List All Available Rom Consoles / Systems

Everything You Need to Know about ROMs

If you look for ROM term using a search engine, you will find only that it stands for read-only memory. But, you are interested in ROM which contains a game for your desired retro console. As such, this may sound strange and complicated. Below, we will give you all the answers you need to fully understand ROM/ROMs and all facts associated with them. Let's begin.

What are ROM/ROMs?

The aforementioned term that ROM stands for read only memory is accurate in this case scenario. Of course, when it comes to game ROMs, you won't use an actual memory. You will use a copy of that memory which was transferred to a file that software can recognize and open.

To simplify the matters. All classic video games have cartridges that contain a game. Usually, one cartridge means one game, although there are cartridges with multiple games. A ROM file is a copy of that game. It is copied in a specific format, unique for each emulator so it can open and run the game. There are countless variants and they depend on the original console.

You need to know that when you actually download ROM file, it will have a unique extension. The extension depends on a game console that game was developed for. For example, if you are downloading Game Boy Advance ROMs, the extension will be .gba. Game Boy has .gb and so on. A suitable emulator will open that file and you will be presented with the game.

How ROM files are made?

One of the most important questions you probably have is how ROMs are made. They are made using special hardware which is known as "dumpers". The entire process is known as dumping. That device can be Doctor V64 or Retrode. Basically, each cartridge will require a separate dumper. A dumper is used to connect the cartridge with a computer and allow a user to copy the content. The entire process is complicated and it requires a lot of time and performing individual steps. A dumper is unique according to the console cartridge was made for.

You may believe that making ROMs is extremely easy. It isn't. Almost any manufacturer of gaming consoles and cartridges used or tried to use protection which will make ROM creation impossible. For instance, Nintendo used 8cm disks, which were extremely rare and therefore impossible to copy. Users had no idea how to connect a disk to a dumper. This protection was common on Nintendo GameCube.

Neo Geo devices used an algorithm which will make the game impossible to copy and use. The algorithm prevented the users from making games for emulators. This was an issue until 2000 when hackers decrypted the algorithm and allowed gamers to play copied games.

Uses of ROMs

The simplest answer is for playing games on computers. As you may know, in order to play Game Boy Advance games you will need an actual device. It is expensive, impossible to find and most of them are kept as souvenirs. But, millions of players all across the planet want to play GBA games in 2019. The only possible way is with ROMs.

In order to play a ROM game, you will need an emulator which is a special software developed for this purpose only.

We explained what ROMs are, how they are made and why they are used. They allow millions of gamers to play archived classic games today and to get the same gaming experience they had as children, a few decades ago.