Xemu is a free and open-source emulator designed to accurately emulate the hardware and software of the Original Xbox.
It aims to faithfully reproduce the gaming experience of the console, ensuring that games run as close to their original state as possible. Xemu has made impressive progress in recent years, with continuous development and updates to improve compatibility, performance, and overall user experience.
By using Xemu, gamers can relive their favorite Original Xbox titles with improved visuals and performance on their modern PCs. It’s worth noting that the compatibility of specific games can vary, and some titles may require additional configuration or tweaks to run smoothly.
However, the Xemu community is passionate and dedicated, often providing support and troubleshooting advice to help fellow gamers get the most out of their emulation experience.
Now, why do gamers enjoy emulators so much? Well, there are a few reasons. First and foremost, emulators allow us to revisit our favorite classic games from older consoles that might not be readily available or supported anymore.
Think about it, some of the most iconic and nostalgia-inducing games were released on older platforms like the Original Xbox, and being able to play them again on modern systems is like unlocking a time capsule of gaming history.
Another reason gamers love emulators is the enhanced experience they provide. Emulators often come with features that can enhance the graphics and performance of older games.
You can crank up the resolution, apply anti-aliasing, and even enable texture filtering, resulting in sharper and more visually appealing graphics.
Additionally, emulators often support save states, which allow you to save your progress at any point in the game and load it later. This feature is a lifesaver, especially for games that didn’t have frequent or reliable save points back in the day.
Emulators also offer increased convenience and accessibility. Instead of having to dig out your old console and hunt down specific game discs, you can simply download the game files and load them up on your emulator. This makes it much easier to share and play games with friends, and it eliminates the need for physical media.
If you enjoyed this guide, we also have an Xbox 360 Emulator setup guide!
How To Install Xemu
Step 1. Folder Organisation
Let’s start by creating a neat and organized folder structure for Xemu. Create a main folder on your computer called “Xemu.” Inside this folder, create two additional folders named “Bios” and “Games.” This will help keep your emulator files, BIOS, game ROMs, and HDD images organized.
Step 2. Download the Xbox Bios
Firstly, you need to obtain the necessary BIOS files for Xemu to function properly. Ensure that you acquire the BIOS legally. Search for “Original Xbox BIOS” in your preferred search engine to find legitimate sources. Here’s a handy wiki source that we use.
We also recommend downloading the BIOS that is recommended by the official Xemu site. You can get them here. Download the folder named: Bios.Retail.4132.And.4627.XBOX-COMPLEX.rar
Once you have the BIOS files, place them inside the “Bios” folder you created earlier. Keep the BIOS files in their original format without extracting or modifying them. The BIOS files should be directly placed inside the “Bios” folder, without any additional subfolders.
You will of course need to extract these as they are ZIP/RAR files.
Your Bios folder should look like this when you have all the correct files:
Step 3. Download the HDD file
Next, you’ll need to obtain a Hard Disk Image (HDD) file. The HDD image file emulates the storage system of the Original Xbox. Search for “Original Xbox HDD image” or “Xbox HDD image” online to find legitimate sources where you can download the image file.
Download the Hard Disk Image (HDD) file from a reliable source. Make sure to select an image file compatible with Xemu. The file may come in various formats such as “.img” or “.bin.”
Here’s a great wiki source that we use.
Once the HDD image file is downloaded, extract the folder and place the file inside the main “Xemu” folder you created earlier. This will ensure all emulator-related files are stored together for easy access.
Your Xemu folder should look like this with the HHD file extracted and placed in it:
Step 4. Download Xemu Emulator
Now, proceed to download Xemu from the official website. Visit the Xemu website at https://xemu.app/. On the website, you should find a prominent “Download” button or section dedicated to downloading Xemu. Click on the appropriate link for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux).
After the download completes, locate the downloaded file on your computer and extract its contents. This is typically a ZIP file. Right-click on the file and choose the “Extract” or “Extract All” option. Select the location where you want to extract the files, which should be the main “Xemu” folder you created earlier.
Navigate to the folder where you extracted the files. Inside this folder, you’ll find the Xemu executable file along with other supporting files and folders.
Step 5. Launch Xemu
Double-click on the Xemu executable file to launch the emulator. You may encounter a security prompt or warning depending on your operating system. If prompted, click “Allow” or “Open” to proceed.
Step 6. First Time Configuration
When you first run the Xemu application. It will ask you to configure the settings.
Make sure you’re on the Settings tab and select MCPX Boot ROM. Now navigate to your Xemu folder and go into the Bios folder and select the file named: mcpx_1.0. Look at the image below for reference.
Next, follow the same procedure for each setting:
- Flash ROM: Open the setting and from the Bios folder, select the file: Complex_4627. You have now set up the Bios for your Xemu system.
- Hard Disk: Again, click on the Hard Disk option and navigate to your Xemu main folder. Select the HDD file you downloaded before named: xbox_hdd.qcow2
Additional Steps – Obtaining Games – XISO files
To play games on Xemu, you’ll need to obtain game ROMs or XISO files legally. Ensure that you own the original physical copy of the game or obtain the ROMs from legitimate sources. A quick Google search and we’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for. 😉
Copy the game ROM or XISO file to the “Games” folder within the main Xemu folder. This will keep all your game files in one place for easy loading within the emulator.
To run a game, Open Xemu and select Machine in the top left. From the drop-down menu, select, “Load Disc”. Click on that option and browse your computer to select the game file you want to play from the “Games” folder.
After selecting the game file, Xemu will load it, and you should be able to enjoy playing the game from the original Xbox console on your computer. If Xemu doesn’t load the game immediately, select Reset from the Machine menu or CTRL + R on your keyboard to reset the emulator.
That’s it! You’ve now installed Xemu, organized the files into the appropriate folders, and loaded a game ROM. Remember to comply with the legal requirements regarding BIOS, HDD image, and game ROMs.
Enjoy playing your favorite Original Xbox games using Xemu!
Related Questions – Xemu Troubleshooting
Does Xemu need a Bios?
Xemu needs bios in order to run the emulator. Bios are the console files needed to emulate the Original Xbox console.
Can my PC run Xemu?
Currently, Xemu supports Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. It required a GPU that supports Open GL 4.0. All modern GPUs should work.
Does Xemu save games?
Save your game as normal from the game pause menu. It should store your save for the next time you load it. You can also take Snapshots of the system. This is similar to Save states in other emulators.
Does xemu need ISO or XISO?
Xemu requires xiso files. These are Xbox Original unique ISO files. So only XISO format.