Ever had a MAME game that has an unskippable ROM check screen or a title that takes ages loading up? You’ll be happy to know that these are entirely skippable. As I was picking out games for my MAME setup, I noticed a handful of titles that just took ages to load and figured, surely there must be a way to skip these. Not we’re not using frame skip or speed up, we’re gonna be using save states – here’s how we do it.

So for this tutorial I’m going to be using Big Blue front end (I’ve written about this before, see here and here). In Big Blue each game has a unique entry which means for an individual title, I can pass custom command line parameters that are only needed for that game. This matters as you only want to be able to do this for certain games as this trick won’t work globally for every title, and Big Blue’s list system allows for exactly that. This is NOT strictly a Big Blue tutorial it’s nothing fancy, if you can run command line parameters on an individual basis on your front-end, then this should be possible.

Using save states

We’re going to start a game, take a save state on where we want the title to load from, then pass parameters into our game list entry in Big Blue. So when we launch the game from Big Blue it will seamlessly start straight away with our save state. In addition we’re also going to skip the MAME nag / game info screen (which usually makes you hit ‘ok’ or left + right). I’m going to be using the game Batrider as an example.

  • Launch MAME.
  • Start the game of your choice (I’m using Batrider)
  • Let the game start.
  • At the precise moment you want to load your game from, press SHIFT + F7.
  • MAME will ask which slot you want to save in, press 1.
  • This will save the state in SLOT 1.
  • Quit MAME.
  • Go to your MAME base directory and find the folder called Sta
  • There should now be a folder of the title of the MAME game, go into that directory.
  • Confirm that there is indeed a save state for your game. It should be 1.sta
  • Go to your Big Blue folder.
  • Open up BigBlueConfig.exe (if you want to know how to setup Big Blue, see here).
  • Find the game (Batrider) in your list and double click it.
  • In command line parameters, put the following on the end:

-state 1 -skip_gameinfo

  • So the full command should look like this

batrider -state 1 -skip_gameinfo

  • The state parameter defines which save state to load, and skip_gameinfo bypasses the usually MAME nag screen.
  • Hit Save.
  • Launch Big Blue and test. It should now launch straight from your save state.

That's it

I found that quite a few Raizing shumps had a ROM system check before they start the actual game so this is where I had the inspiration from to write this tutorial. Also some CAVE shooters like DoDonPachi have a long ass notice screen that you can’t skip even if you put in coins or press start which annoyed the hell out of me too.

You can use this save state trick for any game at any point, it doesn’t have to skip a long intro. I’ve put a quick comparison of load times on the right here – you can cut straight to the action!

Hit me up in the comments section if you’re having issues and I’ll try my best to help you out.



Chad is someone who wishes arcades were still around. This also happens to be his site where he rambles on and on about games and emulation. He can also cook a mean cheese toastie.


  • Adam says:

    This is really great. Thanks for sharing!

  • Matt says:

    I agree this is great. I was thinking you could use this to make “virtual free play” modes for games without a free play option. So like Ghouls & Ghosts doesn’t have free play, but just make a save state with 99 credits preloaded or something.

    I have a set-up that is sort of console-focused but has some arcade games, and I didn’t want to mess with coin buttons, so I included only games that offer free play. What sucks is lots of great games don’t support it.

    • C D C R U Z E says:

      You can enable free play inside the service menu of the game your playing (MAME only) I save that in SRAM. But I *think* you can’t enable that globally for all MAME games.

  • Jimbo says:

    So you have to do this for each game? That would take FOREVER just on 100 of them. Is there no way to automate this?

    • C D C R U Z E says:

      Sadly no, its a very specific thing. There isn’t a lot of games where you would need to skip the main intro though.

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C D C R U Z E is ..

Someone who wants to ramble on about games, arcade, emulation and design. Maybe a few other things too.

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