User Manual/Quick Start

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If you want to contribute, send us a sample of text you'd write for the new manual, and we will consider adding you an account. You can work on the manual in the Wiki, but if you prefer, supplying us with HTML or TeX sources is fine, too (we will then translate them for the Wiki).

You can have a look at our TODO page for a list of tasks that need to be done.

2.1 Why should I use ScummVM?

ScummVM is a program which allows you to run certain classic graphical point-and-click adventure and role-playing games, provided you already have their data files. The clever part about this is that ScummVM just replaces the executables shipped with the game, allowing you to play them on systems for which they were never designed!

As it is not an emulator, it has no additional overhead and has been ported to systems with low resources such as Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast. In some games it also fixes bugs that were present in the original executable. ScummVM is under constant development. Improvements and additional supported games are added often.

See the Introduction section for more details.

2.2 Installing ScummVM

Downloading ScummVM
  • First of all, you need to obtain ScummVM. Proceed to this page and locate the platform on which you intend to run ScummVM. Download the appropriate version of ScummVM for that platform and install it.
  • The installation instructions differ for each platform. For Windows, the easiest way is to download the Windows Installer and execute it. For Mac OS X, download the Mac OS X Universal Disk Image, open it and copy the application to wherever you want (for example your Application folder). Detailed instructions for these and other platforms can be found in the Installing ScummVM section.

2.3 Setting up a game

Freeware Games
  • Your next step is to set up your adventure or role-playing game for use with ScummVM. It is time to dig out your precious floppies and CD's, or the files from digital distributors such as or Steam and copy the datafiles onto the media accessible from ScummVM (such as your hard disk or iPhone memory). In some cases, the data files are not directly accessible on the floppies or CDs and you will need to run the original installer. There are also special cases for multi-CD games where some files may need to be renamed. Detailed instructions can be found in the Installing a game for use with ScummVM section.
  • Alternatively, you can find games to purchase, or in some cases, even download for free on our where to get the games page. You can also download a game that is available for free from our game downloads page.

Extracting Flight of the Amazon Queen
  • If you downloaded a free game, or purchased a game from a digital distributor, you will need to install the game or extract the provided archive.

2.4 Adding a game to ScummVM

Empty Window of ScummVM
  • After you have followed the instructions above, your game should be ready to play. Now, launch ScummVM.
  • Click the Add Game button.

Adding Flight of the Amazon Queen
  • Browse to the directory that contains the game data file and click Choose. You must be inside the directory that contains the game data files (i.e. double click on it in the directory browser) before before clicking on the Choose button. Selecting the directory is not sufficient.

2.5 Configuring a game

Game Info
  • If ScummVM finds a compatible game in the directory you specify, it will show you a tabbed window with the game's basic info (ID, title, language etc.).

Configuring the game
  • If you like, adjust the game's settings to your taste by changing the graphics mode, sound volume and a number of other parameters (see Configuring a game in ScummVM).

Finished Configuring
  • When you are done preparing, click OK.

Changing Configuration
  • You can change the settings for the game at any time. To do so select the game in the ScummVM launcher and click on Edit Game.

2.6 Starting a game in ScummVM

Start Button
  • Make sure the desired game is selected on ScummVM's list and press Start.

  • And begin to enjoy reliving your memories, or creating new ones!
Flight of the Amazon Queen Intro

In-game Screenshot

2.7 Where to get help

If you need help running a supported game in ScummVM, first check the readme file (consult the User Manual main page for the readme files from the current release, in several different languages) and the list of frequently asked questions.

If you can't find information about your problem there, you can create a thread about your problem in the ScummVM forums. There are support forums for most platforms available, or if your platform isn't listed, or it isn't related to the port, feel free to post in the General Discussion forum. You can also ask for help on our IRC Channel #scummvm on There are detailed instructions on how to join our IRC channel on the IRC Channel page. If your question is related to development, you can also join our development list. Note that there may be periods of time in both the forum and the IRC channel when no one is around to answer your question, as ScummVM developers come from many different countries around the world, so they live in many different time zones.

Also note that ScummVM is under active development, and not all of the games that are included are fully supported, especially if you are using a daily build of our unstable branch. Please make sure that the game is marked as supported on the ScummVM compatibility list before posting your question, as there are bound to be problems in the games that are not supported, and as such we do not provide support on those games while support for them is still under active development.

If you think that your problem might be a bug in ScummVM, please report it. See Reporting bugs if you don't know yet how to do it.