Emulators

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All Emulators officially released by Nintendo (such as Wii VC, WiiU VC, 3DS VC, SNES Classic, and Switch) are acceptable for runs. Other emulators generally accepted by SpeedRunsLive are also accepted for runs here. Commonly recommended emulators are RetroArch (with bsnes or Snes9x core), bsnes, Higan, Snes9x. Older versions of Snes9x (v1.43 or older) as well as all versions of ZSNES are banned. These emulators do not properly emulate the game for speedrunning standards. Keyboard is allowed, but should have a setting enabled to prevent left+right (see below).

Emulator functions that are not available to console players using a standard controller are banned from use during runs. This includes but is not limited to: savestates, pressing two opposite direction inputs at the same time (left+right), turbo, fast forward/rewind, run ahead, and RAM watch. Auto-splitters that use RAM watch are generally accepted but should not give any advantage to the runner. See Leaderboard Submission Rules for more information.

The below table has a comparison of various common emulators; a more comprehensive list can be found here.

Emulator comparison
Comments
Virtual Console

(Wii, WiiU, New3DS, SNES Classic, Switch)

  • Low input lag (except WiiU)
  • Relatively stable when using Spacetime Beam
  • Unable to run 0% due to crashing on the Artificial Varia glitch
  • Difficult to run 4% or 12% due to crashing with the Block Shuffler glitch
bsnes
  • Low input lag
  • Options for GPU Sync and Adaptive Sync
  • Options for Run-Ahead and Overclocking: these are banned for runs on the leaderboard
  • Requires a modestly good computer; much lower system requirements than higan
  • Partially randomized RAM initialization that aims to model hardware behavior; can affect Out of Bounds movement
  • As unstable as console when using Spacetime Beam
  • For Super Metroid, no known accuracy disadvantage compared with higan
higan/ares/byuu
  • Multi-system emulator built from bsnes
  • Designed for accuracy above all other considerations
  • Requires a powerful computer
  • Starting with v107, the project gained a new complex interface in order to be able to support such complex hardware as the Sega "Tower of Power"
  • Partially randomized RAM initialization that aims to model hardware behavior; can affect Out of Bounds movement
  • As unstable as console when using Spacetime Beam
  • For Super Metroid, no known accuracy advantage compared with the new bsnes (v107+)
Snes9x
RetroArch
  • Emulator frontend that can use various "cores"
  • Recommended setup options can be found here
  • With the recommended setup, has low input lag
  • Snes9x cores prior to 2010 use Snes9x 1.43, and are banned from the leaderboards
  • Option for Run-Ahead: this is banned for runs on the leaderboard
Snes9x 1.43
  • This older version of Snes9x used to be common, but is commonly banned for speedrunning because it emulates lag incorrectly
ZSNES