DOSBox Games

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All the instructions on this page are made for the DOSBox-Pure core.

This page is still work-in-progress.


DOSBox-Pure is a special core that aims for simplicity and ease of use.

It's made for a console-like usability, where you can load DOS games as single zip files each, with specially crafted controller-to-keyboard-and-mouse mapping automatically detected for each game from an internal database.

You can learn about its features and how it works on its own page here.

Adding and Scanning Games

Each DOS game should be in its own .zip file.

If your game, for example Duke Nukem 3D, is made of a lot of files in one or many folders, you should compress the main folder into a single zip file and use it instead.

These zip files go in your designated DOS games folder, just like your other systems.

When starting a game in EmuVR, you'll see a menu where you can select which executable file to run from within the zip.

Windows 98 SE (Advanced)

It's possible to install an operating system to be used with this core.

While many different Windows versions can be chosen from, the best one in respect to features and compatibility is Windows 98 Second Edition.

Installing Windows 98

Important: If you're trying to use an Xbox controller to install this, set the device code in Game Scanner as "513". You'll be able to move the mouse cursor with the left stick and click with the A / B buttons. Press LS (click the left stick in, a.k.a. L3) to show the on-screen keyboard (needed to type in your Product Key).

  1. Add and scan your "Windows 98 Second Edition.iso" file (not zipped) in your designated DOS folder as usual, as if it were a game. (Do not ask where to download it. In doubt, use the "(OEM Full)" version)
  2. It will be a game cartridge in EmuVR, load it as usual.
  3. Control the TV and select the [ Boot and Install New Operating System ] option.
  4. On the next screen, select the 4 GB Hard Disk option, it will take a few seconds to create the new empty disk file for this installation. (You won't really need more space here since your games will be installed on another separated disk later, keep reading below to understand this.)
  5. On the next screen, select Boot from CD-ROM.
  6. Keep following the instructions on the screen for a normal Windows 98 SE installation. Here's a video example from the core developer (starts at 4:40).
  7. At some point it will ask you to type in your own Product Key (don't ask where to find it, just like ROMs or your ISO).
  8. After you're done, click the Start menu, then Shut Down. (Don't just turn it off before doing this, or it could corrupt your installation.)
  9. You're done. You won't need to use you Win98SE ISO again. Keep reading to learn how to load your games into this.

(If you needed to use device code "513" for this, make sure to change it back to "1" after installing Windows, if you want to use the automatic gamepad-to-keyboard bindings for automatically detected games later.)

Playing Games on Windows 98

When adding your Windows 98 games, most of the time they'll be installation discs as ISO files. (Each of your scanned games will show up as a cartridge.)

This core load games in a special way:

  • As an example, you're loading your Age of Empires.iso installation disc
  • On the first screen, select [ Run Installed Operating System ], then select Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Windows 98 will boot and in "My Computer" you'll have:
    • C: drive - your main disk, where you've installed Win98
    • E: drive - your Age of Empires installation CD will be mounted here
    • D: drive - this is a new disk that only exists when you load your Age of Empires ISO
    • Each different game you load has its own empty D: drive, this is the place where you can install each game instead of C:
    • This keeps your games and their changes separated from each other
  • Open your CD in the E: drive, run the installer (E:\Aoesetup.exe in our example, or just double click the E: CD drive) and install the game in "D:\Age of Empires\"
  • After installing it once, you can run the game by clicking its shortcut in the desktop, its Start Menu shortcut, or navigating to the installed folder and clicking Empires.exe.

Alternatively, for simplicity, you could just install all your games in the same C: drive instead, and they'll always be there together, no matter which game ISO or zip you load later. But there are caveats:

  • If your game has automatic gamepad bindings, they won't load, as the game won't be detected on load.
  • You won't be able to make custom gamepad-to-keyboard bindings per game, since they're detected on load (unless you still load each game's ISO even if you're installing them in C:).
  • If you're using your real keyboard and mouse to play, this shouldn't really be an issue for you.

Some games are not "installable" but instead will come in a single zipped folder with all its files ready to be run.

  • Load them the same way you load your ISO games, by selecting the [ Run Installed Operating System ] option
  • In this case they'll show up in the D: drive
  • You can navigate there and run the game directly
  • All changes made to this temporary drive will be saved separately from other loaded games
  • Alternatively you can also copy the files from D: into another folder in the main C: drive so you won't need to load this zip again

Shutting Down

Just like the real thing, do not turn off your system before clicking the Start Menu and "Shut Down".

If you don't wait for the "It's now safe to turn off your computer" screen before turning it off, you might get corrupt files within your Windows 98 installation (it will also run Scandisk the next time you boot it).

More Info

  • The above are just summed up instructions (yes), and you can learn how to properly use this core, including how custom mapping and OS installation works, in its own page here.
  • Some Windows games might need extra Voodoo drivers or DirectX installations. You can find the installation files here.
  • If you want to play an actual DOS game (e.g. Duke Nukem 3D, Tomb Raider 1) instead of a Windows game (e.g. Tomb Raider 2, Age of Empires), it's better to run it directly on DOS, since there's a know issue with the core where running DOS apps inside Windows 98 (within DOSBox) might randomly crash.
  • This core has no netplay support, nor any kind of networking or internet support.
  • If a large .zip file takes too long to scan in Game Scanner, you can rename its file extension to .dosz instead. It will work the same way but will be way faster to scan. (This makes Retroarch skip scanning their whole contents.)

Again, this page is still work-in-progress as we learn what's possible or not with Windows 98 in this core.