The Settings window appears when you choose one of the items at the bottom of the Settings menu, and contains less-frequently-modified settings. Most of these can be safely ignored, or set once and never changed again.
This window has a tab for each main category of options:
This tab contains options that affect how higan displays the emulated console’s video output.
Color Adjustment settings adjust the colour and brightness of the emulated console’s video output:
- Saturation adjusts the vibrancy of colours displayed, where 0% makes things pure grey, 100% is normal, and 200% is garishly brightly coloured.
- Gamma adjusts how bright mid-range colours are compared to the brightest colours, where 100% is normal, and 200% makes mid-range colours much darker. This is in addition to any adjustment applied by the “Colors” option in the “Video Emulation” sub-menu of the Settings menu.
- Luminance adjusts the overall brightness, where 100% is normal, and 0% is totally black.
Overscan Mask removes parts of the video output that would have been hidden by the bezel around the edge of a standard-definition television screen. Some games (particularly on the Famicom) displayed random glitchy output in this area, which can be distracting.
- Horizontal removes pixels from the left and right of the video output.
- Vertical removes pixels from the top and bottom of the video output.
The units are “pixels in the emulated console’s standard video-mode”. For example, setting “Horizontal” to 8 will clip 8/256ths from the left and right sides of the Super Famicom’s video output, whether the Super Famicom is in lo-res (256px) or hi-res (512px) mode.
Windowed Mode settings apply when higan is running in a normal window.
- Aspect Correction stretches the image to match the aspect ratio produced by the original console hardware, but can cause a “ripple” effect during horizontal scrolling due to rounding errors. Video shaders can reduce this effect.
- Integral Scaling makes higan draw the emulated video output at a whole-number multiple of the original size, rather than completely filling the available space. This means that every game pixel uses the same number of computer pixels, and avoids graphics looking chunky and uneven. Note that Aspect Correction is applied after integral scaling, so some unevenness may be visible even with this option enabled.
- Adaptive Sizing automatically resizes the higan window to fit snugly around the emulated video output whenever it changes size (because the user loaded a game for a different console, chose a different option from the Video Scale sub-menu, toggled Aspect Correction, etc.) When disabled, higan generally respects manual resizing.
- Aspect Correction behaves the same way as in Windowed mode above.
- Integral Scaling behaves the same way as in Windowed mode above.
- Exclusive Mode requests exclusive access to the computer’s video output when higan enters fullscreen mode. This prevents other applications or the operating system itself from drawing anything, and may also temporarily disable any kind of compositing, reducing video latency. As of v104, only the Direct3D video driver is capable of exclusive mode; with other drivers this option does nothing.
This tab contains options that affect how higan reproduces the emulated console’s audio output.
Driver settings affect the current Audio driver.
- Device allows you to choose which audio device higan sends the emulated game’s audio to, if you have more than one.
- Frequency controls the sample-rate that higan will use when generating audio. If your PC’s audio hardware has a “native” sample-rate and you know what it is, pick that. Otherwise, 44.1kHz or 48kHz should be fine.
- Latency controls how much audio output higan calculates in advance. Higher values reduce the chance of “popping” or “glitching” noises, but increase the delay between an action occurring on-screen and the corresponding sound-effect being played.
- Exclusive Mode appears if the current audio driver allows higan to take exclusive control of your PC’s audio output, so no other applications can play sounds. This can improve audio quality, and lower the effective audio latency.
Effects are applied to the emulated audio output before it is sent to your computer’s speakers.
- Volume controls the overall loudness of the emulated console’s audio, where 100% is normal volume, and 0% is complete silence.
- Balance controls the relative loudness of the left and right speakers, where 0% means only the left speaker produces sound, 50% means both speakers produce sound equally, and 100% means only the right speaker produces sound.
- Reverb adds a slight reverberation effect to the emulated console’s audio output, as though you were playing the game in a tunnel or small room.
This tab controls which PC inputs are mapped to which emulated controllers. The exact PC inputs that can be mapped depend on the input driver.
General input settings:
- Pause Emulation automatically pauses emulation when the main higan window is not the current foreground window.
- Allow Input can be ticked when “Pause Emulation” is not ticked, and allows configured inputs to keep affecting higan even when higan is running in the background. This is particularly relevant if you configure your PC keyboard to control higan: if you tick this box, and switch to a different application leaving higan running in the background, typing in that other application may affect the emulated game running in higan even though you can’t see it!
Choosing which of the possible controllers to configure:
- The console selector chooses which console’s inputs to display in the mapping list below.
- The port selector chooses which port of the selected console to display in the mapping list below.
- The controller selector chooses which controller associated with the given console and port to display in the mapping list below. Note that some consoles only allow particular controllers to be used in a particular port. For example, the Super Scope controller for the Super Famicom only works in Controller Port 2.
Configuring the selected controller:
- The mapping list includes every button and axis on the selected controller, and the PC inputs that will be mapped to it when it is connected to the selected port of the selected console.
- Erase removes the mapping for the selected button or axis.
- Reset removes all the mappings currently in the list.
To map a keyboard or gamepad button on your PC to a controller button, double-click the controller button in the list, or select it and press Enter. The Settings window will grey out, and a message will appear in the bottom left: “Press a key or button to map [the button]”. Press the key or button you want to map, and it should appear in the list next to the controller button it is mapped to.
To map a mouse button on your PC to a controller button, select the controller button in the list, then click one of the “Mouse Left”, “Mouse Middle”, or “Mouse Right” buttons in the bottom-left of the Settings window.
To map a joystick axis on your PC to a controller axis, double-click the axis in the list, or select it and press Enter. The Settings window will grey out, and a message will appear in the bottom left: “Press a key or button to map [the axis]”. Press the joystick in the direction you want to map, and it should appear in the list next to the controller axis it is mapped to.
To map a mouse axis on your PC to a controller axis, select the axis in the list, then click one of the “Mouse X-axis”, or “Mouse Y-axis” buttons in the bottom-left of the window.
If you start mapping a button or axis, but decide you don’t want to, you can press Escape to exit the “Press a key or button to map…” mode without actually mapping anything.
Note: Consoles in the Game Boy family include a Rumble “input” which is really more of an output. See Rumble Compatibility for Game Boy (Color) and Rumble Compatibility for Game Boy Advance for details.
Note: Once you’ve configured which computer inputs higan should route to which controllers, make sure the controller in question is actually connected to the correct controller port in the console menu.
This tab is like “Inputs” above, except it contains controls for higan itself instead of the emulated console.
- Toggle Fullscreen puts higan into fullscreen mode, where the menu and status bar are hidden, and the emulated console’s video output is enlarged to cover the entire screen. Toggling fullscreen also automatically captures the mouse.
- Toggle Mouse Capture hides the usual mouse-cursor, and captures the mouse so it cannot leave the higan window. This is useful when the mouse is being used to emulate a light-gun controller like the Super Scope.
- Save Quick State saves the current state of the emulated console to the currently-selected Quick State slot.
- Load Quick State restores the emulated console to the state saved in the currently-selected Quick State slot.
- Decrement Quick State selects the previous Quick State slot. The status bar will briefly display the new current slot number.
- Increment Quick State selects the next Quick State slot. The status bar will briefly display the new current slot number.
- Pause Emulation pauses the emulated console until the Pause Emulation hotkey is pressed a second time.
- Fast Forward disables audio and video synchronisation for as long as it’s held down, so emulation proceeds as quickly as possible. If your PC struggles to hit “real time” (60fps for most emulated consoles), this likely won’t have any effect.
- Power Cycle turns the emulated console off and back on (a “hard reset”), just like the “Power Cycle” menu item in the console menu.
- Rotate Display will rotate the display of the Game Boy Advance and WonderSwan (Color). See Game Boy Advance rotation and WonderSwan rotation for details.
This tab contains all the settings that didn’t fit into one of the other categories.
Driver Selection tells higan how to accept input, display video, and play sound on this computer.
- Video controls how higan will draw the emulated console’s video output to the PC screen. “None” means no video will be drawn.
- Audio controls how higan will present the emulated console’s audio output. “None” means no audio will be played.
- Input controls how higan checks for input from the PC’s input devices. “None” means the emulated console cannot be controlled.
See Choosing drivers for help choosing which drivers you should use.
Game Library configures how higan interacts with the Game Library.