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How to Transfer ScummVM Games to iPad & iPhone Guide (App Store Version)

It was recently announced that ScummVM was finally available on the Apple App Store, with the main bonus being that you no longer needed to jailbreak your Apple device to install ScummVM. This is fantastic news for point and click adventure fans as the iPad in particular is a wonderful way of playing these classic titles.

With this new capability though, the inevitable question is… how do you copy your games to your Apple device? Here I will focus on the iPad version, but essentially the process is the same for both for transferring your game files for use within the official ScummVM Apple App Store app…

Where to get free ScummVM compatible games?

There are a number of freeware titles available for the official ScummVM website you can download.

The list currently includes:

As these are downloadable online, you can simply download the zip file associated with the game using the Safari browser on your iPhone or iPad, extracting the compressed file you have just downloaded using the Files app and then copying this to the ScummVM folder which appears after you have installed the ScummVM app:

iPad Files app, with ScummVM folder showing under ‘On My iPad’

Which point and click adventure game files do I need for ScummVM?

With your own original CDs, floppy disks or titles you have purchased and downloaded from online stores such as GoG or Steam, you can follow this ScummVM guide for which files you need to copy. You don’t actually always need every single file from the original game and there are also instructions on how to rip the CD audio tracks and the naming conventions needed for these files to work within the title too.

I would strongly recommend you ensure your point and click adventure titles work correctly on your computer first using the ScummVM app version for Windows, macOS etc as this will save a lot of headaches later on…

Use your web browser to transfer ScummVM games to your iPhone or iPad

In my own experience, this is the easiest way to transfer your collection of ScummVM compatible titles to your iPhone or iPad when these are purchased online through an online store such as GoG or Steam, or are from your own CDs or floppy disks.

In this example, I am going to download the freeware CD version of Beneath A Steel Sky from the ScummVM website just to demo the process.

Beneath a Steel Sky on the ScummVM website

It is important you extract the files from the downloaded zip file so you are left with a folder like this:

Now we have the game files ready, we need to transfer these to your Apple device…

On a side note, I find it much easier to navigate the ScummVM app by changing the control method on the top right of the screen. Select the mouse icon here and you will see it switch then to the icon below, where you can drag your finger around the screen to move the cursor.

  • Select Global Options... from the side menu
  • From the tabbed menu, select LAN
  • Select Run server
  • Make a note of the local web address, for example mine has selected 192.168.1.212:12345
    • The address it selects for you is likely to be different depending on what your router has selected as an available local address
  • Switch back to your computer and in your web browser enter the web address we noted in the previous step 192.168.1.212 including the port number at the end :12345
    • Remember your web address will most likely be different!
Web browser address bar
  • Select the Saved games directory
    • This is important as the permissions on the first location you see when you visit this web address is not writable and will show an error when you try to add any files here!
  • Select Create directory and name it whatever makes it easy for you to find it again, I am going for BASS
    • This will just keep our games more organised, BASS obviously is an acronym for Beneath A Steel Sky
  • Now we have a BASS directory showing, select it so we are within the BASS folder
  • Select Upload files

Here we are presented with a couple of methods. We can select to upload individual or a selection of files in one go, however if you are using a Chromium based browser such as Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi etc – it is easier to select the second directory option…

  • Select Choose Files from below the Or select a directory text (if using a Chromium based browser)
  • Select (do not enter) the folder that contains your game files so that it is highlighted, in my case it is the folder bass-cd-1.2
  • Select Upload
  • The browser will then likely confirm if you would like to upload the files, in my example we will click Upload

Great, now at this point the game should be transferred to your Apple device…

  • Go back to the ScummVM app on your Apple device
  • Cancel the running server and make sure you are back to the original ScummVM opening launcher screen
  • Select Add Game
  • Navigate to the folder you named earlier, in my case BASS and ensure you have navigated within the actual folder with the game files now displayed
  • Select Choose from the bottom right of the screen
  • Select OK

Beneath a Steel Sky now shows in the list of games…

  • Highlight the game from the list and select Start

You are now running your game on your iPad or iPhone… Enjoy!

Beneath a Steel Sky running on ScummVM app on iPadOS

Does the ScummVM Music Enhancement Project work on iPad & iPhone?

From my own testing, they certainly do! You can grab my fan-made versions of the game soundtracks below:

Troubleshooting ScummVM on iPad & iPhone

How best to test ScummVM game files?

I would strongly recommend you ensure your point and click adventure titles work correctly on your computer first using the ScummVM app version for Windows, macOS etc as this will save a lot of headaches for diagnosing which files may be missing.

Why is my game not working?

If your game is not working, please first check the logs (Global Options -> Paths -> View Log file) for more information of what the problem may be.

Why is the ScummVM folder not showing on iPad or iPhone?

First check under the Finder app the On my iPad option on the sidebar on iPad OS or under iPhone for iOS.

If the ScummVM folder is still not showing in the Files app on iPhone or iPad, try deleting and reinstalling the app, rebooting the device too to see if it then appears.

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James Woodcock

James is a Freelance Journalist, Copywriter, Author, Blogger & Podcaster specialising in gaming, gadgets and technology, both retro and modern. Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles, including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, whilst also interviewing well-known industry figures for popular online publications. Creator of the ScummVM Music Enhancement Project and host of the Game & Gadget Podcast. View his portfolio for more information.

James Woodcock has 1093 posts and counting. See all posts by James Woodcock

One thought on “How to Transfer ScummVM Games to iPad & iPhone Guide (App Store Version)

  • When using the LAN server option, you can also first create a Games folder using the Files application on the iPhone or iPad at the same level as the “Saved games” folder. That way you can keep your game files separate from the saved games.

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