StellaDS Phoenix Edition

From GameBrew

StellaDS Phoenix Edition
AuthorDave Bernazzani (wavemotion)
Last Updated2021/11/06

StellaDS is an Atari 2600 console emulator for the DS/DSi, based on AlekMaul's StellaDS.

This is the Phoenix Edition with improvements of speed, compatibility and accuracy to the emulation on the DSi. It also added new features such as instruction manuals and high score support.


  • High level of compability to make games playable.
  • Paddle and Keypad emulation is included.
  • Improved emulator core for better performance:
    • Most games you remember fondly run nearly full speed on a DSi in native 133MHz mode.
    • For the older DS-LITE and DS-PHAT, only the more simple games are going to run close to full speed.


Note: To use this emulator, you must use compatibles rom with a26/bin format.

DIDL patch the StellaDS.nds file depending on the flash card (if it does not have auto-patching).

Copy it into a directory of your flash/(micro)SD/MMC card.

Put the a26/bin files where you want on your flashcard. If you are using Twilight Menu++, you may need to rename the .bin to .a26 in order to use.

User guide

When the emulator starts, click on the cartridge slot to choose a file.

Use Up/Down to select a file, then use A to load it.

Supported ROMS

See Comatiblity.txt for the list of the supported ROMS.

Generally these are going to be NTSC No-Intro roms (mostly developed for American market in the early days of video games).

PAL roms (that were later ported for Europe market) may cut off at the bottom of the screen and may not run at the right speed.

In other words while PAL is supported, you are generally going to get the most genuine Atari 2600 experience with NTSC roms.


D-Pad - Joystick

A/B/Y - Fire button

Select - Atari Select switch

Start - Atari Reset switch

X - Show FPS (Frames per Second)

L - Toggle Full Speed (no trottle to 60FPS)

R+D-Pad - Shift display offset in the D-PAD direction

L+D-Pad - Change Scaling of the Y-Screen (Up/Down scaling only)

L+R+A - Swap LCD top/bottom

Use Stylus on buttons for other actions on bottom screen.




Known issues

DPC+ games can't be emulated, that requires a coprocessor running at 70MHz (more than the speed of an original DS).


V4.5 2021/11/05

  • New sound output core - no more zingers.

V4.4 2021/08/22

  • Minor cleanups across the board. Improved AR cart speed by ~1FPS.
  • Added horizontal stretch - use the Left Shoulder + L/R D-Pad.
  • The Y button is now auto-fire.

V4.3 2021/08/09

  • Massive overhaul of the non-bank-switched engine so now the older DS-Lite and DS-Phat will run many games at full speed.

V4.2 2021/08/02

  • New overlay graphic for Star Raiders (plus manual).
  • A half dozen odd games got their controllers straightened out.
  • About 100 graphical tweaks for various games to make them look as good as possible.

V4.1 2021/07/28

  • Found another 1-2% speed up in TIA rendering.
  • Bumper Bash now plays correctly (you can use the shoulder buttons too).
  • Kool-Aid-Man now plays correctly.
  • Meltdown graphics improvements (but not fixed... but playable).
  • Alpha Beam, Big Bird and Cookie Monster games all work with joystick controls now.

V4.0 2021/07/24

  • Found another 3-5% speed up in TIA rendering! Official Frogger now at 60FPS.
  • Press and hold L+R+A to swap LCD screens.
  • Other minor cleanups and polish.

Release notes.


Thanks to:

  • Bradford W. Mott for Stella.
  • Alekmaul for porting Stella to the DS.
  • Robz for Twilight-Menu++ which rekindled emulation on the classic handheld.

External links