Xemu and XLink Kai Setup

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XLink Kai is a multi-platform and peer-to-peer LAN tunneling service which enables users to play local area network and ad-hoc multiplayer games on their consoles online with people all over the world. XLink Kai was first released in 2003, supporting the Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube at launch, with PSP, PS3, Xbox 360 and others support arriving soon after.

As of release 202106120613 the original Xbox emulator xemu has added support for bridged networking allowing for easy communication between the emulator, local Xbox consoles on your network and the XLink Kai client!

Using xemu and XLink Kai you can play supported original Xbox games with players around the world regardless of what platform they're using. Xemu, original xbox, xbox 360, xbox one, and xbox Series X/S are all supported!

XLink Kai Home Page - https://teamxlink.co.uk
XLink Kai Status Page - https://status.teamxlink.co.uk/
Popular on XLink Twitter Bot - https://twitter.com/PopularOnXLink
Team XLink Official Discord - https://discord.gg/UyyjNpa
Supported Games List - https://www.teamxlink.co.uk/supported-games

Getting started

To install, configure, and play original Xbox games on xemu and XLink Kai there are a few requirements:

Supported Games

There are 139 games with the system-link feature for the original xbox. To see if the game you want to play is supported please check the supported games page or look for "System Link" on the back of the game case. Be sure to check the game's compatibility with xemu's compatibility list

Note: There were many misprints on the back of cases where system-link was mistakenly included. All games on the supported games list have been verified!

System-link game.jpg

Creating an Account

To begin, you'll need to register for an XLink Kai account and download the program. Click on 'Get your XTag' on the XLink Kai home page and fill in your details, then click Register. You then need to verify your email address and consent to the XLink Kai data collection policy (GDPR compliance). Please be sure to read the Acceptable Use Policy.

Installing XLink Kai

Follow the installation guide for your Operating System:

(Linux guide coming soon!)

Installing and Configuring xemu

Note: These instructions are Windows specific but are applicable to macOS and Linux excluding the installation of NPCAP.

Let's get started!

  1. Download the latest xemu release from https://xemu.app/ or the xemu GitHub releases page
  2. Download the latest NPCAP release from https://nmap.org/npcap/ as of writing the latest version is npcap 1.31
  3. Install NPCAP and accept the default options. If you had previously installed WinPCAP as part of the XLink Kai installation NPCAP will replace WinPCAP. XLink Kai will function normally with either WinPCAP or NPCAP.
  4. Extract the xemu zip file.
    Xemu win10 1.png
  5. Follow the instructions in in the xemu documentation to extract the flash BIOS, and MCPX ROM from your Xbox console. This process and the creation of a HDD image are too involved to cover here. Once complete you should have 3 additional files like this:
    Xemu win10 2.png
  6. Start xemu and click Settings
    Xemu win10 3.png
  7. Select the BIOS, MCPX, and HDD files you created in step 5 then click Save and fully quit xemu.
    Xemu win10 4.png
  8. Start xemu again and click Machine, then Input. Connect an Xinput compatible controller and choose it from the dropdown menu. Make sure the buttons on the controller map to the virtual xbox controller correctly. When completed click the X on the green menu bar to close the window.
    Xemu win10 5.png
  9. Click Machine, then Network. Change the Attached To dropdown menu to Bridged Adapter and select the network adapter that provides your internet connection in the Network Interface dropdown. Once complete click Enable and click the X on the green menu bar to close the window.
    Note: The example below shows an Ethernet Adapter. WiFi adapters will work with XLink Kai too but you will not be able to play against any other xbox consoles or xemu emulators on your local network. This is a limitation in the WiFi hardware, not xemu or XLink Kai.
    Xemu win10 6.png

You are now configured to play system-link capable Xbox games using xemu on XLink Kai!

Playing a game on XLink Kai

  1. Start XLink and log in.
  2. Start xemu and load a game with system-link support off DVD or HDD, either is fine. This guide will use Halo 2 as an example.
  3. Click Game Arenas at the top
    Xemu kai win10 1.png
  4. Navigate to the Halo 2 arena using the directory on the left.
    Xemu kai win10 2.png
  5. At this time of day there are usually a few dozen players in the Latin America Halo 2 arenas (Make sure you have a fast trigger finger, these guys are really good)
    Xemu kai win10 3.png
  6. In Halo 2 press START ButtonIcon-Xbox-Start.png, choose your player profile then choose Don't sign in
    Xemu kai win10 4.png Xemu kai win10 5.png Xemu kai win10 6.png
  7. Choose SYSTEM LINK from the main menu and Press A ButtonIcon-Xbox-A.png.
    Xemu kai win10 7.png
  8. Press A ButtonIcon-Xbox-A.png to confirm your profile on selection.
    Xemu kai win10 8.png
  9. You should now see the list of available matches.
    Xemu kai win10 9.png
    If you do not see any matches make sure there are other players hosting a match and check the metrics tab to confirm your xbox console is detected.
    Xemu kai win10 10.png
    If your xbox is not listed check your xemu network settings, make sure Xlink Kai was run with administrator rights and that it was allowed in your computer's firewall (if applicable). If you still have trouble please seek help on our Discord chat
  10. Join a match and play! Happy gaming!
    Xemu kai win10 11.png Xemu kai win10 12.png

Finding players

If you are having trouble finding other players to game with please join our Discord chat and use the various game-specific channels. There are also several fan-run discords that host regular game nights.