Play SNES Games in OS X Mavericks & Mountain Lion with the BSNES Emulator

Aug 24, 2012 - 9 Comments

SNES Emulator playing in OS X Mountain Lion: BSNES

Super Nintendo was one of the greatest game consoles of yesteryear, and with BSNES you can play the SNES classics right on your Mac running OS X Yosemite, OS X Mavericks, OS X Mountain Lion, and OS X Lion.

While BSNES 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 adequate if you’re itching to jump into some retro gaming (you’ll need to find abandonware game ROMs elsewhere).

For the best appearance, open the games Preferences and look under “Video” to make some adjustments. Setting the “Effect Size” to “2x” and “Effect Type” to “Super 2xSal” smooths the onscreen elements and lets you size the window a bit larger, resulting in much better looking gameplay. Regardless of your settings you’ll be stuck with a square playing window that can’t be stretched horizontally.

As usual with emulators, the worst part is the keyboard controls, which are always awkward and take some getting used to. Below is the default layout, it can be customized by clicking and dragging on the buttons you want to switch to different keys.

BSNES keyboard controls

If you have a USB game controller you’ll probably want to configure it and use that instead, though with BSNES that will require the addition of a third party tool called Emulator Enhancer.

Technically BSNES will run on older versions of OS X too, but SNES9x is generally a better emulator if you’re running a past version of Mac OS X that supports it.


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


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  1. MOob says:

    SNES9x works for me too, but finding a download link is impossible so who knows if there’s a newer version?

  2. Fishcake21 says:

    Someone google about arstechnica article about BSNES. IT will explain why its much better than snes9x. It pretty much gets down that snes9x was built with compatibility in mind while BSNES is build as a low lever emulator meaning its 100 percent no glitch perfect. Something that emulators of today still possess.

  3. Matt says:

    SNES9x has been working for me on Lion and Mountain Lion. FYI this computer was purchased with Lion on it and has no old system files that might affect testing.

    15″ MBP – Early 2011 2.2GHz

  4. Blake says:

    This is the best emulator ever. Been play Earthbound!

  5. Eddy says:

    FYI, version 1.53 of Snes9x is working good on 10.8 for me.

    • Paul says:

      Interesting, couldn’t get it to run in testing. Good to hear though!

      • Eddy says:

        Interesting. I wonder, is it because your on a Developer Preview of 10.8.2? (Not that there can be much difference between the two anyways).

    • Jean-Francois says:

      Start doesn’t work on mine for some reason. I tried assign it to another key. Using PS3 controller. Using a different PS3 controller. Nothing. It used to work great before I upgraded my OS.

  6. Lars E. says:

    Who want to play N64 games on Mac, then you have to download this emulator .
    Roms for it, you find with google.

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