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How To Play Nintendo Wii And GameCube Games On Linux

By far one of the best console emulator tools currently on the market is the Dolphin emulator. With it, users can easily play both Wii and GameCube games on Linux (and other operating systems). The emulator comes complete with support for HD texture packs, mods, and even Bluetooth Wiimote support!

SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.

As Dolphin has more settings than most, beginner users looking to emulate these consoles tend to get lost. That’s why in this article, we’ll go over exactly how to install Dolphin on your Linux PC, how to use it and more!

Note: Addictivetips in no way encourages or condones the illegal downloading or distribution of ROM files for Dolphin. If you want to play Wii and GCN games with Dolphin, please use your own game ROM files you’ve backed up to your PC, legally.


sudo apt install dolphin-emu


sudo apt-get install dolphin-emu

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S dolphin-emu


sudo dnf install dolphin-emu


Suse users can easily install the Dolphin emulator software via the OBS. Select your version of SUSE, and click the install button to start the download process.

Other Linuxes

The source code for this software is available for multiple operating systems. That said, the developers don’t create installable binaries for every single Linux distribution out there. To get it on your system, check the software repositories for “Dolphin”. Can’t find it? Head over to the website and try to grab the source version.

Playing Games In Dolphin

To play a game in the Dolphin emulator, click the file button. From here, place a GameCube (or Wii) game in your disc drive and click “Open DVD”. Alternatively, browse for an ISO/WBFS ROM file on your Linux PC.

Upon clicking the open button, Dolphin should immediately run the game. If it doesn’t, go back to the emulator and click “play” to start.

For quick access to your ROM directory, double-click on “Dolphin could not find any GameCube /Wii ISOs or WADs. Double-click here to set a games directory…” to set a directory for Dolphin to load ROMs from.

Configuring Graphics

For most use-cases, the default settings for Dolphin are pretty solid and don’t need any tweaking. That said, if the reason you’re emulating is to improve the in-game graphics for the GameCube and Wii, you may want to tweak the settings. Get to the settings by clicking on “Graphics” in the main emulation menu.

Clicking this button opens “Dolphin OpenGL Graphics Configuration”. Feel free to go through these settings and tweak the graphics to your liking. Please note that each PC is different, and as a result, the graphics settings that work for you may not be good for others.

Want to change the full-screen resolution and aspect ratio? In the General tab, look for the drop-down menus next to “Fullscreen Resolution”, and “Aspect Ratio”.

Generally, you should only change graphical settings if you know what they do. For example, to stop screen tearing of games in Dolphin, you may want to enable “Vsync”.

Want eye candy? Head over to the “Enhancements” tab. In this area, you’ll be able to easily modify a lot of advanced graphics processing features, like the internal resolution, anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, and even post-processing effects.

Configuring Controllers

The Dolphin emulator has pretty great controller settings. To set up gamepad(s), go to the main emulation menu. From here, select “Controllers”. Plug in a controller. Next, click “configure” next to any of the 4 ports. Then, click “configure”.

Note: you must configure a controller for both the GameCube as well as Wii.

Selecting the configure button opens the controller configuration UI tool. Look for the “device” drop-down menu and click on it. In the menu, select your gamepad.

After selecting the correct device, go back to the controller mapper. One by one, press the map buttons next to the corresponding letter to assign keys to each button on your gamepad.

Connecting Wiimotes

Need to connect a Wiimote to Dolphin? Be sure that you’ve got Bluetooth enabled. Then, turn on a Wiimote and go to the main menu in Dolphin. Select tools, then “connect Wiimotes” to go through the pairing process.

Saving And Loading

Saving in Dolphin is quite easy. It starts off by going to “Emulation” in the main Dolphin window. From here, you’ll be able to select “Save state” and “Load state”. Save a game by clicking “Save state”, then select one of the slots available. To load, do the same, under “Load state”. Be sure to select to load from the same slot you’re saving to.

It is also possible to swap save slots. Under “Emulation” in the menu, click “Select State Slot”. Using the UI, click on the slot you’d like to save the game’s current state to. Keep in mind that Dolphin allows the user to have multiple save states at a time.

If you want to play Nintendo 64 games or Sega Games on Linux, there are emulators for that as well.

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