How to Play Dreamcast Games on Android

Playing Dreamcast games is no longer a fantasy for Android users, with the arrival of Reicast, a new Dreamcast Android emulator; it is now possible. Reicast is a multi-platform dreamcast emulator and is currently in the alpha stages -- expect issues with usability, performance, and stability until those kinks are worked out. The minimum requirements to use this emulator is a cortex-A9 Dualcore, 1ghz+ if you're looking to emulate at decent speeds. A BIOS file is also required for this emulator to work. A BIOS file is basically a set of instructions that jump start the emulator, you will not be able to play with out.

To get the Dreamcast BIOS, click here. I will discuss how to copy and load the BIOS file later on in this tutorial.

I. Install Emulator

First and foremost, you need to download the emulator. The emulator is a digital version of the gaming system. In our case, a digital version of Dreamcast. The only available Dreamcast emulator at this time is Reicast and to get it you need to download it from the Google Play Store.

II. Setup BIOS

After you've installed Reicast, you'll need download the "BIOS FILE(S)". You can download the BIOS files by clicking here. Next, you'll need to create some folders. To create the folders, get a file manager app such as Astro File Manager.

Now that you have ASTRO, create a folder called dreamcast somewhere on your device, such as /download/dreamcast/. Next, go to the BIOS file you just downloaded (dreamcast-bios.zip) and unzip/extract the contents into the /dreamcast/ folder. You should end up with /dreamcast/data/ and two files inside the data folder (see screenshot below).
Reicast Folder Creation

III. Download ROMs

The next step is to download some games or ROMS. Dreamcast ROMs are pretty large in comparison to older retro-console ROMs and you can expect them to be around 300 MB or higher. Make plenty of space if you plan on downloading many and ensure you have WIFI enabled. There are a few websites that provide Dreamcast ROMs, our site included. Go to: Dreamcast ROMS. Some of the ROMs may be compressed with ZIP/7Z/RAR; they need to be extracted after downloading. You can do this on your computer with WinRar (Free) or getting RAR for Android on your android device. Sometimes there will be lots of files, keep them all. The file you will be booting is detailed below:

The acceptable game formats for Reicast are: gdi, cdi, chd (compressed images, only chd images up to version 4 are supported, chd version 5 images are NOT supported).

After you've downloaded the ROMs, create a folder in /dreamcast/ called roms, so /dreamcast/roms/.
Reicast Folder Creation

IV. Get Ready To Play

You're almost there. Open Reicast -> Menu (Top Left) -> Paths -> and specify the folders. For the first folder, browse to the /dreamcast/ directory. For the second folder, browse to that the /dreamcast/roms/ folder. Afterwards, quit Reicast and reopen it. Next, you'll need to click "Boot Bios". This will bring you to the main Dreamcast menu and will tell you to set the time. Set the time to 5 minutes before your local time and quit Reicast then reopen it. Your game should be showing on the main Reicast screen, double tap it to start playing. Reicast Main Menu
Reicast Paths Menu

Wipe VMU

You may need to wipe your Virtual WMU when opening a game. To clear the "virtual" VMU, select the "Boot BIOS" option from the main Reicast menu. Next, select "File" and then select "VMU". Finally, hit "Delete All (memory reset).

IV. Instructional Video



As you can see, playing Dreamcast games on your android device is not a fantasy and is easily done by following these steps. A key thing to remember when emulating with Dreamcast is not every game is going to work, yet, and may require some fidgeting with the configuration menu. If you do require additional assistance, feel free to leave a comment below and someone will hopefully get back to you. Game on!

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