Folders and Files

Here is a picture of the folders that are created when you extract your downloaded Mame file. Some folders are created as you run Mame and play games. For instance the sta folder wont be created until you use the save state system.

Below is a brief explanation of what each folder is used for...

Folder Description
artwork Background artwork add the missing graphics used around the screen on arcade games.
bgfx Contains the files for the bgfx video rendering system.
cfg Contains xml based config files for systems that contain any changes you make on the in-game sliders.
ctrlr This folder contains controller configuration files.
docs Where the Mame readme files are stored.
hash This is where Mame stores xml based software lists for certain drivers.
history Created to hold an sql database by the Mame LUA scripting system.
hlsl This is where hlsl effects and game specific settings are stored.
ini Contains system initiation files based off of the main mame.ini.
inp Where recorded game sessions are stored using the -record option.
language This folder contains language files for the Mame interface.
nl-examples Contains example files for Mame's net list functions.
nvram This is where Mame saves EEPROM and RAM data from games
plugins This folder contains scripts for the Mame LUA scripting system.
roms Roms are the file Mame uses to load games. This is where they go.
samples Some games have incomplete sound emulation so samples placed here are used instead
snap This folder is where Mame can save screenshots and video files. Each system has it's own sub folder.
sta Save state files are used to save your surrent position in a game. Each system has it's own sub folder.

Mame also has several support files that are installed by default...

Most of these files are not needed by Mame to run it's systems but can be useful in certain circumstances. Here is a brief example of what each one does...

File Description
castool.exe Converts cassette image files back to an audio file in wav format.
chdman.exe Chdman can compress, decompress and patch Mame's disk images
floptool.exe Floptool can identify and convert floppy disk images.
imgtool.exe Imgtool is used to identify, create and manage disk images.
jedutil.exe Jedutil allows you to convert binary rom images between the JEDEC or PLA formats.
ldresample.exe Ldresample allows you to modify laser disk images.
ldverify.exe Ldverify check laser disk images for errors.
mame.ini Mame.ini is used to store the default Mame configuration settings.
mame64.exe This is the main Mame executable file.
mame64.sym Contains debug information for the mame64.exe file.
nltool.exe Used to run, test and convert netlists.
nlwav.exe Converts netlist log files into wav audio files.
plugin.ini This configuration file will let you enable or disable Mame's LUA based plugins.
romcmp.exe Romcmp allows you to check or compare rom image files.
ui.ini Stores the configuration settings for Mame's user interface.
uismall.bdf This is a bitmap font used by the internal Mame ui. It can also be stored on a folder called fonts.
unidasm.exe Unidasm is a universal disassembler for software used on certain chips emulated in Mame.
whatsnew.txt Contains the updates to the current version of Mame.