PPSSPP and RetroArch Game Emulators Become Available on Apple Devices


Apple iPhone with gaming emulator

The emulator scenario on Apple devices¬†hasn’t¬†been¬†great.¬†However, after the company introduced some¬†key¬†changes to the Apple App Store and¬†brought¬†the ability to¬†sideload apps, things changed.¬†We are seeing some popular game emulators¬†making their¬†debut for iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices.

Among them are RetroArch and PPSSPP. These are two of the game emulators that have been available on Android for quite a while now. Hearing about them for the first time? Stick around to learn all about the two emulation software.

RetroArch – The Frontend for Game Emulators

RetroArch¬†isn’t¬†your typical game emulator.¬†It’s more like a super-powered hub that lets you load emulators for a whopping dozen console systems, both popular and niche. Fancy playing classics from the Nintendo DS or PlayStation? How about diving into the Bandai WonderSwan or Neo Geo Pocket libraries? RetroArch makes it all possible!

RetroArch game emulators

There are a few things to¬†keep in mind¬†when using RetroArch on Apple devices.¬†First, it’s¬†a bit¬†sandboxed, meaning it can’t access files from¬†just¬†anywhere.¬†To play your games (ROMs),¬†you’ll need to¬†create a¬†special¬†folder within RetroArch and transfer your ROMs there manually.

On Apple TV, things get¬†a bit¬†trickier.¬†You’ll need¬†to use¬†a web interface to transfer your ROMs for this game emulator. The address will¬†be displayed¬†on your TV screen.

Also,¬†keep in mind¬†that¬†RetroArch on iOS and tvOS might be missing some cores (the software that¬†actually¬†runs the games) compared to other versions.¬†This¬†means emulation for systems like GameCube and 3DS isn’t currently available.

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If your games¬†seem to¬†be¬†running¬†too fast, there’s a simple fix!¬†Head to RetroArch’s settings, navigate to “Video,” then “Synchronization,” and finally choose “Sync to Exact Content Framerate.”¬†This¬†will ensure your games run at the proper speed on the game emulator.

An Important Note On Downloading RetroArch on Apple Devices

Ready to explore a vast library of retro games? Download RetroArch from¬†the App Store today! Just be sure you’re getting the official app, as there can be misleading imitations. For troubleshooting tips, check out the RetroArch Reddit community. While there is an official RetroArch guide for iOS and tvOS,¬†it’s geared¬†towards sideloading, not the App Store version, so keep that in mind.

Read Also:  Apple Executives Talk About Google Gemini Integration on iPhone

PPSSPP – The PSP Game Emulator Finally Becomes Available for Apple Devices

The official PPSSPP release for iOS boasts a few limitations compared to its earlier unofficial counterparts.¬†For instance, features like Vulkan support and Magic Keyboard compatibility¬†aren’t¬†available¬†yet.¬†However, the developer assures us that these features will¬†be coming back¬†in future updates, with alternative methods¬†being explored¬†for Magic Keyboard support.

PPSSPP game emulator

One feature that won’t be returning is the JIT recompiler, which conflicts with Apple’s App Store guidelines. While this means slightly reduced CPU emulation performance, the good news is that most iOS devices are powerful enough to run nearly all PSP games at full speed anyway.¬†The PSP’s CPU is relatively undemanding to emulate, and the current IR-based caching interpreter¬†has room for optimization as well.

Excited to revisit those PSP gems? Download PPSSPP directly from the App Store today! The app is compatible with iPhones running iOS 12.0 or later, iPads, iPod Touches, and even Apple TV.

The emulator includes a built-in homebrew store with some free indie games, but to play your favorite PSP titles, you’ll need to acquire the game files (ISOs) elsewhere. The developer provides instructions for converting physical games to ISO or CSO files, and you can also copy PSP games downloaded from the PSN onto your device. In short, you’ll need to load ISO files into PPSSPP to play your games.

Where to Download PPSSPP From: Apple App Store

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