DosBox Turbo

DosBox Turbo


DosBox Turbo is a highly optimized custom Android Wrapper around the latest SVN version of DosBox. Starting with version 2.x.x, DosBox Turbo has been completely re-written to incorporate numerous new features and optimizations. The goal of DosBox Turbo is to be the most highly optimized and feature enhanced version of DosBox for Android. Some of the features of DosBox Turbo include:

Certain desktop features of DosBox were removed due to limitations of Android. Screen capture, serial and some other minor features were removed from this version.


Upon startup, you will be greeted with a DOS Prompt.

DosBox Turbo DOS Prompt

DosBox Turbo will attempt to mount the root of your SDCARD as the C: drive. If you need other mounting options, type intro mount at the prompt for further instructions.

Accessing the Settings Menu

DosBox Turbo has an innovative GUI that allows quick and easy access to the settings while getting out of the way for game play. There are two ways to access the Settings Menu in DosBox Turbo:

  1. Top Navigation Menu - With your finger at the top of your screen, swipe down and the transparent navigation menu will appear. The settings icon is accessible from this menu.
  2. Quick Settings Menu - With your finger at the top at the left edge of the screen, swipe right and the Quick Settings menu will appear on the left side of the screen.
Swipe Right to access Quick Menu

DosBox configuration can be done either in the Menu's, or via the dosbox.conf file located in the /sdcard directory. It is suggested that the in application menus are used for configuration settings, and that only advanced users should modify the dosbox.conf file. Any changes to the dosbox.conf file will override the settings in the application menu. Normally, you would copy your dos game from your PC to your device's SDCard, and then launch DosBox Turbo and configure/start the game.

If you are not familiar with DOS emulators or have never used DosBox, I would recommend you start by reading the DosBox Turbo for Newbies Guide and then move on to the DosBox Wiki as much of the information there applies here as well.

You can also play many games purchased through GOG on DosBox Turbo. Please refer to this helpful blog post for setup instructions.

Input Modes

There are (4) input modes offered in DosBox Turbo:

  1. Touchscreen Mouse - This is the default input mode and uses the touchscreen to emulate a mouse. In this mode, you can select either Absolute or Relative Mouse Tracking, as well as define what type of gesture you want for the left & right mouse buttons. If you want to use an External USB/Bluetooth Gamepad (w/o Analog) to emulate arrow keys and other keyboard buttons, you can also use this setting (ie. Sony Xperia Play, DPAD, Generic USB controllers, etc).
  2. Physical Mouse/Stylus - Use this option if you have a physical mouse/touchpad (ie. ASUS Transformer, USB or Bluetooth Mouse) and you want to use the physical mouse instead of the touchscreen mouse. This mode also supports the Samsung SPen stylus.
  3. Physical Joystick (depreciated) - If you have a compatible physical ANALOG joystick/gamepad attached to your device, you can use this option to enable it. Current supported are: Sony PS3 Controller, Some Thrustmaster Sticks, Xbox 360 Controller, and Many Generic USB Controllers. Physical Gamepads/joysticks automatically work now in the Touchscreen Mouse mode, and there is no need to switch to Physical Joystick mode unless you are on an Android version 2.2 or lower.
  4. Scroll Screen - This option disables mouse/joystick input. Moving your finger on the screen will scroll the screen. This option is mainly for text/keyboard input w/o mouse control. Great for the smaller screen/lower resolution devices and text only applications.

In addition to the above input modes, there are two overlay's that you can add to any screen:

Virtual Analog Joystick:

DosBox Turbo supports the use of an Analog Multi-Touch virtual Joystick in any of the above 4 input modes. The Virtual Joystick can also emulate a mouse if so desired. If you want to have a DPAD to emulate the Arrow/Cursor Keys, please read below. Most games have a joystick calibration setting you will have to use first. You can download the following DOS program to test your joystick: JOYTEST.ZIP

Virtual Keyboard:

DosBox Turbo does not limit you to a single keyboard input method. Instead, you can use any compatible Android Keyboard (see recommended keyboard table) for key input with DosBox Turbo.

Mouse Tracking

DosBox Turbo gives you fine control over the way you control the mouse:

  1. Absolute Tracking (experimental) - Try and make the DOS mouse pointer follow your finger on the touchscreen. Due to the way DOS implements mouse tracking, this option can never be compatible with 100% of games.
  2. Relative Tracking (default) - Move your finger on the touch screen to move the mouse pointer, the mouse will not track your finger.

In addition to setting the tracking mode, you can control the click behavior of the Touchscreen Mouse:

Gesture Mapping (for Touchscreen Mouse)

  1. Single Tap Action - A single tap on the touchscreen. Can be configured to trigger (nothing, left click or right click). Defaults to LEFT CLICK.
  2. Double Tap Action - A quick double tap on the touchscreen. Can be configured to trigger (nothing, left click, right click or left double click). Defaults to RIGHT CLICK.
  3. Two Finger Action - Place first finger on screen, and quickly tap with a 2nd finger. Can be configured to trigger (nothing, left click or right click). Defaults to NONE.
  4. Enable Long Press - Enable this option if you want to be able to hold the button after you perform any gesture above. For example, with this option enabled, if you double tap, and hold on the 2nd click, it will hold the right mouse button down.

In addition, DosBox Turbo supports external USB and Bluetooth mice. Furthermore, you can use the virtual joystick as a mouse by selecting the appropriate option in the Settings Menu.

Keyboard & Arrow / Cursor Keys

To access the keyboard on DosBox Turbo, click the keyboard icon on the top transparent menu, or select the keyboard option from the QuickMenu.

DosBox Turbo supports numerous methods of input, many of which provide cursor/arrow key support. Three common methods are:

  1. Physical Keyboard with Arrow/Cursor Keys - DosBox Turbo supports any Android compatible Bluetooth or USB Keyboard, ASUS transformer physical keyboard and most device slide-out/built-in keyboards. Any physical keyboard that supports arrow/cursor keys will work in DosBox Turbo.
  2. DPAD on your Device - Many Android phones come with a DPAD. By default, the dpad up/down/left/right movements are mapped to the Arrow keys in DOS (this can be configured). In addition, a USB/Bluetooth gamepad with a DPAD can be used in this manner as well.
  3. Virtual Keyboard w/Arrow Keys - DosBox Turbo implements the standard Android Input method. Most virtual keyboards adhere to this standard, and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. There are several keyboard replacements which will work just fine in DosBox Turbo. Just about any Android compatible Virtual Keyboard will work, however, not all of them support arrow/cursor keys:

Suggested Virtual Keyboards

Name Cost Notes
Gamepad Free Supports cursor keys, mappable buttons, function keys, and transparency. [Recommended]
Hacker's Keyboard Free Supports cursor keys, Functions Keys, and transparency. [Recommended for Text apps]
Perfect Keyboard Free Supports cursor keys, themes
Arrows Keyboard $0.99 Supports cursor keys
Keyboard with Control Key Free Supports cursor keys
Programmers Keyboard Free Supports cursor keys, and numpad
Go Keyboard Free Supports cursor keys and numpad.
Flit Keyboard + Extra Layout Free Supports cursor keys and transparency.
GameKeyboard $2.49 Supports cursor keys, mappable buttons, macros and transparency.
Warning GameKeyboard purposely blocks DosBox Turbo from working. NOT RECOMMENDED

Using Virtual GamePad

Gamepad is a free virtual keyboard/gamepad addon that lets you use the cursor keys as a virtual GamePad or DPad. Also, as of v0.95, it has the ability to emulate an Xbox 360 controller. The easiest way to use GamePad is to set it up to emulate an XBox 360 controller, and then perform all the keymapping within DosBox Turbo (or DosBox Manager) itself by selecting Xbox 360 as the game controller type. Note: Gamepad emulates the Directional Pad (4 or 8 way) and 4 or 6 buttons (A,B,X,Y,C,Z) of the XBox 360 controller.

Using External USB and Bluetooth Controllers

DosBox Turbo is compatible with any Android Compatible USB or Bluetooth Controller. The analog sticks can be used for Analog joystick and Mouse emulation in DosBox Turbo and can be configured in the Buttom Mapper->Analog Sticks in the settings menu. The Digital buttons on the controller can be configured in the Button Mapper. Please refer to the following video for further help:

Using MOGA Pocket Controller

DosBox Turbo supports the MOGA Pocket controllers through the free MOGA Universal Driver. The newer Pro version of the MOGA controllers have a Bluetooth USB mode which requires no external driver app and just works with DosBox Turbo. Please watch the following video for setup instructions for the MOGA Pocket.

Virtual Gamepad Video MOGA Pocket Controller