I am trying to play Super Smash Bros Brawl on the Dolphin Emulator but the speed of the game is incredibly slow.

What can I do to prevent this problem, so that I get faster character animations and movement?

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    Slow emulation usually happens on lower end PCs. Please add some more info to your question - specify what are the specs of your PC, what have you tried so far, etc. – JohnoBoy May 29 '13 at 7:39

Here are a few things you can do, to improve the speed on Dolphin: (Source: Dolphin Wiki Performance Guide)


  • General
    • Enable Dual Core checked. Usually enabled by default, improves performance on multi-core systems.
    • Enable Idle Skipping checked. Usually enabled by default.
    • JIT Recompiler (enabled by default) or JITIL experimental recompiler.
  • Audio
    • DSP HLE emulation
    • DSP on Dedicated Thread checked. Not recommended, according to the Devs.


  • General
  • Enhancements
    • Internal Resolution 1x Native
    • Anti-Aliasing None
    • Anisotropic Filtering 1x
    • Per-Pixel Lighting unchecked
  • Hacks
    • Skip EFB Access from CPU unchecked
    • Ignore Format Changes checked
    • EFB Copies Texture
    • Texture Cache Fast
    • External Frame Buffer -> Disable checked
    • OpenMP Texture Decoder checked

The bold options may greatly improve performance. Keep in mind, though, that some games require some options to be enabled/disabled, even if this would reduce performance. For example: Skip EFB Access from CPU is an option that greatly reduces emulation speed, but is needed for Super Mario Galaxy.

If messing around with these options do not help achieving a fast enough speed, you may always try this:

Emulation -> Frame Skipping increase the value

This improves the emulation speed, but also results in laggy animations (as a result of skipping frames). The higher the value, the faster the emulation and the laggier the animations will be.
Setting it to 1 or 2 is usually good enough.

If all else fail: Get a faster CPU.
According to the Devs, Dolphin does not benefit from more than 2 cores. Also: More GHz == better (Intel and AMD CPUs do not perform the same at the same clock speed, though, so you might want to keep that in mind before purchase).

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    I would argue that you're slightly off-track here. For something like an emulator, I've learned from personal experience that better GPUs (graphics processing units) are much more important than better CPUs. – Turtleweezard Jun 28 '13 at 20:54
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    @Turtleweezard I have an i7 3770k and a GTX 680. Monster Hunter Tri runs at 30 FPS and my GPU usage remains between 20% and 50% while my CPU is constantly at 25% (100% for 2 cores, which is the maximum Dolphin can use), so obviously my CPU is bottlenecking my GPU, and they're both high end. Also, Super Mario Galaxy is known to be one of the most CPU intensive games to emulate, as it requires a very CPU intensive feature. It is said, that you can't expect Galaxy to run at full speed, unless you OC your CPU to over 4GHz; 5GHz for AMD CPUs. – Nolonar Jun 28 '13 at 23:49
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    @Turtleweezard To back up my claim that a faster CPU is more important than a faster GPU, I've waded through the Dolphin forums and found this post, where a user says I have a 2010 Macbook Pro 15 inch OS x 10.8. With an i7-620m @ 2.66 and 3.33 Turbo boost. Also I have an Nvidia GeForce 330m with video memory 512mb and 8gb of DDR3 ram and asks if he can play the Metroid series. The answer is your CPU is a bit weak for Metroid Prime 1/2/3 no mention of the (low end) GPU being too slow. – Nolonar Jun 29 '13 at 0:20
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    Note: Direct3D9 shows up as deprecated in Dolphin 4.0. – Denilson Sá Maia Nov 14 '13 at 12:25
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    @DenilsonSá More on that. – KernelPanic Jan 10 '14 at 12:11

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