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Formatting ROMs
How to format, convert, archive, or batch process ROMs.
To avoid any issues with Importing ROMs, check to make sure your files are formatted correctly.
Please refer to the Known Issues regarding Formatting ROMs, and read Issues Usage before posting a new one.

Supported Formats

ROMs

Atari
2600
.a26 (.bin)
5200
.a52 (.bin)
7800
.a78 (.bin)
Jaguar
.j64, .jag (.bin, .rom)
Lynx
.lnx
Bandai
WonderSwan
.ws
WonderSwan Color
.wsc
NEC
PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16
.pce
PC Engine Super CD-ROM² System / TurboGrafx-CD
.cue + .bin/iso, .ccd + .img + .sub multi-file ROM
PC-FX
.cue + .bin/iso, .ccd + .img + .sub multi-file ROM
Nintendo
Famicom /
Nintendo Entertainment System
.nes
Famicom Disk System
.fds
Game Boy
.gb
Super Famicom / Super Nintendo Entertainment System
.snes, .smc, .sfc, .fig
Game Boy Color
.gbc, .sgb
Virtual Boy
.vb
Nintendo 64
.n64, .z64
Game Boy Advance
.gba
Pokemon mini
.min
Sega
SG-1000
.sg
Master System
.sms
Mega Drive / Genesis
.md, .smd, .gen (.bin)
Game Gear
.gg
Mega CD / Sega CD
.cue + .bin multi-file ROM
32X
.32X, .32x
Saturn
.iso, .cue + .bin/iso, .ccd + .img + .sub, .mds + .mdf multi-file ROM
SNK
Neo Geo Pocket
.ngp
Neo Geo Pocket Color
.ngc, .ngpc, .npc
Sony
Playstation
.cue + .bin/img/iso, .ccd + .img + .sub multi-file ROM
  • DO NOT rename multi-file ROMs unless you alter .cue file contents as well.
  • All multi-file ROMs must be contained in a single-file archives.° (Instructions)
  • All multi-disc games must include a .m3u file in their archive. (Instructions)
° Though not required, it's recommended to archive all ROMs, individually.

ROM Archives

Supported Formats
.zip, .7z
Loose files only. DO NOT contain folder(s) within an archive (this is a known issue and will result in a crash)!

Multi-file ROMs

A ROM consisting of multiple files such as .bin + .cue for CD-based games (Sega CD, Playstation, etc…) must be contained together in a single .zip or .7z archive before importing and both files are required
Examples of ROM archive contents:
[game].bin
[game].cue
[game] (Track 1).bin
[game] (Track 2).bin
[game].cue
[game].ccd
[game].img
[game].sub
If .ccd based ROMs are not importing correctly, move files into the system directory, manually, when left behind in Imports or Conflicts.
Loose files only. DO NOT contain folder(s) within an archive (this is a known issue and will result in a crash)!

.cue Files:

.cue files are plain text and will generally look something like this (unless it specifies additional audio track details). The name of the referenced file: .bin, .img, .iso… specified file must match verbatim the name of the actual file.²
Contents of [game].cue:
FILE "[game].bin" BINARY
TRACK 01 MODE2/2352
INDEX 01 00:00:00
¹ If you need to restore a missing/damaged .cue file, check out the archives at redump.org. ² If you rename any files of a.cue based multi-file ROM, you must change the contents of the .cue file or they won't work.
…archive filenames, however, are irrelevant as they are discarded after unarchiving.
For a quick way to preview .cue files on macOS, install the qlstephen QuickLook plugin.

Multi-disc Games

All multi-disc games must include a .m3u file in their .zip or .7z multi-file ROM archive. Disc numbering in filenames needs to be formatted exactly as: …(Disc #).ext
If renaming and using **a .cue **based ****ROM make sure to read the requirements for .cue files in Multi-file ROMs.
Contents of Final Fantasy VII (USA).7z:
Final Fantasy VII (USA) (Disc 1).bin
Final Fantasy VII (USA) (Disc 1).cue
Final Fantasy VII (USA) (Disc 2).bin
Final Fantasy VII (USA) (Disc 2).cue
Final Fantasy VII (USA) (Disc 3).bin
Final Fantasy VII (USA) (Disc 3).cue
Final Fantasy VII (USA).m3u
.m3u files can be created as plain text and must contain and match exactly the names of all and only the .cue or .ccd files for the game.³
Contents of Final Fantasy VII (USA).m3u:
Final Fantasy VII (USA) (Disc 1).cue
Final Fantasy VII (USA) (Disc 2).cue
Final Fantasy VII (USA) (Disc 3).cue
³ .m3u filenames are independent of the .bin/.cue files, but a truncated name is recommended, removing " (Disc #)" from the .m3u filename (including the space).
For a quick way to preview .m3u files on macOS, install the qlstephen QuickLook plugin.

Converting Formats

Converting ROMs

  • Cartridge-based ROMs generally do not need converting. Formats like .bin vs .md or .gen (Sega Genesis) or .sfc vs .smc (Super Nintendo) are generally just different filename extensions for the same format to simplify identifying shared formats across systems and avoid conflicts. They are basically interchangeable and you can simply rename them to a supported extension.
  • CD-based ROMs require certain supported formats…
    • If you have part of a supported multi-file ROM, but are missing the additional file(s) such as .cue , .ccd, .sub… to complete it, you may want to check out the archives at redump.org in order to restore it properly, or try replacing the ROM entirely from a different source.
    • If your filetypes are not supported, you may need to convert them with a disc image conversion app.
    • If your files have been restructured via ecm (ie. .bin.ecm) they will need to be reverted: unECM.

Converting & Editing Memory Cards

  • PSX memory card formats can be converted to .mcr and edited with apps like MemcardRex.

UnECM

Mac
  1. 1.
    Install Homebrew (if you don't have it) in Terminal with:
    /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
  2. 2.
    Install via Homebrew with: brew install ecm
  3. 3.
    Use unecm [path to .ecm file] to restore the original format.
The Terminal app can be found in: /Applications/Utilities
Windows
Use these Instructions, for now.

Archiving

Mac

Requirements:
Setup
  1. 1.
    Set your default app unarchiving (.zip, .7z, .rar, etc…) to Keka:
    1. 1.
      Select a single archive per filetype and File→Get Info (⌘I)
    2. 2.
      Change Open with: to Keka and hit Change All….
  2. 2.
    Open Keka and select .7z or .zip and the following settings:
    ☑️Solid archive .7z
    ☑️Exclude Mac resource forks
    ☑️Delete file(s) after compression
Archive
  1. 1.
    Drag & Drop ROM file (or files if multi-file ROM, such as .cue + .bin) onto Keka. Done.
Loose files only. DO NOT contain folder(s) within an archive (this is a known issue and will result in a crash)!

Windows

(coming later…)
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Batching

⚠️ This only applies to single file ROMs. DO NOT batch process multi-file ROMs using the methods below.
Mac
  1. 1.
    Setup and Requirements from Archiving.
If Unarchiving, first…
  1. 1.
    In Finder, Select all (⌘A) ROM archives and File→Open (⌘O) to unarchive all.
  2. 2.
    When complete, the Finder should still have all the archives selected. Delete them all (⌘␡).
If Renaming files…
  1. 1.
    In Finder, Select all (⌘A) ROMs and Right-Click to Rename items… Example: Replace Text: Find: .bin Replace with… .md
If Re-archiving…
  1. 1.
    In Keka, enable: ☑️Archive as single files
  2. 2.
    In Finder, Select all (⌘A) ROMs and drop them all onto Keka. Done.

Windows

If Renaming files…
  1. 1.
    Open the Command Prompt with ⊞R and type cmd
  2. 2.
    Enter cd and the [file-path] to a set of ROMs. [file-path]: right-click the folder and select "Properties" and apply via copy/paste.
  3. 3.
    Example: rename *.bin *.md

⚠️ Known Issues

  • Folders within an archive will result in crash. Archive loose files only.
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🗯 If you are still stuck ask for help on our Discord.
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On this page
Supported Formats
ROMs
ROM Archives
Multi-file ROMs
Multi-disc Games
Converting Formats
Converting ROMs
Converting & Editing Memory Cards
UnECM
Archiving
Batching
⚠️ Known Issues