How to build a MAME cabinet - A detailed guide and how to
Home - Step by step - Work Drawings and Artwork - Builders WikiFAQ - Specs - Email - Video - Links

MAME software guide









I 'm getting a lot of requests for some guidance on choosing and installing software for MAME cabinets... This is all you need to get started and make a functional software on your MAME cabinet. Installing and configuring the software is easier than you might think and there are guides for everything out there.

The OS - Operating System
With computers getting more and more powerful, there is no reason to choose DOS, Linux or Windows 98 anymore. The wise choice today would be Windows XP as it is a lot faster and less demanding than Windows Vista or Windows 7. Windows 7 is a close second though. Actually I like Windows 7 more than XP, it uses more time to boot, but it is just easier to work with. It's harder to hide though.

Different varieties of Windows XP and Windows 7
I recommend choosing one of the light, or "stripped down" versions of Windows XP or Windows 7. You can make such a version yourself by using nLite. nLite lets you strip down Windows XP and 7. Read about and download nLite here:

Download nLite here

Guide to nLite here

Another and easier way of stripping down the OS is downloading Tiny XP / Tiny 7. This version is already stripped down and lets you boot faster while using less memory and hard disk space. BEWARE! While nLite is totally legal as it requires a legal copy of Windows XP, Tiny XP is illegal! I will not give you any links or help you find a copy of Tiny XP! I recommed using nLite. Having said that, Tiny XP is still less consuming than a nLited version.

Windows 7 Starter edition with a few tweaks is also a good choice.

The Frontend
A frontend is a graphically overlay for your OS. This frontend gives you a simple GUI (Graphical User Interface) that lets you choosing games, music and more with your simple joystic controls. Yes, you do not need a keyboard or mouse.

I will recommend two frontends for you at this time, none of them are free:


This is just my favourite front-end. Easy to configure and make layouts for. Lots and lots of advanced features and plug-ins. For instance, it can configure an UltraStik 360 automatically to the game launched. That's just brilliant! I used this for the Nanocade micro cabinet.

Download and more info here: MaLa FE
Get the Nanocade layout for MaLa here

Maximus Arcade
This is a simple but very sleek and nice looking frontend. The downside is that software customization it kept to a minimum. The upside is that it looks fantastic and you can easily make your own stunning themes.

I recommend this frontend to everyone who prefer looks before speed and customization.

Download and more info here: Maximus Arcade

This frontend isn't as pretty as Maximus. But it will do anything can think of and more so. This is the one to choose for the nerd ;)

Download and more info here: GameEX

Guide to GameEX here

Good luck and I will be updating this guide...


If some of the words are new to you, look them up in the Builders WiKi


[ Copyright koenigs 2011 ]