higan Emulator for Windows, macOS Download

Many people download SNES emulators because they want to play SNES games. However, you are better off installing a cross-platform emulator like higan that supports a variety of consoles. This way, you are not limited to one console. 

You can play games associated with everything from the Sega Mega Drive to the Game Boy Color. 

What is higan?

higan is a free emulator that was developed by a programmer called Near. It came out in 2004. The emulator was called Bsnes at the start, and it stood out because it attempted to use low-level cycle-accurate emulation to accurately emulate the original hardware of the Super Nintendo

Initially designed with Windows in mind, people were hesitant to embrace it because it required powerful hardware to run games consistently. Over time, as the emulator’s features grew, the author changed its name to ‘Higan’ which means ‘Hero of Fire’ to better suit the scope of the program. 

higan emulator

The author wanted Higan to deliver the most accurate emulation of the SNES possible, and he succeeded. However, besides the significant hardware requirements associated with the emulator, it also gained a reputation for having a steep learning curve. 

The interface was complex. It took the uninitiated a long while to configure the controls because Higan did not have a default keymap. While the emulator was available on OS X and Linux, players had to compile it themselves. 

Admittedly, the program had an active community that stood at the ready to guide new gamers who couldn’t make sense of the emulator. That being said, even the author admitted that Higan was too complicated, which is why he resurrected Bsnes, not as a sub-project of higan but as a separate emulator that could provide the same accuracy and performance without sacrificing the ease of use. 

higan Features

  • Save States
  • Integrated Games Database
  • Cross-Platform
  • Color Correction
  • Highly Accurate
  • Complex User Interface

How To Install higan?

Step 1. Download the Zip Folder

Step 2. Extract the files from the Zip Folder

Step 3. Run the .exe File to Launch higan

Download higan_v108-windows


Platformhigan nightly 2021-08-18Size
Source CodeSource code(tar.gz), Source code.zip

Other Versions

4.85 MBhigan-v110-linux-x86_64.zip
4.17 MBhigan-v110-macOS-x86_64.zip
4.11 MBhigan-v110-windows-x86_64.zip
3.81 MBSource code(zip)Source code(tar.gz)
  • Size: 3.1MB
  • Platform: Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, FreeBSD
  • Release date:  October 14, 2004, (Mar 4, 2020)
  • License: Freeware(Open-source)

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How To Use higan?

Step 1. Because the Higan Emulator supports multiple consoles, you have to select the console you want to use. You can do this by going to ‘Library’ and then ‘Nintendo’. From here, you can select a console you like

Step 2. Selecting the name of the console you loaded from the menu bar will open another menu that provides access to the controllers. This allows you to select the controller you want to use.

Step 3. The ‘Settings’ option in the menu allows you to adjust the video and audio settings.


Higan has a somewhat controversial history. Near (Previously called Byuu), died in 2021. He had spent years complaining about the harassment he was receiving from the internet. In 2019, Near retreated from the emulation arena for this very reason. After posting a suicidal note on Twitter in 2021, the programmer died.

But Near’s work lives on. Higan is still at the top of most people’s lists of the best SNES emulators in history. Though, many gamers will encourage you to use Bsnes because it has a friendlier interface.

Mukul is the Founder Of "Technogone" he has a very deep interest in all technology topics and games whatsoever. his passion, making ability make him stand apart from others.

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