A number of third party tools for MAME to make system and software selection simpler are available. These tools are called “front-ends”, and there are far too many to list exhaustively here. Some are free, some are commercial – caveat emptor. Some older front-ends predate the merging of MAME and MESS and do not support the additional console, hand-held, and computer functionality inherited from MESS.

This following list is not an endorsement of any of these front-ends by the MAME team. It simply shows a number of commonly used free front-ends to provide a starting point.

QMC2 (multiple platforms)

Provides a graphical interface for configuring many of MAME’s settings and features. Also includes ROM management and media auditing features. Written in C++ using the Qt toolkit, the source code is on SourceForge.

Negatron (multiple platforms)

Negatron emphasises features for configuring emulated computers and consoles. Written in Java, the source code is on GitHub.

BletchMAME (multiple platforms)

BletchMAME takes advantage of MAME’s Lua scripting interface to integrate tightly and effectively replace MAME’s internal user interface. It has many useful features for home computer emulation. Written in C++, the source code is on GitHub.

IV/Play (Microsoft Windows)

A simple Windows program for launching systems in MAME. Written in C#, the source code is on GitHub.

Emu Loader (Microsoft Windows)

Emu Loader provides a Windows interface for launching systems in multiple emulators, including MAME, Supermodel and DEMUL. Written in Delphi Pascal, the source code is available on the download page.

Retrofire (Japanese, Microsoft Windows)

Provides a Japanese-language graphical interface for launching systems or software in MAME.

The MAME team will not provide support for issues with front-ends. For support, we suggest contacting the front-end author or asking on one of the popular MAME-friendly forums on the Internet.