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How to play Nintendo WiiU games on Linux

The WiiU is a Nintendo console that came out in 2012. It was not very successful when it was released and severely underperformed sales-wise. Despite this, it managed to offer up some excellent video games. Unfortunately, so few people purchased the console that many were not able to experience it.

Thankfully, it is now possible to emulate the Nintendo WiiU on the PC. As this guide is focused on Linux, we will go over how to play the console on Linux. However, it is also possible to emulate it on Windows, and you can find information on it here.

Note: Addictivetips in no way encourages or condones the illegal downloading or distribution of ROM files for the Nintendo WiiU. If you choose to install Cemu, please use game ROMs that you own and have backed up to your PC, legally.

Setting up Wine and CEMU

Unfortunately, the CEMU WiiU emulator does not have a Linux port. As a result, if you want to emulate WiiU games on your Linux system, you must configure Wine. Open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions below to set up Wine correctly for CEMU.

Step 1: You must have the absolute latest release of Wine installed on your Linux PC. For the best results, we recommend installing Wine 5.0. It’s a new release and should have many patches and improvements that will allow CEMU to run well.

To set up Wine 5.0, please follow our in-depth guide on the subject.

Step 2: Once you’ve gotten Wine 5.0 installed and working, you must install the Winetricks utility. This program will make setting up various runtime dependencies that CEMU requires much simpler.

To install Winetricks on your Linux PC, follow the command-line installation instructions outlined below that corresponds with the Linux OS you currently use.


Ubuntu users can install the Winetricks utility with the Apt command below.

sudo apt install winetricks


Are you using Debian Linux? Get the latest Winetricks by entering the Apt-get command below.

sudo apt-get install winetricks

Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, it is possible to install Winetricks with the following Pacman command.

sudo pacman -S winetricks


To get Winetricks working on Fedora, enter the following Dnf command.

sudo dnf install winetricks


Are you an OpenSUSE Linux user? Set up the latest Winetricks on your system with the Zypper command.

sudo zypper install winetricks

Step 3: Once Winetricks is installed, you must erase your existing Wine prefix, as running CEMU requires a new 64-bit one.

rm -rf ~/.wine

Step 4: Create the new 64-bit Wineprefix with the following export commands.

Note: you must change USER in the second command to reflect the username on your Linux PC.

export WINEARCH=win64

export WINEPREFIX="/home/USER/.wine"

Step 5: Run the winecfg command to open up the Wine configuration window. Then, once the Wine configuration window is open, click on “Applications,” look for “Windows Version” and change it from “Windows 7” to “Windows 10”.

Click “Apply” to save the changes.

Step 6: Using the Winetricks utility, install Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable into the newly created 64-bit Wine prefix.

winetricks vcrun2015

Step 7: Using the wget downloader tool, grab the latest Cemu WiiU emulator.

wget https://cemu.info/releases/cemu_1.18.1.zip

Step 8: Using the unzip tool, extract CEMU.

unzip cemu_1.18.1.zip

Step 9: Open up your Linux file manager, click on “Home,” and open up the cemu_1.18.1 folder. Then, double-click on the Cemu.exe file to start the emulator.

How to play Nintendo WiiU games on Linux

To play WiiU games with Cemu, you must load a ROM file. To load a ROM file, find “File” and click on it. Then, locate the “Load” menu option and select it.

After selecting the “Load” option, the CEMU emulator will show a pop-up window. Use the pop-up window to locate the WiiU ROM file you’d like to play. Supported file-types are ISO, WAD, WUX, WUD, and others.

Upon loading the WiiU ROM, the game should load. Though be warned, the WiiU is a powerful game console. You will likely experience performance issues with some ROMs.

Configure a controller

To configure a controller in the CEMU emulation tool, do the following.

Step 1: Locate the “Options” menu and click on it with the mouse.

Step 2: Inside of the “Options” area, select “Input” settings.

Step 3: Locate “Controller 1” and click on it.

Step 4: Set “Emulate Controller” to Wii U Pro Controller.

Step 5: Set Controller API to XInput.

Step 6: Set Controller to the controller you have plugged in. Xbox and Nintendo devices work best.

Step 7: Click on each of the control boxes to bind controls to your controller.


Sadly it is not possible to save states or load states with the CEMU emulator. However, CEMU allows users to save within the WiiU games themselves, so there is no need for this feature!


  1. thanks for this tutorial, i will try it out and see how it goes. usually i use playonlinux instead of just basic wine to run any windows software, as i’ve had success with that vs zero success with wine alone, just too complicated for me. do you have any idea if playon would work for this?

  2. I have a problem when loading the rom super mario 3d world. I already update the keys.txt, I put keys for decrypting file system data. The error message is “This title is encrypted. To run this application open keys.txt and add the disc key.”. I hope you can help me on this. Thanks

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