How to play SNES games on your smartphone or tablet?

Written by B Johnson January 20, 2018
Donkey Kong Country 2
Despite being outdated, there are actually many gamers out there who still love to play retro games like SNES games. These games may not be that impressive anymore in terms of graphics, especially compared to today's Android games. But SNES games are actually still really fun to play until today.

The good news is, if you didn’t have a chance to play SNES games when you were a kid, now you can still play these retro games right away on your smartphone or tablet. Isn’t that awesome, huh?

Okay then, below I’m going to show you how exactly to play SNES games on your Android device. Not only that, I will also give you my tips to find SNES games around the internet. Enjoy!

#1. Open Google Play Store

First of all, open Google Play Store on your smartphone or tablet.

#2. Download “Snes9x EX+”

After opening Google Play Store, now find an app called ‘Snes9X EX+’ and then download it to your device. This app only weighs around 5MB so I think it’s fine if you want to use either your mobile data or WiFi connection to download this app.

#3. Find SNES games/ROMS on Google

Okay, now you’ve already installed ‘Snes9X EX+’ SNES emulator on your device. And I believe your smartphone or tablet is also more than adequate to play SNES games. So the next thing to do now is of course, find the actual SNES games on Google.

Finding SNES games on Google is actually really easy to do. You just need to enter the specific name of the game and from there, there’s a bunch of websites that can provide you the download links of any SNES games you’re looking for.

Anyway, the game file of SNES game is called “ROM”. So if you want to search for any SNES games, you must use the keyphrase “SNES ROM” on Google.

For example, if you’re looking for a game called “Donkey Kong Country 2”, you can enter the search phrase on Google: “Donkey Kong Country 2 SNES ROM”.

This will make it easier for Google to find the specific websites that have the ROM file of this game. Besides, by using this search phrase, Google will not be mistaken with the Gameboy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 2 because GBA games are also called as ROMs.

Anyway, if you’re having a problem to know the name of every single SNES game available on the market, you can find them all on Google by using the search phrase “the list of SNES games Wikipedia”.

Usually, the Wikipedia page that contains the list of SNES games will appear on the first page. From there, you can easily find all the SNES games that you would like to play on your smartphone or tablet.

Once you have found the websites that provide the SNES game files (ROMS) you’re looking for, now download them to your computer. SNES games (ROMS) are mostly small in terms of size, probably around 2MB to 5MB.

#4. Transfer the games/ROMs to smartphone/tablet

Okay, after downloading the SNES games (ROMS) to your computer, now transfer them all to your smartphone or tablet.

I strongly recommend you to create a new folder named “SNES games” right in the root directory. After that, put all the SNES games you just downloaded earlier inside this folder. This will make it easier for you to locate the games when you try to find them using the SNES emulator.

#5. Open ‘Snes9x EX+’ app

If you have finished transferring all the SNES games to your device, now open the SNES emulator ‘Snes9x EX+’ which you just downloaded earlier from Google Play Store.

#6. Locate the SNES games

Right after you open the app, it will ask you to locate the SNES game files (ROMS) on your device. I assume that all of your downloaded SNES games now can be found inside the folder named “SNES games” in the root directory of your device.

Okay, now find the folder named “SNES games”. And then, pick any SNES game you would like to play right now.

Right after you select the SNES game in this folder, the SNES emulator will start the game automatically. And as you can see, there are many gaming buttons provided here around the screen; from the D-pad, Start, Select and other action buttons such as: X, Y, B and A.

#7. How to save the game via the app?

Similar just like any other game emulator, Snes9x EX+ also provides you the ability to save the game during the progress inside the gameplay. It’s actually really simple to save game on this app.

You only need to open the menu option (using the ‘Recent Apps’ button) and then select ‘Save State’. This app will automatically save your current progress of gameplay.

Unfortunately, unlike PPSPP (PSP game emulator), Snes9x EX+ only gives you one slot of ‘Save State’. So every time you want to save the current progress of the game, the new saved data will override the previous saved data.

#8. How to load the saved game?

Meanwhile, if you want to reload the last saved game progress, all you have to do is, open the game, press the menu option (using ‘Recent Apps’ button) and then select ‘Load State’ in the list of options. After that, press ‘YES’ when the app prompts you the question “Really Load State?”.

#9. How to configure the keymap of buttons?

If you are not really comfortable using the default setting of keymap/buttons, Snes9x EX+ allows you to modify the position of each button on the screen.

To do that, you just need to open the menu option (with ‘Recent Apps’ button), select ‘On-screen Input Setup’ and then choose ‘Set Button Positions’. From there, you can move any button to any position that is best for your preference.

The other cool thing about this app is, Snes9x EX+ also enables you to pair your smartphone or tablet with any 3rd party gaming controllers like MOGA, PlayStation and Nvidia Shield gaming controllers.

So I believe the gaming experience will be enhanced much even further using any of these gaming controllers.


Well, there you have it guys, my guide for you if you want to play SNES games using your smartphone or tablet. Hopefully, this can be helpful and informative to you.

I know that SNES games are outdated and not that cool to play anymore especially compared to PSP or Android games. But I believe many smartphone or tablet users out there are still huge fans of SNES games and will be more than happier to play these retro games right away on their Android devices.
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