I want to play a certain game (Raiden 2) using MAME. I think this is possible, because there are videos on youtube of people who claim to have done this.

What general process should I follow to get a game working on MAME?

For example, should I choose an emulator, then choose a compatible romset? Or should I choose a romset, then choose a compatible emulator? Or something else?

Opinions on the Internet differ, and the MAME and retropie documentation are sadly ambiguous.

Also, what criteria should I use to choose emulators and/or romsets? Is there a way to discover which romset(s) and/or emulator(s) are more likely to result in a working Raiden II than others, like some sort of compatibility matrix?

I found this web page, which may be relevant somehow:


  • Once I have a working procedure to get any games at all working with MAME, my intention is to fix the MAME and retropie documentation to document the process, then validate the process documentation by attempting to get a second game working. Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 9:47
  • 2
    Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 10:13
  • 3
    The question is about using MAME. It is a modern emulator software running on modern computer systems and equipped with manuals and support forums.
    – Justme
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 10:26
  • @justme The first step for a lot of people doing retro computing is to get a modern emulator working. How does it look if we are too stuck up our own arses to help people even get started with retro computing?
    – JeremyP
    Commented Sep 27, 2023 at 8:34
  • 2
    @JeremyP That does not change the fact that questions how to configure and how to use modern emulators to run old games is specifically listed as off topic in the current rules of what questions to avoid on RC.SE. That's because the emulator itself isn't retro, and has manuals, setup guides, active discussion forums for support etc. If you think these kind of questions should be on topic here, you need to suggest a change in the rules.
    – Justme
    Commented Sep 27, 2023 at 9:51

1 Answer 1


Just get the latest release of MAME (at the time of writing that's 0.258, soon there should be 0.259) and the romset corresponding to that release, and everything (every rom from a romset) should be loadable.

The idea underneath is that MAME keeps hashes of each rom image inside itself, so it will load only supported romset. However, the majority of roms does not change between MAME releases, so with the high probability, your rom, taken from not very outdated romset, will work with the latest release.

  • There are many forks of MAME When you say latest, which do you mean? None of the (many) combinations of emulator and ROM I've tried so far works. There are several different failure modes. Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 23:28

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .