How to Play NES Classic on a Laptop

NES Classic Mini is the most popular retro game console with great performance. It can play NES games without any problem. But some people have no idea how to play NES Classic on a laptop, notebook, or Chromebook. For that reason, they can’t get it to work.

The New Release:

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is a classic console that has stood the test of time. Anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s will fondly remember playing the NES and the classic games like Super Mario, Zelda, and Tetris. This console has made a comeback with the Nintendo Mini classic release and is here to stay.

This is great news for retro gamers and developers. Retro gamers will get to relive their childhood, and there will be a whole new generation of gamers who will get to enjoy these classic games for the first time.

It doesn’t matter even if this world gets full with Great Modern games, Retro games, or older NES and SNES will remain a top choice of many of us. But the problem remains the same as you don’t know how to play these games on your PC or laptop.

Therefore, we’d like our readers to keep pace with us as they will have an ultimate solution to this query and are going to play them over their laptops at the end of the day. Without wasting time, let’s jump into today’s topic.

Make a connection to your laptop using HDMI Input:

Starting with this topic, we need to tell you that for having your NES and SNES games on your laptop, you will have to connect the NES console to your laptop computer by using an HDMI Input. But the bad thing is, up to 99.9 percent of laptops available in the market do not come with an HDMI input port.

They usually have an HDMI output port. However, you can get a laptop with an HDMI input port if you buy a high-end machine-like Acer Alienware series. And if you have one, you are the luckiest one and good to go.

In the second case, if you try to connect your gaming console with the HDMI, it will probably run through the USB port. But you will not be able to see anything on your laptop display screen.

HDMI port is the best feature in your laptop that lets many things happen. Moreover, some of the laptops are labeled with “HDMI in” and “HDMI Out”, which makes you aware of the functionality of your laptop’s HDMI port.

What Other solutions are available for playing NES on a laptop?

When you check your laptop, and it appears to be the one with the HDMI output port, what you’re gonna do? It will be like, oh no. I have got this crap! Now, how am I gonna play my favorite classic Retro games on my laptop?

Well, it seems like no worries at all, even at that time. Because it’s the best fortune for you that there are many other alternatives available. Why don’t we discuss each in brief detail and make you aware of which one is best to use?

RetroPay—For playing NES/SNES games on your laptop, installing RetroPay on your Raspberry Pi Card is the first thing to try. This will do the job, but then you will have to take care of the complications it can cause. Like you’d have to buy a bunch of other stuff for bringing these things on the track. Therefore, if you are far from home, these things will be of no use, and paying money on something like this will give you no advantage. So, what to do next?

Use an Emulator—The best way to play NES games on your Retro gaming console is to use an emulator. The best thing about using an Emulator for playing games on your laptop is that it doesn’t matter as long as you have Mac OS, Windows OS, or Chrome OS working on your laptop.

You will easily be able to play your games on your laptop. This emulator is a type of software that can mimic older gaming consoles from the very past. It makes sure that you can download the game, and everything must run perfectly on your laptop or PC.

These emulators are available in different types, and the best advantage to these is you can get any of these according to your best desires. Some of the highly known Emulators for playing NES games are 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and Gameboy to Super Nintendo Classic.

However, all you’d need for making a connection is an Emulator, a Controller, and a laptop or PC. Moreover, you can also add some older Retro Controllers through USB, as I am already using them for the hell of fun on my computer while playing nonstop.

Read Also: Best Laptop for Cities Skylines

The Positive Sides of NES:

Many positive impacts can make you fall in love with this pack of old games. Let’s have a look.

Get 30 amazing games—You are going to have an amazing taste of 30 small games. The most popular are The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bruce Trilogy, Metroid, and Castlevania, etc. You are going to stick to unlimited gameplay that will give you internal perfection.

Longer Gameplay—In this New Release, most of the games are gonna give you a very tough time, even better than the older NES games. Which means you will enjoy more time playing these games.

Best Visualization—Have great videos of different games on the Screen that make you aware of the gameplay of each game. This is because you might not be aware of what is gonna happen inside a particular Retro game. So, when you watch a video, you get the idea about it.

Smooth Gaming experience–The games are pretty smooth to run and work on your Screen. This is the fact that these Nintendo games do not fit on the super amazing resolutions of your modern laptop’s display. However, they will occupy a space of squares on one side of your PC window.

USB Console Compatibility—The last best thing is to run a USB console on your laptop. It is very portable and lightweight, and all you have to do is to connect it with your laptop.

The Negative sides of NES:

Some of the games are very odd to play on the NES. The truth is not likely to be valued as the controllers are wired, and they are being used as an alternative to Wi-Fi. However, the form factor is something worth loving.

Shorten Cables—The Cables have been shortened dramatically, which makes it a horrible experience for me. The NES classic has cables over 30 longs, but the original NES controllers have cables 91 longs. So, with the older system, you can play sitting away at a pretty good distance from the computer. However, with the NES classic, you’d have to sit closer to the Screen.

Single Gamepad–Another problem is that there is no other Gamepad. They could have made it a little expensive, but they should have provided more controllers. Just like the Nintendo has got two controllers for making the playtime fun and amusing.

Seems like these are the pretty good problems with the system. However, you can buy another gamepad but, still, you cannot increase the long cables.

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Make your laptop a Retro Gaming Emulator:

Though it looks like a drastic story, It’s indeed been more than 25 years, dude. These days, games have become more advanced and Super amazing than the older ones. Many pro gamers are playing thousands of high-end games every day, including League of Legends, Minecart, and other quality games.

However, some of us are quite nostalgic creatures. Saying this would be so right because we sometimes like older things. In other words, the games from the past are still worth it and pretty amazing for having a lot of fun. But the question is, how is somebody gonna do so or play them? Do you use a different emulator for every different game in history? Will you be able to make such a change, or is it of no use?

Well, no. Nobody does that. I mean, use a different emulator for a different game because you can easily have those amazing games on your laptop by making it an Emulator. All on the same platform.

So, let’s get this thing to reach its conclusion as we are to show you how you can use your laptop for playing NES games over it. Below we’ll describe in some simple steps how you can convert your laptop into an Emulator for running these older NES games. Let’s make time an asset.

Have Retro Arch and Emulation Station on your laptop:

To run games on the Super Nintendo or Nintendo 64, you will have to have these programs installed on your laptop. These are the basic requirements for turning your laptop into an emulator. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do anything.

However, before I explain it further, why shouldn’t I tell you about the functioning of these programs? Yes, please have a look.

Retro Arch— The RetroArch is the main software that will control your gaming console. This means it takes great care of the actual Emulation of your gaming console. It works like a power under the hood. But this is not the end yet.

When you get to know that it lacks an interface that lets you start the emulator and games and shows its graphics over the display, you might be shocked. You will have to use commands for running each emulator and game on your laptop, which is pretty difficult. However, do not worry because the solution to this problem is yet to come.

Emulation Station—For fulfilling the lacking of an interface, you need to install this Emulation station. It works like if Retro is the bike, Emulation is its tires. This shows the great importance of this software with the above one.

Making an Installation and Completing the Configuration:

You have not done the above software yet. The good news is, installing this software is not that difficult. This is because in most cases, you can complete the configuration on your own. However, configuring it might take your time and mind. But don’t worry, we’ll add an article to describe the configuration process in case you find it that difficult.

Make a quick download of Retro Arch from here. Complete the download process and unzip the file for installing it on your laptop or computer.

For the Emulation Station, put your Mouse on this click, and download this too. The installation is very easy and simple for this one.

Now, go for the configuration. This could be frustrating, but with a proper guide, you will be able to do so, however, as it doesn’t support an interface so you cannot use your Mouse. Therefore, you will use a Keyboard with an arrow and Enter keys for completing this work.

After this, you can either use your old compatible SNES controller for playing games if it doesn’t have any problems while plugging it inside your computer or laptop. This will provide you with the ease of controlling the menu with it. Or, you can use the Keyboard for completing the configuration by entering into the settings> Input> Input User 1 Binds> Bind All. There, you will be able to decide which function you want to play with which button.

Make a necessary setting for Retro Arch:

If you stay successful while completing the configuration process, it is time for adjusting the video settings. The thing is, these settings are pretty hard to figure out on your own, but thanks to the developers who have already done that.

First, go to Settings (Gear icon) / Driver from the Main Screen of the Retro Arch. From there, select GL from the video driver setting. Finally, return to the Settings/Video section and either turn on Vsync or Hard GPU sync if it’s not already turned on! If you’re not sure, then select it for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions:                   

How to play NES Classic on Chromebook?

The most heard answer to this question is that you cannot play NES classic games on the Chromebook because of the special type of OS and having no availability of an HDMI input port. But yet there are two ways for you to play NES Classic on Chromebook.

  • One is to download Retropie on your Chromebook.
  • Another one is to download the official emulator app on Chromebook.

But you need to notice that you cannot play retro games on NES Classic with the official emulator app.

Can you play NES mini on a laptop?

Yes, you can! All you need to do is download an emulator. I personally use NES(F)ce(M), but there are other good ones out there.

How to play PlayStation Classic on a laptop?

PlayStation Classic is a mini version of the PlayStation Video game Console. Video game lovers, who are outside the purview of Sony PlayStation, were deprived of this console, but now they can enjoy it on their laptops.

Some people are saying, “PlayStation Classic will run on your laptop!” But if you want to play PlayStation Classic on a laptop, you should check the system requirements first.

You will need PlayStation Classic, an HDMI cable to connect it to your laptop, and a laptop that supports HDMI output. To know whether your laptop supports HDMI output, check this link,

Now, if your laptop supports HDMI output, you can connect it to your PlayStation Classic. You can also play PlayStation Classic through your laptop at any time, anywhere.

How to play NES classic on MacBook Pro?

First of all, it is not possible because your MacBook Pro will not have an HDMI input port. The second is that you may use any kind of emulator, but you might have compatibility issues. Therefore, forget about it and try something else. But in case you figure out how to convert your HDMI Output to Input, you are good to go.

Final Verdict:

After reading the information provided here, we hope that you are pretty much aware of How to play NES classic on a laptop and make your laptop emulator for this purpose. There are no hard and fast rules that can stop you from doing so. However, a tricky little procedure could cost you time and effort. Therefore, make sure that you are on a mission and will not go without completing it.

With this, we’ll take a leave from here. Please, if you have any queries to ask or confusion on any step described in this article, let us know through the comment section. Have a great day! See you soon.

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