Your NES emulator of choice?

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My NES emulator of choice for PC is...

Poll ended at Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:27 am

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Total votes: 35

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Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by Zepper » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:27 am

Vote and tell us the main reason of your choice.

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by dougeff » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:43 pm

I've been using FCEUX / FCEU for many many years. I know all the shortcut keys and all the debugging tools inside and out.

It sucks at emulating accurately, and has several bugs...color emphasis, for example. But I already have 5 emulators, and I don't like to change my habits. -- blog/tutorial on programming for the NES

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by TmEE » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:47 pm

no$nes. I like the ideology of the author plus the documentation work ~

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by FrankenGraphics » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:11 pm

FCEUX, out of habit and convenience. Mybe not the best of reasons. - personal NES blog

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by rainwarrior » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:13 pm

1. FCEUX for debugging, inspecting, making videos, hacking, making TAS, experimenting, etc. Doesn't get some of the finer points of accuracy (esp. obscure PPU timing issues) but is pretty accurate for most of the stuff I care about. It's a great tool.

2. Nintendulator as a backup when FCEUX is not quite accurate enough. I think its UI is not very good, e.g. FCEUX has so much important customization, Nintendulator has almost none.

3. Nestopia for just playing games. (Just works better. If FCEUX had proper vsync and a better fullscreen mode I'd probably just use it for everything.)

Those are the 3 I care most about. I also have my eye on:

4. PuNES - looking good so far for playing stuff, options/UI and the APU sound isn't as good as Nestopia.

5. Mesen - getting a lot of debugger improvements lately.

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by tokumaru » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:19 pm

My list is basically the same as rainwarrior's:

1 - FCEUX for debugging, hacking, studying effects, and so on. It has a shitload of debugging tools that make almost any task simple. I consider it very inaccurate though.

2 - Nintendulator for when I need to debug something that relies on more precise timing and/or video emulation. It gets second place because the debugging tools are fewer and not as versatile as FCEUX's. Nintendulator could seriously benefit from more display options too (IIRC you can't even disable the bilinear filtering, which's extremely annoying).

3 - Nestopia for playing. Very lightweight, easy to use, and one of the most accurate when compared to my actual NES consoles. Has the best video output IMO, when using the NTSC filter.

I have been gradually increasing my use of FCEUX for playing though, maybe because Nestopia is finally starting to feel outdated (I don't keep track of the more recent unofficial versions). After configuring the NTSC filter in FCEUX, I'm quite pleased with the picture, and its inaccuracies aren't really noticeable when playing.

I did try some of the newer, actively developed emulators, but some of them felt really bloated (the multi-platform ones) and others required me to install stuff (C++ runtime, .NET Framework, etc.) that I either didn't feel like doing at the time or my Windows 7 simply refused to install, so my experience with those emulators is very limited, and the first impressions weren't the best.

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by lidnariq » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:25 pm

Nestopia for playing.
Mesen for debugging (and cross-checking against FCEUX, Nintendulator, and rarely NO$NES)

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by freem » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:48 pm

The poll only allows you to select one emulator, but like a few people in this thread, I use multiple NES emulators. My choices are heavily biased towards developing and/or hacking games, so keep that in mind.

#1) FCEUX, primarily for its hacking and debugging features. Lua scripting support also helps.
#2) Nintendulator, as it seems to be the most accurate of the NES emulators. The OAM/sprite debugger is a nice feature as well. I also recommend NintendulatorDX for its ability to randomize boot RAM.
#3) puNES, for when I want to see how things will look with an NTSC filter.
#4) Nestopia, for an alternate NTSC filter look.
#5) emuVT, because none of the above supports VT03, as far as I'm aware. (note to self: stop having so many projects and figure out how to make a proper VT03 ROM)

At some point, I'd like to try Mesen, but I've been caught up with a lot of things lately (hence me not finishing my compo entry, oops).

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by tokumaru » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:59 pm

Oh yeah, forgot Lua scripting as one of the reasons for using FCEUX!

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by DRW » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:04 pm

I use fceux for general use and for testing my own games.

I like the video recording function.
If my game has a bug that isn't easy to reproduce, I simply record a playthrough until I encounter the bug. Then I can try to fix it and play the same recording over the new ROM to see whether it's gone.
Nestopia's record mechanism is shitty in comparison. I doesn't work on another ROM because it is based on a savestate.
The recording function is also my method of choice when letting testers play the game. I ask them to send me their input file, so I can see what they did.

I also use fceux for screenshots because I think it has the nicest color palette without me having to load a custom one. Nestopia's has that purple "Super Mario Bros." sky that I don't like.

But I use Nestopia for backup testing because it's cycle accurate, so I use it to catch things that fceux isn't capable of.
And I use the NTSC filter to check the graphics before having to test it on a real NES.
My game "City Trouble":

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by Pokun » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:45 pm

I only use emulators for NES development/debugging nowdays so my list looks like almost everybody else.

1. FCEUX is what I use mostly because its useful debug tools.

2. Nintendulator when I'm not happy enough with the poor accuracy of FCEUX, and it has a debugger and a VRAM/OAM viewer although not as flexible to use as the ones in FCEUX.

3. Nestopia for testing stuff in Family BASIC simply because it can paste code by pressing F12. I wish more emulators had this useful feature. I sometimes use Nestopia instead of real hardware because it's faster to type the code in a text editor and then paste it in Nestopia.

Rocknes and Punes seems to be the only emulators that can swap 50% and 25% duty cycle modes for the square channels to emulate certain Famiclone CPUs, so I have used these too at times.

I never play games on emulators nowdays, I prefer real hardware for that. Especially now when the Everdrive and the FDSStick can replace emulators for running arbitrary ROM/disk images.

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by M_Tee » Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:27 pm

For building and testing, FCEUX (with Nestopia's palette, although I do frequently check other palettes if indecisive)

For playing, Nestopia (I originally wanted a second emulator for playing, so that I could keep the various settings such as defaulting to fullscreen and joystick input separate. I initially chose it because of its default palette. I continue to use it for entertainment because I have no other complaints. However, most of our play-for-fun is through an Everdrive, so it doesn't get much use.)

FCEUX's palette is tremendously oversaturated. I find it visually uncomfortable to use, and kind of hate that it's the default for the preferred debugging emulator because it results in it being the most commonly used for screenshots, etc.

Honestly, due to my commute, I spend more time playing on Android than anywhere else these days, but I really dislike all of the Android emulators that I've tired. Any recommendations for that would be welcome.

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by Rahsennor » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:35 pm

I use mednafen most of the time, because it's the only one that works. It doesn't crackle constantly or turn my screen into a disco strobe, supports proper PAR and scaling, can play NSFs and has a debugger. Which is more than can be said for FCEUX or Nestopia.

I'm told Mesen works on Linux nowadays, but I'm too lazy to install Mono.

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by dustmop » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:39 pm

90% of the time I'm on OSX, and use Nestopia for playing, checking accuracy, and having a pleasant experience. I also run FCEUX in wine and on Windows for debugging / lua purposes. Earlier today I tried out Mesen for the first time and it sorta seems amazing! Looking forward to trying it out some more.

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Re: Your NES emulator of choice?

Post by Banshaku » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:00 pm

I selected nintendulator only because it happens to be the one I used recently on the current computer I'm using. I do not do any nes relating thing these days so I do not have a main emulator for that reason but had to select one since it's a vote.

I do not use Nestpopia, never really used much actually, did use fceux in the past but don't know how much it changed these days. I do not use much other emulators.

Like I mentioned in another thread, I would try rocknes more if the UI was native. The problem with allegro ui (same problem with UI Meka for sms, not sure if they use allgero in that case) it that you are stuck in one small windows that opens windows. It's like a browser app that try to open simulated windows in it's on environment. You get limited with that frame and cannot put your windows where you like. If you want to use that emultaor for debugging (do not know how much debugging is possible with rocknes) then you are stuck to the restriction of that frame. That discourage the usage. I now it's quite hell to migrate to another UI framework but the usage of rocknes would go up if it was updated to a native framework (win32) or to a multi-platform framework (wxWidget, qt etc).

Since you created that vote, I can understand that you want to know how much people use your emulator or why other people use the other ones. If your emulator is native ui, has debugging tools then you bet people will use it even more since you update it quite often (I follow your emulator thread every time there is a new update).

I will try rocknes again just to see how it improved recently and wants to know the currents feature but like I said, the allegro UI irk me a lot. Same thing for zsnes, I do not enjoy it at all.

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