MAME Quick Start Guide

To use this quick start guide you need to have a couple of things done.

1. You need to have a copy of MAME or MameUI installed
2. You need to have a game (plus if necessary, it's addon files e.g. parent rom set, BIOS files and/or CHD file) installed. A site like MAWS will tell you what rom sets you need by typing in the game name in the search and looking under "data".

Yes just two things!

MAME Command Line

You need to open up a command prompt. You can get to this from the Windows start menu under Accessories.

If you've followed the installation page you need to get to the MAME folder. Type the following



CD Mame

If it's the first time you've run MAME type mame -cc to create MAME's configuration file.

There's two ways of loading your game. You just type mame and load your game from the on screen menu or you can do it properly. Only you know what game you've installed so on the next line replace <gamename> with the name of the rom you downloaded (minus the .zip obviously)

mame <gamename>

A couple of options you might want to add include

-joystick Enables joystick support
-window Runs MAME in a window

You can add options like this

mame <gamename> -joystick -window

A full description of all the command line options are here.


MameUI is alot simpler than MAME as it has a lovely interface. If you've made the desktop icon for MameUI from the installation page then double click it. If not you'll need to find your MameUI folder in My Computer (Computer under Vista), look for the lovely icon and run it.

MameUI automatically checks your roms folder for games and displays them for you. In theory once it's finished checking, your game will be listed. To run it double click it.

In Game

Once the game has started you will see a disclaimer. Read it and if you want to continue TYPE O then K. This only happens the first time you run a particular game. You may get a notice explaining about sound or video problems which you can press a key to pass. Lastly you get a bit of info on the game which again you press a key to pass.

The game will now start. Normally the game will go through an initialization routine. This actually happens on real arcade machines. Be patient and the game will start showing it's attract sequence. There are a few games that need special things done during this initialisation for example controller calibrations. If you get any problems refer to the MAME faq here.

On a real arcade machine you need to put money into it. In MAME the keys 5 and 6 are player one and two coin insert keys. Put some money in and the game will ask you to press a start button. The keys 1 and 2 are player one and two start buttons.

Use the arrow keys for directional movement. Left CTRL, Left Shift, Space, Left Alt, Z and X are probably the most common button controls. P will pause the game and ESCAPE will exit the game. You can find out more game controls by pressing the TAB key in game and opening the Input (This Game) menu option. Have a look and press escape a few times to go back to your game. A full listing of keys and controls available is available here.