Nintendo Wii revolutionized the gaming industry when it first kicked in, especially since it was a major upgrade from the classic Gamecube. The console is no longer produced; meaning discs and all the hardware are slowly fading away.
It doesn't mean you have to quit your favorite games, though. You can keep playing them with an emulator on your actual computer. This guide will explain everything in small details.
Get the emulator
First of all, you'll need an emulator, software that replicates the operating system of the Wii. The Dolphin emulator is among the most popular choices because of its constant updates and the capability to emulate most games, but not the only ones.
Opt for the latest stable version over an unstable one, as you don’t want any bugs.
Install the emulator
The installation is straightforward and won’t raise too many question marks.
Select the language first, and then choose Run. Go through the terms and conditions, and pretty much every other window will come with a next button. It’s a classic installation type. Even when you’re asked about libraries, just go next, as the program will install the most important ones.
Get your games
You’ll need games to be able to play them on your computer, as emulators only replicate the OS. They don’t include any games.
You can find Wii ISO files online, or you can backup or create copies of the games you already have on discs.
The first option is clearly easier, as you only need to download ISO files. The second option is more technical and not suitable for someone without experience. You want to play games, rather than learn how to connect discs and computers.
If you choose to download ISO files, go for a reputable source to ensure games are original. Also, a quality source of games will ensure there are no viruses or malicious scripts.
To keep it simple, create a designated folder with all your games. You want all of your games displayed in the emulator rather than having to change folders all the time.
Run the emulator
Start the emulator and decide whether or not you want to send data to the development team. It's only a matter of personal preferences, and it won't affect your experience.
Sending data means better updates in the future, automatic bug reports and so on, but you might as well keep it private.
The emulator will run games, but you need to point it in the right direction.
The top menu has a button to configure the emulator. Click on it, and then locate the button for paths. That’s where you’ll point the directory with your games. Your games will show up in the top list.
If you add a game to the folder while the emulator runs, simply click to refresh the list and it will show up straight away.
Configure the controller
The same top menu has a button for controllers. Click on it, and you'll be able to find each button on a classic Wii controller. You can assign each button an actual key from the keyboard.
Indeed, you might be able to hook up the Wii controller too, but then again, it's too much hassle, and you have to be very technical.
Instead, simply assign each button a different key and use the keyboard.
You can also customize hotkeys, accessible through another self explanatory button in the top menu.
Run a game
To run a game, you’ll have to select something from the list created earlier. The list is accessible on the main menu of the emulator; you’ll see everything in the respective folder.
Select the game you want to try, and you'll see a play button. Click it and see if it runs correctly.
The emulator works well with most Wii games, yet less known games may still experience a few problems. Nothing to worry about, though.
To leave a game, simply press the escape button on your keyboard. You’ll be asked to confirm the action, so click yes, and the emulation will stop. You'll be back to the list of games, so you can easily swap between one game and another.
Wii games may seem dead or old school memories, but they’re still around. Playing Nintendo Wii games on your PC with Dolphin Emulator is a great way to experience all the classic titles from this console. It’s easy to set up, and there are plenty of tutorials online that can help you get started.
Once you have it running, you can enjoy your favorite Wii games at higher resolutions and framerates than you ever could on the console itself. With Dolphin Emulator and some patience, you can enjoy all your favorite Wii titles in an entirely new way. Happy gaming!