Stella logo

Screenshot of Stella
Operating system Windows
File size 1.658 KB Installer

Stella(Atari 2600) Emulator for Windows:

Originally developed for Linux, the emulator quickly became one of the best Atari 2600 emulators of Windows platforms as well, featuring an optimized C++ emulation speed, and also supporting gamepad, paddles and drivers emulations. With the consoles and games being nearly impossible to find, console emulation is indeed the only way for people to discover and rediscover one of the very first video game consoles. While there are other options like the z26 and the javatari emulators, Stella stood out by offering the highest list of compatibility with Atari 2600 games.

Minimum Requirements

If you are a casual gamer and will only be using the Stella Atari 2600 emulator, these requirements should be more than enough, ensuring a good performance for most games.

  • Windows 98 / NT / 2000
  • 1GHz Processor with SSE2 support
  • 128MB of RAM
  • DirectX 9 Compatible Video Card
  • OpenGL 1.2
  • A controller recommended
  • 2600-adaptor with for Atari 2600 paddles

Recommended Requirements

Tailored to offer the best emulation experience to Stella users, these requirements ensure the highest performance with the emulator, while also ensuring that the level of emulation with be as high as possible.

  • Windows XP or later releases
  • 2GHz Processor with SSE2 support
  • 256MB or RAM
  • DirectX 9 Compatible Video Card
  • OpenGL 2.0
  • A PC controller recommended
  • 2600-adaptor with for Atari 2600 paddles

Download and Installation

The Stella Atari 2600 emulator is distributed in three main versions.

Zip Archive File

Available as 32bit and 64bit versions, this installer is rather easy to use. Simply download the file from the official website of the emulator and extract the files to the folder of your choice. It is recommended to create a folder named “Stella” prior to the extraction of the archive file.

EXE installer

Also available in 32bit and 64bit versions, the EXE installer is only slightly harder to use than the ZIP Archive file. Basic computer knowledge are indeed required to locate the right installation folder and select/deselect the different post installation options (creation of start menu icon, desktop shortcut, etc).

Source Code Installer

Meant for advanced users only, the source code is meant for developers or those with the knowledge necessary to build and install the emulator from scratch.


The Stella Atari 2600 emulator comes with default settings meant to make the emulation more comfortable and accurate.

The configuration menu can easily be accessed by clicking on “Options”, with the following settings being available:

Video Settings

This option allows you to configure different settings in regards to the display of the emulated console and games. Notable ones include enabling and disabling the Fullscreen mood, selecting OpenGL as the Video Core, applying Filters and Pallettes, changing the Fullscreen Resolution and altering the Aspect Ratio, to cite a few.

Sound Settings

Easier to use than the Video Settings thanks to the little number of options available, the Sound Settings allow the users to disable or enable the sound, raise or lower the volume, or change the Sample Size and Frequency.

Input Settings

With a rather confusing name, this section allows users to map certain commands of the emulator to their keyboard. The most useful commands include “Reset” (allowing users to restart the emulated game), “Save State” (allowing users to save their progress in the game), “Load State” (allowing users to resume from a previous Save State), and Snapshot (allowing users to take a screenshot).

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