DosBox Turbo FAQ

Android 4.2+ (KitKat) SD-card issues

Android KitKat introduced a new restriction never before seen on Android: KitKat will not allow write access to the External Storage (ie. SDCard) anymore. This new "feature" breaks many apps. If you find your games are no longer working or you are unable to save your progress when using your External Storage on your device you have two options:

  1. Move your games to your Internal Storage (which does not have the same restriction).
  2. Move your games to the public directory that is allowed on External Storage (which differs by phone), but is usually: /{path to sdcard}/Downloads/ where "{path to sdcard}" is usually: /storage/extSdCard/ or /storage/sdcard/ (if the directory does not exist, you can create it).

DosBox Turbo 2.1.14+ automatically defaults to the allowed directory (if you have external storage) and will create it if it doesn't already exist. You may need to use the "Reset to defaults" settings option if you have an non-writable directory saved to your DosBox Turbo autoexec settings. If after following the above instructions, you are still defaulting to internal storage for the Download location, you may have to manually set your Download location to the external SD card.
Notice Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) finally fixes the SD-Card debacle. In Android 6.0, you can choose to use your SD-Card as "internal" memory, which allows full read/write access to the SD card.

Main FAQ

  1. HELP! My game is not working!
  2. Check the Compatability List for DosBox to see if your game is supported or needs special tweaks.
  3. Can I use a bluetooth mouse or my physical touchpad (Asus Transformer, etc)?
  4. Yes. As long as you are running Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) or higher, you can use external mice and joystick. Select Input->Physical Mouse in the configuration settings.
  5. Absolute Tracking is not following my finger perfectly.
  6. Some DOS programs change how the mouse behaves, either by taking relative movements and speeding up, or slowing down. There is no way to tell if a DOS program is going to change mouse behavior. If the DOS game changes the way the mouse works, absolute mode will no longer work, you will be forced to use relative mode. Absolute mode works for the majority of games, but not all.
  7. How do I use the right mouse button (right-click) on my Asus Transformer or bluetooth mouse?
  8. You will need to be running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher to use the right click function.
  9. Why is my physical ALT key behaving strange on my keyboard?
  10. In order to support both physical and virtual keyboards, the LEFT ALT keymapping needed to be changed. For physical keyboard users, either use the right ALT key, or turn on the option "Use physical ALT" in the Settings.
  11. I am having trouble typing < or > on my virtual keyboard.
  12. Please make sure that the setting "Use physical ALT" is disabled.
  13. How can I use my phone's optical trackpad or directional pad as mouse or joystick input?
  14. Click the option Enable DPad/Trackpad in the settings menu.
  15. My sound quality is poor (with skipping and/or static), what can I do? 
  16. That is a symptom of the CPU not having enough power to drive both the video & audio threads in sync.  There are a few things you can try:  (1) Turn off the "Turbo Cycles" option in the Settings Menu.  (2) Increase the Audio Pre-Buffer setting (default 15) to 20.  (3) Increase the Mixer Block Size (default 1024) to something higher.  Also, if you are not using "Auto" cycles: Try lowering the cycle rate so that your CPU can keep up with the audio processing.
  17. Mouse clicks are being mis-interpreted or not registering.
  18. That is sometimes a symptom of having too high of a cycle rate. Try lowering the cycle rate, or if lowering the cycle rate makes the game unplayable, you can use the recommended "Auto" Cycle speed.
  19. Help, the arrow keys on my keyboard are not working properly.
  20. Try disabling the Enable DPad/Trackpad setting.
  21. Can I change the screen size?
  22. Enable the Scale option by "menu->Scale->on". You can also rotate your device to landscape mode for a better screen fit, and adjust the scale factor in the Options menu.
  23. How can I improve performance??
  24. Read the performance page.
  25. Why is my dosbox.conf file always being overwritten?
  26. If you want manually edit the dosbox.conf file, you need to select "Manual Mode" in the DosBox preferences before making changes.
  27. Can I perform a mouse drag?
  28. Yes, in Touchscreen mouse mode, hold your finger for a long press, and then drag your finger.
  29. How do I press the buttons on the joystick?
  30. The Volume Up/Down keys emulate joystick buttons in Joystick mode, make sure it's enabled from Menu->Input->Vol Keys as buttons.
  31. How do I display the virtual joystick overlay on screen?
  32. Enabling overlays can adversely affect performance. First, enable joystick input mode, then enable the joystick overlay via Menu->Overlay->Show Overlay.
  33. How can I use arrow keys on the keyboard?
  34. You can use any Android keyboard with the emulator. There are several gaming keyboards with arrow keys available in the Android Market.
  35. Is the virtual joystick multi-touch capable?
  36. Yes. On Android 2.1+, the joystick supports full multi-touch. For users of Android 1.6 devices, unfortunately, your device does not support multi-touch.
  37. Help! My DOS game/application won't run!
  38. Check the compatability table on the DosBox website. DosBox Turbo is based upon DosBox 0.74. If the game shows as compatible, and it still does not run, please email me the settings you used.
  39. How much memory should I allocate in the Config? More is better, right?
  40. Wrong. Use the lowest memory setting that allows your game to run. In Doom/Heretic and Warcraft II this would be 8MB.
  41. How can I use the physical ALT key on my keyboard?
  42. In the Config menu, enable the setting called "Use Physical ALT". =)
  43. Does the app "GameKeyboard" work with DosBox Turbo?
  44. No. The author of this app is blocking its usage on DosBox Turbo for some reason.  There is nothing I can do about this.  I suggest you use an older version (1.4.0 is reported to work), or ask the author for a refund.
  45. I keep seeing the same 1 and 2 star commentors saying that DosBox Turbo sucks, you suck, or Fallout runs many times faster on some other "XXX DosBox".
  46. Lets just say that somebody must not be very happy that there is a new, popular DosBox emulator available. To learn the truth, read about Performance.
  47. Sometimes my Transformer Prime (or Transformer TF300T, TF700T or Infinity) will quit back to the Homescreen while playing XXX game.
  48. This is currently a known problem with the ICS ROM in the Transformer Prime/300T/Infinity, which exhibits similar behavior on several other games and emulators. You can follow the discussion thread for this problem at XDA-Developers Forum. One possible solution that has been proposed is to reboot the tablet before playing a game.  UPDATE [6/13/12]: Asus released a new ROM update (v0.28) for the Prime, which appears to still have the cache-coherency issue. Please try this work-around and let me know if it solves the problem for you. UPDATE [9/12/2012]: Reports indicate the latest Firmware for the Prime fix the instability issue; however, the 300T , 700T and Infinity may still be affected. Please e-mail me if you are affected, I have developed a custom work-around. UPDATE [9/27/2012]: DosBox Turbo 1.5.0 has my custom work-around for the ASUS firmware bug.  Please check the option "Disable Optimizations" in the settings if you have an ASUS device that is affected by the firmware bug.
  49. My Sony Xperia Tablet S will run games for about 5-10 minutes before crashing/exiting.
  50. Its been determined that the same cache-coherency bug that was affecting the ASUS ICS Rom (see Question 24) is also currently affecting the Sony ROM. ASUS Fixed this bug in their ROMS. A Bug report is being prepared and will be submitted to Sony. In the meantime, the same workaround works for the Sony Xperia Tablet: Settings->Optimizations and select "Disable All Optimizations".
  51. When I right-click with a external USB mouse, the right click does not work as expected.
  52. Right-click mouse support requires Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich).  Furthermore, if you are running ICS and have an Acer Iconia A500 tablet, there is a bug in the A500 ROM that maps the right click press to the BACK button instead of the right-click.  The bug report has been submitted to ACER and hopefully they fix it in the next ROM update.  A workaround for the A500 tablet is to map the right mouse click to either the volume keys or to the search key.
  53. My Samsung virtual keyboard is not working, I can't type anything!
  54. For some reason, some versions of the stock Samsung virtual keyboard do not work properly in some games/apps. A workaround is to install a 3rd party keyboard, such as Hacker's Keyboard or Gamepad Keyboard.
  55. How do I mount a new CD drive?
  56. Using the normal dosbox mount commands; however, since Android is Linux based, you will need to use linux pathnames as such:
    mount d /sdcard/dos/mycd -t cdrom
  57. I have a foreign keyboard (ie. QWERTZ) on my device, how can I make it recognize my keyboard layout?
  58. You can try using the DosBox KEYB command or modify the config file.
  59. I'm running Android 4.0+ (ICS) or Android 4.1+ (JB), DosBox Turbo keeps freezing/crashing when I try to enter the configuration/settings screen.
  60. It seems that some users of of Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich) and Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean) devices experience freezing when they have the option "Don't keep activities" enabled in the Developer Menu. This option is normally disabled by default, and enabling it is not recommended for end-users, as it can cause problems with many applications and slow down your device.  Please try disabling this option and let me know if it resolves the freezing for you.
  61. I get the message "ERROR: Don't keep activities Dev Option enabled!"
  62. See the above question and disable the "Don't Keep Activities" option under developer settings.
  63. I get the message "License Check failed, Cycle Speed is limited."
  64. On very rare occasions, right after a purchase, the Google Play cache can become corrupt and lose information about your last purchase. This is not a big problem and can easily be fixed by following these instructions. DosBox Turbo only checks the license once upon purchase/installation and then never again.
  65. Where is the settings button?? (or How can I access the settings menu)?
  66. You have three easy ways of accessing the DosBox Turbo Settings Menu.
    1. From Landscape Mode: from close to the top margin, swipe down to show the ActionBar. From the action bar, you can access the settings menu as well as many other options.
    2. From Portrait Mode: The actionbar will always be visible, and you can just access the settings menu by clicking the (3 dots) at the top.
    3. From either Portrait or Landscape: Place your finger near the left margin and swipe right, you'll have access to the DosBox QuickMenu.
  67. How do I swap CD's like in Desktop DosBox with CTRL-F4?
  68. In DosBox Turbo, you can switch CD's by going to the "Special Keys" menu and selecting Switch Disc. This should do the same thing as a CTRL-F4 in Desktop DosBox.


Most games that work on DosBox 0.74 will work just fine on DosBox Turbo.  Please check the DosBox Compatability List for specific titles.  Here is a list of popular DOS games:


Instructions & Setup:

Diablo 2

Very hard on the CPU.  Will need a next gen device to play.


Instructions & Setup:

Half-Life on Windows 98

Yes, it is possible on DosBox Turbo! You will need a very fast device; however, this is a very experimental, unsupported configuration.  No support can be given for this type of configuration.

Another Half-Life 1 instructional video, this time with sound:

Here's another updated video of Half-Life running on a Samsung Galaxy Note:

Age of Empires on Windows 98

Again, it is unsupported, yet very possible to run Age of Empires on DosBox Turbo!

If you have any hints/tips/instructions for setting up a specific game, feel free to e-mail me and I'll put a link here.