How to play ZX Spectrum games in Windows [Tip]

The ZX Spectrum was among the first home computers dedicated to gaming. Now you can revive some ZX Spectrum nostalgia with emulator software for Windows. In addition, there are also websites from which you can run Spectrum games within your browser.

ZX Spectrum 4 Emulator

To add a freeware Spectrum emulator to Windows XP/Vista/7, head over to That includes an emulator which emulates Sinclair’s Spectrum models from the 16K up to +3. The emulator comes with joystick support and three bundled games. You can also unlock all the emulator’s options with a donation.

Scroll down the home page until you find a DOWNLOAD button. Press that button to save the emulator’s Zip file. Then right-click the Zip file and select Extract All to extract it, and click the ZXSpectrum4.exe to open the software. It will ask you to open a ROM. Press OK and select RAIDERS.rom to launch a Space Invaders clone in the emulator as below.

spectrum emulator

You can play that game by pressing the Z and X keys to move the spaceship left and right. To shoot, press the Space key. You can also play the game with a Spectrum keyboard by pressing the Keyboard option. Then click on the Z, X and Break Space keys on that keyboard to move spaceship.

spectrum emulator2

You can add more games to the emulator from this website. Then run the RAIDERS game in the emulator, and drag the new game’s file from Explorer onto the emulator window. That will load the game in the emulator as below.

spectrum emulator3

ZX Spectrum Website

Alternatively, you can play Spectrum games in your browser from this website. Press F9 on that page to open a list of games to select from as in the shot below. Press the F1 for a list of further emulator keys. In addition, you can also save the games as a snapshot and come back to them later.

spectrum emulator4

So with the ZX Spectrum 4 emulator and Qaop/JS website you can play a variety of classic Speccy game titles. As the ZXSpectrum4 website states, “Why break new ground when you can dig up the past?

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