Most of us used emulators once or more when we wanted to play games from different platforms on our PC, and even though it’s not ethical if you played pirated games on them, no one will be knocking on your door.
And while emulators are popular, streaming emulator games on Twitch is sort of a grey area.
When using emulators on Twitch, remember that emulators are allowed only for original games (you cannot stream cracked or pirated ones). Also, because some games can have copyright-protected in-game sounds, it is best to mute the stream.
The Best Emulators for Playing Retro Games on Twitch
1. PCSX (for PS1/PS2)
2. Dolphin (for Gamecube and Wii)
3. Mupen64Plus/Project64/MelonDS/Snes9x (for Nintendo 64/Super Nintendo/DS)
4. Pantheon (for Atari 2600)
5. VisualBoyAdvance (for GameBoy)
So today I’ll try to answer the question can you stream emulators on Twitch? I’ll be explaining Twitch emulators policy and which emulators are okay to stream in what situation.
Table of Contents
The Legality of Emulators
Emulators on Twitch aren’t technically banned, and they are perfectly legal even if you’re not streaming. You can download any emulator online and it’s perfectly fine to use it to play games from your favorite console.
The real issue is using cracked and pirated console games on these emulators as they violate not only copyright problems and Twitch has strict DMCA rules which ban any use of cracked games.
Discontinued consoles, such as Sega Atari, which are full of copyrighted and non-copyrighted games that were made by amateurs back in the day should be avoided as it’s hard to pinpoint whether it is legal or not to broadcast someone’s work to a large audience, as the original creator might not be known.
This means that the act of playing any discontinued copyrighted game in the public domain is in fact illegal and won’t only get you banned on Twitch, but you might have legal issues if the creator calls you out.
But this doesn’t mean that emulators are banned from Twitch, as Twitch’s stance on emulation is quite straightforward – you can play emulated games from various consoles as long as the games are purchased or obtained legally and not pirated.
So to make a long story short – can I stream emulators on Twitch? – You can, however, one other problem emerges. The soundtrack on the games might not be copyright-free, and it’s best to stream the games without sound.
Related: Best Copyright Free Music for Twitch
Which Consoles Can You Use on Twitch?
So now that we know that streaming emulators on Twitch is legal for certain consoles and as long as you have the original games, we should take a look at which consoles you can use on Twitch.
These are not all the consoles use on Twitch, but all of these consoles have Twitch emulators that are legit and won’t cause you any problems if you want to stream them.
What Twitch Emulators Can I Use?
As the Internet is filled with tons of emulators, you can easily download whichever you want, but do know that a lot of them are actually viruses, so you might want to download legit emulators that have been reviewed and found safe by other users.
Some Twitch TV emulators that are popular for retro games and consoles include:
Any PCSX emulator, whether it is the PCSX2 for PS2 or the PCSX-R for PS1 is a legit emulator.
Dolphin emulator is great for both Gamecube and Wii platforms as well
The first ones are for Nintendo 64, the latter is great for Nintendo DS, and the Snes9x emulator is best for Super Nintendo.
Pantheon emulator is the best for Atari 2600.
VisualBoyAdvance is best for GameBoy.
All of these emulators are reviewed and are safe to download, but of course, if you have other emulators that you know aren’t a scam or full of viruses, you can use them as well.
How to Stream Emulators on Twitch?
Streaming emulators on Twitch is quite easy and it doesn’t differ from other streams you’d do on your PC. You just need to open up your emulator and select the game you want to stream.
Of course, preparation is key and you need to try out your emulator a couple of times off camera and see how well it looks on your screen before you actually start streaming.
Do note that some emulators don’t allow you to enter full-screen which is going to be a problem if you don’t want your viewers to squint while trying to enjoy your streams.
And lastly, emulators are usually used on PC, and cross-console emulators are rare, so if you already want to play an Atari game on your Xbox, you can purchase flashback games from the Microsoft store so you won’t even need an emulator.
Related: Best Games to Stream
Now that I’ve answered the question can you stream emulators on Twitch and you’ve learned the rules on how to do it without getting banned, you can now safely play your emulated games while streaming.
I hope this article was helpful for you and wish that you can now enjoy streaming your favorite retro games without any fear of getting in trouble.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are emulators safe?
If you download trusted emulators for your favorite retro consoles, there won’t be any harm to your PC, but you need to know which ones are legit and which ones are full of viruses. So it’s best to Google them and see the reviews.
2. Are emulators illegal?
Emulators aren’t illegal, but the games you play on them, if cracked or pirated, are. So you can freely download an emulator as long as you have the original game you want to play on it. You can still buy retro games online even if they’re discontinued.
3. Are emulators allowed on Twitch?
As I already answered the question of does Twitch allows emulators, you’re perfectly safe by using them and you won’t get banned. However, using cracked games will get you in trouble.
4. Can you get banned on Twitch for using an emulator?
Yes, you can. If you use an emulator to play a cracked or pirated retro game, Twitch will ban your account. However, because Twitch moderators aren’t so precise, you can get away sometimes, but it may not be worth the risk.