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Core info
License ???
Extensions exe, bat, com, conf

DOSBox DOSBox is a multiplatform DOS-emulator


DOSBox has its own version of DOS along with a 486 CPU emulator that can be used to run DOS games and utilitys on modern hardware.

Feature Support

These are libretro features, not frontend or standalone emulator features.

Saves Save states Rewind Netplay Cheats Controllers API Rumble Sensors Camera Location Subsystem API


DOSBox can load DOS executables or custom config files. To get started you can generate a config file by creating the DOSbox folder in your libretro SYSTEM directory, and then loading any DOS application, exit back to the command interpreter and then run config -wcd, Configuration files allow you far better control than core options so far. Eventually every single useable option will be exposed but in the meantime combining both is the best alternative.

If you generate a default config it will always be loaded by default, but you can override it by saving your custom settings, preferably in the game folder. You can create a config like this:

@echo off
mount d c:\games\dos\gamename

Then you can store this config in the game folder (or any other directory) and just the config instead of the exe file. Once you change a setting using the config command or via core options, you can always update the config file by using config -wc


None required. You can optionally boot an original MS-DOS image or Windows 3.1-98.


This core has a few options that can be tweaked from the core options menu. The default setting is highlighted and in italics:

  • Enable core options on boot (enabled/disabled): allows core options to take effect during startup, core options might override config parameters, in that case you can disable this setting.
  • CPU Cycles (0-1000-999900): cycles is divided in four settings to allow fine control of the desired CPU cycles. Setting this too low may cause slow gameplay, setting this too high might cause sound crackling and bad performance.


DOS didn't have a standarized joystick layout, nor USB gamepad support. Generally speaking DOS supports:

  • ONE 2 axis/2button joystick
  • ONE 4 axis/4button joystick
  • TWO 2 axis/2button joysticks

Two joysticks are implemented by borrowing some bit space from the four button joystick.

The DOSBox core is different from other cores since there is no single solution to map inputs to a gamepad. By default it supports RetroKeyboard and RetroMouse, and a choice of customized gamepads is implemented:

(axis + buttons)

  • 2 + 2 joystick (left analog stick + 2 buttons)
  • 2 + 2 gamepad (d-pad + 2 buttons)
  • 2 + 2 joystick + arrows (left analog stick + 2 buttons + arrow keys emulated by the d-pad)
  • 4 + 4 joystick (left analog stick + 4 buttons)
  • 4 + 4 gamepad (d-pad + 4 buttons)
  • 4 + 4 joystick + arrows (left analog stick + 2 buttons + arrow keys emulated by the d-pad)

In the gamepad cases, each d-pad direction is simulating full range movement of the joystick in the same direction

Compatibility List/General Issues

External Links