Amiga Emulator for macOS

I resumed my interests on retro computing as I desired something to geek-off without too much commitment and having some flashes of when I was a teen in willing to

6 years ago

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I resumed my interests on retro computing as I desired something to geek-off without too much commitment and having some flashes of when I was a teen in willing to crack the bit and win that damn level at Shinobi, Silkworm and so on.

There’s so much material online about emulation of all kind, that you don’t need an additional resource for that. Unless, like me, you have been searching and drowned into too much material to the point of missing the obvious stuff.

My main platform for doing the common things is macOS, so I searched for a few options in the regards of an emulator. I settled for the excellent FS-UAE. It does a wonderful job and although there’s still room to go compared to the Windows companion (Win-UAE), it is wonderful and has all kinds of settings from command line and easy to use launcher if you don’t want to mess with terminal.

Below there’s a mini guide on how to use the basics of this little wonder that doesn’t come out off the shelf with an explanation by the developer. Without these little pieces of notion you end up disliking the wonderful product of wasting additional time. In the future I will be sharing my findings as I go for development as well. Assembler M68K is an old bet put off of mine. And it looks like that I am not alone, as my story fits 1:1 to Rich’s.

Here is what to do in order to play games with FS-UAE in a very effective way. If you don’t do the following steps you will have to configure every single game manually and struggle with settings. Instead, if you follow the below, you will be able to leverage an existing database that has all the required settings of what is proven to be working and FS-UAE will configure and create config files for you, for every game it scans on the location you have previously indicated. MAGIC!

My quick and dirty recipe:

  1. Download the client
  2. Download some games from here or here.
  3. (optional) Get Amiga Forever Roms
  4. Create an account on
  5. Add some games to the <documents/FS-UAE> games folders (ADF go under games and .lha files go under hard drive folder)
  6. Attach your Joystick
  7. Log in via the menu you see below, with the account you created at step #4
  8. Use “update game database” option to retrieve catalogs and configurations for every known game to the retro games database
  9. Double click a game on the list and have a ton of fun.

As joystick I bought this one below and works very well without any particular configuration. It has a USB and Playstation input cable so you can use it in various setups. Both Armiga and UAE flavors were able to detect automatically after randomly pushing all the buttons. I didn’t have the same luck with MAME OS X though which required configuration work. Nothing major but the other two required zero work on my part.

My friend Marco via Facebook made me aware of a fantastic project called ARMIGA. Which basically takes Amiga back to life in a different form, from both you get the same value just at different price and time to invest in. I received it a couple of weeks back at the time of this writing, so I haven’t explored too much as of yet. However, the first couple of hours spent playing with it, it’s a joy of work. The only real shortcoming I found so far, the most obvious one is that it doesn’t support the BlueTooth stack, which means you have to either use a very long cable while playing on the couch or use your 60″ TV set at 1 foot distance… According to the developer, dongles to trick the system don’t work either.

I just got it and as I learn more I will share away. In the meanwhile go a kick some butts at those mechanical buttons and stick ;-)

Mario Esposito

Published 6 years ago