Xbox One was released as a direct competitor of PS4. Pegged with similar specs, the Microsoft console had an impressive start. It was followed by criticism for its low level of graphics and succeeded shortly by the Xbox One S in 2016.
The good news is that you can still play Xbox One games. By using an Xbox One emulator, you can run pretty much all the videogame titles that were developed for it.
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What is an Xbox One Emulator?
An Xbox One emulator is a computer application designed to emulate the Xbox’s hardware to play Xbox One games and ROMs on a Windows PC.
You can connect a generic or an original Xbox controller to play on the emulator. Emulation requires a tremendous amount of computing power, which is why not every machine is capable of running the emulator.
While all these emulators are working. One thing to note here is that no emulator is perfect, and each one has its shortcomings. It is up to you to decide which Xbox emulator suits you the best.
Best Xbox One Emulators
Xenia is an Xbox emulator that runs both Xbox 360 and Xbox One games. Initially developed for Xbox 360, it has backward compatibility, enabling it to emulate earlier versions of the Xbox.
The open-source emulator is constantly developing, so you can expect frequent updates. One thing to note is that the emulator works on Windows 8.1 or newer versions. Cross-platform is on the roadmap of the developers, with Linux progress showing promise.
Moving on to the second Xbox One emulator, we have something that runs only ONE game: Halo: Combat Evolved(NTSC version). Xeon had its short life span, showing that Xbox emulation could be done.
Talking about its feature, you get up to 1024 by 768 of the resolution, with a framerate setting. Controllers can be assigned to the keyboard if an actual controller is not available to be plugged in.
It would be best if you keep expectations low when it comes to the user interface. The UI feels dated and gives you Windows 98 vibes.
Inspired by XQEMU, Xemu has made great strides in Xbox emulation. Being a cross-platform application, you can run it on Windows 10 PC, macOS, and most Linux systems.
Once you launch the emulator, you are greeted by settings. In the settings box, there are options to locate your BIOS, Hard Disk image, amongst other important things.
After setting up the game file and other things, it will restart the app for loading up the game for you to play. You will need to repeat the process for every individual game.
Also Read – Best Xbox 360 Emulators for PC
Cxbx is amongst the most stable Xbox emulator available right now. You have heard of the original Cxbx, which is the inspiration behind the upgraded version. Similar to the original, the reloaded version can convert Xbox executables to Windows native executables.
With over 45% of 1050 games reaching in-game gameplay, the odds are looking good. You can check the compatibility from their dedicated page.
Moving on to the graphics, you can emulate the original Xbox pixel shaders. The Xbox SDK samples are a cakewalk too.
Dxbx is based on the code philosophy of Cxbx, with its kernel, controller emulation, amongst other things. Turn back the block as it supports Windows 2000 and above. The 64-bit version has stopped working, so you will have to run it in compatibility mode if you are using the newer OS generation.
Graphics rendering should not be a problem with the Direct 3D(HAL and REF) engine that works on almost all the games. The supported display resolution is FULL HD, 1920 by 1080 pixels.
Controllers can be connected, but the keys cannot be assigned to the keyboard. Users will have to rely on the default set keys for the keyboard.
While installing Dxbx, you also get Xbe explore, which helps you manage the XBE executable files in a better manner.
Play your favorite Xbox game in VR. Sounds interesting, right? That’s exactly what a bunch of developers from the Xenia project are determined to do.
The emulator is in the early development stage, currently capable of running on Windows XP and above.
Originally designed for the Xbox 360, it works well as an Xbox One emulator for PCs. Similar to Cxbx, it converts the Xbox native files into Windows native executable files. Run all the games by bypassing the virtual environment. Consequently, you are met with a smooth-running 64-bit gaming environment.
According to a Reddit thread, this Xbox emulator supports over 50 games. You will need 64-bit OS to run the app in the first place. The user interface feels out of place in some areas.
Content creators can take advantage of the seamless recording feature that lets your record your gameplay. Scale your graphics up to 4K resolution, along with anti-aliasing and texture filtering.
Apart from that, we also get quick save-states, a pnach patching system for cheating, and a built-in FPS limiter.
XQEMU is an early version of the XEMU emulator, which we mentioned earlier. It is an open-source, low-level system emulator for Xbox and Sega Chihiro.
For controller emulator, the app relies on SDL2-supported input devices for emulating an Xbox emulator. As for the keyboard users, you can refer to the input page for more information on the assigned keys, which cannot be modified.
Backed by tap networking, users can create a bridge of physical network devices to play with real Xbox devices. While the developers march on to provide a more stable Xbox emulator, you can check the games’ compatibility.
You probably have the Xbox One emulator of your choice now. Here is an Xbox 360 controller emulator that emulates other controllers as the native 360 controllers.
Check the support page to learn more about the games supported by the emulator. There are two different versions for 32-bit and 64-bit games, which can be downloaded separately. The downloads are zipped, containing an executable file that has to be run before playing the game.
Are Xbox One Emulators legal?
Emulation is not illegal per se, as have discussed in our earlier posts. As long as you own the copy of the game and dump the original BIOS from your old XBOX, you should be fine.
Copying, sharing game dumps, ROMs is strictly prohibited under piracy laws. You can always get old disk off eBay, Craigslist, etc., and start playing on an Xbox emulator.
Are Xbox One ROMs available for free?
Xbox one games can be purchased and downloaded from the official Xbox store. Downloading them from a third-party site can be an act of piracy.
Over to You
These were some of the best Xbox One emulators that actually work. Every one of them has different levels of reliability, compatibility and games support.
Make sure to make a backup of your original game dumps and BIOS before loading them into any of the emulator. Sometimes emulators can corrupt data files and you may lose your original copies.