The BBC Micro is the name of the system developed by Acorn Computers badged with the BBC moniker as part of the BBC’s computer literacy project in the UK. As a result, the BBC Micro ended up being a generation’s first experience of using a computer, predominantly at school.
Most will remember the educational games such as Granny’s Garden. Still, the BBC Micro also offered excellent versions of popular games such as Elite, which ran wonderfully on the BBC Micro due to its strong MOS CPU.
Best BBC Micro Emulator For PC, Mac & Linux
The best BBC Micro emulator for PC, Mac & Linux is BeebEm. BeebEm emulates the BBC Micro and Master 128 computers, allowing you to use the wide range of software developed for both ranges of BBC computers.
BeebEm has been around since 1994, developed by David Gilbert. It is freeware and its source code is available under a GPL licence resulting in other people carrying on its active development over the years across a number of systems.
Since its launch, there have been BeebEm versions created for Windows PC, Mac, Unix/Linux, and even a PSP port!
Emulating the whole range of BBC computers, BeebEm also emulated a wide range of hardware elements including:-
- BBC Micro Models B, B+ as well as the BBC Master 128
- Cassette tape, DFS & ADFS file systems
- Econet network
- Z80 and 65C02 processors
- The AMX Mouse
BeebEm Features Include:-
- Load Disc & Tape Files
- Write Protection Modes
- Save States
- Image & Video Capture
- Tape Controls
- Video Effects – Smoothing, Motion Blur, Monitor Type (Green screen, etc)
- Emulation Speed Settings
- Change Hardware Specs Easily – Switch Between Models, Add/Remove Additional Hardware
- Analogue/Digital Mousestick and Joystick Emulation
BeebEm is perfect for reliving all of those classic school learning games and other classics such as Elite, Revs, Chuckie Egg and Repton!
Best BBC Micro Emulator For Android
The best BBC Micro emulator for Android is Beebdroid.
Beebdroid has been around since 2011 and has many updates up to 2015, but is still the best place to play BBC Micro games on your Android device.
Beebdroid is really simple to use with no particular deep features, which is actually quite refreshing for an emulator. You simply have on-screen controls and a keyboard which you can use to type in commands and control games, then just an option to load software.
Games come in a prepopulated list for you to boot directly from the menu system. There is no way to boot your own games in Beebdroid, but it does come with a decent list of games to play.
Other Recommended BBC Micro Emulators
|BeebEm||Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Android||9.0|
|B-em||Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Android||8.5|
Emulating one of the more niche systems out there such as the BBC Micro is always going to be a little less accessible when compared to the more well-known home computers such as the Commodore 64.
But, whilst the emulators out there are a little old, they certainly get the job done. Our recommendations above will certainly be more than enough to keep anybody seeking to recreate their school days or to learn more about Acorn’s classic system, more than happy.
One of the best examples I have seen recently though is Virtual Beeb – A fully 3D rendered, interactive model of a BBC Micro Model B.
It comes with a bunch of games to play instantly, or you can load your own games from the menu. It has some really cool monitor display features to play with too – This is the most fun I’ve had with a BBC Micro emulator!
For more emulator guides and recommendations, check out our guide to emulators.
A lifelong avid gamer and computing enthusiast, Matt has decades of experience in the field, so producing retro orientated content for How To Retro comes is second nature to him. Now over 40 years old, Matt now even considers himself retro, but fortunately, nobody has developed a Matt emulator (not yet at least!).