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How to emulate SNES on PS2

Updated on September 30, 2008

Emulating SNES and other gaming consoles are a commonplace when we talk about PC gaming. But what not anyone knows is that it's possible to emulate some gaming machines on another gaming machines. As well as some emulators for the Sega Dreamcast and Microsoft Xbox, there are emulators for Sony Playstation 2.

You may think: the newer generation of consoles has even online distribution through Virtual Console and similar services). Why he's talking about Playstation 2? Well, I'm talking about SNES also, and it's even older. The fact is: Playstation 2 is still a very popular platform. If we consider countries like Brazil, he's yet more popular (although its sales in Japan are still respectable).

SNES Station does the magic

The piece of software that's responsible for turning your Playstation 2 into an old Super Nintendo is SNES Station. It's based on the SNES9X emulator source code, ported to the PS2. It's pretty good, but it's not updated for a long time and not all games play perfectly. So don't be disapointed if your favorite games do not play as you expect.

All you need to do is burn a CD containing the SNES Station binary, the config file and the ROM files. It's not required to be a DVD, as most people think; use a DVD only if you have more games than I do and they don't fit on 700MB.

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You need:

  • SNES Station file from
  • The ROM files
  • A blank CD-R
  • A modded PS2, capable of booting from a CD-R burnt by yourself. If you can run backup games on it, it may be OK.

How to do it

Uncompress the zip file you downloaded. Pick two files:

  • SNES_EMU.ELF (the executable)
  • SYSTEM.CNF (the config file)

The SNES_EMU.ELF file is the binary, the file which actually will run. The SYSTEM.CNF file is used by Playstation 2 to know what to run. Of course, its content will point to SNES_EMU.ELF. It's only informatie, you will not need to edit any file.

On you CD burner software of choice, start a data CD project. Note that you have to burn the CD the "traditional" way. Using some fancy methods such as UDF method embedded in Windows Explorer will create a CD with wrong format.

  • Put into the root folder of the project the SNES_EMU.ELF and SYSTEM.CNF files.
  • Create a subfolter on the project called "ROMS"
  • Put your ROM files into this folder. You can create subfolders to help finding the games later.
  • Setup the burning options. DO NOT burn in multisession mode. Use the least recording speed you can choose and never do the actual recording on a laptop powered only by batteries.
  • As a last check, if your program ask you the Datatrack mode or something similar (as k3b does) select "Mode2".

How to use it

At this point you may be recorded your media and booted it into you console. The emulator interface is very simple to use:

  • Browse ROM lists by using D-Pad or the left analog stick.
  • X makes you enter folders or select a game
  • Selecting the ".." file on the top of a list goes to the parent folder

Inside any game, you can use L1+R1 to make a menu appear. On this menu you can load and save game states, adjust screen and go back to list. The other buttons on your joystick map exactly to the corresponding buttons on SNES (triangle becomes X, square becomes Y, and so on) and the L and R shoulders are L2 and R2.


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    • profile image

      Gerald. 3 years ago

      NVM I found out what to do.

    • profile image

      Gerald 3 years ago

      I have a question. If you have Free McBoot. as a softmod does this work? Also should I use ESR Patcher or no?

    • profile image

      JustToFeel 4 years ago

      Why don't you just go home?!

    • profile image

      zoomer2444 7 years ago

      yea same thing here it just freezez

    • dougmcunha profile image

      dougmcunha 7 years ago

      It's perfectly normal that the game freezes for some seconds when you save state or SRAM. Writing into the memory card takes some time. Loading should be almost instant.

      If your PS2 freezes for too long without saving, then I don't know what's happening. Maybe some wrong setup. Try doing it again or maybe use a different memory card.

    • profile image

      omer 7 years ago

      evry time i try to save a game state or save it woth the other save option if freezes


      can u help me?

    • profile image

      me 8 years ago

      do you really need to somhow mod your ps2 and if

    • dougmcunha profile image

      dougmcunha 8 years ago

      I don't know. When running from CD/DVD you cannot read roms from flash drive. But if you install the software in the flash drive, maybe using the same file structure could work.

      The main difference in this case is that you will need something to boot from your flash drive, like uLaunchELF installed in your memory card.

    • profile image

      Taimoor 8 years ago

      does it work if i save it all to my usb flash drive

    • profile image

      Melissa 8 years ago

      Thanks a lot, seems like you're the only one who knows what you're talking about. Only your instructions helped me do what I wanted...thanks again!

    • dougmcunha profile image

      dougmcunha 9 years ago

      I think it doesn't have anything like this.

    • dougmcunha profile image

      dougmcunha 9 years ago

      I think it doesn't have anything like this.

    • profile image

      Guest 9 years ago

      Does SNES Station have a built-in cheat device, that would allow you to enter codes for a game before/during playing it?

    • dougmcunha profile image

      dougmcunha 9 years ago

      I never heard about this emulator, so I don't know for sure.If it was created specifically for the PS2 platform the process may be similar, but emulators developed to run on PC doesn't work on Playstation 2.

    • profile image

      FoxHound Soldier 9 years ago

      Does it work with Dolpfin emulator?