That Arcada player is great for writing your own games in MakeCode Arcade or CircuitPython - but if you'd like to try homebrew Nintendo design, you can play NES ROMs as well thanks to a port of nofrendo to the ATSAMD51.

This emulator plays games from off the built in QSPI storage, at full speed and with sound as well! Play any ROM that's 256KB or smaller and save/restore game state so you can take a break whenever you like.

Try out some classic ROMs, or check out the amazing NES homebrew scene to try out the classic 8-bit gaming platform that defined a generation

Supported Hardware

In theory any board with Arcada support - but we recommend ones that have a gamepad + buttons:

Adafruit PyGamer Starter Kit with PCB, enclosure, buttons, and storage bag
Please note: you may get a royal blue or purple case with your starter kit (they're both lovely colors)What fits in your pocket, is fully Open...
Angled shot of Adafruit PyGamer for MakeCode Arcade, CircuitPython or Arduino.
What fits in your pocket, is fully Open Source, and can run CircuitPython, MakeCode Arcade or Arduino games you write yourself? That's right, it's the Adafruit...
Angled shot of a Adafruit PyBadge for MakeCode Arcade, CircuitPython, or Arduino.
What's the size of a credit card and can run CircuitPython, MakeCode Arcade or Arduino? That's right, its the Adafruit PyBadge! We wanted to see how much we...
Angled Shot of Adafruit PyBadge - Low Cost.
What's the size of a credit card and can run CircuitPython, MakeCode Arcade or Arduino even when you're on a budget? That's right, it's the Adafruit...

Things it does:

  • Emulate a large number of ROMs/games using the nofrendo core
  • Play at full speed most of the time (if there's a lot of sprites from various parts of the ROM there may be a little slowdown)
  • Play game audio through headphones/speaker
  • Downsample for 160x128 displays (4-to-1 pixels), or 1:1 pixels if a 320x240 display
  • Save and restore game state
  • Support Adafruit Arcada boards like PyGamer and PyBadge
  • Overclock the chip quite a bit

Things it does not do:

  • Play ROMs larger than 256KB
  • Play non-NES ROMs
  • Some ROMs don't work - e.g. Dragon Warrior
  • Support non-SAMD51 chips (for Teensy support, check out TeensyCEC)
  • Support other hardware unless you've added support to Arcada (which you can!)

This guide was first published on Jun 09, 2019. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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