higan, the multi-system emulator¶
higan emulates a number of classic video-game consoles of the 1980s and 1990s, allowing you to play classic games on a modern general-purpose computer.
To get started with higan right away, see the Quick Start section of the documentation.
As of v104, higan has top-tier support for the following consoles:
- Nintendo Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System,
including add-on hardware:
- Super Game Boy
- Sufami Turbo
- Nintendo Game Boy Advance
It also includes some level of support for these consoles:
- Satellaview add-on for the Super Famicom
- Nintendo Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System
- Nintendo Game Boy
- Nintendo Game Boy Color
- Sega Master System
- Sega Game Gear
- Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
- NEC PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 (but not the CD-ROM² System/TurboGrafx-CD)
- NEC SuperGrafx
- Bandai WonderSwan
- Bandai WonderSwan Color
Note: Some consoles were released under different names in different geographic regions. To avoid listing all possible names every time such a console is mentioned, higan uses the name from the console’s region of origin. In practice, that means Japanese names: “Famicom” and “Super Famicom” instead of “NES” and “SNES”, “Mega Drive” instead of “Genesis”, “PC Engine” instead of “TurboGrafx-16”.
higan is actively supported on FreeBSD 10 and above, and Microsoft Windows 7 and above. It also includes some level of support for GNU/Linux and macOS.
higan is officially spelled with a lowercase “h”, not a capital.
About this document¶
This is the semi-official higan manual, a community-maintained introduction and reference. It may be out of date by the time you read this, and it may contain errors or omissions. If you find something that’s wrong, or you have a suggestion, post a message on the official higan forum.
Official higan resources¶
Unofficial higan resources¶
- Source code repository archives official higan releases and WIP snapshots since approximately v067r21.
- Quark shader repository collects shaders that higan can use to add special effects like TV scanlines to its video output, or smarter algorithms for scaling up to modern PC resolutions. See Using video shaders below for details.
- Mercurial Magic is a tool for converting MSU-1 games and mods into a format higan can use. See Importing MSU-1 games for details.
There are also other projects based on current or older versions of higan, in whole or in part, that you might want to check out.
- Mednafen is another multi-system emulator. Its Super Famicom emulation is based on bsnes v059, from the time before bsnes was renamed to higan.
- BizHawk is another multi-system emulator, specialising in the creation of tool-assisted speed-runs. Its Super Famicom emulation is based on bsnes v087.
- bsnes-plus is a fork of bsnes v073 that adds improved support for debugging Super Famicom software.
- bsnes-mercury is a fork of bsnes v094 adapted to work as a libretro emulation core.
- nSide is a fork of higan that greatly enhances its NES emulation support, and adds minor features to the other cores too. It also restores the “balanced” Super Famicom emulation core that was removed from higan in v099, which is less CPU intensive than the current accuracy-focused core.