Wii U emulators

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The Nintendo Wii U
The Wii U is an eighth-generation console released by Nintendo in 2012. It is the first console by Nintendo to output to high definition (HD) resolutions, such as 720p and 1080p. It includes a tablet-like controller, known as the Wii U GamePad, to provide certain additional gameplay. Notably, it can play all Wii games as well as support the Wii Remote controllers for native Wii U games.

Emulators[edit]

Name Operating System(s) Latest Version Compatibility Active Open-Source Recommended
Cemu Windows 1.6.4 Medium
Decaf Windows, Linux GitHub Low

Comparisons[edit]

  • Cemu can launch and play commercial titles, but is at an early stage of development, having little performance optimization, very basic audio emulation, and numerous bugs. But, it can run some games full-speed.
  • Decaf is a research project for Wii U emulation. It is able to boot some commercial games.

Dolphin[edit]

You might have read about an unofficial branch of Dolphin with Wii U support — don't get your hopes up. While the PowerPC architecture family in the Wii U is the same as the Wii and GameCube (this fact alone was the reason why Wii emulation was added to Dolphin, originally GC-only), this support is nothing more than the file viewer features (region, internal name, various info, list of files and folders inside ISO and a way to extract them) being expanded to Wii U disc images. Nothing has been done on the actual emulation front as far as Dolphin is concerned, and the Dolphin developers have said that they're not going to add Wii U support to Dolphin.

Running games in Cemu[edit]

Before opening the ISO[edit]

You'll first need to fill in the "keys.txt" file in Cemu's directory. It has a sample line with a bogus key and a comment, which you may as well delete.

Your file must have many lines like this, one for the Wii U Common Key (D7B00402659BA2ABD2CB0DB27FA2B656), and one line for the Game Key of each game. Sharing these keys isn't exactly safe legally, but ROM sites at least share the Game ones. Note that for games using the Loadiine format, you won't need a Game Key at all, but those will need Cemu versions from 1.4.0 onward.

Your ISO must be either uncompressed, compressed using WUD format, or in Loadiine format (only possible for versions 1.4.0 onward) to boot in Cemu. Here's a compatibility list.

Installing updates[edit]

To install updates under Cemu, you need to open the .rpx file for that specific update in Cemu. Your save data will be apparently lost, that's because Cemu treats the game now that it's updated as a separate new game so you'll need to copy your games over.

In order to make that .rpx file yourself, you'll need a proper version of NUSGrabber with a ckey.bin, as well a Wii U Console Key (that common key from earlier works) and a Game Key for your version of the game. Then you follow this guide.

Controls[edit]

  • GamePad: GamePad touch control emulation can be done by holding TAB then using the mouse. Microphone is mapped to a button for now, and tilting doesn't work yet.
  • Classic Controller
  • As of 1.5.4, the Wiimote isn't emulated yet.