How to Use MAME BIOS

By Mark Robinson

Updated September 22, 2017

Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) files contain system-related coding used for controlling devices and hardware during the boot-up phase. Computer gaming emulators such as the multiple arcade machine emulator (MAME) use these BIOS files to properly initiate and emulate games created on certain arcade gaming systems. When MAME attempts to run games that require these files, if the BIOS file is not present within the ROM folder, the game will not run properly.

Obtain a BIOS ROM from a reputable source that has a legal license from the copyright owner to distribute such files.

Drag and drop the compressed BIOS file into the ROMs folder of the MAME directory. If the BIOS is acquired in a nonzipped folder, highlight the files inside the folder, and then right-click on one the files. Select “Send To” from the drop-down menu, and then select “Compressed Folder.” Drag and drop the compressed BIOS file into the ROMs folder.

Click “Start” and type “cmd” into the search bar to open the command prompt. Navigate to the MAME directory by typing “cd C:[mame directory].” Enter “mame –verifyroms” to locate and verify the BIOS. Double-click “mame.exe” to start the program and select your game.