How to Add Emulators to Launchbox & Big Box


Lauchbox & its brother Big Box (for TV use) are without doubt the top emulator frontend packages for any gaming HTPC build. Launchbox is innovative, easy to use and with recent releases is becoming more customisable. Once you have downloaded and installed the software package there are a number of steps you need to take before you can be up and running playing your games. In this post we will show you how to fully setup an emulator in Launchbox including a full video tutorial. Add an emulator to Launchbox and you can then use it to launch any ROMs, image files or discs for that system. [Read: LaunchBox & Big Box Emulator Frontend Review]

How to Add Emulators to Launchbox & Big Box

A full video tutorial is shown at the end of this post. Before you start this guide I am assuming that you have the latest version of Launchbox installed on your PC. You will also need an emulator for a computer, games console or an arcade that you would like to add. This post was created using Launchbox version 7.1 but the process is the same for all versions. Remember here that no configuration is required in Big Box. Big Box (Premium version) will take the majority of it’s configuration from Launchbox so you only need to work in one place. The setup process is simple and each emulator should take you around 5 minutes to complete.[Read: How to Integrate Launchbox on Kodi and get the Best of Both]

Add Emulator to Launchbox in Under 5 Minutes

Lets begin! We will look at both how to add emulators to Launchbox and also some of the additional configuration settings that you can use. Start Launchbox on your PC and from the top menu select Tools. This will display a drop down menu and from here select Manage Emulators as shown in the screenshot below.

add emulator to launchbox
Manage Emulators with Launchbox

You will now be presented with the screen shown in the below image. It details all of the emulators that you have setup on this Launchbox installation. It includes both the application paths and any commands that are used when they are executed. Click on the Add button found at the bottom left of this window. We will now add the SNES emulator Snes9X. [Read: Best PC Game Controllers for HTPC – Emulators & Steam]

add emulators to launchbox
Add a New Emulator with Launchbox

You will now arrive at the “Add Emulator” screen which is divided into three separate tabs. We will discuss each one in turn. On the “Emulator Details” tab the first configuration item allows you to enter a name for your emulator. Notice that there is a drop down menu here. Before you proceed expand this menu and check to see if your chosen emulator is available. If it is Launchbox will provide you with the best settings to use with this emulator application. If it is not then enter a suitable name for your new emulator. Next click on the Browse button and navigate to the executable file for your emulator. You will find this in whatever location you have installed the emulator application to. [Read: Best CPU for Emulation – Computers, Consoles & Arcades]

setup emulator in launchbox
Enter the Emulator Details into Launchbox

Add Emulator to Launchbox – Parameters

Sometimes you may need to add parameters to your emulators execution. The Default Command-Line Parameters box allows you to do this.  If you want to use these you should check the documentation for your emulator to find out what these are. A good example here is full screen mode. With many emulators adding the fullscreen command will force the emulator to start in full screen which is usually what you want to see. The “Sample Command” box will show you how your emulator will be executed with the settings that you have selected. The available tick boxes are rather self explanatory. Read through these and check to see if any of them are a requirement of your emulator. [Read: Xenia Project – The Working XBOX 360 Emulator for PC]

Associate Platforms & Hotkey Configuration

“Associated Platforms” is the next tab in the row. Usually Launchbox will automatically select this for you but there may be times where you want to associate an emulator with multiple systems or disassociate it. Simply place a tick in the box next to each system you would like to associate. Usually there is nothing to do here and Launchbox will auto populate the required tick boxes. The screenshot below shows that we have now associated the emulator SNES9X with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System games console. [Read: RPCS3 – The Working Playstation 3 (PS3) Emulator]

Setup emulators in launchbox
Associate your Emulator with a System

The final tab is “AutoHotkey Script”. Here you can configure hotkeys to be available when this emulator is running. The example in the screen shot below tells Launchbox that when the escape key is pressed the emulator process should be killed and the emulator closed. You can tweak this if you would like. We will cover hotkeys in more detail in another post. Now click on the Add button at the bottom left of the window to add emulator to Launchbox. You are now complete and your new emulator is ready for use. [Read: Dolphin – The Nintendo Gamecube / Wii Emulator]

add emulators to big box
Assign Hotkeys to Emulator


How to Add Emulators to Launchbox Video Tutorial

This video tutorial shows you from start to finish how to add emulators to Launchbox and Big Box. We demonstrate using the popular SNES emulator; SNES9X. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for masses more guide videos and tutorials.


How to Add Emulators to Launchbox – Final Thoughts

This is without doubt a user friendly application and you can add emulators to launchbox in around 5 minutes. Simply add emulator to Launchbox and any parameters, associate the emulator with the computer, console or arcade and set any hotkeys. The only time you may run into difficulty is if your emulator has non-standard ways of launching ROMs from commandline. You should be able to overcome these by referring to the documentation provided with your emulator. Remember that you do not need to make any changes to Big Box and any new emulators you add will be carried through. This includes all of the configuration that they use. When you have completed this How to Add Emulators to Launchbox post the next step is to add ROMs to Launchbox and set the locations for your collections. [Read: How to Play Games on Kodi]