ScummVM Tutorial 1 – Getting started

ScummVM is a program which allows you to run certain classic graphical adventure games. You can think of it as being very similar to an emulator, though one that is specifically designed just for adventure games. On this page we will show you how to set up ScummVM and start using it. The process is similar for every ScummVM compatible game.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, check out this handy video tutorial. The video shows how to install a typical game and run it in ScummVM.



Installing ScummVM

To start running ScummVM games on your PC, the first step is, as you might expect, to download the latest version of the program. Visit this page and click on the big green Download ScummVM button. Install the program once it has finished downloading. We’ll assume that you are familiar with installing software. Once installed, ScummVM is ready to use, but we need to install the datafiles for our game before we can play it.

Installing data files

To install your adventure game title for use with ScummVM, do not use the installer provided on the CD or DVD. Instead, explore the contents of the disc in File Explorer or Windows Explorer. If the game you are installing is the only game on the disc, simply copy the entire contents of the disc to a folder on your hard drive. The folder can be at any location on your computer, you might want to use “C:\Games\ScummVM\(game name) for instance.

If the game you are installing is one of several on the disc, you should look for the sub-directory that contains the game data. You may need to do a little detective work or guesswork here if we don’t have a guide for your specific game.


Here the user has copied the files needed for the game "Secret of Monkey Island" to his hard drive.

Here the user has copied the files needed for the game “Secret of Monkey Island” to his hard drive.


Configuring ScummVM to play your game

Now that you have the games data files copied to your hard drive, you need to configure ScummVM by telling it where they are. Start the ScummVM program from your Start menu or Start screen. Click on “Add game…” Browse to the directory where you copied your games files and then click on “Choose”.


Selecting the Monkey Island data files for use in ScummVM.

Selecting the Monkey Island data files for use in ScummVM.


If you select the correct directory, ScummVM should detect the game and tell you the name of it. If this all matches correctly, click on “OK”. Your game should now appear in the list of games. To play it, simply click on “Start”. If you copied all the files correctly, the game should now start. If you receive a warning that CD audio tracks are missing then see the next tutorial where we show you how to copy them.

Other options

By clicking on the “Options” button on the main ScummVM window, you can change several settings. You may wish to put the program into full-screen mode, you can do this by selecting “Fullscreen mode” on the Graphics tab. Under “Graphics Mode” you can change several graphical filters that affect how the game looks on your monitor. See this page for more information on these filters.

No comments

Leave a Reply

Latest comments