Downloading from the site is facile, with one click you’re good to go. Luckily, Redream runs on mobile phones as well which is pretty for those who want to play anywhere they want.
If you are worried that this emulator might not run your favourite game, check the compatibility section which has all the info you need to know before you get with disappointment.
2. How to Install Redream & Play DreamCast Games on Your PC
Actually, Redream is easy to install, even a blind person can figure out how to do the job. After pressing ” get for desktop ”, the user is prompted with a section that shows the ” Premium edition ”, the ” stable release ” and ” development builds ”. In this case, you will click on the stable release.
After pressing it, a WinRAR file will be downloaded. Once the download is finished, you need to decompress the file containing the emulator. It doesn’t require any installation phase nor anything. You just have to unpack it and you are good to go, that’s it.
Don’t worry if your system throws a DLL error, or something similar. To fix it, simply download the necessary Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package. Unlike the PCSX2 emulator, Redream has all the bios pre-installed on the emulator.
3. How to Get Dreamcast Games
Known as Roms, are Dreamcast games you need in order to run them on the emulator. Sega Dreamcast ROMs can easily be downloaded from the internet. You may also google a specific game that you want to download.
But I highly recommend Cdromance as it contains not only a vast collection of Dreamcast games but also a couple of canceled games that have never seen the light of the day. The site is easy to navigate and has everything you need, and it’s pretty safe to download from.
4. Configuring Redream:
Redream is well-known for its compatibility with a collection of controllers. The emulator supports both DirectInput and Xinput controllers, as well as, keyboard and mouse. To configure your controller, you click on ” Input ” above the screen. Once clicked, you are prompted to use a keyboard/mouse or a controller. Mapping the controls is pretty easy and doesn’t require much effort.
II. Resolution and Aspect Ratio:
Redream runs natively on 720p/1080p depending on your GPU. For my potato graphics card, it ran at 900p. However, you can always increase the internal resolution in the section mentioned above. But note that in order to achieve 4K resolution you need to pay for the premium release. In addition, you can configure the aspect ratio that fits your needs, the aforementioned can either be set to 4:3/16:9 or use the stretch option so that it will fit your computer screen.
Secondly, Redream allows changing the default resolution of the game. It means that you will be able to play classic Dreamcast games in both fullscreen and windowed mode. Finally, Redream has a built-in FPS counter where you can monitor if the game is running smoothly or not. This section is quite easy, and it doesn’t require much effort.
This section allows you to change the system language especially if you prefer playing in your own mother language. In addition, the region can also be changed. This will come in handy in case if you want to play a Japan-only game as the game may sometime fail to boot. other than that, nothing else to explain.
IV. Saving/loading your progress:
So you’ve been playing for hours and decided to take a break. To make sure not to lose your progress, you wanted to save. Luckily, using this emulator isn’t unlike NullDC where you are forced to format the Dreamcast VMU in order to save and let’s not forget the lack of any save stats.
Fortunately, with this emulator, everything is like stealing candy from a baby. You can use the emulator save stats by pressing on ” ESC ”. A window will pop up where you can save or load your save stats. A reminder not to heavily count on this method as the saves sometimes tend to get corrupted. Hence, why I highly recommend saving in the game, then using these save stats as a backup nothing less.
5. Alternative DreamCast Emulators
There are other alternatives to use if you want to play Dreamcast games on PC. I’m only doing this section for the sake of discovery and nothing else. As I said above, Redream is by far the most optimised and well-known emulator that can run Dreamcast games smoothly and without issues.
One of those Dreamcast emulators is NullDC. The aforementioned can run a couple of games at a decent speed, but a plethora of goodies fail to run or even boot. A fine example is The Ring: The Terror’s Realm. This one will keep crashing every once in a while, that is if you are lucky to boot it up in the first place.
This is another Dreamcast emulator that began development in 2005 and was officially released back in 2006. The emulator stopped receiving any new updates in 2017. Which means that the developers gave up on it entirely. Demul was and still is capable of running a couple of Dreamcast games such as Power Stone 2, Daytona, The King of Fighters XI and so on. Sadly, due to bothersome issues with the emulator, games weren’t fully playable resulting in a terrible experience.
Just like Demul, Chankast was able to emulate a couple of Dreamcast games, but sadly it never advanced further. The emulator is now buried forever where the sun doesn’t shine. Although it’s incredible to see all this tribute to Sega’s console.
These are some Dreamcast emulators that I have personally tried and found them to be inferior to the Redream emulator. However, for the sake of discovery, I wanted to include them so anyone who is interested to learn about the history of Dreamcast emulation can get an idea of how things began and how they ended. In any case, if you want to enjoy your favourite Dreamcast games on PC, be sure to stick with Redream because that’s your best choice at the moment.