The Legend of Zelda franchise currently consists of 27 video games, with the first game released on the original Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1986. The latest game, Breath of the Wild, is a key title for the Nintendo Switch platform & a sequel is in the works as we speak. 

Zelda games are beloved by millions of people all over the world, but if you want to play them on a PC rather than a console, you’ll have to vì a bit of legwork.

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How khổng lồ Play the Legend of Zelda on Your PC

With the exception of a brief dalliance with the 3DO console in the 90s, all Legend of Zelda games are developed by Nintendo exclusively for their consoles. If you want to lớn play any of their games on a PC, your only option is khổng lồ emulate that console using special emulation software. Lớn accomplish this, you usually need some or all of these:

The correct emulation app.Additional files such as a copy of the console’s BIOS or plugin files for graphics và sound.A digital “dump” of the game data.A computer that meets the minimum requirements of the emulator & the title you wish to emulate.

Just because you have everything you technically need to emulate a Legend of Zelda game, that doesn’t mean you have the legal right to bởi vì it. There’s some additional homework you need to bởi before proceeding.


Legal Considerations

First, you must make sure that you know the legal rules around emulation wherever you live. Different countries & territories have different laws around the legality of emulation.

In some places, it’s legal to make backups of đoạn clip games that you have purchased. Modifying your console to lớn play these backups or using emulation to lớn play them on a PC may also be legal in such places.

In other places, it’s illegal to circumvent copy-protection measures on media such as clip games. So the very act of “ripping” a copy of a game can land you in hot water.

We can’t give you any legal advice; all we can say is that you should never accept blanket statements about the legality of emulation. Check what your rights are yourself, specific to your situation.

Picking the Right Emulator

There are numerous emulator choices out there. So it’s best khổng lồ take a stepwise approach to lớn find the right one:

Choose which Legend of Zelda trò chơi you want lớn play and note which console it was made for.List the emulators for that console after finding them with a search engine..Check which of these emulators have the highest compatibility rating for that particular Legend of Zelda game.

We’re going lớn use The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as an example. There are two versions of the game. One for the Nintendo Wii U và the other for the Nintendo Switch. We’re going with the Wii U version of the trò chơi for a few reasons:

Wii U emulation is much more mature & stable than Switch emulation.Dumping games from a Wii U is simpler than from a Switch.

The specific emulator we’ve chosen is Cemu, because its compatibility database lists Breath of the Wild as “Perfect.”

Finding a Playable Copy of the Game

Once you’ve found the right emulator, you need a physical or digital copy of the game.

You’ll need a physical copy of this trò chơi as well as access to lớn a customized Wii U console lớn create a game dump.

In the specific case of Cemu and Breath of the Wild, you’ll need lớn use a WiiU console with custom firmware lớn dump a copy of the game from a disc (or from a digital download) lớn a USB drive. The process is quite involved, but Cemu has a detailed game dumping guide that shows you exactly how to vị it.

If you don’t own the console in question, you can also enlist the help of a friend who does own the right equipment. You don’t always need lớn dump games khổng lồ emulate them. Consoles that use standard CD, DVD, or BluRay discs can often work from the appropriate PC optical drive. The Wii U uses a proprietary format, so inserting its disc into a computer drive won’t work. As such, the need lớn dump the game using a real Wii U becomes necessary.

How to Use an Emulator

Each specific emulator works somewhat differently, but all of them generally work the same. Using Cemu as our example, the steps are as follows:

Run Cemu.exe

At first startup, you’ll be asked khổng lồ specify the “mlc path” where all your saves, DLC, and app updates are stored. You can choose lớn specify nothing, and it will default to the Cemu folder.Next, specify the thư mục where your games are stored. Cemu automatically checks this folder to scan for new games.The graphics packs are optional extras that can help enhance games, but we’re going lớn skip that here. It’s not required to play the game or get it running.Select next once you are happy with your settings so far.

On this next screen, select Configure Input.
Set Emulate Controller to Wii U Gamepad. That’s because many Wii U games require the controller khổng lồ be the Wii U Gamepad.Under controller API, choose whichever suits you. We chose Xinput since we’re using an Xbox controller.Under Controller, select the controller that you want to lớn use.Select A and then press the button on your controller that you want to lớn use to emulate the A button on a Wii U gamepad.Repeat this for every control until you have mapped everything.Enter a name for this controller profile & save it. The Screen should now look like below.
Close the window and then choose any additional options of your choice on the getting started page. Once you are happy with your choices, select close.
Now, select tệp tin > Load

This is where things start to lớn diverge. You’ll notice that Cemu is looking for one of several tệp tin types such as Wud, Wux, ISO, Wad, or Rpx files. Which of these you need to mở cửa depends on the method of trò chơi dumping used.

In this case, it’s an Rpx file. So we simply select it và then select Open. That’s it! The trò chơi is now running on a PC.

Additional Tips

You may notice the first time you run a game in Cemu that there’s a notification about “shaders” being compiled. The first time you play the game, this will happen and only needs khổng lồ be done once per game.

On some lower-end computers, this might affect performance temporarily. It’s possible to download these shader caches that other users have uploaded to lớn skip over this slight annoyance, but it shouldn’t affect gameplay.

If you want khổng lồ enhance a given title, you can also download “graphics packs.” lớn access the community archive:

Select Options.Select Graphics PacksTick Installed Games to only tải về packs for games you have.Select Download latest community graphic packs.
Expand the options for the trò chơi in question.

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Tick the box next khổng lồ any modifications you’d like to try. For example, under Mods FPS++ allows for higher frame rates.

You can see the description of each option by clicking on its text. This is an example of how lớn play a Legend of Zelda trò chơi on PC. Have fun!