How to Play DOSBox: A Step-by-Step Guide for Retro Gaming Enthusiasts

How to Play DOSBox: A Step-by-Step Guide for Retro Gaming Enthusiasts


For retro gaming enthusiasts, playing old DOS games can be a nostalgic and enjoyable experience. But with modern computers and operating systems, running these classic games can be a challenge. That’s where DOSBox comes in. DOSBox is an emulator that allows you to run DOS games on your computer, recreating the gaming experience of the past. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to play DOS games using DOSBox.

Step 1: Download and Install DOSBox

The first step in playing DOS games with DOSBox is to download and install the emulator on your computer. You can find the latest version of DOSBox on the official website. Once you’ve downloaded the installer, run it and follow the on-screen instructions to install DOSBox on your computer.

Step 2: Find and Acquire DOS Games

The next step is to find and acquire the DOS games you want to play. While some old DOS games may be difficult to find, there are many websites and online communities dedicated to preserving and sharing these classic titles. Look for websites that offer legal downloads or abandonware versions of the games you’re interested in.

Step 3: Set Up DOSBox

After installing DOSBox and acquiring the games, it’s time to set up the emulator. Launch DOSBox and you’ll be greeted with a command prompt-like interface. To make things easier, create a folder on your computer where you’ll store your DOS games. Now, mount this folder as a virtual drive in DOSBox by typing the following command: mount C [folder path]. Replace [folder path] with the path to the folder you created.

Step 4: Install and Run DOS Games

With DOSBox set up, it’s time to install and run your DOS games. Navigate to the virtual drive you mounted in the previous step by typing the drive letter followed by a colon, such as C:. Now, locate the setup or install file for your game and run it. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the game into the virtual drive.

Step 5: Configure DOS Games

Once the game is installed, you may need to configure its settings in DOSBox. Most games will have a configuration file that you can edit to adjust various aspects such as sound, graphics, and controls. Consult the game’s documentation or online forums for instructions on how to modify the configuration file.

Step 6: Launch and Play DOS Games

Now that everything is set up, you’re ready to launch and play your DOS games. In DOSBox, navigate to the virtual drive where the game is installed and run the game’s executable file, usually named game.exe or something similar. The game should start, and you can now enjoy your retro gaming experience.

Additional Tips and Considerations

  • Remember to save your progress frequently, as many DOS games don’t have built-in save features. You can use the game’s own save system or take advantage of DOSBox’s ability to create save states.
  • If you’re experiencing performance issues, such as slow gameplay or sound glitches, you can adjust DOSBox’s settings to optimize performance. Experiment with the CPU cycles, frameskip, and sound options to find the best configuration for your system.
  • Some DOS games may require additional external files, such as sound or graphics drivers, to run properly. Make sure to download and install these files if necessary.
  • Keep in mind that while DOSBox is a versatile emulator, it may not be compatible with every DOS game. Some games may have compatibility issues or require specific workarounds. Consult online forums and communities for troubleshooting tips and solutions.


With DOSBox, retro gaming enthusiasts can revisit their favorite DOS games and experience the nostalgic charm of classic gaming. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to set up and play DOS games with ease. Enjoy the trip down memory lane and immerse yourself in the world of retro gaming!


1. What is DOSBox?

DOSBox is an emulator program that allows users to run DOS-based games and applications on modern operating systems.

2. How do I install DOSBox?

To install DOSBox, go to the official website and download the appropriate version for your operating system. Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.

3. How do I mount a directory in DOSBox?

To mount a directory in DOSBox, use the “mount” command followed by the drive letter and the directory path. For example, “mount c c:\games” will mount the “games” directory as the C drive.

4. Can I use DOSBox to run CD-ROM games?

Yes, you can use DOSBox to run CD-ROM games. You will need to mount the CD-ROM drive in DOSBox using the “mount” command and the appropriate drive letter.

5. How do I run a game or application in DOSBox?

To run a game or application in DOSBox, make sure you have mounted the necessary drives. Then, navigate to the game’s directory using the “cd” command and run the executable file.

6. How do I change the screen resolution in DOSBox?

To change the screen resolution in DOSBox, you can edit the configuration file. Open the DOSBox options file and modify the “windowresolution” entry with your desired resolution.

7. Can I use a game controller with DOSBox?

Yes, you can use a game controller with DOSBox. You will need to configure the controller settings in the DOSBox options file or use a third-party mapping tool.

8. How do I access the DOSBox configuration file?

To access the DOSBox configuration file, open the program’s installation directory and locate the file named “dosbox.conf.” You can modify this file using a text editor.

9. Can I save my game progress in DOSBox?

Yes, you can save your game progress in DOSBox. Most DOS games have a built-in save feature, and you can also use DOSBox’s save and load state functions.

10. How do I exit DOSBox?

To exit DOSBox, you can use the “exit” command, press Ctrl+F9, or close the program window. DOSBox will prompt you to save any changes made to the configuration file upon exiting.