nds4droid FAQ

This contains the most frequently asked questions regarding nds4droid. Please read this before rating the application one star and getting in a tizzy!

Where do I download ROMs?

I have no idea, please don’t ask this.

When I launch it, all I see is a list of files.

Yes, you must pick a ROM to load. The list of files is (by default) the root of your SD card. Navigate to where you put your ROMs (try the Downloads folder if you downloaded them on your phone) and select one!

nds4droid is way too slow!

Well here’s the thing: you’re emulating two discrete CPUs in software on a device whose primary purpose is to make phone calls. The recommended hardware for full speed DS emulation on the desktop is a 3 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

When it comes to game speed, the biggest factor is the CPU load of the main ARM9 processor of the DS. If you have FPS drawing enabled, it is the first percentage that appears in parenthesis. Games that don’t consume much CPU will run much faster.

As time goes on nds4droid will become more fine tuned, so expect things to only get better (but not magically, astronomically better).


The Pokemon games contain many sneaky things in them designed to make the ROMs not run on emulators. As far as Pokemon goes, things will be a work in progress for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, try branching out. The Nintendo DS has many many games and only a few feature the word “Pokemon” anywhere in them!

How do I get ROMs on my device?

The best way is simply to use the USB mass storage option on your phone. Plug it into your computer and a folder should pop up. Copy your ROMs here. Take note of the path in the title bar, this is where you’ll need to navigate to in the file browser that pops up immediately upon opening nds4droid.

What file formats does nds4droid support?

The only ROM format supported is .nds. However, nds4droid has built in support for extracting .zip, .7z, and .rar files. nds4droid will search these compressed archives looking for a .nds file and will open the first one that it finds.

Can I move progress between my computer and my phone?

The save states are located at /mnt/sdcard/nds4droid/States on your device (that is, in the nds4droid folder on your SD card). From here, you can move them back and forth from your computer; they are binary compatible with DeSmuME so you should have no problem continuing from where you left off.

What settings do you recommend for the best performance?

Sound off, vsync off, software rendering, threaded interpreter, no screen filter, and frame skip as high as you can tolerate (3+).

Why don’t you make a fast forward option?

Fast forward features work by running the emulator faster than the normal device (running it at 120 FPS when it normally runs at 60 FPS for example). Until you can run the game at full speed normally a fast forward feature won’t work.


Why are you so sure so-called “dynarecs” are faster? Dynamic recompaliation is not some sort of magical pixie dust. The current interpreter nds4droid uses is very efficient — in fact in many ways more efficient than a dynamic recompiler, since on ARM targets we have to flush the instruction when performing the recompilation, a very costly operation.

I’d like nds4droid translated to <insert language here>

All of the translations are done by regular nds4droid users. If you can translate to a language that isn’t already done, or have some changes for an existing translation, feel free to submit them to me. Here is the file that should be translated: http://sourceforge.net/p/nds4droid/code/ci/master/tree/res/values/strings.xml

I have a question not answered here.

Well aren’t you just a precious little snowflake… post a topic on the forums.

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  1. My phone has 8 gigs of RAM ffs, I have a 6 core processor in this device and yet you don’t make a fast forward feature because phones can’t handle it? BLOW ME!

  2. You posted a number of nice points there. I did a search on the issue and discovered nearly all people will have the same opinion with your blog.

  3. When ever I ho out of the ROM and come back to continue on it it already goes to the title screen like I’m playing this game for the first time all my progress in not able to continue where I left

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