WinUAE Amiga Emulator – introduction & WinUAE Setup Guide

WinUAE is the longest established and most feature-rich Commodore Amiga Emulator for Windows. First developed in 1995, ‘UAE’ (which at the time stood for ‘Unusable Amiga Emulator’), has since progressed into a number of development forks, with WinUAE being the Windows version. With WinUAE, you can emulate every official Amiga variant as well a huge range of third-party peripherals such as accelerator cards, RAM expansion & custom ROM images. It is without a doubt, the standard when it comes to Amiga emulation on the PC. Setup on Windows is very straight forward, it comes with pre-loaded configurations, so you can simply select the Amiga you wish to emulate. All you need to do is provide a floppy disk image of a game to get up and running. View our WinUAE Setup Guide Here.

Download WinUAE direct from http://www.winuae.net.

WinUAE Features Include:

  • Emulate all of the original Amiga Motorola CPUs and beyond. From the Motorola 68000 through to a 68060 can be emulated along with additional PPC, FPU & MMU chips.
  • Original Amiga chipsets associated with each machine such as OCS, ECS & AGA is available. Chipset specific features that are bespoke to systems such as the CD32, PCMCIA functionality and A600 / A1200 IDE functionality can be enabled.
  • Use any compatible Amiga Kickstart ROMs to emulate any official Amiga Kickstart, or run your own custom Amiga Kickstart ROMs.
  • Run with the base 512kb of RAM of expanding to a full 1GB with a 68060 CPU.
  • Emulate up to 4 floppy disk drives simultaneously with the ability to increase drive read/write speeds to reduce disk access times.
  • CD and hard drive emulation.
  • A huge range of options in terms of emulating expansion boards and accelerators such as the popular Blizzard accelerator cards.
  • Comprehensive display resolution settings including scaling, filters, and scanlines. Aspect ratio settings allow you to the emulation to be more of an original 4:3 ratio, or fill the entire width of any variation of display aspect ratio.
  • A range of Sound emulation settings, including floppy disk drive sound emulation that can be added for even more authenticity!
  • Controller configuration makes using use keyboard, mouse, USB joysticks and even your Xbox / PlayStation controllers easy. You can even map additional fire buttons to your controllers to replicate the CD32 pad layout.
  • All of your configurations can be easily saved and recalled upon startup for future use.

The Good
Easily the most advanced, feature-rich Amiga Emulation solutions and long-established
Widely used and supported
The Bad
Not quite ‘plug and play’ (although Amiga Emulation tends not to be!)
No nice visual front end, purely a Window’s based GUI, whilst is easy to use, is not suitable for controller use only

WinUAE Setup Guide

Getting WinUAE setup is a fairly painless operation, which is one of the reasons it is considered the best Amiga Emulation solutions around. Here we take you through an easy 7 step setup tutorial which demonstrates in the most basic form, how to get up and running.

Download & Install WinUAE

Step 1 – Download & Install WinUAE

Download and install WinUAE from http://www.winuae.net/, once installed, start it up and you will see the main application window.

This is where you configure the emulator to your requirements.

Select an Amiga to Emulate

Step 2 – Select an Amiga to Emulate

WinUAE has a bunch of preconfigured Amiga systems ready to select. Select ‘Quickstart’ from the left-hand list of options, here you can then select which model Amiga you wish to emulate. Here we have selected a base A500.

You will notice that a pop up appears advising that a v1.3 Amiga Kickstart ROM file is needed. We have two options here, to obtain a Kickstart File, or utilise the built-in Kickstart ROM – NOTE, whilst the built-in Kickstart ROM works, compatibility across all software is less reliable. Skip the next step if you plan to use the built-in Kickstart ROM.

Where to find Amiga Kickstart ROMs

Step 3 – Where to find Amiga Kickstart ROMs

If you wish to use actual copies of the original Amiga Kickstart ROMs, the best place to legally obtain these is https://www.amigaforever.com/. The Value Edition will get you a basic 1.3 Kickstart ROM, but the Plus Edition will get you all the Amiga Kickstart ROMs and is well worth the purchase.

Alternatively, it is fairly straight forward to seek out copies of these files online, Google is your friend here! Once you have the Kickstart ROMs, copy them to a suitable folder, then reference this folder under the ‘Paths’ section in WinUAE under System ROMs.

Select a Disk Image (ADF) to Load

Step 4 – Select a Disk Image (ADF) to Load

If you already have a bunch of Amiga disks already to hand, then simply click on the ‘Floppy Drives’ section, and select the file in the DF0 drive.

If you do not have any ADF files, we recommend checking out https://www.amigapd.com/freeware.html as a great place to download some disks to try out!

Check / Configure your Controllers

Step 5 – Check / Configure your Controllers

Your mouse should be auto-configured as per whatever you are using on your PC. If you have any other controllers (such as an Xbox controller), making sure this is switched on prior to booting up WinUAE will ensure it is available to select in port 2.

Display Options

Step 6 – Display Options

Here you can set up your basic display options such as if you want to use WinUAE in a window or full screen. Simply select ‘Display’ from the left-hand menu and configure your display settings as required. You will also find other advanced settings here as well as under the ‘Filter’ section.

If you want a full-screen display, under Settings and ‘Native’ you can select either windowed or full screen here.

You're up and Running!

Step 7 – You’re up and Running!

Simply click the ‘Start’ button at the bottom of the WinUAE window so load the disk image you have selected and you should be ready to go!

A quick hint, if you want to get back to the WinUAE GUI, press F12 and emulation will be suspended and you’ll have access the emulator settings again.

Looking for UAE Amiga Emulation ON mac or linux?

If you are looking for UAE Amiga Emulation for another system such as on Mac or Linux, be sure to also check out FS-UAE. FA-UAE is a UAE Amiga Emulator, so you know you are still getting the same quality UAE based Amiga Emulation. FS-UAE is also geared towards the more casual user and features an excellent ‘big picture’ mode where you can select your favourite Amiga games from your couch, using your controller.

Check out alternative UAE Amiga Emulation for Mac, Linux & Windows with FS-UAE here.


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