The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
LoZ Skyward Sword Box Art.jpg
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Series The Legend of Zelda
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s) EU November 18, 2011
NA November 20, 2011
JP November 23, 2011
KO November 24, 2011
RU November 25, 2011
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Input methods Wii MotionPlus + Nunchuk
Compatibility 5Stars5.pngEdit rating: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
GameIDs SOUE01, SOUK01, SOUP01, DAXP01, DAXE01, SOUJ01
See also...

Dolphin Forum thread
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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (ゼルダの伝説 スカイウォードソード, Zeruda no Densetsu: Sukaiwōdo Sōdo) is an action-adventure game for the Wii console and the sixteenth entry in the Legend of Zelda series. Nearly 5 years in development, the Skyward Sword departs from many of the traditional Zelda norms, featuring new controls, a new art style, and formula differences. Skyward Sword requires either the Wii MotionPlus add on or a Wii Remote Plus.

Skyward Sword heavily integrates the use of the Wii MotionPlus; swordplay, for instance, is integrated with the controller to a point where the player has one-to-one motion control over Link's sword and its attack directions. In contrast to earlier installments, battles do not focus solely on timing attacks, but also on their target, such as the direction in which enemies are hit. This also allows for the sword to be integrated into puzzles to a greater extent than in previous titles.

Emulation Information

Wii MotionPlus

This title requires the Wii MotionPlus add-on. Dolphin prior to 5.0-10056 was not capable of emulating the Wii MotionPlus; the only way to play this game was to use a real, physical Wii Remote with Wii MotionPlus add-on or a Wii Remote Plus controller. See issue 4282. Resolved with Wii MotionPlus emulation implemented in 5.0-10056 and later.


Map Colors

The map is rendered with fewer colored subsections than it should have. Refer issue 9070.

Wii Remote Calibration

The Wii Remote will easily lose calibration during swordplay and other rapid movements. There is no true fix for this, but pressing Down on the Wii Remote's Dpad while pointing at the sensor bar will quickly calibrate it (preferably in a menu, but calling Fi will fix it as well). The Toshiba Stack and the DolphinBar are capable of correcting for this error faster thanks to superior bluetooth, but they still get out of sync during heavy movement. Loading a save state while using the Wii Remote's accelerometer/IR functions (e.g. saving a state while flying with the Beetle and loading it) will also cause this. See issue 5751.


Banding may be present in shading on characters and surroundings. To fix it, turn on Force Texture Filtering.

Pellets/Arrows Aim

Enabling Skip EFB Access from CPU can prevent you from aiming properly.


Horizontal Black Line /w Non-Integral Internal Resolution

A thin (1px) black line appears when the Internal Resolution is set to Auto (Window Size) in the OpenGL, Direct3D 11 and 12 backends, appearing above the lower right quadrant of the screen. Use other Internal Resolution settings to avoid this problem, which is inherent to the hackish nature of fractional scaling and is unlikely to be fixed. See issue 6640.


Only configuration options for the best compatibility where they deviate from defaults are listed.


Config Setting Notes
Force Texture Filtering On Eliminates banding problems

Version Compatibility

The graph below charts the compatibility with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword since Dolphin's 2.0 release, listing revisions only where a compatibility change occurred.

5.0-15933 (current)
2.0 (r5384)
Compatibility can be assumed to align with the indicated revisions. However, compatibility may extend to prior revisions or compatibility gaps may exist within ranges indicated as compatible due to limited testing. Please update as appropriate.


This title has been tested on the environments listed below:

Test Entries
Revision OS Version CPU GPU Result Tester
3.0-1 Ubuntu 11.10 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.8GHz NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT Texcache-rewrite branch. Works fairly well keeping at about 30FPS except in "busy" areas where it can lost about 5FPS. Sometimes has a funny issues where menus fall down to 10FPS, but moves back to 30 when in game. Can't think of any outstanding graphical issues I can identify. Real Motion+, OpenGL, 2x Native, 0xAA, 16xAF, Skip EFB CPU OFF, EFB Copies RAM OFF, EFB Copies Virtual ON Eyecreate
r7718 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.7GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Perfect with 3D11, 1920*1080, without AA, Anisotropic Filter 16x, Native 3x.. But during some dialogues, the game slows... Sanitarium026
r7719 Windows 7 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3.6GHz ATI Radeon HD 4870 Works perfectly, 30FPS all the time (D3D11, 1280x1024, 2x Internal Resolution, 4x AA and 16X AF, with "Skip EFB Access to CPU" unticked all the time TheWing
r7719 Mac OS X 10.7.2 Intel Core i7 @ 3.4GHz AMD Radeon HD 6970 Works perfectly, 30FPS all the time, OpenGL plugin, 3x Native Internal Resolution,Anisotropic Filtering 16x, AA off. Skip EFB Access from CPU disabled. raphael
r7719 Mac OS X 10.6.8 Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.06GHz ATI Radeon HD 4670 25-30FPS, OpenGL plugin 2x Native Internal Resolution,Anisotropic Filtering 16x, AA off. I kept skip EFB Access from CPU enabled for a performance boost, without it enabled all areas dropped about 5FPS. This of course hinders aiming for the slingshot and bow and arrow, so I disabled it for a select few areas. Overall fully playable with all other suggested settings. gowsenberry
r7719 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.3GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 I'm using D3D11, 1920*1080, 4x Internal Resolution, no AA, 16x AF, with "Skip EFB Access to CPU" unchecked. The game works perfectly with a solid 30FPS all the time and no issues. Little detail: to obtain a perfect control of WiiMotion+ with my internal Bluetooth device (included on my motherboard P7P68 Pro REV 3.1) and fix the slowness of the pointer, I had to turn my PC tower to have the device in front of me. Since this change, the accuracy is like on Wii. iPoulpe
r7719 Windows 7 AMD Phenom II X4 955(Black Edition) @ 3.4GHz NVIDIA GeForce 560 GTX 30FPS all times. Works great! 1080P, D3D11, Internal Resolution 3x(1920x1584), No AA, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, Force Texture Filtering, unchecked Skip EFB Access from CPU, EFB copies disabled. SmeagleSmeagle
r7719 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-2700K @ 4.3GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Perfect, played through at 1080p from start to finish with 30FPS. Settings: DX11 renderer, 1920*1080, No AA, 16x Anisotropy, Internal Resolution: Auto (Window Size) Empyrien
r7729 Windows 7 Intel Core i7 @ 4.1GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Works near perfectly, Some scenes slow down to 25-30FPS but gameplay is near perfect. (D3D11, 3X Native, and 16X AF, with Skip EFB Access to CPU ON. Force Texture Filtering ON, Scaled EFB Copy ON Dormantreign
r7729 Windows 8 Intel Core i5-2500 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Works on 30FPS all the time (1920x1080, D3D11, 4X Native, 16X AF, 2x FXAA via driver, Fore Texture Filtering On, OpenMP on). Chrisblue
r7729 Windows 7 Intel Core i7 @ 4.1GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Works near perfectly, Some scenes slow down to 25-30FPS but gameplay is near perfect. (D3D11, 3X Native, and 16X AF, with Skip EFB Access to CPU ON. Force Texture Filtering ON, Scaled EFB Copy ON Dormantreign
3.0-199 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-930 @ 4.0GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Direct 3D11, 1920*1080, Anisotropic Filtering 16x, Skip EFB Access from CPU, EFB Copies set to RAM, Cache enabled. Depth of field banding issues resolved, shader issues resolved, very minimal slowdowns. Using a real Wii Remote with MotionPlus built in, along with a wireless sensor bar. Invena
3.0-201 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-2500K NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Direct 3D9, 1920*1080, Anisotropic Filtering 0-16x, Skip EFB Access from CPU, EFB Copies set to RAM, Cache enabled. Severe banding regardless of AF, AA, skip EFB access, EFB copies to ram/texture. Using a real Wii Remote+ with stock sensor bar. ermacaz
3.0-201 Windows 7 AMD Phenom II x4 965BE @ 3.6GHz AMD Radeon HD 6990 Direct 3D11, 1920*1080 4x Native, Anisotropic Filtering 16x, AA off, Skip EFB Access from CPU disabled, EFB Copies (Severe banding but full speed on Texture, Perfect visuals but 9FPS on RAM). Using a real Wii Remote+. Sensor bar only used for initial calibration paintball9
3.0-204 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-950 AMD Radeon HD 6970 30FPS with reglage recommended; 2.5x Native for Full Screen 1920x1080 Franck97
3.0-204 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.9GHz AMD Radeon HD 5830 Had troubles with FPS so tweaked a few things and managed a constant 30FPS. There are a few graphical glitches, but they only seem to happen during dialogue/cutscenes. D3D11, 2x Native, 0xAA, 16xAF, Force Texture Filtering, Skip EFB CPU, Ignore Format changes OFF, EFB Copies RAM - Enable Cache ON Ammorth
3.0-204 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-3930K @ 4GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 played in 1080p 30FPS constant settings: DX11, 4x native internal resolution, 16x anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing 8x. No slow yama27
3.0-204 Windows 7 Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 @ 2.5GHz ATI Radeon HD 4670 20-30FPS,D3D9, 1920*1080, Anisotropic Filtering 16x, AA off, 1x native,Skip EFB Access,EFB copies to texture, i have strange issue in some areas i have 30FPS but some time later performance keeps dropping 30-28-26-24FPS in the same area,when i restart emulator FPS back to normal 30 Bombado
3.0-208 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-950 @ 3.07GHz NVIDIA GeForce 460 1920*1080, No AA, 16x Anisotropy, 3x native int. res, EFB to Texture.

D3D11: Works well except when there are timestones in the loaded area, where Link will render behind objects and the terrain if it is within a certain distance of the camera. OpenGL: Also works well, except dynamic meshes (That is, the piles of sand that are around in Lanayuru) don't render at all. The only way to spot them is by looking for strange artifacts in the DoF "bands".

3.0-223 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.8GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 30FPS constant. D3D9, 1600x1200, 2.5x Native, 16X AF, No AA, EFB Texture. 3D Vision enabled, 19% separation in NVIDIA Control Panel, convergence set so that Link is at screen depth. 3D Vision has issues with water reflections, but lowering the separation minimizes this problem. Also, some minor double image problems in cutscenes and on polygon edges. Game looks wonderful in stereo 3D. zelin
3.0-223 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-950 @ 3.27GHz AMD Radeon HD 6870 x2 Perfect graphics and 30FPS everywhere. No problems at all.
3.0-224 Ubuntu 10.04 Intel Core i7-965 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT 15-30FPS, totally playable. Infrequent crashing, not enough to ruin the gameplay. - Enable dual core, lock threads to cores, 1x Native res, No anti-aliasing, 1x anisotropic, etc. a8ksh4
3.0-243 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-3570K @ 4.5GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Motion+ branch. Runs perfectly. Upgraded from a 955 BE and the improvement is enormous. It may dip below 30 at stock speeds (especially at night in Skyloft), but with an easily-achievable overclock (given a capable cooling system), it can run 30FPS through hell and high water. Anonymous
3.0-260 Linux 3.0 Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 @ 2.7GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 420 Motion+ branch. 2x IR, 20FPS in Skyloft, 21-26FPS outside, 24-30FPS in dungeons. No reproducible crashes, graphics issues or any other issues with the OpenGL plugin. Game is fully playable with the emulated motion+ controls. A few selected points in the game are very difficult with those, tough. scummos
3.0-314 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.9GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Perfect With OpenGL, 1920*1080p, 2.5x or 3x Native (internal resolution), 2x AA, 16x AF, with OpenMP & OpenCL ON, Cache on Texture (not RAM). NO slows ! constant 30FPS. (I'm Using JITIL experimental engine) Sanitarium026
3.0-370 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz ATI Radeon HD 4890 Haven't beaten it yet (at Lanayru's mining facility) but so far the game has played almost flawlessly, some slight lag here and there, but a lot of the time it's smooth. A few graphical glitches that are very minor. D3D9, 1080p 3x native, no AA, 8x AF, Skip EFB CPU off, EFB Copies "Texture", using DSP LLE recompiler. meta087
3.0-371 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.8GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Plays at 30FPS 100%. D3D11, 1920x1200. 3x Native, 16X AF, 8 samples (quality level 32) AA. No slowdowns. Character distorted when viewed in front of water and the usual doubling of character images during cutscenes. penguinswithpie
3.0-371 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-2600K @ 3.4GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Broken Graphics when using DX11 when inside the Pirate stronghold dungeon. Link appears to be sunk up to his waistline to the ground. Using DX9 with version 3.0-681 will solve this issue. Cry30
3.0-397 Windows 7 AMD Phenom II X6 1100T @ 3.3GHz AMD Radeon HD 6850 Game works fine, 30FPS almost every time, close to perfection with just a little of audio glitches, if u are out of range of a time shift orb link disappear or is "cut off" out of the screen in place with a time shift orb or a TS stone but the game is still playable. Aldaris
3.0-397 Windows 7 AMD Phenom II X4 960T @ 3.8GHz AMD Radeon HD 6870 Works great, 30FPS most all of the time since overclocking to 3.8GHz, turned off turboboost; also JITIL Experimental Recompiler (improved performance); Other Settings: 3x Native, AA: None, AF 4x, Unchecked Skip EFB Access from CPU, EFB Copies = Texture (I have not finished the game, but w/ AF, looks better than my real disc on real Wii). DiBBKa
3.0-458 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-2637M @ 1.7GHz NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M Played through the whole game now on my Alienware M11xR3. Game runs smooth with 25 - 30FPS except in large open areas where it can drop down to 15 - 20FPS. The game is totally playable this way. Settings: Direct3D11, 1366 x 768, V-sync, 1x Internal resolution, No AA, 2x filtering. Used a real Wii Remote with Motion+. DomiStyle
3.0-506 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.3GHz AMD Radeon HD 5850 x2 Game had stuttering and slowdowns during battles using dsound and DX11 plugin. But after switching to xaudio2 (resolves stuttering) and OpenGL(resolves slowdown), game runs flawlessly at 30FPS all the time no matter the in game situation. No graphical or any glitches so far at 29hours into the game. Using real wii remote with following settings: JITIL experimental, 1080p at 3x internal resolution (setting to auto causes shadow glitch), OpenCL and OpenMP, vsync, 16xAF, 0AA. LaysBBQ
3.0-589 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-760 @ 3.66GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Runs at full speed in all situations with settings: 2560 x 1440 @ 4x internal resolution, AA none, AF 16x, skip EFB unchecked, OpenMP checked, DSP HLE, XAudio2; using a real Wii Remote plus and Toshiba stack. DSP HLE sometimes results in audio glitches during cut scenes. With DSP LLE (on own thread) enabled, speed regularly drops to 90%, resulting in audio stutter. tuna
3.0-592 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.7GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti With new rev of Dolphin, the game runs Perfectly (Speed 100% VPS:60) with OpenGL (3x Native internal resolution, 1920*1080p, 16X AF, 4x AA, OpenCL & OpenMP ON, Texture, XAudio2 HLE. Sanitarium026
3.0-631 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 Fullspeed and runs great. DX11 and DSP-LLE will lag in some scenes at stock speeds, but a strong overclock (4.5GHz give or take) can power through it. At 4.7GHz it runs beautifully even with LLE. MaJoR
3.0-681 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-2600K @ 3.4GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Broken Graphics when using DX11 when inside the Pirate stronghold dungeon. Link appears to be sunk up to his waistline to the ground. Using DX9 with version 3.0-681 will solve this issue. After I beat the Abyssal Leviathan boss, stuck on black screen after hitting the goddess symbol with skyward sword. This issue is not present on version 3.0-413. Cry30
3.0-716 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-650 @ 3.2GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 Using DX9, almost 30FPS for all the game, just drop around 20 at some open areas. Using XAudio2, audio is perfect with no glitches. Freeze on black screen after getting the claw. Thanks to Cry30 in the previous comment, using an old build (3.0-413) the game doesn't freeze. dr4g0n3
3.0-735 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-2600 @ 3.4GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Works almost perfect. Doesn't drop below 30FPS with 3x Internal Resolution and No AA Enabled. Has some sound issues with Background music, but the game is perfectly playable in 1920x1080. Anonymus
3.0-766 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-920 @ 2.66GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 Was working fine with perfect speed, some issues with background music (it sometimes starts to loop some short sequence) but freezes on black screen when entering the second boss chamber (Scaldera). Played it through with an older version of the emu, and next area seems to work again. etnmich
3.0-766 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-2500K @ 5.9GHz AMD Radeon 6870 Runs perfectly fine with some audio sounds miss place perfect at 60FPS CCDavid
3.0-842 Windows 7 Ultimate AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition @ 4.0GHz AMD Radeon HD 6850 Runs @ ~30FPS in D3D9, 1920x1080, auto-scale, no AA, no anisotropic filtering. Fails to load next areas when loading save states created inside some buildings and on the flying overmap. Occasional sound corruption, spewing out sped-up, scratchy audio from other parts of the game. tengokujin
3.0-878 Windows 8 Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 ATI Radeon HD 4850M 25-30FPS, 1920x1080, DX11. Fully Playable, sound problems sometimes (1 in 2 hours playing). (Parfaitement jouable, quelques problèmes de son parfois (1 sur 2h de jeu pour ma part).) Val83
3.5-134 Windows 7 AMD Phenom II X4 965 @ 3.8GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Runs @ ~25-29FPS in D3D9, 3x Native, no AA, 4x Anisotropic Filtering, Experimental JITIL recompiler for speed boost, dsp lle on thread enabled, force texture filtering, widescreen hack, open mp texture decoder. Occasional sound corruption. There is some slowdown but its not noticable, the game is perfectly playable. slw22
3.5-607 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-2630QM @ 2.9GHz NVIDIA GeForce 560M Perfect. 30FPS/60VPS nearly all the time. Some areas where a lot of an area can be seen still lag a little (25FPS) but it's a rare, barely noticeable occasion. Using all of the suggested options on this page but with D3D9 instead of OpenGL, and with HLE instead of LLE. The game works fine on HLE as far as I can tell. Vgf89
4.0 Windows 7 Intel Core i5-3570K @ 4.2GHz AMD Radeon HD 7870 Seems to work, imported my save from actual Wii so might update later, no frame drops or graphic glitches, running via DirectX9, no AA or anything too fancy, 1600x900 res, 3x Internal Resolution. sitton76
4.0.2 Windows 7 AMD Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.2GHz AMD Radeon 6970 Running DX11 and HLE audio, 2x Native Resolution, 1x AF and No AA with suggested hacks. Large areas or regions with many NPCs may drop framerate to 22-25FPS. Sound always matches frame rate. Smaller maps and dungeon areas are at ~30FPS. Very playable overall. Airsoftsoldrecn9
4.0-156 Windows 7 Intel Core i7 @ 2.6GHz NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M Up to the Lanayru Mining Facility, so far so good with full speed at all times while at native resolution. Blowing it up to 1440x900 is still mostly full speed but with slowdown in large areas like the Sky. DOF glitch present, can't fix it, but it's not a big deal. As a result almost all textures besides a few objects look extremely muddy. Ac
4.0-3532 Windows 7 Intel Core i7-4770K @ 3.5GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti Running OpenGL and Xaudio2. Some minor drops here and there but it is almost perfect. BillyAlt
4.0-4163 Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS AMD A8-5600K @ 3.6GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Running defaults and mostly playable. A few small slowdowns and sound glitches when NPCs pop-up with animations. The cut scenes seems to be where these slowdowns manifest. Overall, will continue to play an almost perfect emulated game. daved314
4.0-4654 Windows 8 Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4GHz AMD Radeon HD 6850 VERY GOOD, sometime small sound glitch, but it's not critical. NoIdea
4.0-8052 Ubuntu 15.10 Intel Pentium G3258 @ 4.2GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Works perfectly at full speed at 3x native resolution, 2xMSAA, 16xAF, Fast Depth off and Force Texture Filtering on. Audio seems to be perfect even with HLE. SS looks absolutely stunning in 1080p! Léo
4.0-9442 Windows 8.1 Intel Core i5-3230M @ 2.6GHz ATI Radeon HD 7670M D3D: Mantained stable 30FPS at 1.5x resolution throughout without glitching of any kinds. Slowdowns on first loadings, sometimes on saving, but no crashes. Don't even try using AA as even 2x tanks it more than raising resolution. OpenGL seemed to have problems when hits connected, causing short freeze each time. Even on a Dolphinbar, could not mantain stable audio through Wii Remote. Skyward Sword can actually be enjoyed on a 2013 mid-range laptop! TKJK
5.0-1066 Windows 7 Intel Pentium G620 @ 2.6GHz Intel HD Graphics Perfecto, 30 FPS estables con una resolucion de 800x600, Sinc-V. Baja un poco los FPS en areas abiertas, pero por lo general va a 30 fijo. Sky & Wave
5.0-1328 Windows 10 AMD Phenom II x6 1090t @ 3.2GHz AMD R9 280 Running at 3x internal resolution, 2xSMAA and 16xAF. Runs great; a few minor stutters. Sam3
5.0-2245 Windows 10 Intel i5-6600K @ 4.2GHz NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070 30FPS at 3x internal resolution, 8xSSAA and 16xAF. Minor stutters when new stuff and sounds getting loaded, even on SSDs. WallK

Gameplay Videos

See also