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

Manufacturer

System

Supported Format(s) / Extensions

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 Engine SuperGrafx

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

  • Unsupported extension (.ext)? Try renaming it to a supported one, listed above. …to batch process an entire library (ie. change .bin.md and re-archive all), see Batching.

  • 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. 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. Install via Homebrew with: brew install ecm

  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. Set your default app unarchiving (.zip, .7z, .rar, etc…) to Keka:

    1. Select a single archive per filetype and File→Get Info (⌘I)

    2. Change Open with: to Keka and hit Change All….

  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. 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…)

Batching

⚠️ This only applies to single file ROMs. DO NOT batch process multi-file ROMs using the methods below.

Mac

  1. Setup and Requirements from Archiving.

If Unarchiving, first…

  1. In Finder, Select all (⌘A) ROM archives and File→Open (⌘O) to unarchive all.

  2. When complete, the Finder should still have all the archives selected. Delete them all (⌘␡).

If Renaming files…

  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. In Keka, enable: ☑️Archive as single files

  2. In Finder, Select all (⌘A) ROMs and drop them all onto Keka. Done.

Windows

If Renaming files…

  1. Open the Command Prompt with ⊞R and type cmd

  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. Example: rename *.bin *.md

⚠️ Known Issues

  • Folders within an archive will result in crash. Archive loose files only.

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