ROM Carts

This page describes ROM carts, which are custom game cartrdges that can be loaded with multiple "roms" for each system. I also briefly talk about Mod Chips for disc-based systems.

Intro:

ROM carts allow you to play almost every game on original hardware with the original controllers. Most games play flawlessly and work exactly like the original cartridge. Not only do I appreciate them for "try-before-you-buy", but I find them really convienient: I don't have to constantly pull games off a shelf, they're all right on one cartridge. Also, I don't risk damaging some of the really expensive and rare games I have. That being said (and I know this may sound weird), if I really like a game, I'll always buy the original. I don't know why it's important to me, it just is.

Below are all the ROM carts I know about for each system. I own all of the ones from Krikzz (plus a few others) but I haven't been able to test every single one on this page. Almost all of these ROM carts are SD-based, so you can just dump roms onto the card and not worry about annoying "flash utilities".

 

ROMS:

For obvious reasons, I can't provide links to ROMS.  Luckily, there are ROM packs available for many consoles that are excellent and easy to find.  Just google "Smokemonster rompacks" and it should be the first thing that comes up.  You'll need to register for a free account to see the links though.  If Smokemonster doesn't yet have a pack for your console, you can try googling "console romset" and see what comes up.

 

ROM Carts:

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES):

Everdrive N8 (NES version): http://krikzz.com/store/home/31-everdrive-n8-nes.html
Everdrive N8 (Famicom version): http://krikzz.com/store/home/32-everdrive-n8-famicom.html
PowerPak: http://www.retrousb.com/product_info.php?products_id=34

Famicom Disk System (FDS):

Magic Wild Card:  This produt is similar to the FDSStick (below), but allows you to store ROMS on an SD card instead of using flash software.  In my opinion, due to cost, the Magic Wild Card is only a better option if you require an SD card:  http://magicwildcard.com/

FDSStick: This is a USB-based rom cart that connects to the FDS RAM adapter and emulates the Famicom Disk Drive.  The cartridge-based ROM carts listed above can play FDS games as well, however the expansion audio is emulated through mappers.  Using this allows a more accurate re-creation of the disk.  Please see the video below for a full review:  http://3dscapture.com/fdsstick/


Super Nintendo:

Super Everdrive (no expansion chip support):  http://krikzz.com/store/home/13-super-everdrive-v2.html
SD2SNES (includes MSU audio support!): http://krikzz.com/store/home/27-sd2snes.html  More info on the SD2SNES can be found here:  http://www.retrorgb.com/sd2snes.html
SNES PowerPakhttp://www.retrousb.com/product_info.php?products_id=84
*Neo SNES Mythhttp://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=133&cat=1&page=1
Repo cart - You can make your own repo's (including ones with the FX chip) with carts like this:  https://mortoffgames.com/index.php?_a=product&product_id=516

Sega Genesis (also plays 32x and SMS games):

Mega Everdrive X3 (basic version): https://krikzz.com/store/home/45-mega-everdrive-v2.html
Mega Everdrive X5 (medium version): https://krikzz.com/store/home/44-mega-everdrive-v2.html
Mega Everdrive X7 (Full-featured version): http://krikzz.com/store/home/33-mega-everdrive-v2.html
*NEO Myth MD 3in1 (also supports FM sound for SMS games):  http://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=33&cat=3&page=1

Sega Master System:

Master Everdrive (FM Sound not supported): http://krikzz.com/store/home/36-master-ed.html
*Neo Sega MKiii (FM Sound suported, needs audio input): http://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=130&cat=3&page=1
**If you use a Genesis controller to play SMS games (via either the SMS or Genesis), some games won't work correctly, but you can actually patch those games to work with either controller.   Here's a link to instructions (free login required to download the patches).

N64:

Everdrive 64 (v2.5):  http://krikzz.com/store/home/30-everdrive-64-v25.html
Everdrive 64 (v3):  http://krikzz.com/store/home/28-everdrive-64-v3.html
64 Drive: http://64drive.retroactive.be 
*Neo Myth 64: http://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=115

N64 ROM carts handle save games differently for each game and some (like Donkey Kong) have save issues. Also, some games such as Banjo Tooie, Animal Forest and Jet Force Gemini need a crack to work or save properly. Here's a list of known saves for each game. If you're playing one of these games, it's a good idea to reaserch first to make sure it'll save properly on your ROM cart: http://n64.icequake.net/mirror/www.elitendo.com/n64/usa_boot_save_list.html
Here's a detailed rundown of the Everdrive 64 carts and how to use them: http://micro-64.com/features/everdrive64.shtml

TurboGrafx-16 (PC Engine):

Turbo Everdrivehttp://krikzz.com/store/home/35-turbo-everdrive-v24.html
*NeoFlash TG Cartshttp://www.ic2005.com/shop/home.php?cat=2
 

Atari Jaguar:

A Jaguar ROM cart is scheduled for release in 2017.  There are no pre-orders yet, however more information is available in this thread:  http://atariage.com/forums/topic/254003-upcoming-jaguar-sd-cartridge/page-1

There was another Jaguar ROM cart called the Skunkboard. It requres a connection to a PC and running a command line to load games. Also, saves are not supported. At the moment, there's no place to get them, so the above ROM cart is the only option.

Neo Geo (Both AES & MVS):
NeoSD:  https://www.neosdstore.com/shop/index.php
Darksoft's:  http://www.arcade-projects.com/forums/index.php?thread/40-neogeo-aes-multigame-cartridge-new-poll-included-please-vote/

Neo Geo Pocket / NGPC:
Neo Pocket SD:  http://www.retrohq.co.uk/neogeo-pocket-pre-order  (Review: https://youtu.be/XiMYWctK7LM)
Flashmasta (only 1 or 2 games at a time): http://www.flashmasta.com/purchase/

Intellivision:
LTO Flash:  http://ltoflash.leftturnonly.info/
Hive Multi-cart:  http://atariage.com/forums/topic/214212-hive-multi-cart-its-alive/page-11#entry3089313est

Game Boy / Game Boy Color: 
Everdrive GB: http://krikzz.com/store/home/8-everdrive-gb.html

Game Boy Advance:
Everdrive GBA x5: http://krikzz.com/store/home/42-everdrive-gba-x5.html

Game Gear:
Everdrive GG: http://krikzz.com/store/home/37-everdrive-gg.html

Atari 2600:
Harmony cart: http://harmony.atariage.com/order.html

Colecovision:
Atarimax for Coleco: http://www.atarimax.com/colecosd/documentation/

Vectrex:
This is a multi-cart, not a ROM cart. Worth mentioning though: http://vectrex.playntradeonline.com

Atari 5200:
Atarimax 5200: http://www.atarimax.com/5200sd/documentation/index.html

Atari Lynx:
Fully-functional ROM Cart:  http://atariage.com/forums/topic/250637-lynx-multi-card-preorders/
Holds one game at a time:  http://www.atari-shop.nl/homebrew.htm

Wonderswan:
This cart requires you to use your PC to load individual roms:  http://www.flashmasta.com/product/ws-flash-masta-usb-cartridge-for-wonderswan/

Virtual Boy:
Flash Boy Plus (one game at a time): http://www.planetvb.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=307

Atari 7800:
Mateos Atari 7800 Rewritable Multigame Cartridge:  http://www.vectrex.hackermesh.org/index.php/en/mvbd-mvmc-3/faq
There's also a Harmony cart currently in development:  http://atariage.com/forums/topic/230751-sd-cartridge-for-7800/page-1

MSX:
I believe this one only flashes one game at a time: http://www.msxcartridgeshop.com/

NDS:
R4i Gold RTS - Cheaper, but plays all games without any problem: http://www.nds-card.com/ProShow.asp?ProID=149
DSTWO - More powerful, so it can emulate GBA and SNES on a ds with pretty good compatibility: http://www.nds-card.com/ProShow.asp?ProID=135
The required files (WOOD R4) can be downloaded here: http://r4ids.cn/r4i-download-e.htm

3DS:
DS flash cards will either not work on 3DS system, or they will only play DS games. At the moment, the only way to actually play 3DS ROMS on a flash card is with a Gateway 3DS, or a Sky 3DS. Both of these flash cards are constantly being updated, so make sure to do some research before buying.

There's also a way to completely flash your 3DS and all versions are supported.  I haven't tried it myself yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing what it can do:  https://3ds.guide/

 

*I'm not a fan of any of the Neo Flash carts; They're outdated and support is terrible. The only advantage they offer is FM sound for SMS games (only relevant for the Master System and Genesis ROM carts). Some more notes:

- The software setup is a pain!!! You have to use a USB adapter and their special software to get games on the very small memory card they include, which is unlike almost every other ROM cart on this list.

- There is an SD card adapter available that makes it able to simply copy games onto an SD card of pretty much any size, but it's expensive (make sure to get this exact one):
http://www.ic2005.com/shop/product.php?productid=41&page=1

- There are enhanced menu's available that are much better then the menu's that come with the Neo Flash carts (you need to create an account and log in to see the downloads):
Software: https://www.neoflash.com/forum/index.php/topic,7645.msg54123.html
Instructions for Win 8/10 Installation: https://www.neoflash.com/forum/index.php?topic=7830.0
SMS Menu (Good for SD card): https://www.neoflash.com/forum/index.php/topic,7199.msg51938.html

 

Optical Drive Emulators (ODE's):
Optical Drive Emulators are devices that mimic the functionalty of an optical drive, but loads iso's from flash media.  They can be thought of as a "ROM cart for CD-based consoles":

3DO:
All 3DO's except the Goldstar will play CDr's without a mod chip.  There is an ODE avaialble for all models though, however there are currently problems with this website and I've had a few people tell me the seller is hard to work with.  Please proceed with caution: http://3do-renovation.ru/

Sega Dreamcast:
This device allows you to replace the CDROM Drive of your Dreamcast with an SD Card Reader, however most Dreamcast games already play CDr's without any modification (see below): https://gdemu.wordpress.com/ordering/ordering-gdemu/
Here's another ODE:  http://3do-renovation.ru/How_to_buy.htm

Sony Playstation:
The PS-IO will allow you to boot PS1 games from the serial port of your PS1, but requires a small modification inside the console: http://ps-io.com/store/psio-cartridge/

Sega Saturn:
This device allows you to replace the CDROM Drive of your Saturn with an SD Card Reader. There are different ones available, based on your model Saturn:
https://gdemu.wordpress.com/ordering/ordering-phoebe/
https://gdemu.wordpress.com/ordering/ordering-rhea/

There's also a plug-and-play solution in the works: http://assemblergames.com/l/threads/saturn-cd-block-rom-dumped.52419/

 

 

Using 64GB SD Cards:
Many ROM carts are compatbile with 32GB SD cards and some are even compatible with 64GB!  At the time of writing this, I can confirm the SD2SNES and Everdrive64 are compatible with 64GB cards.  Those are the most important too, as their libraries are either close to or over 32GB.  GBA Everdrives are compatible with some brands of 64GB MicroSD cards, but there's been tons of issues overall with SD support.  Here's a thread with mroe info:  http://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=5431.0

Unfortunately 64GB support can be tricky and some (like the ones mentioned above) require you to format the card as FAT32 and not exFAT.  If you have a Windows machine, it's easy to do with free software!:

Insert your SD or MicroSD card into your computer and load the SDFormatter software.  Make sure to hit the "option" button and set "FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT" to "ON".

- Download the fat32formatter software and extract it to a folder on your computer (I just used the root of my D:\ drive). 

- Open a DOS window, navigate to where you extracted the file and run the command "fat32format X:", replacing "X" with the drive letter of your SD card (mine was "F:" in the pictures below). 

- Hit enter after typing the command, then yes to all prompts.  If you get an error, close all Explorer windows (or any program accessing the card) and try again.  Click the picture below for a full-sized view. 

 

 

Mod Chips:

This page wouldn't be complete if I didn't at least mention Mod chips. Almost every disc-based pre-HD system has a mod-chip available to play burned games. You can find the best one for your model system by simply searching Google, but I thought I'd mention the CD-based systems that don't need mod chips: They just play burned discs with no modification. Please let me know if I missed any:

- TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine CD
- Sega CD
- 3DO (all versions except Goldstar)
- Philips CDi
- Neo Geo CD
- Sega Dreamcast (all versions pre-2001)
- Atari Jaguar CD (untested by me personally)
- Amiga CD32 (untested by me personally)

- Sony Playstation 2 - Can play backed up games from a hard drive and use the GSM Selector without a modchip using Free McBoot (you'll want to reference this page to see which games need patching). It can also be modded using just a hard drive.

Also, Arasoi from the Shmups forums tested using an SD card instead of a HDD, by using a 2.5" to 3.5" IDE adapter and an SD to 2.5" HDD adapter. He used this SD card with good results:


Burning Discs:
This is a great guide for the best way to burn your discs:
http://www.racketboy.com/retro/hacks/how-to-burn-retro-game-images-with-all-free-software

 

 

Conclusion:

I hope you found all the info you were looking for. If not, check out this page or this forum, as they list many options for systems I've never even heard of before. Once again, I'd like to mention that I own original cartridges (and discs) of all of my favorite games, but still use ROM carts (and mod chips) for either convienience, or in try-before-you-buy scenarios. I was reluctant to include this page on my website for a long time, as I was afraid people would buy these carts instead of collecting the original games. It wasn't until a few of my game collector friends assured me that would never happen: No matter what, game collectors will always want the originals.

 

 

Feel free to head back to the main page to see what else this site has to offer!