Windows (WINE)

WINE allows you to play Windows games. Old and even recent games, 32-bit and 64-bit. Some open-source games are available in the free Batocera content store (from the EmulationStation menu, UPDATES & DOWNLOADSCONTENT DOWNLOADER)

The following links contain info about some games' compatibility with WINE:

It is recommended to use btrfs or ext4 for /userdata/ as WINE explains on their FAQ that some games won't run on a non-Linux native file system. Steam games are notoriously known to be unusable under WINE when using ntfs.

In Batocera v32 and higher there is a bug where WINE cannot run applications/games stored on a NAS. This can be worked around by not using a NAS for your saves folder.

This system scrapes metadata for the “pc” group and loads the windows set from the currently selected theme, if available.

  • Emulator: wine
  • Cores available: wine: lutris, wine: proton
  • Folder: /userdata/roms/windows
  • Accepted ROM formats: .pc, .exe, .wine, .wsquashfs, .wtgz

No Windows emulator in Batocera needs a BIOS file to run.

  • /userdata/roms/windows : installed windows game (both 32 and 64-bit).
  • /userdata/roms/windows_installers : .iso, .msi or setup.exe used to install games into /userdata/roms/windows.

There are 2 types of formats for a Windows game installer:

  • CD-ROM images: An *.iso file created from a game on a CD-ROM
  • Executable Installers: A *.exe or *.msi file, that usually contains “setup” or “install” in the name (in some cases, other files may be bundled with them)

In both cases, those files need to be put into the /userdata/roms/windows_installers folder. Once this is done, refresh the gamelist in EmulationStation, then go into the “Windows” system, select “Install a new game”, and run the installer.

After a screen telling you the configuration is being made, the installer should open up, it'll look the same way it does inside Windows.

Proceed to install the game as you normally would, as for the installation path, leave it to the default: The virtual C:\ Drive will be located at /userdata/roms/windows/<game_name>.wine/drive_c.

Once the installation is done, head over to the /userdata/roms/windows/<game_name>.wine folder, and edit the autorun.cmd accordingly.


DIR=drive_c/Program Files/xmoto 0.6.1
CMD=xmoto.exe --fullscreen

or if you have some spaces in the name of the game

DIR=drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Ubisoft/Rayman Origins
CMD="Rayman Origins.exe"

This .wine folder is called the wineprefix.

If you can't get the path working, try putting ./ before the path. Eg. DIR=./drive_c/Program Files/xmoto 0.6.1

Those games usually come as a game folder containing a *.exe file (or several) as well as other files and subfolders. They may also come as a *.zip file, if that is the case, unzip them first.

For those, there are two easy ways to handle them:

  • The EXE method: Just put the game folder into the /userdata/roms/windows, and refresh the gamelist in EmulationStation
  • The PC folder method (recommended): Rename the game folder as <game name>.pc (eg. Windlands.pc), put it into the /userdata/roms/windows, create a file named autorun.cmd directly into it, edit it so it points to the game executable.


If the *.exe of the game is directly in the .pc folder, and is called Windlands_Win_x64.exe, the autorun.cmd file should contain:


If the name of the executable contains specials characters or spaces however, be sure to put quotes around it, like so:

CMD="launch game.exe"

If the EXE is instead inside of a subfolder, the DIR command needs to be added first. For example, if the game is at Game name.pc/64bit/bin/folder with space in its name/Game name 64-bit.exe and requires special launch parameters:

DIR=64bit/bin/folder with space in its name
CMD="Game name 64-bit.exe" --fullscreen

The first time you run the game, a .wine folder will be created at /userdata/saves/windows.

This .wine folder is called the wineprefix.

WINE configuration

Standardized features available to all cores of this emulator: windows.videomode, windows.padtokeyboard

ES setting name batocera.conf_key Description ⇒ ES option key_value
DXVK windows.dxvk Converts the DirectX 9/10/11/12 calls to Vulkan. Should only be used on hardware that natively supports Vulkan.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
DXVK HUD windows.dxvk_hud See your FPS and version of Vulkan API/driver.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
ESYNC windows.esync Removes wineserver overhead for synchronization objects. Can increase performance for games that stress the CPU.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
FSYNC windows.fsync Enables stricter scheduling policies to improve frame rates and responsiveness. Can cause issues in certain apps.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
PBA windows.pba Implements a GL-free GPU heap allocator, vastly improving the speed of buffer maps.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
FSR windows.fsr AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution uses advanced scaling technologies to boost FPS by rendering the game at a lower resolution and then upscaling it.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
NVAPI windows.nvapi NVAPI is NVIDIA's core software that allows direct access to NVIDIA GPU.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
FPS LIMITER windows.fps_limit Sets the FPS limiter to 60. Required by some older titles.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
MF Installs Media Foundation, require by some apps which use the Microsoft-specific codecs for audio and video to run.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
VIRTUAL DESKTOP windows.virtual_desktop Define the resolution and a new dedicated window.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
ENABLE MOUSE windows.force_mouse Show the cursor.
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
ENABLE XIM windows.allow_xim Enable XIM support. (FIXME what's XIM?)
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
NO WRITE WATCH windows.no_write_watch Disable support for memory write watches in ntdll. (FIXME what is this used for?)
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
FORCE LARGE ADDRESS windows.force_large_adress Force WINE to run games with large address. (FIXME what is this used for?)
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
HEAP DELAY FREE windows.heap_delay_free Delay freeing some memory. (FIXME what is this used for?)
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
HIDE NVIDIA GPU windows.hide_nvidia_gpu Force Nvidia GPUs to always be reported as AMD GPUs. (FIXME what is this used for?)
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
ENABLE DEBUG windows.wine_debug Enable wine debug. (FIXME be more descriptive)
⇒ Off 0, On 1.

Advanced options will only be applied on the first launch of the game. Adjusting these values later will not do anything.

If discovered that the wrong settings were used, delete the game's installation from the saves/windows/<game> folder, set up the correct settings, and try launching it again.

Installed games can be converted into two other formats: TGZ and SquashFS. Batocera requires changing the extensions to *.wtgz and *.wsquashfs respectively. This conversion is doable via the command line. For TGZ:

batocera-wine windows wine2winetgz

or for SquashFS:

batocera-wine windows wine2squashfs

TGZ and SquashFS files cannot be written too (they are read-only). To work around this:

  • When a TGZ is detected, it is fully unzipped to the saves directory and a copy is created
  • If a SquashFS is detected instead, Batocera will create a new directory in saves/windows/<game>/ which saves the difference in files between the read-only SquashFS and what the game writes to its directory during execution.

Ordinarily, Batocera would just let the game directly write data to the roms/windows/<game>.wine/ folder when it wants to.

To reiterate, you would want to use:

  • wtgz for small games that make large writes (at least proportionally) where it makes more sense to just quickly repackage the game in order to keep things portable
  • wsquashfs for larger games that make small writes (such as save files only) where it doesn't make sense to rapidly duplicate it, as that would take too long/wear down the storage hardware too quickly

This makes it easier to remove and restore a game, as it won't be modified with every launch. Remember to keep track of your save directory as well!

For debugging purposes, if you want to launch a windows game from SSH, use the following commands:

export DISPLAY=:0.0
batocera-wine windows play /userdata/roms/windows/Windlands.pc

Where /userdata/roms/windows/Windlands.pc is the path to your game

Some games require tricks to run. For example, Age of King requires directplay if you want to play on network ( It can be installed automatically thanks to the tricks command.

export DISPLAY=:0.0
batocera-wine windows tricks /userdata/roms/windows/ directplay

You can find a list of WINEtricks commands and also read a bit more about winetricks and Batocera right here.

The other way to install dependencies inside a WINEprefix is by creating a folder in /userdata/system/wine/exe, and then putting the required executables inside, if you are on a 32-bits arch, install the 32-bits version, on a 64-bits arch, install both the 32 and 64 bits versions, for each one, a download SSH command will be given, the related licences for those is :

    • wget -P /userdata/system/wine/exe && 7zr x /userdata/system/wine/exe/directx.7z -o/userdata/system/wine/exe && rm /userdata/system/wine/exe/directx.7z

Once you have put the required .exe for the game, you can launch the game, and the dependencies will install themselves silently, once you closed the game, you need to rename the /userdata/system/wine/exe folder into something else, otherwise batocera will try to reinstall them each time you start a game.

To apply specific registry values for a given game, you can create a folder in /userdata/system/wine/regs and put the registry files (.reg) inside. Once the game is launched, it'll import the values contained in this file. Once you closed the game, you need to rename the /userdata/system/wine/regs folder into something else, otherwise Batocera will try to re-apply those changes each time you start a game.

Very hard to troubleshoot what exactly is going wrong for games that are failing to run in WINE. First check that it's on the spreadsheet as confirmed working before continuing troubleshooting, it might just be “borked” and will never work no matter what you try. You could also check the WineHQ application database.

Next, try launching the game via SSH, as that will give you some output in regards to the error it's encountering. This could lead you to discovering which WINEtrick you might need to employ.

If you discover which advanced system setting you need to adjust to get it working, be sure to delete its saves/windows/<game> folder first before trying again.

If you're still having issues, it might be worth checking to see if you could install the Steam version instead, as that allows the automatic use of Proton which may grant different results.

As above, but here you occasionally have more options. Check if the distributor/creator of the program offers a “portable” version, one that doesn't require writing files to the system directories and keeps everything self-contained. Some programs can be told to behave in a portable-like manner by having a portable.txt file present in their directory. Of course, for programs set up like this, you should not be using SquashFS as they require being able to write into their installed directory instead.

Sophisticated applications such as ones that require low-level access to hardware (such as drivers, patchers, kernels, complicated professional production software like compilers, etc.) may just not work due to the nature of WINE.

Try deleting the /userdata/system/Wine folder, then try running the game again. Wine may need to reinstall, so be patient.

For further troubleshooting, refer to the generic support pages.

  • systems/windows.txt
  • Last modified: 3 weeks ago
  • by atari