How to Play "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" on the Computer

By Ashley Black

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Computer

  • Internet Access

Use your laptop to play your favorite Nintendo 64 games.
i Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

The Nintendo 64, also referred to as the N64, was Nintendo’s third internationally-sold home video game system. Some well-known N64 games include Super Smash Bros, 007: Goldeneye, Mario Party, Starfox and, the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The N64 system has long been out of production and these cartridge games are usually found at used game stores, but fans of the Ocarina of Time can enjoy the experience of playing the game from the comfort of their own computer with the help of an emulator.

Download WinRAR. WinRAR is a powerful archive manager which you will need in order to use the emulator. The first link in References will take you to a site where you can download WinRAR for free. Click one of the two links at the top right of the page according to whether your computer is running 32-bit or 64-bit.

Download a Nintendo 64 emulator for PC, such as Project64, which is free. The second link in the References section will take you to Project64’s website, where you can download the latest version of the emulator.

Download the “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” ROM. ROMs are computer files that contain data from a read-only memory chip, like that of a video game cartridge. offers several N64 game ROMs for free download, including Ocarina of Time. Click on the title of the desired ROM and download.

Open the zip file containing the ROM. The file can be located in the Downloads folder on your computer, unless your downloaded files are automatically moved to another folder. Inside the zip file, highlight the file labeled Zelda64.v64 and click “Extract To” in the toolbar. This will extract the file to another folder where you want to keep your ROMs. You can create a new folder for this purpose or save it in an already labeled folder.

Open Project64 from the icon on your desktop. If there is no desktop icon for the program, you should be able to locate it in your Downloads folder. Click the "File" button at the top left, drop down and click "Open ROM," then navigate to the folder that contains the ROM you just downloaded. Select the "Zelda ROM," click "OK," and start playing.


If you have your own computer-compatible controller, plug that in before starting the game. If not, you’ll need to set up the keys on your computer's keyboard before you begin playing. Go to the Options tab in the Project64 program and click Configure Controller Plugin. A screen will come up which allows you to input which keys on your computer you want to correspond to the buttons on the original N64 controller -- for example, using the arrow keys to move side to side.

If you experience any issues with graphics or audio, go to the Options tab in the program and select the tab you’re having issues with to edit the settings. If you have any further problems or questions, there is a user manual under the Help tab in the program that can probably answer your questions.