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Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004







Disclaimer: I am not a part of the Dolphin team so feel free to contribute information and correct me when I'm wrong.

Dolphin is a Gamecube, Wii and Triforce (the arcade machine based on the Gamecube) emulator which supports many extra features and abilities not present on the original consoles. Gamecube and Wii compatibility is okay - one can expect "mainstream" titles to be running in some form or another; lesser known titles can be hit or miss. Triforce compatibility is currently limited to one game - others require more of the Triforce-specific peripheral devices to be emulated.

Dolphin isn't perfect (yet). It's being actively worked on to improve compatibility and performance.

Getting Started


Which SVN revision should I use?
  • It depends on your PC specifications and the game you are trying to emulate. A general rule of thumb is to stick with the official stable releases until you get a feel for how certain games perform in that environment. After acclimating to the stable build, try different SVN builds and compare performance.
  • According to this Fastest and Best Revisions thread:
    • Best Compatibility and Stability: Dolphin 3.5
    • Best Performance: r6515

What kind of PC do I need to run Dolphin smoothly?
  • A general rule of thumb is to have a relatively recent GPU and a dual-core or quad-core processor that is at least 3+ Ghz. If you were able to run PCSX2 smoothly, you should get similar results on Dolphin.

Which video plugin should I use?
  • Direct3D9: Fastest
  • Direct3D11: In between DX9 and OGL
  • OpenGL: Slowest/most accurate - use this if you're experiencing graphical glitches in DX9/11

What are the HLE/LLE options under DSP/audio settings? Which should I choose?
  • HLE is faster while LLE is more accurate. Only use LLE if you can handle the performance drop and/or you need to get rid of some audio glitches that are present in HLE.
  • In order to use LLE, you must dump your Wii's DSP and place the resulting dsp_coef.bin and dsp_rom.bin files in your <Dolphin>\Sys\GC\ folder.

How do I dump the DSP from my softmodded Wii again so I can use it for Dolphin's LLE sound mode?
  • Download DSPSpy Dumper.
  • Extract the folder and copy it over to your Wii's SD card under the \apps\ folder for homebrew.
  • Go to your Wii's Homebrew Channel and run the DSPSpy Dumper to dump dsp_coef.bin and dsp_rom.bin to your SD card.
  • Copy those files to your <Dolphin>\Sys\GC\ folder.

What does the "Lock Threads to Cores" setting do? Should I turn it on? What about "DSP LLE on Thread" under Audio settings?
  • You should check "Lock Threads to Cores" if you have a dual-core or preferably a quad-core processor. Dolphin can only utilize 2 cores so doing this will put most of the emulator's workload under your 1st and 2nd cores.
  • DSP LLE on Thread should only be turned on if you are using the DSP LLE recompiler and if you have a quad-core processor like an i5 or i7. On a quad-core, this setting will put the entire DSP LLE emulation workload on your 3rd core.
  • Both of these options are designed to help speed up the emulator.

How does Dolphin make games look so good? Does it render everything at native resolution? If not, doesn't that mean all Dolphin does is stretch the image at higher resolutions?
  • Depending on how you configure your video settings, you can force games to render at higher resolutions than native. You can still run games at native resolution if you want, but generally increasing the resolution will result in an increase of the image quality. Dolphin will render all 3D objects at the higher resolution, which has a natural anti-aliasing effect. 2D sprites (think static HUD icons etc) tend not to upscale as well so they may look slightly pixelated. Note that the higher the resolution you use, the bigger the impact it has on performance.

Do I have to rip Wii games into ISO/CISO/GCM/GCZs? Can't I play them from my DVD drive?
  • Yes, but it's highly recommended that you play an image from your HDD. The latency and access times when playing from a DVD drive can crash the emulator. While Wii discs are just standard DVD5/DVD9s, they can't be ripped using a standard DVD drive. You can backup both Gamecube and Wii discs by using homebrew applications on an actual Wii system, which must be softmodded. Here is a link to the Wii homebrew thread with instructions on how to rip your games. There are some very specific disc drives that can copy GC/Wii games to the PC as well.

How do I use a real Wiimote with Dolphin?
  • You need to have the following:
    • A Wiimote
    • A wired/wireless Wii Sensor Bar or homemade equivalent like 2 lit candles
    • A Bluetooth connection on your PC that's either onboard or through a dongle
  • Follow one of the connection guides here.

Can I use another input method like a mouse, keyboard, or gamepad?
  • You can emulate a Wiimote by using your mouse and keyboard. You can also use controllers like the Xbox 360's controller or PS3's Dualshock 3.

Gyoru fucked around with this message at Dec 26, 2012 around 14:42

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Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004








































If you would like to request a specific game or have screenshots that you would like to contribute, simply post in the thread.

Gyoru fucked around with this message at Oct 26, 2011 around 21:37

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Clarified the disc backup process and linked to the Wiibrew thread.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Heran Bago posted:

My gaming rig went pop and my other computer has an 'Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD.' Can I still use dolphin with some obscure settings or am I SOL because Intel hates OpenGL?

I mostly want it for testing out New Super Mario Bros Wii edits.
You need a dedicated graphics card instead of an integrated one. You might be able to run something at native resolution, but I doubt it would be at a playable speed.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



VDay posted:

Speaking of Path of Radiance, whenever I set anisotropic filtering to anything higher than 1X I get red boxes around the character eyes/mouth during cutscenes. Is there a fix or hack I can select or am I stuck with that? Using the 7669 64-bit build.

I don't have Path of Radiance with me, but for Radiant Dawn you can use OpenGL to get rid of the face boxes.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Added Muramasa screenshots to the OP.

Here are some bonus screenshots from the Muramasa Hi-Res Texture project on the Dolphin forums. It's currently in Beta stages and only for the PAL release so I couldn't test it.
http://forums.dolphin-emulator.com/...d.php?tid=16870




Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



meecrob posted:

I have been waiting for a Dolphin thread!

[Rant about bluetooth compatibility]

I have been trying like a motherfucker to get either one of my PCs to work with a wiimote. I've gotten it almost working in windows. I wasn't sure my bluetooth dongle was compatible with it, so I went out and bought 2 different ones of the list (http://wiibrew.org/wiki/List_of_Wor...uetooth_Devices) and I still can't get anything. I can get windows to recognize the controller for a little bit, but isn't usable as an input device. I feel kind of bummed since I have spent about $100 to get it working. I could have bought a Wii for that much, but I want higher definition graphics.

I have tried the Microsoft Wireless Transceiver for Bluetooth 2.0 (my original dongle), an IOGEAR GBU421T and a Rocketfish Bluetooth Adaptor RF-FLBTAD on both Vista 32 and Windows 7 and no dice. I have tried widcomm and the microsoft stack and even a trial of bluesoleil. The best luck I have is with bluesoleil, but the trial of it doesn't work long enough for me to test if it works and I'm not about to shell out more money on this endeavor.

[/rant]

So can you guys that have working Wiimotes post what dongle you use sucessfully on what OS and with what stack? Maybe we can have our own list going or someone can sperg enough to update a wiki.
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/super-...ompatible-11866

That one is $1.80 with free shipping from dealextreme. It works on Win 7 x64 with the generic Microsoft bluetooth stack. I use it for both my Wiimote and Dualshock 3.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Carecat posted:

How are saves stored? I've got two folders, one for compatibility and one for speed, moved the roms so both emulators can share them but neither emulator can see the others game save files.

Wii saves are stored in \User\Wii\title\00010000
GC saves are stored in \User\GC

Generally when I'm copying stuff over to another build I copy my save folders, everything in \User\Config, and my dsp dumps in \Sys\GC for using DSP LLE.

edit: 1UP put up a feature on Dolphin yesterday
http://www.1up.com/features/chances...rio-zelda-today

Gyoru fucked around with this message at Jul 7, 2011 around 15:23

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Nate RFB posted:

How well does this work with PAL releases? Like, say if I wanted to import Another Code R, Xenoblade, and Last Story. Since NoA isn't bringing those games over, it's either Dolphin or unlocking my Wii.

Dolphin doesn't care about regions. It will work on any game as long as it's considered playable.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Coolio posted:

Can someone tell me how to get LLE up and running? I followed the link in the OP but I am dumb and can't figure out what to do.
- Download DSPSpy Dumper.
- Extract the folder and copy it over to your Wii's SD card under the \apps\ folder for homebrew.
- Go to your Wii's Homebrew Channel and run the DSPSpy Dumper to dump dsp_coef.bin and dsp_rom.bin to your SD card.
- Copy those files to your <Dolphin>\Sys\GC\ folder.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Rascyc posted:

I notice some videos of Xenoblade in Dolphin that Gyoru put up, which got me curious in the first place - does it run pretty flawlessly?

The video and audio are perfect on Dolphin 3.0. HLE audio might have a few stuttering issues here and there, but LLE audio is perfect.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Here's the first hour of Xenoblade Chronicles running on Dolphin. It runs flawlessly while being able to FRAPS in 720p or 1080p. I'm using the same Dolphin revision (3.0 - r7617 Lectrode's optimized) and settings that I used for the Japanese version.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-3qjZrUqjA&amp;hd=1

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Rascyc posted:

You're rocking LLE on the third thread I assume? I had a lot of problems with HLE and took a break from it myself. I'll try that particular build and see if it helps.

Yeah. The first video and part of the second video were recorded with HLE, but I switched back to LLE due to stuttering and audio distortion issues.

Kaelan Zero posted:

I've been trying to get Xenoblade running well in Dolphin and having a nightmarishly hard time. A bunch of the Lectrode optimized builds crash randomly, but the one you suggest - 7617 - seems to be alright. I've tried various configurations and arrived at two nearly-right choices:

HLE audio, audio throttle, no frame throttle: Game runs mostly smooth, occasional small dips below full framerate... but the game periodically pauses for as long as an entire second during combat. The pauses seem to be aligned with when the game is loading long voice samples or skill special effects from the game disc. I can't figure out why the hell that happens or how to fix it.

LLE audio on thread (recompiler), same as above: Game runs smooth but drops down to 70-80% speed during combat. The pauses from HLE seem like they're gone, though, confusingly enough.

Graphics settings don't seem to matter, except that XFB causes Dolphin to crash whenever I start a game, no matter the graphics plugin.

Do I just need a faster machine? I assumed mine would be good enough (i7 975 4-core @ 3.3ghz) but I suppose it's possible that since LLE is locked to one core, I just need a higher clock speed.

Are you playing it off the physical game disc? I'm playing off a rip right now, but I could imagine that a bug in Dolphin's code for ISOs could cause it to behave differently than a DVD and make the game's code for streaming textures/sounds freak out. If you're using the physical disc, I'll have to unbox my copy and see if playing off the disc makes a difference.
The LLE recompiler is much more processor intensive than HLE audio. My experience in both versions of Xenoblade is that the HLE audio is hit or miss. Sometimes it works wonderfully and sometimes it freaks the gently caress out and starts garbling voices even though you're running at full speed. LLE doesn't do any of that as long as you're running at 100% speed.

I'm on i5 2500k @ 4.5 Ghz (might OC it some more) for reference. I would suggest trying to get a higher clock speed if you want to use LLE. Here are my Dolphin 3.0 settings.


I'm playing off my hard drive. As a general rule, you should rip your disc on to a hard drive and play it from there because the (much) faster access times.

Gyoru fucked around with this message at Aug 19, 2011 around 01:09

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Frunk posted:

Are you getting the garbled save screen images due to the EFB? I'm just using the vanilla version of 3.0 with an 2500k processor and that's really the only problem I've seen so far.
Yeah, but it's not an issue that affects gameplay though.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Looks like someone figured out you can run the PAL version of Xenoblade in its original 30 FPS instead of 25 by simply hex editing the ISO's region code to the Japanese version.
http://forums.dolphin-emulator.com/...67910#pid167910

http://www.multiupload.com/0HT3E314L0
The download is just the PPF patch with PPFOMATIC that does the edit for you. Don't do this if you're already having performance issues in Dolphin because this will make it run even slower. Saves will remain compatible. Make sure you backup your original ISO in case something goes wrong.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



VDay posted:

Where's the memory card stored for Wii games? I want to transfer a couple of saves from one version of Dolphin to another.

<Dolphin>\User\Wii\title\00010000\

Each folder is a different game.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Kirby's Return to Dreamland has been fixed in today's latest build.

Added screenshots to the OP.




Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



You can post screenshots if you want to share. It's encouraged, but doesn't guarantee they'll end up in the OP.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



If anyone else feels some Motion Plus unresponsiveness in Skyward Sword and has a cheap $1-3 BT dongle like mine, consider upgrading to a better BT dongle like this one I grabbed today. The stronger BT connection makes a world of difference.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



I thought it was my sensor bar positioning at first, but it was the strength of my bluetooth connection. There are posts on the official Dolphin forums about other users seeing improvements to sword responsiveness with better BT dongles as well. Skyward Sword only uses the sensor bar to know which way is forward. Everything else is controlled directly by Motion+.

With my old dongle:
- Jerky cursor during boot up sensor bar calibration or whenever you reconnect the Wiimote.
- Sword swings wouldn't register the correct direction properly from time to time (this was the most annoying)
- Occasionally the adapter would die completely requiring me to do the unplug/reseat dance

New dongle:
- None of that so far

The $9.99 BT dongle I posted comes with a registered copy of BlueSoleil v5.0 as well, which can be updated to BlueSoleil v7.0 for free. (latest version is v8.0, but you have to repurchase the license)

Also of the two recommended Skyward Sword builds, r7719 and r7692, the latter seemed to have better Real Wiimote detection/fluidity despite most of the changelogs between r7692 -> r7719 involved shader additions.

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



Project64 is still in active development. I think the latest version is around v1.7.0.xx, but you need to "donate" $20 to get access to the beta.

1964 (PJ64's rival emu back in the day) is also surprisingly still in actively development. It's open source and freely available to everyone unlike Project64.
http://code.google.com/p/emu-1964/

Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



There's a new HD retexture project on the Dolphin forums for Xenoblade (PAL release patched to 30FPS)
http://forums.dolphin-emulator.com/...d.php?tid=22102
Warning: There are spoilers in the comparison screenshots in that thread


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Gyoru
Jul 13, 2004



They changed domains a few weeks ago. I've updated all the links in the OP to point to the new domain. (dolphin-emu.org)

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