Amazon Fire TV NES, SNES, and GBA Emulators

The Amazon Fire TV can run NES, SNES, and GBA games. You can even use the included remote, though the game controller works much better.

I made up a package with a batch script that makes it pretty easy.

MyTechJam took it a big step further and made a video tutorial.

 

Here is how to play NES, SNES, and GBA games on your Amazon Fire TV.

Note: This does not require you to root your Fire TV. You will not lose access to the Amazon interface. Nothing will be removed or change. If in doubt look over the package you download and definitely look over all of the .bat files.

Enable USB Debugging and Find out the IP address of your Fire TV

This steps turns on the features that allow you to remotely install software on your Fire TV.

  1. From the Fire TV Home screen, select Settings
  2. Go to System -> Developer Options
  3. Select ADB Debugging to turn it ON
  4. Go to System -> About -> Network, and take note of the Fire TV’s IP address

(Thanks XBMC Wiki)

Download and Extract my Installer Package

Amazon Fire TV Emulator Package: Download

Once you have it downloaded, unzip it.

Install Emulators and Send Your ROMs to the Amazon Fire TV

Installing the emulators:

  1. Double click on INSTALL-EMULATORS.bat (in the installer package)
  2. When prompted, enter the IP of your Fire TV
  3. You should see the emulators install with a ‘Success’ message

Copying the ROMS:

There are folders for ROMs for each system in the installer package. Copy your ROMs into the folder appropriate for them. If your ROMs are zipped, unzip them. Make sure the NES ROMs have a .nes extension, SNES .smc, and GBA .gba.

To play GBA games you’ll need a GBA bios file. Put it in the ROMS-GBA folder.

Once you have everything in the appropriate folders, double click on INSTALL-ROMS.bat. When prompted, enter the IP of your Fire TV. You should see everything copy over.

If at some point in the future you want to add more ROMs to your Fire TV, just add them into the appropriate folder and double click on INSTALL-ROMS.bat again.

Launch Emulators and Configure 

You should now have your emulators and ROMs installed on the Fire TV. Unfortunately side loaded applications do not appear in the Home screen, you have to launch them via the Settings menu.

  1. From the Fire TV Home screen, select Settings
  2. Select Applications
  3. Find and select the emulator you want. (Nesoid, Snesoid, GameBoid)
  4. Select Launch Application

You will want to go into the settings for the emulator and map the buttons for the remote (or your controller) to the game buttons.

Where to go From Here?

If you’re only using the remote that came with the Fire TV you’ll want to get a real controller. The remote works OK for RPGs and games that don’t require twitchy actions. Amazon sells a very good controller made for the Fire TV. XBOX 360 and PS3 controllers work well too.

The emulators I’ve included are not the best out there. There are some really good commercial Android emulators out there, installing and using them makes for a better experience.

What Exactly does the Installer Package do?

The general idea is that it side loads the emulator’s apk files via winadb. The installer package (if you can call it that) contains a apks for the emulators, winadb, and a couple of .bat files. The .bat files launch winadb with the appropriate commands to connect to the Fire TV and install the emulators. You can easily modify the .bat files to allow you to install other emulators.

73 comments

  1. Hi man. Long time lurker here. Love your work.

    I was planning on gifting myself a Fire this Christmas. I am wondering, have you tried running a PS1 emulator on it and using a wireless controller like the PS3/DS3 one?

    Thanks and more power. You have more fans than you think

    1. Thanks for the comments!

      I haven’t tried it. For what its worth I’ve seen some posts of Reddit where some people have a PS3 controller and a PS1 emulator working.

      I’ll try to give it a shot myself this weekend and see.

        1. This is the easiest way to get ROMS or how we say in the “scene”, RoMZ. You need a Super Wildcard DX. This is a piece of hardware that sits on top of your SNES. It will dump the content of your SNES cartridge to a file on a 3.5″ floppy. Name the file “Game.SMC” where game represents the game. like mario2.smc. Get a 3.5″ USB floppy adapter for your PC and then after all this work you then read this image file in to your emulator.

  2. This is great. The only issue I ran into was the limited number of Amazon Fire TV Controller buttons the button mapper would recognize.

  3. Thank u for your work on this. I think I have followed everything correctly but still can’t find the Roms on my fire tv. I see the emulators and when I click on them, it takes to me “select Rom” but I have no idea where they are saved. Can u please help me?

      1. Hi Dean,

        Great work!!! How can I configure the emulators to point to my roms folders which I’ve created on my external USB drive….It seems like it doesn’t see my external drive but only the internal drive.

        Thank you!

  4. Thank you for this! Would you recommend an Amazon Fire TV as an emulator machine? I’m mostly interested in NES and SNES games as well as some streaming and would like a simple, portable solution. Thanks!

    1. As an emulator machine you plug into a TV? The Fire TV is pretty good. It’ll definitely play NES and SNES games well. It’s an awesome streaming device. If you’re really into the emulation side of it I would root the device and use XBMC as a launcher/frontend for the emulators. It makes them much easier to get to.

      As far as the competition goes… Roku doesn’t do emulation. Ouya will do streaming and emulation, but the software and hardware quality is suspect. The no-brand Android boxes are worrisome when it comes to build quality.

  5. Hey thanks for the help. I got the emulators and roms and there and they launch.
    I can use my Amazon FireTV game controller to navigate the menu of the various emulators.
    However nothing I press will have any effect on the game itself.
    Do you think I have bad ROMS? Or am I doing something wrong?

  6. Hey this is pretty awesome and I sure appericate your work on this. But I am having an issue when trying to copy ROM’s over to the Fire TV, the command prompt says error: device not found. I’ve double checked my IP and everything but still can’t get the ROM’s over. It randomly work somtimes for some reason. Let me know what you think the issue could be.
    Thanks,

      1. Yes, I have ADB debugging turned on, and everything is on the same network. Its really weird cause if I keep running the INSTALL-ROMS.bat over and over and over again, sometimes it randomly works. I have even factory reset my fire tv just to see if it was something with that. Very strange. Is there a way to just have a network drive for the memory on the fire tv? That way I can just drop the ROMS in myself. haha.
        Thanks again!

  7. Okay I figured it out. If I reboot my computer and then throw away the ‘adb’ folder and then replace it with a new copy, it lets me transfer ROMS to the fire tv. Thanks again!

  8. help please ! The emulators installed easily . I copied some roms ( correct file names ) to the appropriate folders and installed them but when I launch the emulators those folders are empty

  9. Hi Adam, first thx for this good instruction.
    I have one problem left, I dont know how to connect a Controller…
    I plug in a normal generic controller at the USB-Port and nothing happens.
    I use the GNES-Emulator/SNES ES9+ and Retroarch and in no one can I controll any game or normal mode. Maybe I am to dumb 🙁
    I searched on youtube and on the web, it works everywhere but not for me…

  10. Hey man, got everything up and running except getting controls to work. When i try to configure the key mappings on my amazon game controller its not actually doing anything. If i select the “A” button, it acts like i pressed a key, then under the mapping it says … I cant even get the amazon remote to work. What am i doing wrong?

  11. I apologize, I should have been clearer with my question. I want to use my Mac to transfer my snes roms to my Fire TV. I can’t open those .bat files on my Mac.

  12. Thanks to sideloading Dropbox and File Manager onto the Fire TV, I can do ROM file transfers from my computer to my Fire TV.

  13. Hi I’ve read the entire thing but idk what todo or where to start? Do I have to connect my Amazon fire to a computer and transfer it? Or how I get the program on my Amazon fire in the first place to install it? I’m new at this but would like to get your program. Lmk what you can do.

  14. Dude, you rock man! I just got Tecmo Super Bowl for NES installed. Guess its time to order a controller (I can’t control the NES emulator with the standard remote) for the FireTV. Thanks!

  15. I have 2 amazon bluetooth controllers, on the 2 player games they both seem like they are 1st player. Is there a way I can fix this so I can play multi player games with my kids? Thank you so much for your time

  16. Thanks for your prompt response. I see videos online of people playing games using a thing called reicast however it doesn’t show how to do it. Thanks again

  17. Hey – thanks for this – what versions of the emulators are in this package?

    Are they updated to latest versions easily?

    Great work!

  18. when ever i type in my ip for the fire tv it says successful but then it says it could not connect. what should i do? Thank you.

  19. Little of topic but in kodi im trying to use rom collection browser for psp game running ppsspp i find the emulator fine but the folder with my iso files it just shows an empty folder does my fire tv need to be rooted??

  20. Hi Dean – thanks for the post. I bought a FireTV when it first came out to run emus — i was disappointed that my FireTV plays the roms are about 1.5x speed — if you find a game that ticks down by the second (mario) you can time it and see the emu clock is fast. Are you seeing this with your EMUs/Roms? Im not familiar we the games you’ve demo’d but the music “sounds” like its sped up, and some of the cut scenes seem to like they might be fast too. What’s your experience with this?

  21. Hi Dean, I have used your guide and it worked brilliantly. Some of the Roms that I downloaded and sent to the fire tv using your program do not work. How do I delete those roms? I seen a similar post above with a link to a website. I had a look at it but I cant figure out how to do it.

    Thank you.

  22. Great Stuff Dean! I’m having an issue with the IP address and it states “unable to connect” and it errors out: device not found.

    Can you help?

    Thanks, Matt

    1. Are you sure you have the right IP and USB debugging is on?

      Any chance the FireTV is on a different network than your PC? Does your router firewall between wired and wireless clients?

  23. I downloaded your package and when I double click INSTALL-EMULATORS.bat I get the message “There is no application set to open the document “INSTALL-EMULATORS.bat”. Just for your refernece I’m doing this on a Mac and not sure if that makes a difference. I could totally use any help you can provide me. Thanks

  24. Debugging is turned on, connected to the same network. IP address is correct. BUT….
    it says connect to the ip then gives an error message when trying to download the files, it says the device is offline then says “waiting for device”…. any help?

  25. Hey dean i really could use your help i have been trying for days and i cant figure it out…. I have done everything and double checked ans have the keymapping file in the right place etc….i connect my ps4 controller and for some reason i cant map any buttons in any of the emulators only the d-pas registers and none of the other buttons…. I click to set a button like say x, and it says unknown….any idea how to fix?

  26. Great Work Dean!

    I was hoping to run the roms off my external drive rather then on the internal drive due to the storage limitation but when I try to configure it to go to my external drive where my rom folders are located I can’t see it but rather only local.

    Thank you Mark!

  27. Great write up!

    I got this working on my TV in my living room but have a question. I have been gaming on my Fire TV in the living room but want to do the same on my Fire TV in the basement. Is there a way to have the two take to each other? What I mean is, if I am playing Final Fantasy and save my game on the Fire TV in the living room, can I resume the game on the Fire TV in the basement?

    I have gone through the above process for the Fire TV in the basement, but cannot resume the saved game. I can only start a new game. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks!!

  28. How can i add new emulators to be sent through with this program, also great work, only issue im having with nes and snes is controller lag. Any help with new emulators would be great, i have a 64 emulator and roms that i would love to try out

  29. Hi Dean, would you happen to have a website of yours or post details how to do the same with MAME. I have emulator but can’t figure out how to see games on game list to play? Thank you so much, Stacey

  30. Hello,

    Thanks for this information it was really helpful and I’m happy to say I completed all of this successfully. Upon completion, I realized my PS4 controller reacts very slowly. For instance, I see a punch from Glass Joe coming a mile away but I’m not reacting in time. The controller works fine, works on every game, but is slow to react on every game. If I get the Amazon Game controller, will that fix this issue, or is it an emulator issue?

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