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Below are instructions on how to burn Sega Saturn games to discs, also commonly known as backups. I should probably put some disclaimer about how for legal reasons you should only use these instructions to play homebrew software and blah blah blah blah, but Sega’s army of lawyers don’t seem as rabid as Nintendo’s about this sort of thing.
Anyway, burning Sega Saturn games is a great alternative to spending hundreds of dollars on some of the console’s heavy hitters. Here’s how to burn Sega Saturn games, step by step.
Obtain a CD Drive
Unless your PC setup is as retro as your Sega Saturn, you’ll probably need to purchase an external CD drive. These are surprisingly cheap and readily available on Amazon or Alibaba. You don’t need anything fancy — it just has to work. You’ll be burning discs on the lowest write speed possible anyway. If you have the funds to make a slightly larger investment, consider purchasing a CD/DVD writable drive for Xbox games as well.
Be sure that you also buy some CD-R discs.
Obtain your ISO or BIN/CUE
You’ll need to do a bit of searching for this step. There are a ton of websites that have these files readily available as well as online forums full of people willing to tell you what those websites are. You can also find these files with a bit of smart googling. Once you find these websites, just download your favorites and proceed to the next step.
Related: A Look Back at Panzer Dragoon Saga (Sega Saturn)
DiscJuggler is a professional CD/DVD recording software program, and it’s what you’ll use to burn your games. Only the trial version of DiscJuggler is free, but the trial version allows unlimited use and only limits you to one CD at a time and lower write speeds. If you have the extra funds, consider supporting the developers and purchasing the full version. But the free version will suffice because you’ll be using lower write speeds anyway.
Burning Sega Saturn Games With DiscJuggler
- Install the program. You can download the trial version on their official website here.
- Insert a CD-R disc into your disc drive and run the program.
- One you’re in the program, select File > Open to browse your computer for the downloaded ISO file.
- If you don’t see your file, you may need to adjust the file type to show “All Files”
- If you’re using BIN/CUE files instead of ISO files, select the CUE file
- A new window will appear. On the right side of the window is a slider for the write speed; adjust the write speed to the lowest setting using the slider.
- Hit Start in the lower left side to begin burning the disc.
How to play burned Sega Saturn games
To play burned Sega Saturn games, you’ll need some way to bypass the console’s copy protection. There are many ways to do this, but the easiest method is simply obtaining a cart flashed with Pseudo Saturn. I suggest grabbing one from an online retailer, like Alibaba, rather than bothering with any kind of disc swap method. But if you’re interested in the disc swap method, you’re free to give it a try.
Follow all these steps and you’ll be good to go.
Ultimately, if your interest in the Sega Saturn extends only to a few of the console’s rare gems then this is the perfect solution for you. The start-up cost isn’t too expensive, and a CD drive is always a good investment for anyone interested in retro-gaming on the cheap. But the cost of discs do add up over time. So if you’re committed to exploring all the Saturn has to offer, or already love Sega’s 32-bit experiment, I’d consider checking out one of the many ODE options out there.