SNES Emulator for Mac

Jul 15, 2010 - 11 Comments

snes emulator mac

SNES9x is a full featured SNES emulator for Mac that lets you do all sorts of things, including using an external game pad, customized controls, enter cheat codes and Game Genie codes directly into the game, create freeze states (ie: saving anytime anywhere), export movies of gameplay, and so much more.

It’s been out a while, but I just wrote about playing SNES on the iPad and realized that we’ve never covered the very SNES emulator for Mac that I mentioned in that article: SNES9x. Yes, there are other SNES emulators for Mac but I always find myself returning to SNES9x, I never have a problem with it and I’ve been able to play through games completely without a crash. In my opinion, it’s the most developed SNES emulator for the Mac platform, if there is a better one I haven’t found it yet.

Update: a newer and more full featured emulator is available called OpenEMU, which is arguably the best emulator on the Mac, it includes SNES and many other system emulators too. Nonetheless if you don’t want OpenEMU then Snes9x is still pretty great too.

Downloading the SNES Emulator for Mac

SNES9x is open sourced and a free download but it’s nowhere to be found on the official developers homepage so you usually have to Google around to find a download link. At the moment, Softpedia download works for SNES9x 1.52 too. The version I am using is 1.52 and was released this year, it works flawlessly in Mac OS X 10.6.4.

Playing SNES Games on the Mac

Now that you’ve downloaded SNES9x, you’ll need ROM files of the games to actually play SNES on your Mac. Playing the ROM files is simple, you just double click the .smc and it will launch automatically into SNES9x.

Downloading and Playing SNES ROM Files

Many ROMs are available to download without issue and these are called abandonware, but some ROM’s are considered a legal grey area; some people say it is straight piracy to download ROMS, others argue that if you bought and owned the SNES games a long time ago you should still have the legal right to play them in whatever form today, and of course there are others who say they’re ancient games so it shouldn’t matter anyway. This is made even more complex due to the various copyrights that may or may not exist for the games themselves. Due to this ambiguous nature and various copyrights, you should probably just Google around for specific ROM files and check the copyright yourself, they are generally really easy to find and many games belong to the public domain.

I always end up playing games that are either not controversial (aka Abandonware) or that I owned before anyway so I don’t have any moral dilemma with ROMs, but that’s me, and by no means am I an expert on ROM copyright or rights usage. Do your own research and enjoy playing SNES on your Mac!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Games, Mac, Mac OS


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Mugen Kagemaru says:

    Do we have a version that’s compatible with Catalina?

  2. […] on your Mac running OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Lion. It may not be as full featured as the popular SNES9x alternative that works only on older versions of Mac OS X, but it’s still pretty good and is more than […]

  3. lion says:

    wprks with lion here.

  4. ethan says:

    doesn’t wprk with Lion

  5. […] emulators! Want some more emulators for your Mac? We’ve covered SNES, Wii & Gamecube, N64, Nintendo DS, and PS2 before, so check them […]

  6. Emulator? says:

    […] an emulator made for OS X to play. If the extension on the file is .exe it will not run on a Mac. This website talks about SNES9x, it appears to be update frequently. The article has some download links and […]

  7. Fishcake21 says:

    You can also use the Ps3’s Dual Shock 3 via bluetooth for snes games, ain’t that sweet?

    • Ish says:

      How do you set that up? can you change the control config on them? I’m thinking of analog controls used for a game like super smash TV which would make the game amazing

  8. bowie says:

    LTTP! I love that game…

    If Nintendo was smart they would release an official supported SNES emulator for both iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Until they do, people will just download these emulators and play ROM’s for free.

    They already allow you to play old games on the Wii, they just need to branch out more to new platforms. I for one would be glad to pay a couple bucks for some of the SNES classics that I grew up with. Even if they segmented it down and it wasn’t an emulator per-se but individual apps, I would buy them. Standalone classics like LTTP, SMW, FF3, this is a missed market opportunity.

    Oh well…. roms and emulators are free :)

    • Timothy Eyton says:

      There may not be any “official” release of the SNES emulators for iPhone’s and iPad’s, but you can still get them online. Just don’t expect to find them in the marketplace though.

      Anyways, I really love this game. It’s so satisfying to be able to just play any of the old classic games without having to track down an old console and pay an arm and a leg for it.

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site