How to play MS-DOS games on Windows, Mac & Linux


How To Play MSDOS Games on Windows Mac Linux

While modern games keep getting better each day sometimes you simply can’t beat the classics, one platform which enjoyed many games back in it’s glory days was MS-DOS Microsoft’s command-line predecessor to Windows which powered computers of the day.

While most of these old games won’t run on modern versions of Windows or other operating systems such as macOS or Linux one can still enjoy these games without having to resort to using an old computer.

This guide will show you how to use a free opensource program called DOS-Box which is capable of emulating DOS and thus allows you to easily run your favorite games as well as some old programs within it.

Getting started



The first thing you going to want to do is download yourself a copy of DOS-Box from this page, this program is free to download and will allow you to be able to run various MS-DOS games directly on your computer.

Simply choose the download applicable to your computer, DOS-Box currently supports numerous platforms including: Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD as well as older operating systems like OS/2 and BeOS.

While pretty much all DOS games will work with the software some games may not be compatible, refer to this compatibility list which contains a list of all games supported by DOS-Box

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Once you have the program installed go ahead and open it up, you should see a screen that looks something like this:


At this point we are ready to start playing and just need to load up some games to run inside the emulator, the next section will cover some places where you can find various DOS titles.

Finding games

After getting Dos-box setup you will need to have some games on hand to run inside the program, here is a list of some different places to find DOS games to download/purchase:

1) Abandonware


First on the list is Abandonware which has a large collection of old DOS games available to download, these range from numerous categories including: puzzle, arcade, RPG and much more.

2) – Games section


The next place to find some retro games to download is the internet archive which contains a multitude of classic games available to download for free from this page.

All the games uploaded on here are contained in ZIP archives so make sure to use a program like 7-zip to extract the downloaded files or use the built-in file opener within your operating system.

3) RGB Classic Games (online game-play)


RGB Classic Games is a online catalog of different DOS games which can be played directly in the browser rather than downloading the game and running them in an emulator.

Enjoying your games!

Finally once you have found the game and downloaded it onto your computer you will need to open up DOS-Box and navigate to the the folder containing the game .EXE file. If your not familiar with DOS command-line syntax don’t worry because it’s rather simple to use.

Simply type the following:

mount c c:\dosgames\

Replace the “C:\Dosgames” text with the location of your game for example:

mount c C:\Users\Monkeybargaming\Desktop\MyGame\GAME.EXE

Alternatively you can also drag and drop the main .EXE file from your game folder onto the DOS-Box desktop shortcut to immediately launch the game without typing any commands.


I hope you have enjoyed this guide and found it useful to help relive some classic games, for more content like this be sure to read more content on the blog and check out selection of videos and leave your comments below with your favorite MS-DOS games.

*Image credits

Microsoft [MIT (]