Tutorial: Project M 3.6 (Super Smash Bros. Brawl Mod) on the Dolphin Wii Emulator v4.0.2

Project M

UPDATED on August 17, 2015 for the recent release of Project M version 3.6 Final!

Project M is an incredible mod for Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii which changes the gameplay to more closely resemble its more competitive, more skill-based, and faster predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee. Even though Project M is designed to be played on a genuine Wii console, it is possible to run Project M on the Dolphin Wii emulator on your Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux computer!


To begin, you will need to download the following files (Note that some of these programs are Windows-only):

Installing and Configuring Project M

  1. Begin by unzipping Dolphin somewhere on your hard drive, i.e. “C:\Games\Dolphin”
  2. Move your Super Smash Bros. Brawl NTSC ISO to a directory such as “C:\Games\Dolphin\ISOs”
  3. Run Dolphin.exe and set up the emulator to your liking.

These next steps assume you have run and set up your personal preferences within Dolphin, including settings such as controller mapping (I use an Xbox 360 controller), video options, and sound options.

  1. Extract the contents of “Dolphin-SDCard-Maker.zip” somewhere on your hard drive, i.e. “C:\Games\Dolphin\Tools\Dolphin SD Card Maker”
  2. Run EasyDolphinSDCard Maker.exe.
    1. Under “SD Card Size,” select a size of at least “512 MB.” I selected 2GB here.
    2. Click “Make virtual SDcard.”SD Card Maker
    3. Click OK on the dialog box that appears after a few seconds.
    4. A file called “sd.raw” will appear in your SD Card Maker directory.
  3. Extract the contents of Project M (likely “homebrew.zip”) somewhere on your hard drive, i.e. “C:\Games\Dolphin\Tools\Project M”
  4. InstallandrunWinImage.
    1. Click “File,” then “Open.”
    2. Navigate to your SD Card Maker directory.
    3. Double click “sd.raw.”
    4. Click “Image,” then “Inject a Folder.”
    5. Navigate to the folder where you extracted homebrew.zip. The correct folder likely contains the folders “apps,” “codes,” and “projectm,” depending on the version of Project: M you have downloaded. Press OK.
    6. Click “File,” then “Save.”
    7. Close WinImage
    8. Copy “sd.raw” to “<Your My Documents Folder>/Dolphin Emulator/Wii/”.
    9. For OS X users: The sd.raw file goes into “/Users/<Your User Folder>/Library/Application Support/Dolphin/Wii”. The library folder is hidden. If you can’t find it, you’ll need to go into terminal and type: “defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE” without quotes. To hide the folders again, simply type FALSE at the end instead.
  5. Extract the contents of the Gecko ZIP (likely “gecko1931.zip”) somewhere on your hard drive, i.e. “C:\Games\Dolphin\Tools\Gecko1931”
  6. Open Dolphin.
    1. Right-click “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” in your ISO list and select “Set as default ISO.” (If you don’t have Super Smash Bros. Brawl in your ISO list, make sure you have your ISO directory configured correctly within Dolphin.)
    2. Click “Config” at the top of the Dolphin window.
    3. Click the “Wii” tab at the top of this window.
    4. Check the box to the left of “Insert SD Card.”
    5. Press OK.
    6. Click the “Open” button at the top left of the Dolphin window.
    7. Navigate to your Gecko1931 directory.
    8. Double click the “Gecko1931” folder, then the “HBC” folder, then the “Gecko1931” folder.
    9. Double click “boot.elf.”boot.elf
    10. Press “OK” on the dialog box that likely appears.
  7. If you’ve done everything correctly so far, you’ll be inside Gecko OS. Note that you will not see the Project M logo inside Gecko, as recent versions of Project M have removed this background image.
  8. You will only have to do the following step once (Every other time you’ll be able to open the Gecko .ELF and press Start Game). Note that you must configure GCPad controls within Dolphin to be able to navigate within Gecko:
    1. Press Down on your D-Pad and press A when you have selected “Config Options.”
    2. Scroll down to “Gecko Hook Type” and press Right on your D-Pad until you see “VBI.” You shouldn’t have to touch any of the other options.
    3. Scroll down to “Save Config” and press A. Press B to return to the main Gecko OS screen.
  9. Scroll to “Start Game” and press A.

That’s it! If you’ve done everything correctly, you should be playing Project M. Enjoy!

Note that if you see a screen that tells you that you don’t have enough space left in the Wii System Memory, you can do one of two things: 1. Continue playing without saving, or 2. Download an NTSC Brawl save without custom stages from the Internet (or just download one from me by clicking here – make sure you unpack it first), open Dolphin –> “Tools” menu –> “Import Wii Save” –> Browse to the downloaded save and open it.

A friendly Reddit user by the name of beefforyou has posted a great tip on /r/SSBPM: After you have entered the “Versus” menu and changed the match options to suit your needs, save the emulator’s state by invoking the “Emulation” –> “Save State” –> “Slot One” menu option within Dolphin, or by pressing Shift + F1. Later, you can simply press F1 after starting emulation, and your game will be ready to play. Thanks, Beef!

Please leave a comment below if this tutorial helped you out or if you require assistance. I have verified these instructions multiple times – if you’re still having trouble getting Project: M working using Dolphin, please verify you have properly completed all of the above steps!

Posted in Gaming
1,012 comments on “Tutorial: Project M 3.6 (Super Smash Bros. Brawl Mod) on the Dolphin Wii Emulator v4.0.2
  1. griddori says:

    I seem to have done something wrong, I guess.
    Whenever I run the boot.elf and click “Launch Game” It just starts normal SSBB
    and nothing has broken or given me an error, and I check the guide at least 4 times now just reading through where I might have messed up, But nothing seems wrong.
    So I need help…

    • Zach says:

      What are your PC’s specs? Which version of Dolphin are you using? Are you using an NTSC or PAL version of SSBB? For a bit more confirmation that you’ve done everything correctly, could you please send me a screenshot of your main Dolphin window including the title bar? A screenshot of your sd.raw’s contents and location would be helpful as well.

      • griddori says:

        That’s Dolphin Main window and sd.raw location

        And my Copy of the Brawl ISO is NTSC
        Dolphin is 4.02

        PC Specs:
        Windows 7 Ultimate
        4 Processors: Intel Core i5-4430 CPU @ 3.00 GHz
        RAM: 8.00 GB
        64-bit Operating System

        • Zach says:

          Your sd.raw file is in the incorrect spot. Please re-read the entire guide, following every step exactly. Let me know if you have any questions about any step. Specifically, look at step 7.8 for the location of sd.raw.

  2. Gus Glasheen says:

    I followed every step and I have done this right once before but I tried to install the netplay version of PM so I uninstalled this one and the netplay one didn’t work so I tried to install this again and it just loads brawl P.S. my sd.raw is in the right directory

    • Zach says:

      If you’ve done this right once before, what did you do differently this time? Which directory is your sd.raw in?

  3. Greg says:

    Hi Zach, I’m wondering if you could help me out with this. I’ve followed the guide to precise measures, I believe, and I get up to launching the game when I get thrown an error. “Error: No DVD Found” This displays in Gecko, I’m using 3.6 Full, and the specified Dolphin version.

  4. cillianflood says:

    Everything’s good until I’m using winimage. Eventually it says a bunch of pcs cannot be injected because the image is full. Do I need to use a bigger SD card? I used 512 one like advised.

    • Zach says:

      Have you tried a bigger virtual SD card, like 2GB? If that doesn’t work, something else is wrong, and we can try other things.

  5. DatOneGuy says:

    What do I set my dvd root on?

  6. Rob Ge says:

    I’ve followed every step here so many times but when I run the boot.elf and the launch the game, it says “No SD codes found”. I downloaded everything from the links you posted, my Brawl ISO is from the USA version, but it seems to not work for me.

  7. cheez says:

    i cant find an iso of brawl. pls halp?

  8. SED HEP says:

    So i when i was using winimage, the SD.raw file wasnt showing up, so i made the sd file open by default in winimage, then when i was done (not knowing what type of file it was) made it open defaultly wiht java platform SE binary. I think this is why my game isnt working. Brawl runs fine, but i am unable to launch Project m… Please help

  9. fiddles says:

    It works pretty well but it keeps on crashing as I go in the smash screen.

  10. dirteedees says:

    dolphin 4.0.2
    winimg 9.0

    um how do post img

  11. This worked for me. Thank you very much!

  12. dirteedees says:

    Hello I have a problem as well I have followed the setup to a t but when I open the boot.elf file it just starts up brawl. I have the virtural sd card in the wii folder tha’ts in the sys folder of dolphin and I have injected the pm file into the vsd. I have a good iso and brawl iso is set a default. Soo idk where the problem could be coming from.

  13. AaronEA says:

    Hello, I got this working the first time but when I open the boot.elf from Gecko and select launch it choose to run brawl and not project M. Is there a different way to rerun this?

  14. john smith says:

    TL:DR Just successfully set this up on Windows 10 64bit for anyone concerned.

    used 64bit dolphin and winimage, same versions in article, 4.0.2 dolphin and 9.0 winimage – gecko1931 and sdcard maker both also worked.

  15. Shane says:

    So, Project M 3.6 now has its own “boot.elf” folder and I use that instead of Gecko since it works. But, after I launch the game, the launcher does not go to Brawl like Gecko does. And, speaking of Gecko, all that does is go to Brawl. Followed the steps exactly as you said, though had to create a “Wii” folder to put the “sd.raw” file into. Aside from that, all of it was pretty much as you explained, but Project M launcher will not launch Project M nor does Gecko do so.

    • Shane says:

      Alright, never mind. I found the actual “Wii” folder in the “Sys” folder. However, now it just stays on “Setting up drive..” for Gecko and still has no response on the Project M launcher.

      This was also after I put Dolphin into the “My Documents” folder as that was believed to be the correct folder for newer versions of the emulator. If it says “Setting up drive..” then that means that it must be working now, though.

      But, is there a way to just do this with the Project M launcher instead?

      • Shane says:

        Never mind…again. Forgot to check “Set as default ISO” after relocating it. Turns out, I got the “No SD Codes Found” error now and Gecko, once again, boots to Brawl with no modification whatsoever.

        • Zach says:

          It sounds like you’ve slapped a ton of bandaids on your installation of Dolphin and configuration of P: M. I’d recommend completely starting over and following the guide from the beginning.

          First of all, don’t install Dolphin to your My Documents folder. Once you run Dolphin for the first time, it’ll create a folder in My Documents called “Dolphin”.

  16. Wavekid says:

    I already know my issue. I didn’t make Brawl the default ISO. I’m new to this emulator stuff so please bear with me.
    I did download Brawl (from an unfamiliar source) and it works fine. I’m actually playing it right now. It runs great. I downloaded everything required from the links you provided, I did the steps perfect; but as I said, Brawl is not my default ISO.

    My issue is, I CAN’T make it the default ISO. If you wouldn’t mind clicking the Gyazo link to see my picture example, I think this would help explain. http://gyazo.com/ddedde2919298b3c6fb686d0d3e95ed4
    I can’t get Brawl to show up here in Dolphin, so I can’t get the option to right click to make it my default ISO.

    This is what my Brawl “ISO” file looks like. Again, I’m able to play it fine, it runs great; but it doesn’t show up in Dolphin.

    Would you happen to know a fix to this? Is there a place you suggest I download Brawl from?
    Thank you.

    • Zach says:

      Your ISO is probably totally fine. It looks like you don’t have the ISO in the correct directory.

      Open Dolphin, go to Options, then Configure, then the Paths directory. Move your Brawl ISO to the directory listed there. If there isn’t one, add one. Then it’ll show up in the list.

      Have fun!

  17. Omar Kamal says:

    Hello, i followed the steps correctly, but i got the ios 36 error, so i looked at the comments and fixed it with NUS downloader, and then started Gecko i got an error saying dolphin may hang,but in the main menu there was only 4 options:launch,config,about,exit, when i launched the game, it asked for a new save, and when i got the character selection screen, the game hangs after seconds, thank you.

    • Omar Kamal says:

      Just a note, am using Dolphin 3.5-1124 because all newer versions have extreme choppiness in sound and is a bit laggier.

      • Zach says:

        Sorry, I can’t help you if you’re using other versions of Dolphin. You should be able to improve performance in Dolphin 4.0.2 by tweaking the settings.

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