Atari 800 Emulator
How to Download and Play Classic Atari Game

The Atari800win Plus emulator lets you run 1980s-era Atari computer programs on your Windows PC. You run the programs in a window like the one shown here. It only takes a few minutes to download, set up, and run the emulator. These are the basic steps:  

1. Download the emulator software. 
2. Download the games (or other software). 
3. Configure the emulator. 
4. Play the game. 

Detailed instructions are provided below. 


Downloading the Emulator Software

To download and install the Atari800Win Plus emulator, follow these simple instructions.

  1. Go to the Downloads Jaskier/Atari800Win-Plus GitHub web site, and click the link that says "Atari800Win Plus"  In the dialog box, click Open. This downloads the .zip file and opens a file browser containing a folder called "Atari800Win Plus 4.1." Drag the folder to your desktop or some other convenient place. You might get a security warning; click OK.

  2. Open the new Atari800Win Plus 4.1 folder on your desktop. You should see a subfolder named Rom; open it. This folder is empty. You need to fill this folder with the Atari 800 ROM images.

  3. Go to the Atari800Win Plus The Atari 8-bit Emulator: News web site. Click the link that says In the dialog box, choose "[x] Open with [Windows Explorer (default)]," then click OK. In the file browser, you should see files name ATARIBAS.ROM, ATARIOSB.ROM, and so on. Choose "Extract all files" and navigate to your new Rom directory (Desktop > Atari800Win Plus 4.1 > Rom) and click OK, then Extract. The files should now be in your Rom folder.

  4. Navigate up one directory level to the Atari800Win Plus 4.1 folder. Double-click the Atari800Win.exe icon. Click the Run button (you might see a security warning in the dialog box). This should start the Atari 800 emulator. The Atari screen shows a message, "Sorry this program needs a real Atari/OS."

  5. Using the pull-down menu, choose Atari > ROM Images. In the dialog box, set XL/XE to the full name of the ATARIXL.ROM file and set BASIC to the full name of the ATARIBAS.ROM file. Click OK.

  6. Using the pull-down menu, choose Misc > File Associations. Put a check mark next to ATR and click OK. This will cause your .ATR files to run automatically when you click on them.
The Atari800win Plus emulator is now installed!

Downloading the Games

Follow the links below to download the desired games. Move each downloaded file into a folder. You only need one file, the ".ATR" file, for each game. I suggest trying Dog Daze Deluxe or Bumpomov's Dogs first.

Dog Daze Deluxe (file APX20264.ATR) watch demo
Bumpomov's Dogs (file APX20272.ATR) watch demo
Claim Jumper (file claimjumper.exe) watch demo
Dog Daze (file APX20069.ATR) watch demo
Other games and software (Pac-Man, Frogger, Shamus ...)

Save each downloaded file into your Atari800Win Plus 4.1 folder.

Note: You can rename the files to make them meaningful. For example, you can change APX20264.ATR to DogDazeDeluxe.ATR.

Configuring the Emulator Options

The emulator remembers your settings from session to session, so you only need to configure it once.

  1. From the pull-down menus of the Atari emulator, choose View > Graphics Options. In the dialog box, set the Display Mode to 672 x 480. A new dialog box warns you that the program might run slowly; Click OK. Then click OK in the Graphics Options dialog box.

  2. If you have an Atari joystick with a USB interface, connect it to a USB port. See Optional: Connect Atari Joysticks Through USB Port below. In that case, you can skip step 3 below.

  3. The emulator is configured by default to use the numeric keypad for the joystick controls. If that's what you want, skip this step and continue with Step 4. For a two-player game, or if your computer does not have a numeric keypad, you need to select the USB-connected joysticks or configure the keys to emulate the joysticks. For a two-player game, you can configure some keys on the left side of the keyboard to control the "left" player and the numeric keypad on the right, on the right, to control the "right" player. From the pull-down menus, choose Input > Joysticks. Configure the joystick controls as shown below. Set Joystick 1 to use Keyset A. Set Joystick 2 to use Numpad. Click the Keyset A button and then click OK in the warning dialog box; this opens the Configure Keyset A dialog box. Click on each button and type the corresponding key as indicated below, including the space bar for the Fire Button.
    Click OK in the Configure Keyset A dialog box, then click OK in the Joystick Options dialog box.

    If you don't have a numeric keypad, configure Joystick 1 to Keyset A and Joystick 2 to Keyset B. For Keyset B, use keys U I O, J K, and M, to emulate the direction keys and the Alt key to emulate the Fire button.

  4. From the pull-down menus, choose Atari > Disk Drives. Click the D1 button and select the name of the desired game. Then click OK.

  6. Press the F5 key, which serves as the Atari RESET key.
The Atari emulator is now configured to play the game!

Optional: Connect Atari Joysticks Through a USB Port

For full enjoyment of Atari computer games on your emulator, it's best to use real Atari joysticks rather than keyboard keys.

Retro-Bit USB Atari Joystick AdapterIf you have real Atari joysticks for Atari 400/800 computers or the Atari 2600 (VCS) game console, you can connect them to your computer using the Retro-Link Adapter USB Cable for Atari Controllers. I got mine from for $3 plus a small shipping charge. Maybe it was a clearance sale, because it's usually around $12. The adapter lets you connect up to two Atari joysticks through a single USB plug. The joystick connectors are a little loose; sometimes I have to jiggle the connector in the socket to make the joystick work properly.

Retro-Link Atari joystick replica with USB cableIf you don't already have Atari joysticks, you can buy newly manufactured replica joysticks with a USB cord for about $18 each, made by Retro-Link.

After you connect your joysticks, choose Input > Joysticks in the emulator menu. In the Joystick Options dialog box, use the pull-down menus to select the USB-connected  joysticks, then click OK.

Playing the Game

The F2 key serves as the Atari START key. Press it to start (or restart) the game.

The F4 key serves as the Atari OPTION key. To set the game options, press the F4 key before you start the game.

The F5 key serves as the Atari RESET key.

If you're using the keyboard keys to emulate the joystick controls:

Quick Notes on Each Game

Dog Daze Deluxe: Claim the blue fire hydrant before your opponent. To launch your bone, press the joystick button while running in the vertical or horizontal direction. If no one is using the other joystick, the computer takes over and plays against you. You can switch sides at any time; just take control of the other joystick. If you never use your bone, the computer-controlled dog will not use his either.

Bumpomov's Dogs: Hold down the key in the direction that you want your dog to move. The dog accelerates or slows down gradually. Pick up the dog biscuits and carry them back to your doghouse. You can carry no more than 30 dog biscuits and no more than two bones. Press your joystick button to launch your bone. If you "lean" against a wall during the launch, the bone follows along that wall.

Claim Jumper: The program is stored as an Atari executable (.exe) file rather than a disk image (.ATR) file. To run the program, choose File > Load Executable and select the file name, claimjumper.exe. Pick up the gold nugget, carry it to the assay office, and deposit the cash in your bank. Meanwhile, avoid the pursuing snakes or tumbleweeds. Pressing the joystick button drops your gold/cash, drops a snake egg or tumbleweed seed if you are standing still, or shoots a bullet if you are running.

Dog Daze: This is an older and simpler version of Dog Daze that launched my brief career as a computer game designer and programmer. Unless you are interested in the history of the game, play the Deluxe version instead.

If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me at my guest register page.

Back to Dog Daze home page

Dog Daze 1981 Gray Chang, Claim Jumper 1982 Synapse Software, Bumpomov's Dogs 1983 Gray Chang

Web page 2003-2014 Gray Chang.  Updated June 2014. 

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