How to Download and Play DOS Games on Android Using DOS Emulator

If you grew up playing PC games in the 90s, you’ll have fond memories of amazing games. dos games As Dangerous Dave, Prince of Persia, Xcom, Fallout, WWF: Wrestlemania, Doom, Wolfenstein, etc. We’re both surprised and saddened that none of these amazing games are ported to mobile, but DOS emulation lets you set them up yourself. In this article, we cover absolutely everything you will need to do, in detail, to set up how to play DOS games on an Android smartphone for free.

How to Play DOS Games for Free on Android

DOS emulation is definitely not for the faint-hearted. It takes time and effort to set up the emulator and customize the controls for each game. Another challenge is getting the game itself. You can buy most DOS games from GoG and download several for free from the web, but the process is tedious. The result, however, can be worth it since you can play amazing nostalgic games without microtransactions or ads.

Step 1: Download a DOS emulator

Simply put, an emulator is software that allows one system to behave like another. You have emulators that allow you to run Android apps on your PC and vice versa. Our recommended back emulator app is magic backpack box since it allows you to extensively customize the interface. The free version lets you add a single game to experiment with, but if you plan to emulate multiple games at once, you’ll need to purchase the app.

Image via DOS box
  • Install magic backbox on your Android device.
  • On the Welcome screen, press the button that has a green arrow to start the application.
  • Next, under Game layout and settings location, select Private.
  • Choose the theme you want, if you are new to all this, consider opting for the regular theme (the second).
  • Finally, tap the button with a green tick to complete the app setup.

Step 2: Download DOS games

Download the DOS game of your choice to your Android device. GOG.com is one of the most reliable sites to buy/download various DOS games (I don’t recommend steam because the steam version of DOS games can be modified to be compatible with Windows).

DOS games can vary greatly in size, so it’s hard to put your finger on them. Major titles will venture into GBs while some older classics might come in MBs. It’s a good idea to check the size of the game before downloading, to make sure there’s enough space on the phone to contain it.

Step 3: Extract and organize the files

Put the game in your internal storage (an SD card is not recommended) and in a folder. If it is in a compressed format, remember to extract it first. In this guide, we will use the /storage/emulated/0/Download/DOS path, where DOS is the folder where all games would be stored. Using folders to organize emulator files helps keep things tidy. It’s way better than having a bunch of big DOS game files strewn about random areas of your mobile storage.

Step 4: Load Games

  • Open the Magic Dosbox app and tap the more sign present in the middle left of your screen.
  • Now, under the Add dialog box, tap New game.
  • In the Configuration dialog box, give the game a Title. Now scroll down until you reach the Software section.
  • Press on Picking out under the main program section and navigate to the game .EXE case. This .exe will be responsible for running the selected DOS game on your Android device.
  • Below the main program is the Install section. Tap the Picking out and select the game .bat case. However, if there is no such .bat file, you can select the same .exe file you chose above. Leave all other fields as they are.
MagicDosbox-Adding-Game Free Android DOS Games
Picture via MagicDosBox

After tapping on it check box, there will be a Congratulations message. At this point, your game should also be running in the background. Close the Congratulations dialog and start playing your favorite DOS game on your Android device. If you want to optimize your gaming experience further, like adding virtual keys, hotkeys, gamepad or virtual joystick, keep reading.

Step 5: Familiarize yourself with controls and settings

The app has a set of important tools that for some reason are somewhat hidden. To view them, press the back button and it will open the general settings menu. It includes adding virtual keys, special keys (function keys, Alt, Shift, Enter, spacebar, etc.), mouse, keyboard, etc.

To play DOS emulator games on Android devices, you can consider adding a joystick or virtual keys. To do this, press and hold the screen for a few seconds. The general settings dialog box will then appear. Closing it will then open the Widgets section. Simply tap on the option you want and place it anywhere on your screen. Don’t forget to save your widgets by selecting each one individually and pressing the save (floppy disk) icon.

MagicDosbox-Playing-a-game Free Android DOS Games
Picture via MagicDosBox

Also, if you want to play any game in fullscreen mode, tap Fit screen (General Settings) > Size and Position > Change aspect ratio at Full screen and Ladder at 100%. Also change the orientation of your device to Countryside fashion.

It’s all you need to play any DOS game on your Android device. Although the setup may seem time-consuming, just follow all the given instructions and it will be a piece of cake for you. If you still have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

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