Nestopia for iOS

Nintendo platform emulator for the iPhone and iPod Touch

What is Nestopia?
Nestopia is an open source emulator core that emulates the hardware in a Nintendo entertainment system, allowing you to play game images on many different platforms. Nestopia for iOS is a port of the popular core to allow you to play NES games on your iPhone or iPod Touch. There are many public domain, home-brew games available which have been written for the Nintendo platform, and depending on your country of origin, you may be entitled to play images of commercial games which you rightfully own.

The authorĀ does not condone the illegal piracy of copyrighted games, and provides no support in obtaining or using pirated images.

The iTunes “File Sharing” API can be used to add or remove files, such as saved game states or image files from the application. In iTunes, click the device, then click ‘Apps’ and scroll down to ‘File Sharing’. Click on ‘Nestopia’ and you’ll be able to add or delete files within the application.


  • Multitouch: Use the directional pad + A + B, or other combinations
  • Light Gun (Zapper): Integrated light gun; simply tap on the screen
  • Full Screen: Enlarge your NES picture to the max possible. Anti-aliasing effects are also supported to smooth edges.
  • Save State: Save an instant snapshot of your game and come back to it later
  • Game Genie: Use Game Genie cheat codes
  • Landscape and Portrait Modes: Just tilt the iPhone before you start a game
  • … and many more

Download the complete open source project here:

Is It Legal?

There are many great resources online that summarize case law in the US regarding applications such as Nestopia. I don’t attempt to give any legal advice, but the general consensus seems to be that such applications are perfectly legal; this is even backed up by case law such as Colecovision v. Atari and Sony Entertainment v. Bleem, LLC. As long as such an application doesn’t include any code (such as a BIOS) from a console, which is copyrighted, there’s nothing illegal about distributing or using them.

The game images, however, are subject to copyright. This means, to many, that you’re only entitled to play a game images if you possess the legal right to play the game. If the game has been orphaned by its original authors, or if the game is not copyrighted (e.g. a public domain “home brew” game, to which there are many), the game can usually legally be played. It may also be entirely legal to use games you’ve purchased through the Wii Virtual Console, or purchased a physical copy of a game.

I do not condone the piracy of Nintendo games. The author disclaims any liability resulting from the use of this software.

* Check with all applicable laws before using this software.

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