Installation

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This page contains instructions for installing Duckstation on your computer or mobile device. While the latest build of Duckstation can be found here, this page is a guide to assist you with choosing the correct release for your platform as well as a quick start guide to using Duckstation. This page will be updated over time but the official instructions for downloading and running Duckstation can be found on the GitHub Readme page.

Windows

Windows 10 is the only version of Windows supported by the developer. Windows 7/8 may work, but is not supported. While some users are still using Windows 7, it is no longer supported by Microsoft and requires too much effort to support. Game bugs are unlikely to be affected by the operating system, however performance issues should be verified on Windows 10 before reporting.

Installing

  • Go to https://github.com/stenzek/duckstation/releases/tag/latest, and download the Windows x64 build. This is a zip archive containing the prebuilt binary.
  • Extract the archive to a subdirectory. The archive has no root subdirectory, so extracting to the current directory will drop a bunch of files in your download directory if you do not extract to a subdirectory.
  • Once downloaded and extracted, you can launch the emulator with duckstation-qt-x64-ReleaseLTCG.exe.

If you get an error about vcruntime140_1.dll being missing, you will need to update your Visual C++ runtime. You can do that from this page. Specifically, you want the x64 runtime, which can be downloaded directly from https://aka.ms/vs/16/release/vc_redist.x64.exe.

Setup

  1. Either configure the path to a BIOS image in the settings, or copy one or more PlayStation BIOS images to the bios/ subdirectory. On Windows, by default this will be located in C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME\Documents\DuckStation\bios. If you don't want to use the Documents directory to save the BIOS/memory cards/etc, you can use portable mode. See User directory.
  2. If using the Qt frontend, add the directories containing your disc images by clicking Settings->Add Game Directory.
  3. Select a game from the list, or open a disc image file and enjoy.

Upgrading

  • The Qt frontend includes an automatic update checker. Builds downloaded after 2020/08/07 will automatically check for updates each time the emulator starts, this can be disabled in Settings. Alternatively, you can force an update check by clicking Help->Check for Updates.

Linux

Prebuilt binaries for 64-bit Linux distros are available for download in the AppImage format. However, these binaries may be incompatible with older Linux distros (e.g. Ubuntu distros earlier than 18.04.4 LTS) due to older distros not providing newer versions of the C/C++ standard libraries required by the AppImage binaries.

Linux users are encouraged to build from source when possible and optionally create their own AppImages for features such as desktop integration if desired.

Installing

macOS

macOS support is considered experimental and not actively supported by the developer; the builds are provided as a courtesy. Please feel free to submit issues, but it may be some time before they are investigated.

macOS builds do not support automatic updates yet. However they may be added if there is sufficient demand.

Installing

  • Go to https://github.com/stenzek/duckstation/releases/tag/latest, and download the Mac build. This is a zip archive containing the prebuilt binary.
  • Extract the zip archive. If you're using Safari, apparently this happens automatically. This will give you DuckStation.app.
  • Right click (Control+Click) DuckStation.app, and click Open. As the package is not signed (Mac certificates are expensive), you must do this the first time you open it. Subsequent runs can be done by double-clicking.

Android

A prebuilt APK is now available for Android. However, please keep in mind that the Android version does not contain all features present in the desktop version yet. You will need a device with armv7 (32-bit ARM) or AArch64 (64-bit ARM). 64-bit is preferred, the requirements are higher for 32-bit, you'll probably want at least a 1.5GHz CPU.

Download link: https://github.com/stenzek/duckstation/releases/download/latest/duckstation-android.apk

Setup

  • Install and run the app for the first time.
  • This will create /sdcard/duckstation. Drop your BIOS files in /sdcard/duckstation/bios.
  • Add game directories by hitting the + icon and selecting a directory.
  • Map your controller buttons and axes by going into Controller Mapping under Controllers in Settings.

User Directories

The "User Directory" is where you should place your BIOS images, where settings are saved to, and memory cards/save states are saved by default. An optional SDL game controller database file can also be placed here.
This is located in the following places depending on the platform you're using:

Windows Documents\DuckStation
Linux $XDG_DATA_HOME/duckstation

~/.local/share/duckstation

macOS ~/Library/Application Support/DuckStation
Android /sdcard/duckstation

So, if you were using Linux, you would place your BIOS images in ~/.local/share/duckstation/bios. This directory will be created upon running DuckStation for the first time.

Portable Mode

If you wish to use a "portable" build, where the user directory is the same as where the executable is located, create an empty file named portable.txt in the same directory as the DuckStation executable.