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Nintendo - SNES / SFC / Game Boy / Color (Mesen-S)


Mesen-S is a cross-platform SNES emulator for Windows & Linux built in C++ and C#.


  • High Accuracy: A lot of effort has gone into making Mesen-S as accurate as possible.
  • High Compatibility
  • SNES, Super Famicom, Game Boy, and Game Boy Color emulation is supported. Super Game Boy has complete support.


The Mesen-S core has been authored by

  • M. Bibaud (aka Sour)

The Mesen-S core is licensed under

A summary of the licenses behind RetroArch and its cores can be found here.


Required or optional firmware files go in the frontend's system directory.

Filename Description md5sum DSP1 co-processor firmware - Optional 3d81b45fa0c2aa8b852dfb1ece7c0971
dsp1.program.rom DSP1 co-processor firmware - Optional ae209fbe789fbf11a48aea5ab1197321 DSP1B co-processor firmware - Optional 1e3f568634a7d8284020dddc0ae905bc
dsp1b.program.rom DSP1B co-processor firmware - Optional d10f446888e097cbf500f3f663cf4f6d DSP2 co-processor firmware - Optional e9417e29223b139c3c4b635a2a3b8744
dsp2.program.rom DSP2 co-processor firmware - Optional aa6e5922a3ed5ded54f24247c11143c5 DSP3 co-processor firmware - Optional 0a81210c0a940b997dd9843281008ee6
dsp3.program.rom DSP3 co-processor firmware - Optional d99ca4562818d49cee1f242705bba6f8 DSP4 co-processor firmware - Optional ee4990879eb68e3cbca239c5bc20303d
dsp4.program.rom DSP4 co-processor firmware - Optional a151023b948b90ffc23a5b594bb6fef2 ST010 co-processor firmware - Optional 254d70762b6f59f99c27c395aba7d07d
st010.program.rom ST010 co-processor firmware - Optional 1d70019179a59a566a0bb5d3f2845544 ST011 co-processor firmware - Optional 10bd3f4aa949737ab9836512c35bcc29
st011.program.rom ST011 co-processor firmware - Optional 95222ebf1c0c2990bcf25db43743f032
dmg_boot.bin GB Boot Image - Optional 32fbbd84168d3482956eb3c5051637f5
cgb_boot.bin GBC Boot Image - Optional dbfce9db9deaa2567f6a84fde55f9680
sgb_boot.bin SGB Boot Image - Optional d574d4f9c12f305074798f54c091a8b4
sgb2_boot.bin SGB2 Boot Image - Optional e0430bca9925fb9882148fd2dc2418c1
SGB1.sfc SGB ROM - Optional b15ddb15721c657d82c5bab6db982ee9
SGB2.sfc SGB2 ROM - Optional 8ecd73eb4edf7ed7e81aef1be80031d5
BS-X.bin Satellaview Boot ROM - Optional fed4d8242cfbed61343d53d48432aced


Content that can be loaded by the Mesen-S core have the following file extensions:

  • .sfc
  • .smc
  • .fig
  • .swc
  • .bs
  • .gb
  • .gbc


RetroArch database(s) that are associated with the Mesen-S core:


Frontend-level settings or features that the Mesen-S core respects.

Feature Supported
Core Options
RetroArch Cheats
Native Cheats
Disk Control
Crop Overscan


The Mesen-S core's library name is 'Mesen-S'

The Mesen-S core saves/loads to/from these directories.

Frontend's Save directory

File Description
*.srm Cartridge battery save

Frontend's State directory

File Description
*.state# State

Geometry and timing

  • The Mesen-S core's core provided FPS is 60 for NTSC games and 50 for PAL games.
  • The Mesen-S core's core provided sample rate is 32040 Hz
  • The Mesen-S core's base width is 256
  • The Mesen-S core's base height is 239
  • The Mesen-S core's max width is 512
  • The Mesen-S core's max height is 478
  • The Mesen-S core's core provided aspect ratio is dependent on the 'Aspect Ratio' core option

Core options

The Mesen-S core has the following option(s) that can be tweaked from the core options menu. The default setting is bolded.

Settings with (Restart) means that core has to be closed for the new setting to be applied on next launch.


These core option descriptions have been sourced from the official Mesen-S documentation. Please go there for more information.

  • NTSC filter [mesen-s_ntsc_filter] (Disabled/Composite (Blargg)/S-Video (Blargg)/RGB (Blargg)/Monochrome (Blargg))

    Selects a filter to apply to the picture. The NTSC filter available in Mesen-S is blargg’s NTSC filter - this filter is very fast, and available in various other emulators.

  • Region [mesen-s_region] (Auto/NTSC/PAL)

    When set to Auto, the emulator will try to detect the game’s region (NTSC or PAL) - however, this is not always possible. When there is nothing to suggest a game is for the PAL region (Australia & Europe), the NTSC region (North America & Japan) will be used by default.

  • Game Boy Model [mesen-s_gbmodel] (Auto/Game Boy/Game Boy Color/Super Game Boy)

    Determines which Game Boy model to emulate when loading a Game Boy or Game Boy Color game. When Auto is selected, Super Game Boy emulation is used for Game Boy games, and Game Boy Color emulation is used for Game Boy Color games.

  • Use SGB2 [mesen-s_sgb2] (Off/On)

    When enabled, Super Game Boy 2 is used when emulating the SGB. Super Game Boy 2 has corrected CPU timing and some slight differences in behavior.

  • Vertical Overscan [mesen-s_overscan_vertical] (None/8px/16px)

    This overscan setting allow you to cut out pixels vertically on the edge of the screen. On a CRT TV, a few pixels on each side of the screen are usually hidden. Most SNES games output 224 scanlines, while others use the SNES’ 239 scanlines mode. To avoid the window or picture size changing when the game changes between either mode, Mesen-S always outputs 239 scanlines. In the vast majority of games, this results in 7 blank lines on the top and 8 on the bottom. To hide these blank scanlines, set the overscan value to 8.

  • Horizontal Overscan [mesen-s_overscan_horizontal] (None/8px/16px)

    This overscan setting allow you to cut out pixels horizontally on the edge of the screen.

  • Aspect Ratio [mesen-s_aspect_ratio] (Auto/No Stretching/NTSC/PAL/4:3/16:9)

    The SNES’ resolution in most games is 256x224, but it used to be displayed on CRT TVs that had a rectangular picture. To simulate a CRT TV, you can use the Auto option - it will switch between NTSC and PAL aspect ratios depending on the game you are playing. Using anything other than the Default (No Stretching) option may cause pixels to have irregular sizes. You can reduce this effect by using video filters.

  • Blend Hi-Res Modes [mesen-s_blend_high_res] (Off/On)

    Some games use the SNES’ “high resolution” mode which produces a 512x224 picture. However, this mode causes horizontal blending, which is sometimes used for pseudo-transparency effects. Enabling this option will allow these pseudo-transparency effects to look as they were intended (but causes the entire picture to look softer/blurrier).

  • Cubic Interpolation (Audio) [mesen-s_cubic_interpolation] (Off/On)

    This option replaces the SNES’ default gaussian interpolation filter with a cubic interpolation filter which can produce better audio.

  • Overclock [mesen-s_overclock] (None/Low/Medium/High/Very High)

    Use this to overclock the CPU.


Overclocking can cause issues in some games.

  • Overclock Type [mesen-s_overclock_type] (Before NMI/After NMI)

    Before NMI: Increases the number of scanlines in the PPU, before the NMI signal is triggered at the end of the visible frame. This effectively gives more time for games to perform calculations, which can reduce slowdowns in games. This is the preferred option for overclocking.

    After NMI: Increases the number of scanlines in the PPU, after the NMI signal is triggered at the end of the visible frame. This effectively gives more time for games to perform calculations, which can reduce slowdowns in games. This option is less compatible and should only be used if the Before NMI variation does not work as expected.

  • Super FX Clock Speed [mesen-s_superfx_overclock] (100%/200%/300%/400%/500%/1000%)

    Increases the clock speed used for the Super FX chip, which can reduce lag in Super FX games. This method of overclocking is more efficient for Super FX titles.

  • Default power-on state for RAM [mesen-s_ramstate] (Random Values (Default)/All 0s/All 1s)

    On a console, the RAM’s state at power on is undetermined and relatively random. This option lets you select Mesen-S’ behavior when initializing RAM - set all bits to 0, set all bits to 1, or randomize the value of each bit.


The Mesen-S core supports the following device type(s) in the controls menu, bolded device types are the default for the specified user(s):

User 1 device types

User 2 device types

User 3 - 5 device types


Multitap support can be activated in the Mesen-S core by switching User 2's device type to Multitap.

Controller tables


User Remap descriptors for 'SNES Controller' device type RetroPad Inputs
D-Pad Up
D-Pad Down
D-Pad Left
D-Pad Right


RetroMouse Inputs SNES Mouse
Mouse Cursor SNES Mouse Cursor
Mouse 1 SNES Mouse Left Button
Mouse 2 SNES Mouse Right Button


RetroPointer Inputs Super Scope
or Pointer Position Crosshair
Mouse 1 Fire
Mouse 2 Cursor Button
Mouse 3 Turbo Toggle


Currently there is no crosshair. Pressing the mouse grab binding twice in RetroArch (default F11) should make your system cursor visible.


The Mesen-S core fully emulates all SNES, GB, and GBC games that have ever been officially released.

See also

Nintendo - Game Boy (+ Color)