Running DOS Games

Running DOS games is hardcore. Not, admittedly, as hardcore as text-based games, but up there. Unfortunately, in the last several iterations of the Windows operating system, DOS support has been provided only by emulation, and not at all on 64-bit systems.1 Your hardware configuration also determines how choppy/way-too-fast your game will render. How then, shall we play DOS games? Enter DOSBox.

You can check it out and get the link from our Recommended Software List. Once you’ve installed it, this is to help you how to customize DOSBox so it doesn’t have an annoying console window running in the background, and set it up for your DOS games folder, so you don’t have to mount it every time.

Simply create a shortcut to the .exe file, and then right-click on the shortcut, select ‘Properties,’ and edit the end of the ‘Target’ entry to include -noconsole -c “mount c ‘c:\DOS Games\'”. Replace C:\DOS Games with whatever directory is your games folder.

Note that you will still need to mount C: first by typing “C:” without quotes and hitting Enter. It should already be in your DOS directory due to our above hack. To install a game, open the zip archive or folder and run setup.exe or any other setup file if there is one. If everything is already extracted and ready to rock, you can simply navigate to that folder from within DOSBox, and run the game executable (e.g. keen4.exe).

To control the game speed, Ctrl+F7/8 lowers and raises the Cpu Cycles, and Ctrl+F11/12 lowers and raises the Frameskip. For more help getting things running and learning commands, type “intro” without quotes into the prompt and hit Enter.

Happy DOS gaming!

  1. See here for more info.
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