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DeSmuMe is an emulator of the Nintendo DS system for Mac OS X created by the developer YopYop156. This application will allow us to enjoy games for the Nintendo portable console on our Mac using the classic ROMs.

DeSmuME is the most experienced open source Nintendo DS emulator for Mac. It is sports tools designed for hackers, speedrunners, youtubers and casual gamers. Homebrew programs are compatible and can even be debugged through GDB.


DeSmuME for Mac allows you to emulate a Nintendo DS system. Think of it as a Swiss Army knife for the Nintendo DS emulator, giving you access to many powerful tools for testing DS features, from seeing ROM features to handling action reproduction tricks. DeSmuMe is a free application, you need Mac OS X 10.3 or higher and on its website you can find a complete list of the games it supports.

Allows you to play on our PC most of the titles in your catalog with a large number of additional configuration parameters with which to improve even the experience with respect to the original machine.


The emulator is able to show simultaneously the two screens of the laptop. The lower one, which corresponds to the tactile, can be controlled using the mouse, while the traditional pad controls can be mapped both with our keyboard and with an external USB gamepad connected to our machine. In this way, we can play all the classics of the machine, such as New Super Mario Brows, Pokemon White/Black, Animal Crossing or the first titles of Professor Layton, being able to use post-processing filters to improve the visual aspect.

Among other features is the possibility of:

✓Save the game at any time
Capture video or images from emulated games
Advanced tools for displaying layers specially designed to rip content



The latest version (Version 0.9.11) presents a number of new features:

bug: fixed a large number of games that can no longer be saved
bug: fixed some missing sound effects due to incorrect volumes in some boot scenarios and other things
error: corrected freezes due to small looping sounds
error: corrected many of endian’s big problems
error: corrected some apparently underused CPU instructions, with no known consequences
error: corrected (lock) in the reading of some registers of the GPU
error: corrected action repetition code type 0xE
error: corrected the reading of the last 4 bytes of rom
error: big improvements in GDB heel stability
error: w-buffer support in OpenGL renderers
error: fixed unpredictable errors in some 3d scenes from w=0
enh: better loading of roms (faulty patches) with incorrect size information in the header
enh: warns the user sometimes when Stream Rom from the disc will create faults
enh: add xBRZ filters
enh: add TXT Hack for rasterizer software to improve text rendering in some games


error: 16-bit to 32-bit color space conversions no longer obscure video or images
error: fixed intermittent problems with loading users default values when starting the application
error: fixed rendering error of video preview in application display preferences
bug: fixed several text alignment and font rendering problems of the user interface in OS X Yosemite
error: corrects crunchy sound of N-sync and Z-sync methods
enh: makes the N-sync method the default sound synchronization method as it has a much lower latency than the P-sync method
enh: add support for gdbstub (Tools > Show GDB Stub control) (only available on custom constructions using the dev+ construction target)
enh: optimize input handling to use less CPU
enh: adds support for App Nap when the application is idle (only supported on OS X Mavericks and later)
enh: add the Execution Control Panel (Emulation > Show Execution Control), now with frame advance and frame skip controls
enh: automatic skipping of frames is now smoother
enh: improves the accuracy of execution times even more
enh: improve overall video performance
enh: render video through a 3-stage filtering pipe, (Video Source)–>(Pixel Scaler)–>>(Video Output)
enh: add the following video source filters – Deposterize
enh: add the following video output filters – Bicubic B-Spline, Bicubic Mitchell-Netravali, Lanczos2, Lanczos3
enh: adds the ability to run all existing pixel scalers on the CPU or GPU
enh: adds the ability to change the positions of the main and touch screen (View > Change all screens)
enh: add preliminary support for playback and recording
enh: add support for turbo and autohold
enh: add support for the entire set of slot-2 devices (Emulation > Show SLOT-2 Manager)
enh: add support for using the host machine’s audio input device to emulate the NDS microphone (Emulation > Show Microphone Settings)
enh: changes the sine wave tone generator range from 100Hz-5000Hz to 40Hz-4000Hz
enh: reorganize menu options to more logical locations
enh: considerably improves the File Migration Wizard (now called Game Data Migration Wizard) and the ROM Information panel with a more modern and space-efficient appearance.
enh: user interface improvements


It is capable of emulating many different Nintendo DS ROMS and demos. The emulator is far from perfect and is still in the working phase, although it is capable of emulating many ROMs. The DeSmuME emulator focuses more on game compatibility than speed, so there’s not much you can do. This is something to keep in mind when adjusting the DeSmuMe emulator to increase speed.

  1. Enable Patch DelayLoop SWI if you have to use an external BIOS image. It is recommended not to use a BIOS image because it slows down the DeSmuME emulator.
  2. Click A in Settings and switch between OpenGL Renderer and Software Rasterizer. This can improve the speed of the emulator. Press A in Config and go to Emulation Settings and disable the check mark next to Enable Bus-Level Timing.
  3. Access the Sound Settings and check the use of Dual SPU. Do not configure the emulator to use Advanced SPU Logic and set interpolation to none. Deactivating the sound completely will increase the speed of the emulator.
  4. Use the versions of DeSmuME that are available on the DeSmuMe website. Any other unofficial SVN or NOSSE2 construction is not compatible and will be slow.
  5. Enable skipping frames by going to Tools and clicking Frameskipping. Enable frame hopping by 1. This will make most games still playable. Go to View, LCDs Layout and One LCD. This will hide the second LCD screen. This is useful if nothing is displayed on the second LCD, however, it will not accelerate the speed of the emulator. Do not use filters to resize or scale the window to a size other than 1x.
  6. Deactivates power management. This will allow the computer to run at a better speed. You can also consider purchasing equipment faster or increasing the speed of RAM. It is also recommended to install an updated CPU. Clean up any dust that is blocking your computer�s fans to allow them to cool better.


DeSmuME files use the.dsv extension, but the software can also use SAV files, which are common in other Nintendo DS emulators. DeSmuME is able to import and export files in SAV format, allowing players to freely switch between emulators when playing. If the built-in method of using the SAV file does not work for a particular game, external programs can handle the conversion process.

Exporting SAV files in DeSmuME

Exports files saved from DeSmuME in SAV file format for use by other Nintendo DS emulators.

  • To do this, open the game ROM file in DeSmuME and select “Export Backup Memory” from the File menu.
  • Name the file and select SAV as the file type before saving the game file.

Offline SAV file conversion for use in DeSmuME

If DeSmuME’s built-in import functions are not compatible with the SAV files you are trying to use, try an external program such as NDS Save File Converter. This converter uses the original SAV file as the source format and DeSmuME as the target format.

  • The size setting should remain Auto.
  • When the file is converted to DSV format, you can use it with DeSmuME.
  • Copies the file to the same folder as the game ROM for which it is intended.


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