Published on November 14, 2020    Updated on September 17, 2021

How to Play Nintendo 64 Games on Your Windows PC

If you are yearning for some N64 nostalgia, stop it right there because this guide will show you how to play your favorite Nintendo 64 games using your PC!

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We are on a cruise to do guides for every emulator out there. Today, we are doing a guide about how to play N64 games on PC. We will be showcasing other alternatives as well.

The N64 has had a handful of enjoyable games that simply cannot be missed. From Super Mario 64 to Banjo Kazooie, from Sin & Punishment to Star Fox 64, there are just too many that we have missed as well. The N64 was one of those consoles that caused a headache to Sega back then.

In case you are yearning to try the N64 anytime soon, don’t worry, this guide has got you covered. The emulator you will need to run N64 games on your PC is called Project64. This is a fine emulator that will enable you to play hundreds of games on your screen. However, be informed that this emulator is outdated. Anyway, hop in and read all about Project64 below.

What is Project 64

 

Project64 is one of the best Nintendo 64 emulators which will help you play an abundance of games from the console. While the emulator is able to run a handful of titles, some are not playable, and the emulator suffers from some weird issues which we will discuss below.

To get this emulator, simply head to the official site from here and download it. You can also download this emulator from the official Github page. Both are safe, so don’t worry about getting any viruses or malware when you download them.

How to install Project 64

Just like other emulators that were showcased on the site, Project64 is a standalone program that does not need any install wizard. Installation is simple as always: extract Project64 from its zip file, and there you are good to go. As always, throw this emulator in a folder other than the main drive as it’s a known fact that you will encounter several issues like your saves getting corrupted, BSOD, or the emulator straight crashing on your face. I recommend putting it on your D/Drive to avoid all issues. After you do this, just double click on the emulator and it should run fine.

Setting up the keyboard and controller for Project64

 

Press Options > Configure Controller Plugin. After this, a window should appear like the one below this picture:

 

By default, Project64 uses your keyboard as the only way to play your games. To change that, simply click on each corner and start assigning buttons by pressing the new button on your controller. After you do that, don’t forget to press ”SAVE ”. You can press ” save profile ” in case if you want to have custom controls for each specific game. Well, I have done that with Sin & Punishment.

Where To Get N64 Games?

Now, where can you get the games you may ask. Who knows, maybe they are hidden in Atlantis, maybe in the deserts of Africa, or maybe in the jungle. Who knows?. Just kidding, one single google search will send you to a plethora of websites that provide all the ROMs you need. Do not worry about malware or viruses, the first page contains trustworthy domains that will cause no harm to your device.

How to play N64 Games on PC?

Project64 offers two options for you to load games. You can simply load ROMs using the traditional way, just like you would with any other emulator. Or you can load your ROM directory into the main window.

 

Click on File > Open Rom. A window should open where your games are located at. If not, simply navigate to the folder where your games reside in. Once you double-click the game, it should run immediately.

Organize your games

 

Just like Dolphin emulator, Project64 can help with organizing your games in front of you instead of always doing the traditional method of launching the games. To organize your games, simply right-click the white area and select Choose ROM Directory, as shown above.

How to fix several issues you may encounter with Project 64

The dreadful Bsod

When using Windows 10, the moment you load any game, you may have to face the blue screen of death. Annoying and scary, right? After the BSOD occurs, simply restart your computer and everything should be fine. However, the problem will be still active, and don’t worry, there’s a fix for that. This issue has a simple fix and all you need to do is set Project64 to run Windows 7 or XP compatibility. To do that, simply Right-click Project64.exe and left-click Properties. Next, click on the Compatibility tab. Lastly, put a check in “Run this program in compatibility mode for”. Select Windows 7 or XP. Click OK. That’s it. Note that the BSOD will occur on other occasions that I will discuss below.

Fullscreen is flickering

Again, when using Windows 10, Project64 may flicker infinitely when you enter full-screen mode. Luckily, there is a facile fix for this. All you need to do is enable graphics buffering. To do that, simply Go to Options > Configure Graphics Plugin. Next, You’ll arrive at the “Settings” configuration, and In the “Full-Screen Sync” drop-down menu, select Double buffer, and then click OK. There you go, you are set now.

Fatal Error: Emulator stopped working out of the blue!

This is one of Project64’s most common problems and one of the frustrating ones. Am I not right? You’re in the game and all of a sudden this notification slaps you right in the face. ( It would hurt more if you hadn’t saved for long ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ) Anyway, with jokes aside, here are few things you can do to fix this issue:

#Solution 1:

The first step to do is to roll back to an older version of the emulator. If this doesn’t work, check other solutions below.

#Solution 2:

Maybe it’s the ROM you are using that is faulty. Try downloading one from a different site.

#Solution 3:

If all fails, hunt down threads that match your problem on google, and hopefully, this helps you. If somehow this doesn’t work, just delete the freaking emulator already and read below for the alternatives.

EEP-ROM SIZE

I still remember when I encountered this the first time I used Project64. It was scary, I thought some hacker screwed my pc. However, don’t worry, none of that is the case. This happens when you load up a game on the emulator. Sometimes it’s because the game isn’t compatible with the Project64 version. A rollback will solve it. It could also be because of faulty ROM, GPU drivers as well. Do the solutions I suggested above, and it should run just fine.

Project 64 isn’t saving my progress

If you’re a newcomer to Project64  and you’re finding that you have several problems such as:

1-Save states don’t work. you save a state, but the moment you try to load it up, nothing occurs.
2-Save state is suddenly lost despite making sure you saved it and made it sure. But for some reason, the system just decides ” it’s time to delete ”.
3-Emulator configurations that you applied can’t be saved. When you close/re-open Project64, you have to make those configuration changes again, and again.

The issue is that you currently have Project64 in a read-only location on your computer. You must move Project64 to a more common location such as Documents, Downloads, or a folder on your desktop.

Save and load progress using Project 64

 

With Project64, you can either save in-game or use a save state to save your progress. To capture a save state, simply go to System > Save, or you can easily use F5 on your keyboard. To load a save state, simply go to System > Load or press F7. In addition, Project64 lets you save up to 10 different save states. To do that, simply Go to System > Current Save State to change the slot.

How to improve the visuals with Project 64

 

Improving 2D games

Project64’s graphics plug-ins are primarily designed for 3D games. 2D games, however, calm your horses. Some games such as Ogre Battle 64 and Paper Mario have several graphics There’s no complete fix for this, but the glitches can at least be reduced. All you have to do is first load up your game, go to Options > Configure Graphics Plugin. Then, In the Graphics Configuration window, for “Aspect display” select Force 4:3.

Improving graphics using GLideN64

Compared to today, looking at the actual default resolution of the console can hurt your eyes, it’s as if someone spilled vaseline on your screen. However, don’t worry, Project64 already comes equipped with a good video plugin. However, if you want the absolute best video plug-in, you will have to the GLideN64 plug-in. To use it, simply follow these steps:

1-Download it from the official site from here.
2-Open GLideN64’s zip file. Navigate to bin > Mupen64Plus_x64, and look for a file with a name like this mupen64plus-video-GLideN64.dll. Next, copy or extract it to Project64’s folder into Plugin > GFX.
3-Head over to Options > Settings. In the Settings window, click on Plugins.  Right under “Video (graphics) plugin”, click the drop-down and select Glide64 for PJ64.
4-Once you click OK, go to Options > Configure Graphics Plugin.

Firstly, If you want sharper graphics, you can crank up the resolution of Project64 in window mode and full-screen mode. If you desire sharper textures, then put a check in Anisotropic filtering. This feature will make your resolution and textures look as clean as ever.

Secondly, Project64 more advanced options such as texture enhancement which can be accessed from what I said above. All you have to do is put a check in Show advanced emulation options and Show texture enhancement options, then click OK. Note, you can’t change settings while your game is running as some settings will be greyed. Last not least, enabling these features will put a load of work on your GPU, CPU, and RAM, so put that in mind in case if you are using a low-end computer.

Bonus: How to fast forward

Fast forward is the feature that speeds up the game. You need to be using Project64 version 2.0 or below. To access it, press the F4 key. To turn off fast forward press F4 again. This will increase your FPS to a whole new level and will grant you a magical performance. (I’m not lying)

How to Play N64 Games on PC

How to use cheats in Project 64?

Just like ePSXE, Project64 comes loaded with a built-in cheat program. You don’t need to hunt codes and check if they’re working. Project64 does that for you in a facile way. Just pick what you want and leave the rest in oblivion. Anyway, here’s how to enable cheats:

1- On the emulator, Go to System > Cheats
2-Put a check in the box for the cheats that you want
3-That’s all, close the window, and enjoy your time!

Note, using cheats for a very long time will cause a BSOD screen. Sadly, there’s no fix for this. The issue happens especially if you’re using a cheat for ” infinite lives ” or ” infinite HP ”. Upon dying, you’re bound to experience the screen of death. If not, Windows will just close the program with an error message.

Capture Screenshots using Project 64

While playing, go to System > Generate Bitmap, or press the F3 key. Project64 will dump the screenshot into a folder named  “Screenshots

Any other alternatives to Project64?

 

M64p (Mupen64 Plus)

M64p or known as Mupen64 Plus is an open-source, plugin-based N64 emulator developed and monitored by loganmc10. The emulator supports both 32-bit x86 and 64-bit amd64 systems, and it works on macOS, Linux, and Windows. Mupen64 comes loaded with GLideN64, LLE Graphics, and VI Filters.

The emulator, as of now, doesn’t have an option to add cheats. But since the emulator receives updates regularly, it’s only a matter of time before the developers include that.

RetroArch

The latter is a multi-system emulator which runs on Android, Linux, and Windows, and it includes a variety of consoles including the N64. RetroArch uses a Mupen64 to run games, and it offers some advanced features that Project64 doesn’t have. It’s also a great choice for those who are looking to have all their emulator in one place.

Conclusion:

Thank you for reading. We hope that this guide will help you to play N64 games that you may have missed in the past, or if you’re planning to relive the memories.

That’s it for the guide. Thank you for reading!

FreeckyCake

Just your average gamer who enjoys hunting hidden gems and underrated games - but still open to any game in the industry if you ask me! My favorite game is Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams and nothing comes close to it to this very day IMO. I highly recommend you to play it!

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