This is a hub for various information about netplay. Most info was gathered from the guys over at /vr/, so if you have any questions or need someone to play retro games with, visit their IRC channel at: #/vr/_Netplay on rizon.net & and their official website here
Before you begin, here are some things to consider:
- Emulator netplay is NOT perfect. Desyncs WILL occur very often. Choppy/stuttery gameplay is also very common, and sometimes there is controller input lag. It comes with the experience.
- It sometimes takes several consecutive tries for the game to stay synced well enough to enjoy some multiplayer action. Do not be discouraged and try again until it works.
- When netplaying, make sure not to have anything downloading (torrents, YouTube videos, etc.)
- Try not to move the emulator window around, or switch focus to windows other than the chat/Kaillera window and emulator, or you risk desyncing the game.
- It's highly recommended to use a controller. Some emulators still register input from keyboards while you're chatting on separate chat windows.
Before you get started, you should note that some emulators and clients will require you to forward your ports. To do that, follow the Port Fowarding Guide For Netplay.
- FCEUmm, QuickNES, or Nestopia cores support netplay. Save states cannot be used during netplay, and bringing up the menu screen will cause disconnection.
- FCEU core
- A very old NES emulator. Has a very nice interface but the documentation doesn't indicate what ports it uses, so you're limited to using a VPN like Hamachi. The author did away with netplay in more recent versions.
- Still shows signs of being updated, but it absolutely HATES anything other than stock Kaillera. I'm not sure if it's possible to get it to work.
- bsnes core
- Concerning Sega emulators, this is really the only one worthwhile option to netplay with. It emulates practically every single console and peripheral prior to the Saturn, all while allowing for some decent netplay capabilities on the side.
- An acceptable alternative. While it only emulates Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega CD and 32x, it uses Kaillera for online multiplayer, which is helpful in case you get consistent desyncs while using Kega Fusion.
- Genesis core is experimental but mostly functional; 2 players only. Also has a Master System core.
The many platforms that conform to the term "arcade" has got to be considered the most extensively researched and emulated platforms in existence. Choosing the right emulator is quite a daunting task, since there are so many different versions that accomplish the same thing in almost imperceptibly different ways. Branching off from a standard official emulator that, by itself, is commonly regarded to leave much to be desired.
- Arcade emulator built around netplay. Widely considered to have the best netcode for only multiplayer available. It's so great that its used in some more recent commercial games. Only disadvantage is that you need to open ports to use it, and it's severely limited to games that were made or modified specifically to use this technology.
- Built on the same emulator is FightCade, which can be found here.
- Said to have a comparable netcode to GGPO, it's also capable of emulating console games through MESS. However, using MameHUB requires registration, and the frontend, being coded in Java, is an absolute resource-hog which heavily impairs your gaming experience if you're using a low-end computer. You can join a game that's already in session. Newer versions of MAMEHub use much less resources.
PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16)
- Option for both accuracy and fast cores.
This guide should help, although it should be noted that netplay is not perfect. This is for playing with other Dolphin emulators.
Because Nintendo shut down its servers for Wi-Fi, it can't be connected to. Wiimmfi is the only option, but Dolphin will not be able to connect normally, as you require a normal Wii's files. This guide has instructions on how to get the certificates needed to connect to their servers, but do note that you cannot connect if you cannot run the game full speed. This also includes lag spikes that may occur. Your emulator will be banned from the servers if the game is unable to run full speed.
It's more recommended to connect via your Wii since you require files from it to play it on Dolphin, and it's risky to try with Dolphin regardless. CFG and USB Loader GX both support Wiimmfi without patching the game, and do it on the fly.
Netplay has never officially been added to PCSX2, but someone tried making their own branch a few years ago to implement it. Only about seven fighting games work, and the project has since been abandoned.