Getting Started - How To Play NHL '94

This page provides instructions to get you up and going on your computer. You can follow this setup to learn how to play against the CPU, and also get you ready to play online any player who questions your uncanny NHL '94 skills!!!


  • Genesis: Windows PC - Running Windows 7, 8.x, 10 or a or Mac running OS X 10.7+
  • Controller/GamePad - USB or Bluetooth controller. Note, USB or a wireless (2.4GHz) controller is preferred. Bluetooth controllers do add some input lag.

Netplay Requirements:

  • High Speed Internet - Wired connection REQUIRED. Wifi connections tend to be very spotty, and are not recommended. There are a few solutions (like a Powerline adapter) that work in situations where you cannot run an ethernet wire.
  • Genesis: Netplay currently only works Windows-Windows PCs. Cross-platform play is currently not possible.
  • SNES: Netplay works cross-platform, so a Windows PC or a Mac will work.
  • Discord - Used for communication between players for netplay.

Join our NHL'94 Discord channel to stay up to date on all things NHL '94!!
Click here -

Windows Setup

This guide will help you set up the NHL'94 RetroArch 1.8.8 package on Windows. The download package includes files for both Genesis and SNES.

  • Step 1 - Download the RetroArch Package: Windows Link Download

  • Step 2 - Extract and Save Folder

    Extract the downloaded zip file and save the folder to a location you prefer. I recommend adding a shortcut to the desktop, or just saving the folder to the Desktop. Put it somewhere that is easily accessible.

    If you have a previous RetroArch NHL'94 package version installed, I suggest copying the "retroarch.cfg" file from the previous version to the new folder. This will preserve your settings. Also, I recommend moving over the ROMs folder as well. Then, delete the old RetroArch folder (drag it to the Recycling Bin).

Mac Setup

This guide will help you set up the NHL'94 RetroArch 1.8.8 package on Mac. The download package includes files for both Genesis and SNES, though currently only SNES netplay is supported.

  • Step 1 - Download the RetroArch Package: Mac Link Download

  • Step 2 - Mount and Open DMG File

    Double-click the downloaded DMG file (It should be located in your Downloads folder). You should see a disk icon called "RetroArch-Mac" on the Desktop. Double-click it to open.

  • Step 3 - Install RetroArch

    Retro Mac

    Follow instructions in the window. First, drag the RetroArch icon to the Applications folder. Second, open RetroArch. Depending on your security settings, you may need to open the Applications folder, right-click on the RetroArch app, and choose Open. After you open the app, wait about 5 seconds or so and then quit. This allows RetroArch to install the default configuration.

    After quitting, go back to the RetroArch-Mac image (see above), and drag the retroarch.cfg file, the ROMs folder, and the cores folder to the folders on the other side of the arrows.

    You may get Security messages that pop up, and it may not copy. In that case, I suggest right-clicking each "Drag folder" first, and choosing open. Then, when the security prompt opens again, choose Open. Once that is done for all the folders, proceed to dragging the items on the left to the folder on the right. Then, you can close the window, and drag the RetroArch-Mac disk on the Desktop to the Trash Can to Eject it. RetroArch is now installed, and can be run by going to the Applications folder and clicking on it (no need to right-click and Open anymore).

    To make sure everything installed correctly, you should have a RetroArch folder in your Documents folder. Inside the RetroArch folder, you should see a ROMs folder and a cores folder. Open them up and see if there are files present. If so, installation is complete.

    NOTE: Users of Mac OS Catalina and up may need to disable GateKeeper during install. Once you are done, you can re-enable it. If you have problems, please ask for help on the Discord server.

    If you have a previously installed version of the RetroArch NHL'94 package, then all you need to do is copy over the RetroArch app to Applications folder, and the cores to the "Drag cores here" folder. Do not copy over the retroarch.cfg file, as this will overwrite your previous settings.

RetroArch Setup

This part of the guide will help you get started on using RetroArch. Current version we are using is 1.8.8.

  • Step 1 - Start the RetroArch App

    Windows - Double-click on Retroarch.exe in the Retroarch-1.8.8 folder.

    Mac - Click on the RetroArch app in your Applications folder.

    This will start RetroArch. Feel free to make a shortcut to this file where you would like. You should be at the Main Menu screen. NOTE: Some of these images may look different than what your screen looks like. The instructions are the same.

    Navigation Controls:
    • Move Selection - Arrows on keyboard
    • Select - ENTER key
    • Back - Backspace key
    • Exit RetroArch - ESC key

    Main Menu
  • Step 2 - Controller Configuration

    RetroArch contains many common controller configuration files, so there is a very good chance your controller will work "out of the box". If this is the case, a similar message like the one shown below will be seen when you start RetroArch (as long as the controller is connected beforehand, or you will see it when you connect your controller after starting).

    If you see a message that says "controller not configured", you will need to configure it manually. Follow the instructions in the link here: Controller Config Link


  • Step 3 - Set Your User Name

    In RetroArch, go to Settings->User. Set a User Name. This only needs to be done once. Spaces are allowed, but do not use any special characters (like an underscore). Once you set it, please exit RetroArch and restart it so it saves your name.

  • Step 4 - Loading Core and Content

    RetroArch is a frontend for emulation. So, in order to emulate, we need "cores". The cores included with the package you downloaded are Genesis Plus GX (GPGX) for Genesis, and Snes9x for SNES. The first step we need to do is load the core. At the Main Menu, select "Load Core". Then, choose the core you would like to use (Genesis Plus GX for Genesis, Snes9x for SNES). Once you select the core, it should return you to the main menu, and you should see the core listed at the bottom of the screen.

    Once the core is loaded, we can now load the "content". The content, in our case, is the ROM. The ROMs in the package are located in the "ROMs" folder included in RetroArch, and are in 2 separate folders, Genesis and SNES. I recommend adding all new ROMs to these folders, for easy access in the future. Select "Load Content" from the Main Menu and you should see the following photo:

    Start Directory

    Select "Start directory", then select "Genesis" or "SNES", and select the ROM to play. Included in the package are the standard NHL '94 ROM, the playoff version (with a longer OT period), and a 2v2 ROM (2 skaters vs 2 skaters, good for 4 player play).

    What's nice about RetroArch is that you only will need to do this once per ROM. The next time you wish to load the ROM, instead of loading the core and content separately, you just need to go to "Load Recent" on the Main Menu, and select the ROM.

  • Step 5 - In Game Controls

    Quick Menu

    The Quick Menu (F1 key) during the game can be used to quit the game (Close Content), load or save a save state, restart, take a screenshot, start recording, and other options. It is also used to get back to the Main Menu (hit the Back button twice).

    Important Hotkeys:
    • Save State - F5
    • Load State - F4
    • Increase State Slot - F7
    • Decrease Save Slot - F6
    • Toggle Fullscreen - F key
    • Toggle netplay hosting - N key
    • Reset ROM - R key

    RetroArch is configured to automatically increment save state slots, so when saving a state, you do not need to hit F7 to increment to the next slot.

Netplay Guide

Please check this post on how to play against others via Netplay. - Link


Please check this post for some troubleshooting tips. - Link