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Q. How do I get the ROMS?

A. There are a couple ways to do this. If you need or want the complete set the easiest way is to pay a few bucks and get the complete set on CD or DVD. There are burners that will do this for you and you just have to cover the cost of the materials and shipping. It's an amazing service, usually the price is right around $25 US and you will get the complete set of ROMs, CHDs, artwork, etc... Visit the Free Mame Roms Project for more details.

The second way to get the ROMs is to download them off one of the P2P services. The best way changes all of the time, so it's difficult to write directions that won't change over time. I'll lay out general instructions of the best way today to get the ROMs.

  1. Go to and look at their "Top Downloads" list. It's almost guaranteed that the current top P2P program will be in the top 3 on this list. Currently, the Azureus - BitTorrent Client is the winner.
  2. Depending on which P2P network you are using there will be a different way to search for the ROMs. I don't believe BitTorrent clients have a built in search (I may be wrong) so I've always gone to isohunt to search for media.
  3. The search is as simple as looking for "mame roms" and you should get a list of update packs or else the whole rom set.
  4. It helps to know what you want here, if you are looking for the complete set make sure you really need the CHD files before selecting the pack that includes the CHDs. Currently the complete ROM sets with CHDs is about 19 GB and without CHDs it's only 10 GB. There are only a handful of games that use CHDs so more than likely you would be okay without CHDs.
  5. Make sure you have your P2P client setup correctly with the correct ports open and then start your download. All P2P services that I know of penalize you for leaching, so make sure you are allowing uploads from your machine otherwise the download will take forever.
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