Browse Your Games In Style – Even ROMs – With LaunchBox

Justin Pot 20-06-2014

Launch all of your games – be they PC titles or emulated classics – from one beautiful interface. LaunchBox makes it easy to browse – or show off! – your game collection.


You’re a gamer, and your PC offers quite the collection – but it’s scattered. Some of your games live in Steam, others you installed manually. Maybe you’ve set up DOSBox so you can get your old DOS games to run How To Get Old DOS Computer Games To Run On Windows 7 Read More , and you’ve probably got a couple of retro emulators for playing home consoles 10 Retro Emulators to Play Early 80s Home Consoles on Your PC (1981-1986) Read More . It’s awesome to have so many games, but it’s easy to forget where everything is; especially if you and a friend are deciding what to play.

That’s where LaunchBox comes in. From developer Jason Carr, this Windows app lets you browse all of your games in one place. You’ll see box art and metadata from TheGamesDB, letting you arrange titles however you like: by platform, alphabetically, release date and more. And fullscreen fanart for each title looks great, while giving you a taste of each game.

If you use your media center computer for gaming, this app is a must have. But it’s also great for your gaming rig, if you’re the sort of person who loves organizing things.

Your Games, Organized

Let’s be clear about something up front: LaunchBox isn’t an emulator. It can be used to launch emulated games, but you’ll need the actual emulators to do so. Think of LaunchBox as a way for you to put all of your games in one place to launch them quickly.



As you can see, the collection looks great. Distinct cover art makes it easy to browse visually, so you can just scroll and find the game you’re looking for. You can also sort the games however you like:


I like arranging by platform, but you might prefer using genre. It’s up to you. You can also filter your collection, excluding titles from particular platforms or genres. This flexibility means you shouldn’t have any trouble finding something to play.

Adding Games To LaunchBox

Adding games is simple. No, seriously: unlike some solutions, you won’t need a computer science degree to import things. Let’s start with a PC title. If you click “Add” you’ll see the following window:launchbox-add-blank


Start typing the name of the app in the top box, then hit “Enter” to run a search for the title. Pick the correct game, and LaunchBox will fill in the metadata for you:


You’ll need to add the path to the game yourself, so LaunchBox knows what to launch. You’ll also need to hit the “Download Art” button yourself, if you want art (you do). The art downloading tool is easy to use:



That’s it! You’ve added a game to your collection, and it looks great. The process for adding ROMs is similar, but you’ll need to tell LaunchBox where your emulators are.


Provide a path to your emulator, and mention which platform it emulators. You can (optionally) provide command line parameters, for doing things like launching in fullscreen mode.

Once you’ve added your emulator, you can add ROMs individually or mass import an entire folder.



How well this works depends in part on your ROMs, but it’s easy enough to clean up any problem games.

There’s also a simple way to add DOSbox titles, complete with custom scripts for mounting folders and launching the proper title. ScummVM, which emulates classic point and click games SCUMMVM - A Point-And-Click Adventure Game Emulator Read More , is also supported.

Are you a Steam user? Importing all your games from that service is automated, so be sure to do that too. Basically, if a game is on your PC, you can add it to LaunchBox.

Potential Uses?

So now you know what LaunchBox does. What we want to know is what you’ll use it for. We think it’s perfect for browsing your game collection on a media center PC, but what will you use LaunchBox for? Let’s hang out and talk this through in the comments, okay?

Related topics: Retro Gaming, Steam.

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  1. OnlyGeek
    June 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

    What are the benefits of Launchbox over Hyperspin?
    It kinda looks the Steam interface, which - no offense to the creator - it's not an compliment.

    • Justin P
      June 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      The main benefit is that it's much, much easier to use and set up.

    • JustGeek
      June 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      This is certainly true.
      I won't have access to my personal computer until the weekend, so I'm rather limited on what I can do right now - in terms of testing Launchbox, it's a no-go right now.
      But, for instance, does it run fullscreen, can you browse it using your joystick/controller?

    • Justin P
      June 25, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      It can run fullscreen, and you can browse using your joystick. In fact, that's how I personally use it.

    • OnlyGeek
      June 25, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      I'm going to try Launchbox as soon as possible then.
      Thanks for the info.

  2. Ahmed K
    June 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Does it work with NO CD fixes??

  3. Mauricio
    June 23, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Does't Gaming Evolved ( by AMD do the same? May be for Radeon cards only, though...

  4. Jason Carr
    June 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Hey Justin, thanks so much for this post! :)

    I'm the developer of LaunchBox; just wanted to say hi and that I appreciate the support.

    Let me know if you or anyone else have any requests. :)


    • LandRiders7th
      June 23, 2014 at 3:03 am

      Hey I'm not sure if you accept ideas.

      Is it possible that you can make this as an XBMC Addon/Extention and can supports other platforms like Linux?

    • Jason Carr
      June 23, 2014 at 3:44 am

      Hey LandRiders, I do plan on porting it to other platforms eventually, but unfortunately it's not an easy thing to do. So, yes, possible, and planned. Just probably not soon. :)

      For XBMC, I've thought about integrating it, but haven't yet. It probably wouldn't be too hard to launch it from XBMC though. But obviously full integration would of course take some serious work.

  5. snesfan
    June 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Is there something similar for OSX?

    • Chris
      June 21, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      Check out OpenEmu for OSX. Simply beautiful.

    • Justin P
      June 24, 2014 at 5:08 am

      Yeah, OpenEmu is seriously awesome but only for emulators – not the rest of your games. //

  6. X181141x
    June 21, 2014 at 4:24 am

    I like the idea! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Ben S
    June 20, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Looks awesome.

    Organization is one reason I always prefer to buy on Steam instead of Humble or GOG - because they're all nice and organized with images in one place. Files in a folder are way less exciting.

    I'll be trying this one out; as a lover of box art I think I'll be right at home.

    Nice find, man!

    • Justin P
      June 24, 2014 at 5:09 am

      I was pretty happy to find it, and am even happier to share it.