Download Dolphin Emulator & Setup guide – GameCube/Wii games on PC

An emulator is a hardware or a software program which enables one computer system to imitate the other computer system. It regenerates the environment of the original computer. It is more time consuming to develop an emulator, but once developed, it provides authenticity like the original computer. There are three parts which complete the emulator-

  • CPU emulator
  • Memory sub-system emulator
  • Input/ output device emulator

Dolphin is the free gaming console emulator available for Nintendo Gamecube and Nintendo Wii. It runs on platforms like Windows, Linux, macOS, ios, and android. There were two releases for the dolphin emulator. Dolphin released initially on 22 September 2003, and a stable version got released on 24 June 2016.  C++ and C languages are used to write the codes for the dolphin emulator. It supports 64bit platforms. It is also available in 24 languages.

Dolphin Emulator Download

Note: These Development versions are released every time a developer makes a change to Dolphin’s official software!

Make sure you’re using Using development versions as it enables you to use the latest and fastest improvements to the project.

They are however less tested than stable versions of the emulator.

The development versions require the 64-bit Visual C++ redistributable for Visual Studio 2017 to be installed.

5.0-1142022 hours agoVarious string and other optimizations (PR #8362 from GerbilSoft)
5.0-114092 days, 23 hours agoPlatform support for Windows-on-ARM64 (PR #8495 from stenzek)
5.0-114055 days, 3 hours agoProperly check for missing netplay session name/region (PR #8534 from JosJuice)
5.0-114011 week agoHW/DSPHLE: Fix struct aliasing undefined behavior in AX ucode (PR #8525 from Techjar)
5.0-113981 week agoDualShockUDPClient: downgrade spurious NOTICE_LOGs (PR #8533 from delroth)
5.0-113961 week, 2 days agoFrameDump: Set first_frame if movie frame number <= 1 (PR #8522 from stenzek)
5.0-113941 week, 2 days agoTranslation resources sync with Transifex
5.0-113931 week, 4 days agoInclude <memory> for std::unique_ptr in DXContext.h (PR #8528 from CaseyCarter)
5.0-113911 week, 4 days agoBoot: Optionally allow preserving region settings in setting.txt (PR #8519 from JosJuice)
5.0-113891 week, 4 days agoUpdate externals (PR #8524 from shuffle2)

Stable versions

Stable versions are released after a lot of testing to ensure emulation performance and stability. However, since they are released less often, they might be outdated and lacking some new features.
Dolphin 5.03 years, 6 months ago
Dolphin 4.0.26 years, 1 month ago
Dolphin 4.0.16 years, 2 months ago
Dolphin 4.06 years, 3 months ago
Dolphin 3.57 years ago
Dolphin 3.08 years, 6 months ago

Linux distributions

Ubuntu users can install a PPA for development and stable versions of Dolphin here: Installing Dolphin

Users of other Linux distributions can look here to compile Dolphin: Building Dolphin on Linux

Source code

The latest version of the Dolphin source code can be downloaded from the project Git repository.

    $ git clone

You can also browse the current version of the source code.

Reporting bugs

For reporting bugs please go to the issue tracker. Before creating a new issue, make sure to try a recent development build and search the existing issues.

Variants of Dolphin Emulator

1. Dolphin VR

Dolphin VR is based on the concept of virtual reality with an accurate life-size scale, provides a full field of view, and a 3D head-up display. It supports devices like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Virtual reality games can be played using Dolphin VR. Dolphin VR has got good reviews from PC gamers. The recently released version is 5.0, and the source code is put on Github. The free software foundation does maintenance.


  • There is an amazing experience for users.
  • It provides a detailed view.
  • It connects with people.


  • Users often addict to virtual reality.
  • This technology is still experimental.

2. Ishiiruka

When the support of DirectX 9 was removed, the developer of the dolphin created an unofficial fork named Ishiiruka. Forking is a process when software developer pics a copy of available source code and start independent development, thus creating new and distinct software. Forking solved the performance problems like micro stuttering due to shader compilation. Shader is the term used to produce lit and shadowed areas while rendering 3D models. Isiiruka was the base for fighting video game named Super Smash Brothers.


  • It allows the user to push standards beyond the standards of normal dolphin.
  • Cool additional enhancements can be added.
  • It helps to avoid shader compilation.


  • Advanced users can only use Ishiiruka.

3. Prime hack

Prime hack is another version of the dolphin. This modified version of the dolphin is designed to play Metroid Prime Trilogy on PC using keyboard and mouse controls. There are two variants available for Prime Hack. One is on the platform of Ishiirukaand other one is on the platform of Dolphin Proper.


  • Proper gaming experience for Metroid Prime Trilogy on PC


  • It suffers in running other games made on a different platform.

4. Dolphin Triforce

This version of the dolphin is developed to emulate the Triforce arcade system. The dolphin team stopped the development of this version because of the shifting of development priorities. The dolphin triforce can be downloaded from the website, and source code is available on Github.

Features of Dolphin Emulator

  • Independent of the region to start the game.
  • It provides tool-assisted speed runs.
  • It also provides the use of cheat codes along with action replay.

Dolphin supports two kinds of network play: Emulated local multiplayer and Nintendo WI-FI Connection. Emulated local multiplayer works only with dolphin users. It supports games that have no available online options. Nintendo WI-FI Connection is compatible with online gameplay with other dolphin users as well as Wii users. We can save game progress on virtual GameCube, memory cards. The memory card manager allows the transfer of saving files.

Visual and graphical improvements

Dolphin supports variable resolutions, unlike Gamecube and Wii, which support up to 480p. Texture customized maps can be loaded. Resolution can vary from the original texture, and it can be of higher resolution than the original textures. It also provides the functionality to export a game’s texture so that it can be modified by the graphic artist. Dolphin can produce stereographic 3D graphics on any platform which Dolphin supports. It supports Nvidia 3D vision. Dolphin also supports spatial anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering. It can produce higher frames per second.

System requirement for Dolphin Emulator

Dolphin emulator works on 7 64 bit of windows or higher, OS 10.10 X Yosemite or higher and 64 bit Modern desktop Linux. The CPU configuration for emulator should be x86-64 and i5-460k intel core or equivalent. It needs a minimum of 2GB ram. The graphics hardware should have 3.0 Pixel shader and OpenGL 3 or DirectX 10 support. It is recommended that it should have 11.1 modern DirectX, Vulkan GPU, or 4.4 OpenGL. It supports any PC connected devices like keyboard and mouse by default.

For an operating system of Android, it should have android version 5.0. The CPU configuration should have snapdragon 835 or AArch64 or equivalent. It needs a minimum of 1GB memory, but it is recommended to have 4GB of memory. The graphics hardware configuration should have es 3.0 OpenGL, but it is recommended to have Adreno 540 with Vulkan support and es 3.2 OpenGL.

Setting up the dolphin emulator

Dolphin emulator can be downloaded from the website. In the development version page, choose the option of windows x64 to get a 64-bit emulator for your system. The next thing we need is visual c++ for visual studio. It is also available on the website. Now install both the applications. Now extract the dolphin emulator and launch the dolphin application. Now map your input device and configure it accordingly and save the setup.  Now open the graphics configuration window, select DirectX, and change enhancements according to your configurations, change filtering to 4x, and disable copy filter. In general, setting change shader according to your PC configuration. To add the game, go to the config window, then paths and add your Gamecube path and then close the window. The list of all your games is now visible on that window. Now launch the game from the same window and start playing using your mapped controller.

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