Dolphin Complete Setup Guide


Ripping your games is not discussed in this topic, this is ONLY the setup of dolphin itself. Warez is not supported on this forum, so don't ask where to get them, you'll be banned.

First... Things you need:

- A fast computer. (preferably Core 2 Duo or better, or high Athlon 64 X2(5200+ or better)
- The internet
- Roms to use with Dolphin (gamecube or wii)
- Time
- Two hands (it's possible to do with just one, but much easier with two)
- A Brain (This is very important.)

Now then, assuming you have all of the above, you'll be playing in no time, just follow these easy steps.

1.) Download Dolphin from your favorite builder. If you don't know where to get them, they are in the General Discussion sub-forum of the Dolphin-emu SVN Builds forum. Located here: If you're unsure, just click the link in my signature, I update my builds quite often.

2.) Most people use 7zip to compress their releases, some use .zip or .rar, for those you can use Winzip or WinRAR, 7-Zip will work with them all, I suggest you download and install 7-zip from

3.) Now, extract the downloaded compressed file to a new folder, make sure you know where this folder is.

4.) When you extract it, you will get several files and folders. Most releases have both the regular Dolphin as well as DolphinIL. the IL build is slightly faster than the original, however, it's also more unstable. You can use either one you want. So double click and open Dolphin or DolphinIL.

5.) You will get the main interface pop up. You could simply load the game from here, but chances are you will want to configure everything, like controls, graphics, sound, hacks and such.

6.) Click the options menu and click Configure. There are a lot of options. For the best settings for specific games, see the individual game posts in the Game Discussion forum.
For most games The best config is as follows:
- ON: Dual Core, Idle Skipping, HLE the BIOS all the time, Enable the JIT dynarec, Lock Threads to cores, Optimize Quantizers, LLE DSP on Thread, Confirm on Stop.
- OFF: Use Panic Handlers.
- You will also want to set your framelimiter to the desired framerate of the game you're playing, most of the time this will be 60, but for PAL games most is 50, some games are 30.

7.) In the second tab, This is all your own preference, you can set your language, controller types, and paths to memory cards. For most, the defaults will suffice.

8.) The next tab over is the Wii tab, Most Wii games prefer Progressive Scan on, but some do not, if you're having difficulties playing some wii games, you might want to disable this. You can also set sensor bar location, screen saver, aspect ratio and language. These are all you own preference options, the other option is called Enable EuRGB60 Mode (PAL6) Use this if playing PAL games, best to leave off if you don't play PAL games.

9.) The next tab is the Paths Tab. Here you'll want to add the paths to your roms, you might also want to set it to use subfolders depending on how you have your folders setup with your roms. Simply click Add, and browse to the location of your roms and click OK.

10.) The next and final tab is the Plugins tab, here you can select different plugins for Dolphin to use, Currently there are two video plugins for Dolphin, OpenGL or Direct3D. Direct3D currently runs faster than OpenGL, however has more graphical problems, if you're looking more for quality/compatibility use OpenGL, if the game seems to work with Direct3D without problems, you might be better off with it. Next is the DSP plugin, and you have 2 choices here, HLE and LLE. Unless you're just testing things on LLE, you're better off using HLE for the DSP plugin. (this is mostly for audio) The Pad plugin is for your controller or Keyboard setup, best to use nJoy 0.3, but you can play with the others and see which ones work best for your controller/keyboard. Last is the WiiMote plugin, there is only one as of this time.

11.) Click OK on this and click Options and select Graphics. Here you have options to setup resolution, aspect ratio, filtering, vsync, rendering to main window, post processing shaders, etc. Most of these are going to be your own preferences, If you are setting your own resolution and not using the native one, you should turn on Auto Scale. The rest of the settings are pretty much up to you to set. I'm not sure what games need Real XFB, but if a game isn't working you might try enabling that.

12.) In the other tab of the Graphics configuration, here's where the game discussion forum will come in handy, most people have documented the best settings for certain games.
- The top portion is informational, most of these you'll just leave off, I like to have FPS displayed so I turn that on.
- The Rendering portion is where you can disable certain features depending on the game, they require different settings. EFB Copy for the most part should be set to Copy EFB to system RAM. But again some games require this to be different.
- Below these is the Utilities, most of the time you'll just leave these disabled. Free look is kind of fun, but not useful to playing the game.
- Below that we have the hacks. Here's some of the hacks that help games to work better or work at all. Unless the game you're playing needs the hack, it's best to set this to none. Safe Texture cache is mainly for the Metroid Prime series, this should be off unless you're playing those games.

13.) Now click Close on that window, From here click OPtions and go to DSP Settings. Here you can set the volume and Audio and DSP settings, most games will use HLE Audio, DTK Music and Other Audio, enabled. RE0 fix is just a fix for Resident Evil game. should be disabled unless you are playing that game. Audio backend should be set to DSound, OpenAL works, but it's buggy.

14.) Click OK on that screen. Now all you have to do is set up your controller settings. (Options -> Pad Settings or Wiimote Settings for Wiimote) Those screens are pretty self explanatory just click the button you want to setup and press the button on your controller or keyboard you want to set it to.

And that's it, you're all setup to play, your games should be listed in the window and you can open them by just double clicking them.

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