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MacOS X – How to play Retro Arcade Games with MAME

MacOS X – How to play Retro Arcade Games with MAME

MAME, the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, has been around for a while and is readily available from the MAME website for Windows users.

MAME is an emulator that allows you to run the ROMs (games) of the old Arcade Hall machines, like Pac-Man, Out-Run, Scramble, Donkey Kong, etc.

Installation on MacOS X is unfortunately not very obvious. There are some precompiled MAME versions out there and in this article I’ll show you how to install and use MAME under MacOS X Mavericks (will probably work for older and newer Intel based MacOS X versions as well).

Classic Arcade Games

As some of you might remember: back in the day (1970’s – 1990’s) every self-respecting bar or fastfood place had at least one of those big Arcade Cabinets with games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. Every town of importance had at least one, if not more, Arcade places where you’d find quite a few of those as well.

Classic Arcade Game Cabinets

Classic Arcade Game Cabinets

For those who didn’t grow up with these: A cabinet, like the Pac-Man one on the left would be not much shorter than a person! Or the one on the right, Out-Run, allowed you to actually sit in the cabinet. A very few Arcade places might still exist of course, but it’s not as popular as back in the days.

With MAME, you can relive those days … well, at least when it comes to game play, and here is how …

Running MAME under MacOS X

Before we can enjoy one or the other Arcade Game we will need to install MAME and unfortunately this is not as easy as you’d normally expect from a MacOS X application. Windows users have a much easier start when it comes to MAME.

Download the full MAME for MacOS X package from Tweaking4All if you’d like – the instructions are mostly based on this package.
Just for convenience I packed all needed files to run MAME into one archive (Zip).
I do, as usual, strongly recommend to get the latest version from the developers websites (see also the details with each step).


Versies …  

I have made 2 versions available. The older 64 bit version, with SDL 1.2, and the newer 32 bit version with SDL 2.x. The latter seems more compatible with the different OS X versions, so the 32 bit version is the recommended version. In the 32 bit version “mame64.command’ is called “mame.command”.

DOWNLOAD - MacOS X MAME Package 32-bit 

Platform: Mac OS X, 32 bits
Filename: MAME_for_MacOSX_0.163(32bit).zip
Version: 0.163
Size: 58.5 MiB
Date: August 14, 2015
 Download Now 

DOWNLOAD - MacOS X MAME Package 64-bit 

Platform: Mac OS X, 64 bits
Filename: MAME_for_MacOSX_0.152(64bit).zip
Version: 0.152
Size: 29.0 MiB
Date: January 10, 2014
 Download Now 

Short Version … 

For the impatient, like myself at times, here the very short version:

  • Download and Extract the Package from Tweaking4All (above)
  • Install the SDL Framework (copy SDL.framework to /Library/Frameworks)
  • Double click mame64.command in the MAME folder (or mame.command for 32 bit)


The following steps will do all this just in more detail …

Step 1 – Download and Install the SDL framework

SDL, Simple Directmedia Layer, is a framework or library that allows cross-platform development of applications that need low level access to audio, keyboard, mouse, joystick, and graphics hardware via OpenGL or Direct3D. For games and emulators we do need this, so we need to install SDL.

At the time that I’m writing this article, SDL 2.0 is already available, but MAME isn’t compatible with that just yet.
You can download the previous version (1.2) from the SDL download page.

 Version 1.2 is included in the Tweaking4All bundle (SDL-1.2.15.dmg file) for the older 64 bit version, and SDL 2.x for the newer 32 bit version.

To install the SDL library (framework) we will need to copy the “SDL.framework” file of the mounted DMG into the/Library/Frameworks” directory.

First, double click the DMG file, so it gets mounted.
Next open the Finder and go to “/Library/Frameworks” (from the Finder menu: “Go Go to folder“, enter “/Library/Frameworks” and click “Go“).
Now drag the file “SDL.framework” from the DMG to the “/Library/Frameworks” directory you just opened.
Your Mac will ask for authentication, and you will need to enter your password.

El Capitan (10.11) – Or how to use Terminal to install SDL 

I’ve been using El Capitan (Mac OS X 10.11) beta for a few days now and noticed that installing the SDL framework does not work with simple drag and drop, however, through Terminal (“Applications Terminal“) it does work.

First mount the DMG (double click) and then open Terminal and type:

sudo cp -r /Volumes/SDL/SDL.framework /Library/Frameworks/

It will ask you password (admin) and it will then install the SDL framework correctly.

Step 2 – Download and Install the SDL version of MAME

Download SDLMAME – SDLMAME is a cross-platform version of MAME and a precompiled Mac version can be found on the “MAME/MESS for Mac OS X” page where you will find precompiled 32- and 64-bit versions. I believe there is even een PowerPC version to be found there (older version though).

 SDLMAME Version 0.152 (64 bit Intel) is included in the  64 bitTweaking4All package. Version 0.163 is included in the 32 bit package.

SDLMAME does not come with an install script, and the files most certainly cannot be dropped in your “Applications” folder as seen with normal Mac applications.

First, you’ll need to find a good location to work from, which can be for example the Desktop (which is what I will assume from this point forward – if you choose a different location, then please substitute occurrences of the Desktop path with the path you choose).

 If you downloaded the package, then simply drag the “MAME” folder to your desired location (not to the “Applications”).

If you downloaded MAME manually, then you’ll need to unzip the downloaded file (I used, your version might have a different filename) into a directory, so the files do not get scattered all over the place. I believe the build-in unzipper of MacOS X will create a directory with the files in it automatically when double clicking the file, which results in a directory named the same as the zip file, just without the zip extension. Rename this directory to for example “MAME” if needed.

MAME can be started by double clicking the “mame64” file in the folder.
You can also start MAME in the terminal by using ./mame64 (for the 64-bit version).

You will see a screen like this, which indicates that everything went well (press ENTER once or twice to exit this screen) – MAME just couldn’t find any ROMs:

MAME under MacOS X - First start ...

MAME under MacOS X – First start …

Step 3 – Get some Arcade ROMs (games)

Arcade ROMs, the actual software for the game, is typically extracted from the ROMs or EPROMs from the original Arcade machines.
We need these “images” of these original ROMs or EPROMs to be able to run the game.

Copyright Warning! 

Please note that ROMs (the game software) of Arcade Machines are subject to Copyright!

Not all ROMs that you might find are legal, as permission from the original author is needed to use them. Some of these developers have graciously made their ROMs available to the public, and some of those can be found on the MAME website.

Some ROMs are also considered “Abandonware” which does not mean that Copyright may be ignored, but it’s less likely to get into trouble when using these ROMs.

Some good and some “interesting” sources for ROMs (Google is your friend):


These are just a few examples of what I found through Google.


The first two (MAMEDev and can be considered very reliable.

The other pages however, are typically filled with advertisements and some of these advertisements are not suitable for children!
Be aware of this when visiting these pages!

Try one or the other ROM from MAMEDev or any of the other sources (which ever you’re more comfortable with).

 I’ve already included a few ROMs in the Tweaking4All package, so you will not need to go hunt for ROMs for the first few tests.

After downloading individual ROMs, you’ll find that these are typically zipped. Leave them zipped!

MAME by default looks for a directory called “roms” (all lowercase) in the directory where MAME is started.
If needed, create the folder “roms” in the MAME directory.

Next step is to drag the zip files of the ROMs you’ve downloaded, or the ones your found in the package, into the “roms” folder.
As mentioned before DO NOT UNZIP the ROM FILES!

Step 4 – Playing your first ROM game with MAME

There are two ways to start MAME, as we said before.

Starting from the Command Line – Not exactly practical for daily use …
If you start MAME from the command line, then you’re golden, type ./mame64 or ./mame64  -skip_gameinfo in the MAME directory and you’re good to go. The latter option is so the copyright warning and the technical info won’t hold you up …

Double Click Script – More user friendly …
If you however start MAME by double clicking the “mame64” file, then you’ll get an error message like the one we have just seen when we started MAME for the first time. MAME cannot find the ROMs, since it’s not in the “current” directory. (To exit the error message press ENTER once or twice.)

To fix this I created a little script, which for example purpose will be called “mame64.command”. The idea is to double click that script to start MAME.

 If you downloaded the Tweaking4All package, then you’ll find the script “mame64.command” in the “MAME” directory.

To create this script yourself, you will need to enter the following and save it as a plain file (in “TextEdit” save it with the “.txt” extension), and after that rename the filename by adding the extension “.command”, for example “mame64.command”:

cd "$(dirname "$0")"
./mame64 -skip_gameinfo

What this does: change to current directory to the directory where you’ve saved the script, and execute mame64.
You’ll notice that I’ve added “-skip_gameinfo” as a parameter for the “./mame64” statement, which will hide a copyright notifications and the technical specs of the ROM you’re about to start.

After saving the file, you will need to make the script executable from the command line by using chmod +x mame64.command – this might not be necessary for the script included in the Tweaking4All package (double click to try it out).

Nice Icon for your Script? 

If you’d like to give your “mame64.command” a nice icon (included in the Tweaking4All package as well), and here is how:

  1. Open your own icon image (PNG), or the included “MAME Icon.png“, with “Applications Preview“.
  2. Press the keys COMMAND+A (select All) and after that COMMAND+C (Copy).
  3. ClosePreview“, right click the “mam64.command” file and select “Get info“.
  4. Click the icon in the upper left corner with the left mouse button and press the keys COMMAND+V (paste) – you’ll see the icon change.
  5. Close the info window when done.
MAME for MacOSX - Set script icon

MAME for MacOSX – Set script icon

Playing an old Retro Arcade Game with MAME

Now to the fun part, assuming you did get MAME to start properly. The first thing you will see after starting MAME will be the screen to select a ROM.

MAME under MacOS X - ROM Selection Menu

MAME under MacOS X – ROM Selection Menu


For each game you start, MAME will ask for confirmation that you are not doing anything illegal here (Copyright notice), for which you must type “OK” to be able to continue. Right after that some basic technical info will be displayed which you can close by pressing ENTER. Annoying right?

As you might have seen in earlier command-line and script examples: adding the “-skip_gameinfo” parameter to the MAME statement disables this.

Select the game you’d like to play with the arrow keys and press ENTER to start the selected game.

MAME Controls

MAME has a pretty extensive support for keyboards, mice, joysticks and what-not (read up on the options in the “docs” directory).
For some games that used to use analog controllers, the mouse can be used (or trackball).
The basic keyboard controls are:

MAME Standard Controls
Key Purpose/Action
5 Insert COIN
 Arrow Keys Move Left, Right, Up, Down
CTRL Action button 1
 Alt Action button 2
 Space Action button 3
 P Pause game
Esc Quit
TAB MAME Options
F12 Screenshot

Some example screenshots – during game play press F12 for a screenshot, which will be saved as a PNG file, found in the “snap” directory in your MAME directory.

MAME under MacOS X - Screenshots

MAME under MacOS X – Screenshots

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There are 55 comments. You can read them below.
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  • Aug 12, 2014 - 3:08 PM - anjin anhut - Author: Comment Link

    Works like a charm. I’m super relieved to found your article. Thanks so much for sharing.


    anjin anhut

  • Aug 30, 2014 - 12:25 PM - aker10 Comment Link

    Dear All,

    when i try ti double click mame64 file i have this error

    dyld: lazy symbol binding failed: Symbol not found: ___strlcpy_chk
      Referenced from: /Users/Antonio/Desktop/MAME_package/MAME/./mame64
      Expected in: /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib

    Can you help me please?



    • Sep 2, 2014 - 5:20 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      As soon as I have access to a computer, I’ll take a look. Unfortunately: I’m traveling right now and mobile internet can be quite a challenge :-(



  • Dec 6, 2014 - 12:53 PM - Edan Comment Link


    I’m trying to run Metal Slug game which need “neogeo” driver and I downloaded it and put it at the “ROMs” dir

    but I still can’t run this game (and also other games)

    I got this error: “The selected game is missing one or more requried ROM or CHD IMAGES”

    Please help,




    • Dec 7, 2014 - 3:08 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Edan!

      Seems some config and/or ROM files are missing. I’ve never tested Metal Slug, but I have seen this with incomplete ROMs.

      If I recall correctly, some need special config files, and/or emulator ROMs.

      I did see that this is not an uncommon problem … (Examples: EPForums, MAMEAddicts, MAME FAQ)

      I hope this is helpful – not sure where to find the file, I found one at EmuParadise.
      From the MAME FAQ (Q5):

      All Neo-Geo games need the bios file, 

      Neo-Geo b10$ is a small program element common to all Neo-Geo MVS hardware that is nevertheless essential in order for the games to boot up. No b10$ = no games! 

      You only need one copy of, though. Leave it zipped and put it in the MAME roms folder and all of your Neo-Geo games should be able to work. However, as with roms, (see Q2 – b) the bios needs to be compatible with the MAME version you’re using. If you get missing files on a bios audit then you know it’s incompatible.



  • Dec 11, 2014 - 4:15 PM - Paul Comment Link

    Hi, I’ve been trying to use MAME to play Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom games, but it tells me that the image is missing, even though when I use MAME64, it tells me the game should work properly.



    • Dec 12, 2014 - 7:55 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Paul,

      I assume you’re running into a similar problem as Edan.

      You do not seem to have the correct ROMs (this is what I conclude from some other posts I’ve found at MameAddicts, FAQ at MameAddicts, and EmuParadise).

      If any of these resolve your problem, please let us know here … so others can benefit from it as well 



    • Dec 13, 2014 - 1:01 PM - Edan Comment Link

      Hi, you probably need to download more “BIOS” files like the neogeo bios.

      The problem is that you have a deferent bios for each version. just google “neogeo bios” and the version of mame you use and you will get this file. unzip it (it have more zip files inside) and put them at the ROMS directory. Probably you will have to try some different bios :(.



  • Dec 31, 2014 - 8:37 PM Comment Link

    […] // […]

  • Apr 1, 2015 - 3:37 PM - John Comment Link

    Hi. Is it okay to delete SLD.framework if I want to uninstall?

    thanks for your work.



    • Apr 2, 2015 - 2:25 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      When uninstalling MAME (SDL version), it should be save to remove the SDL framework – if you installed it only to be used with MAME of course. Then again; if you uninstall it and run into issues later, with other programs that might use SDL, it’s just a few clicks away to reinstall the SDL framework.

      In the end: I think it’s save to remove SDL when you’ve removed MAME.


  • Aug 12, 2015 - 1:51 AM - Fabrice Comment Link

    I followed this tutorial but double-clicking on the mame64.command makes the app crash instantly.

    Too bad! I wish someone came up with a GUI… that would be so useful… thanks anyways!



    • Aug 12, 2015 - 2:37 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Fabrice,

      sorry to hear it’s not working for you.

      Can you provide more info? Like which MacOSX version you’re running, what kind of message you’re getting?
      I’d like to see if we can fix the issue.



    • Aug 12, 2015 - 3:33 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Fabrice,

      it looks like the SDL framework is not installed or failing …

      I just installed MAME with SDL Framework on two machines, just to make sure newer Mac OS X versions wouldn’t be the problem. For this I downloaded the file found above, which includes the “SDL-1.2.15.dmg” for the SDL Framework.

      Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite):
      – Installation of SDL works as descibed above.
      – mame64.command works as it should.

      Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan – beta 3):
      – Installation of SDL did not work with drag and drop (thanks Apple!). Instead I had to open the DMG and then in Terminal:

      sudo cp -r /Volumes/SDL/SDL.framework /Library/Frameworks/

      It will ask you password (admin) and it will then install the SDL framework correctly.
      – After that mame64.command worked as it should.



      • Aug 13, 2015 - 7:34 PM - Fabrice Comment Link

        Thank you very much for your reply. I am currently on Mac 10.8.5

        The SDL library shows in the Frameworks window. (SDL.framework and SDL2.framework)

        It launches Terminal, at some point Terminal says “Process complete” On my menu bar it runs “mame 64” for a second then, it crashes.

        Here is the crash log:

        Process: mame64 [1304]

        Path: /Users/USER/Desktop/*/mame64

        Identifier: mame64

        Version: 0

        Code Type: X86-64 (Native)

        Parent Process: bash [1234]

        User ID: 501

        Date/Time: 2015-08-13 17:20:50.515 -0700

        OS Version: Mac OS X 10.8.5 (12F45)

        Report Version: 10

        Interval Since Last Report: 2385 sec

        Crashes Since Last Report: 1

        Per-App Crashes Since Last Report: 1

        Anonymous UUID: E7EB106C-6333-452B-5549-64C131C5819C

        Crashed Thread: 0 Dispatch queue:

        Exception Type: EXC_BREAKPOINT (SIGTRAP)

        Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000002, 0x0000000000000000

        Dyld Error Message:

          Symbol not found: ___strlcpy_chk

          Referenced from: /Users/USER/Desktop/*/mame64

          Expected in: /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib

        Thread 0 Crashed:: Dispatch queue:

        0 dyld 0x00007fff63d7809d dyld_fatal_error + 1

        1 dyld 0x00007fff63d7b048 dyld::fastBindLazySymbol(ImageLoader**, unsigned long) + 139

        2 libdyld.dylib 0x00007fff8d8398ee dyld_stub_binder_ + 13

        (Other lines deleted)



      • Aug 14, 2015 - 3:40 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Hi Frabice!

        Thanks for the log file – I did shorten it a bit since it would clutter the comments too much (next time, please use the forum for this, as it allows attachments).

        It seems SDL crashes and I’m, unfortunately, no SDL expert.

        You could try newer versions of MAME, which can be found here:

        There you’ll find a 32- and 64-bit version (depending on your OS, in your case, I’d pick the 32 bit version).

        I’m truly sorry I have no better answer to resolve the issue  … 



        • Aug 14, 2015 - 3:56 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          I just looked at those new version — Caution: you will need a newer SDL version.
          This newer version can be found on the SDL Framework download page.

          After mounting the DMG, copy the SDL2 framework to /Libraries/Frameworks/:

          sudo cp -r /Volumes/SDL2/SDL2.framework /Library/Frameworks/

          Note: On my system (El Capitan), the 64 bit version failed (black screen, press “Esc” to exit).

          However, to my surprise, the 32 bit version worked just fine.

          After extracting the 32 bit version, copy the “roms” directory and “mame64.command” from the archive you got from Tweaking4All into the newly extract MAME directory.

          Edit “mame64.command” with a plain text editor like TextWrangler (free: TextWrangler website or Apple App Store) or nano (commandline) and make it look like this (remove “64” in the 3rd line):

          cd "$(dirname "$0")"
          ./mame -skip_gameinfo

          Save the changes and start mame64.command.

          Hope this helps … 



        • Aug 14, 2015 - 3:58 AM - Fabrice Comment Link

          Thanks for your help!

          So “mame0163-32bit” did launch, and then I got the purple error message that said “no machines found – please chech the rompath described in mame.ini”

          But I do not have a “mame.ini” and the roms folder is in the MAME folder, so I can’t really understand why he won’t find them.

          Also, in your article you give a link to M+GUI (mame + giu), and you say it works on Mac OS X. I downloaded it to try out and it’s a .EXE file (so, rather for windows unless someone is on a mac and has parallels or bootcamp installed).



          • Aug 14, 2015 - 5:12 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            I’ve just made 0.163 w/SDL available for download – hope this version works for you.

            I just took a peek at M+GUI, and I have to admit that the sourceforge page is a mess … better forget about that one. 


          • Aug 14, 2015 - 5:19 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            No matter what I try, M-GUI indeed appears no longer available for the Mac – I removed the link, thanks for the tip! 


        • Aug 14, 2015 - 4:38 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          No problem ….

          AFAIK; the roms are expected in the MAME directory (where “mame” and “mame.command” are found). The .command file actually makes sure it recognizes the right directory.

          So your “no machines found” message is indeed related to not finding the roms.
          Did you perhaps start “mame” instead of “mame.command”?

          I’m making a zip file of this version which should be available here within the next few minutes (depending on my slow Internet connection) …. 



          • Aug 19, 2015 - 7:02 AM - Fabrice Comment Link

            Ok! I finally got it to run (I also upgraded to Yosemite, which might have helped). I couldn’t run one of the games I was trying to play, because of a bug called “the selected game is missing one or more required ROM or CHD images”… Do you know this bug?


          • Aug 19, 2015 - 10:59 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link


            As for the error message: some ROMs actually require multiple files, and the ones you downloaded might be missing one or the other file. Try downloading the ROM from a different source. (and please do not tell me it is one of the ROMs I had included in my ZIP) …. 


  • Aug 14, 2015 - 5:07 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link


    A newer version of MAME is now available (32bit v0.163) for download, which comes with SDL 2.x.



  • Aug 15, 2015 - 3:45 PM - daz Comment Link

    how do i enable cheats?



  • Aug 16, 2015 - 10:20 AM - daz Comment Link

    Ok thanks….

    how about the other MAME options like visual effects (scanlines, etc) any shortcuts to turn those on?



    • Aug 17, 2015 - 4:06 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      MAME OS X would have been ideal for that (link) but it just keeps crashing and seems no longer being maintained (last version is from 2009).

      You could also consider trying QMC2 – which seems to offer a lot, but I have not tested this one yet (as far as I recall).

      One could add a mame.ini file and see if this version of MAME actually looks at that file.
      Some more tips that might help: MAME FAQ.

      I’m really sorry that I’m not providing much helpful info … I’m not using any of these features, and never have, not even in my Windows days.



  • Aug 19, 2015 - 4:36 PM - Martha Comment Link

    Absolute novice with rather silly questions, no knowledge of anything tech/computer and I need some help! I don’t want to clog up the comments section and make a fool of myself in the process.. is there any way I could send you my questions direct? I’ve tried google and am even more confused!! 



    • Aug 20, 2015 - 2:59 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Martha,

      there are no silly questions, the only silly question is the unasked question . Also keep in mind: we all had to start at some point. But … if you’re more comfortable with it: ask the question in the forum, I’ll read those every day, and it won’t be as visible … 



  • Nov 8, 2015 - 5:46 PM - Damian Comment Link


    The PS4 bluetooth controller is not detected.. is there something I should do to enable it?




    • Nov 9, 2015 - 3:21 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Damian,

      I have no experience with a PS4 controller. But if it’s a Bluetooth device, then I would say that you’d need to pair it first with your Mac. But … I assume you already had done that.

      I found online that you can use either a Micro-USB cable, or through Bluetooth (source):

      Setting up a PS4 controller to a Mac via Bluetooth takes a bit more effort, but it’s still not difficult. Follow these steps to set up your PS4 gamepad with a Mac wirelessly.

      1) Open System Preferences (Apple menu > System Preferences).

      2) Click Bluetooth.

      3) Put the PS4 controller in Discovery Mode by holding down the PlayStation button and Share button at the same time.

      4) The light on the front of the controller will flash quickly, and Wireless Controller will appear in the Bluetooth window. Click Pair.

      The device will now say connected, and you’ll see how. You can now use the PlayStation controller with the Mac.

      Now that you’ve connected your PS4 controller to a Mac you can use it to play games. Bear in mind that it won’t work with every game, just those that have support for wireless controllers.



      • Nov 9, 2015 - 5:55 AM - Damian Comment Link


        My question was because when using OpenEmu it was working fine.. but here not :/. Anyways, I found a better simpler option than what’s described here. Just download Experimental OpenEmu.

        I tried with the games in your pack and they work perfect and my PS4 controller works in bluetooth mode without problems :). Maybe you can update the guide or create a new one with that emulator.

        I still cannot make Marvel vs Capcom work… but maybe I’m missing something.



        • Nov 9, 2015 - 6:53 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Thanks Damian,

          as the Mac gets more popular, it’s no surpise to see (finally) some improvements with several projects and applications.

          I will give OpenEmu a try …! Thanks for the tip! 



  • Nov 12, 2015 - 4:22 PM - sacha rosen Comment Link

    hello is there any way to scroll through all the games, when i scroll down it only shows the games on the 1st page, the selector just goes back to the top. I can search by name and they are all on there but would be nice to just be able to scroll. Thanks a bunch otherwise it works like a charm!!!


    sacha rosen

    • Nov 13, 2015 - 3:16 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Sacha,

      I’m not a frequent user, so I wouldn’t know,… 

      Maybe one of the other users can provide input?

      Sorry I could not be of more help ….



  • Nov 27, 2015 - 6:13 PM - Rick Comment Link

    Is there a trick to getting the mouse to work with a game? I’m trying to make the mouse work with missile command and it apparently can’t see it.



    • Nov 28, 2015 - 9:40 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Rick,

      unfortunately, I’m unable to check that out at the moment – I’m traveling.
      A quick look with Google, gave me this link where that person seems to be using his mouse, so I’d assume a mouse should work, just can’t confirm it [yet]. 



  • Jan 5, 2016 - 12:08 PM - Luca Comment Link

    Hi from Italy!

    Your work is good!!! finally i am able to run MAME for Mac…….i try to press F12 about screenshot but’t doesn’t work……can you help me?

    Thanks and sorry about my english

    Greetings from italy



    • Jan 5, 2016 - 1:52 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi from the USA 

      Well, I live in Holland, but I’m traveling … anyhow; I have to try this once I get back home, which will take a bit.
      Unless you’re like me, and forgot to press the “Fn” key when working on a laptop (I forget this all the time on my Macbook Pro). 



  • Jan 21, 2016 - 6:28 PM - SweeTuth Comment Link

    hi hans.

    unfortunately i downloaded and ran the mame emulator BEFORE transferring the sdl file to frameworks. and now the program won’t recognize any of my roms. what should i do to fix the situation?



    • Jan 22, 2016 - 4:08 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Sweetuth,

      Installing the SDL framework after running the emulator should not pose a problem. I suspect you’re running into another problem …
      Did you get an error message? Or did the list of games remain empty?



  • Feb 14, 2016 - 2:40 PM - Ricardo Silva Comment Link

    Hi man!

    Thank you for the tutorial. I can get the emulator running and the games you included but ANY other game I downloaded and put on the Roms folder does NOT work sadly. It says “The selected game is missing one or more required ROM or CHD images”….. please help :(


    Ricardo Silva

    • Feb 15, 2016 - 5:22 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Ricardo,


      Sorry to hear you’re running into issues with other ROMs.

      When you get that message, one or more files are missing from the ROMs you downloaded.
      Try downloading ROMs from another source and make sure all files are there (which can be hard to determine at times).



  • Dec 26, 2016 - 11:06 PM - Tim Comment Link

    Thanks so much for your article and files. Spent hours trying to get Mame running on 10.6 without any success, your file (32 bit version) worked right away.



    • Dec 27, 2016 - 8:10 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Tim,

      that’s awesome to hear! Glad it works straight out of the box for you as well! 
      Thank you for writing a thank-you note. 

      Happy New Year! 



  • Mar 8, 2017 - 8:21 PM - Fred Comment Link


    Thank you for the tutorial.

    I installed everthing ok and I can launch games. However I am not able to “insert coin” and start an actual game.

    Only “p” can pause the game.

    I use a macbook with french keyboard.

    Can you help me trying to figure out what’s wrong?





    • Mar 9, 2017 - 9:03 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Fred,

      sorry to hear you’re running into issues.
      Below I’ll list all keyboard functions I could find, but I would not see why it would not work with a French keyboard …  
      This list will not help, but maybe if you check the configuration settings?
      All keys are configurable in the user interface from the Configuration Menu.
      This list shows the default keyboard configuration:

      Main Keys

      5, 6, 7, 8  — Insert coin (players 1, 2, 3, 4)

      1, 2, 3, 4  — Start (players 1, 2, 3, 4)

      Arrow keys  — Move Joystick

      Left Control  — Button 1

      Left Option  — Button 2

      Space  — Button 3

      ESC (Escape)  — Quits the game

      Button 1 usually represents a game’s primary action, like “Fire” or “Jump.”
      Button 2 is the secondary action, like “Thrust” in Asteroids.
      Button 3 is used for “Hyperspace” in Asteroids.
      Some games won’t use any buttons, while others (such as Defender or Street Fighter) will use many buttons.

      Games which use two joysticks simultaneously, such as Karate Champ, Robotron, Crazy Climber, or Battle Zone, default to using the E/S/D/F keys for the left joystick and the I/J/K/L keys for the right joystick.

      Other Keys

      Tab  — Toggles the Configuration Menu

      ~ (Tilde)  — Toggles the On Screen Display. Use the up and down arrow keys to select which parameter to modify (global volume, mixing level, gamma correction etc.) Use the left and right to arrow keys to change modify the value. Some parameters adjust with finer or coarser control if you hold down the CTRL or SHIFT keys while pressing the left/right arrows. Use the ENTER key to reset a value to its default.

      P  — Pauses the game

      SHIFT+P  — While paused, advances to next frame

      F1  — Toggle crosshairs for games that use them

      F2  — Service Mode

      F3  — Resets the game

      F4  — Shows the game palette, decoded GFX, and any tilemaps. Use the ENTER key to switch between the three modes (palette, graphics, and tilemaps). Press F4 again to turn off the display.

      F7  — Load a save state. You will be requested to press a key to determine which save state you wish to load. Note that the save state feature is not supported for a large number of drivers. If support is not enabled for a given driver, you will receive a warning when attempting to save or load.

      SHIFT+F7  — Create a save state. Requires an additional keypress to identify the state, similar to the load option above.

      F8  — Decrease frame skip on the fly

      F9  — Increase frame skip on the fly

      F10  — Toggle speed throttling

      F11  — Toggles speed display

      SHIFT+F11  — Toggles profiler display (debug builds only)

      F12  — Saves a screen snapshot



  • May 3, 2017 - 2:56 AM - Andrea Comment Link

    Hi, I installed SDLMAME for my osx and I wish to know if there is a way to run a specific rom by command line. I’m a programmer and I would like to create a graphic interface with explanations for every game (rom)…. and… running a specific rom just clicking on the own thumbnail. I think I need a command line to call the rom.

    Thank you in advance.

    best regards.



    • May 3, 2017 - 9:46 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Andrea,

      As far as I know you can indeed do this from the command line (MAME Command line options, SD specific command line options).
      This Reddit post (even though it refers to the Windows version) might be helpful as well.



      • May 4, 2017 - 1:39 AM - Andrea Comment Link

        Good morning,

        thank you for your help!!…. The solution was so simple!…
        On my MAC, I just used “automator” to create a little batch app and run a script shell:

        cd ~/Documents/MAME
        ./mame64 <rom name>

        That’s all!…

        Thank you again.
        Best regards.



        • May 4, 2017 - 9:01 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Hi Andrea!

          That’s awesome! Thank you very much for posting the solution as well! 



  • Jan 27, 2018 - 3:44 PM - Wolfcorgi Comment Link

    Thanks so much, my buddy sent me this link because I’m getting back into retro-gaming and wanted to do this on a Mac OS. Any recommendations for a good joystick or controller?



    • Feb 16, 2018 - 10:34 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Wolfcorgi,

      I have used keyboard and an XBox 360 controller. But I’m sure there are better options. I did find a bunch of Joysticks at Amazon, maybe dig through the reviews and see which one will do the trick for you. I do like the old Atari and Competition Pro joysticks 



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