RetroPie Configuration

RetroPie Installation


Recommended Optional Prerequisites (Free options listed)

Format and Image An SD Card

  1. Format the MicroSD card as Fat32 to wipe and prep it for the RetroPie image
  2. If your card is fresh out of the box, it should be ready to go without formatting
  3. Use Win32 Disk Imager to write the RetroPie image to the card

That’s pretty much it for formatting and installing. Booting to the image in the Pi should complete the installation and bring you up to the next section, configuring your new RetroPie system.

RetroPie Initial Configuration

  1. Upon first booting into RetroPie, configure a keyboard for input. You can configure a controller later.
  2. Update RetroPie to the latest version (this will take a while):
    1. RetroPie Menu -> RETROPIE SETUP  -> Update
      1. You’ll see a dialogue stating that the latest version of the script was fetched – hit Enter for OK
      2. Hit Enter again to acknowledge the next notice
      3. You’ll be asked if you’d like to update the underlying OS packages – hit Enter for Yes
  3. If you are asked to login after updating, enter ‘pi‘ as the username and ‘raspberry‘ as the password. To fix this, re-set the AutoStart option:
    1. RetroPie Menu -> RETROPIE SETUP -> Configuration / tools -> autostart
    2. Select ‘Start Emulation Station at boot
  4. Disable Overscan Compensation so RetroPie displays in full screen:
    1. RetroPie Menu -> RASPI-CONFIG -> Advanced Options -> Overscan -> Select ‘No‘ to disable Overscan Compensation
    2. Finish and reboot when asked
  5. Optional – Disable Bluetooth ERTM to allow proper BT connection of a Xbox One S/X wireless controller:
    1. Hit F4 to exit out of EmulationStation into Raspbian
    2. Open the file for editing:
sudo nano /opt/retropie/configs/all/
    1. Add the following above the line ‘emulationstation #auto‘:
sudo bash -c 'echo 1 > /sys/module/bluetooth/parameters/disable_ertm'
    1. Save and exit the Nano editor:
      1. ctrl-x
      2. y
      3. Enter
    2. Type ‘reboot‘ at the CMD to reboot the system and return to EmulationStation
  1. Enable SSH (optional):
    1. Windows and MAC should be able to access the Pi via Samba by typing in \\retropie in an Explorer window, but SSH is nice to have both for transferring ROMs and connecting to the CMD line from a networked computer.
    2. RetroPie Menu -> RASPBI-CONFIG -> Interfacing Options -> P2 SSH (enable)
    3. You can now use a SFTP/SSH client to connect and transfer ROMs over your network
    4. Login using ‘pi‘ as the username and ‘raspberry‘ as the password
    5. System ROMs should be placed in their corresponding console directories under /RetroPie/roms/[console name]
    6. Restart EmulationStation to load newly added ROMs

Hide The Raspberry Pi Boot Text

  1. Exit from EmulationStation to the CMD by hitting F4
  2. Open and edit the boot cmdline file:
    1. sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt
    2. Change ‘console-tty1‘ to ‘console=tty3
    3. Add ‘loglevel=3‘ after the above tty entry
    4. Add ‘logo.nologo‘ to the end of the line
    5. Save and exit the Nano editor:
      1. ctrl-x
      2. y
      3. Enter
  3. Open and edit the boot config file:
    1. sudo nano /boot/config.txt
    2. Add ‘disable_splash=1‘ to the end of the file
    3. Save and exit the Nano editor:
      1. ctrl-x
      2. y
      3. Enter

Optional Scraper – Scrape All ROMs At Once

If you copy many ROMs at once and don’t feel like manually scraping them one by one via the GUI scraper, install the optional Scraper.

  1. In the start menu go to Quit and Exit EmulationStation.
  2. At the CMD, type ‘sudo RetroPie-Setup/‘ and hit Enter
  3. Install the optional scraper from Steven Selph which allows scraping all ROMs in one fell swoop:
    1. Manage Packages -> Manage Optional Packages -> Scraper (install and update)
  4. Once installed, choose Configuration / Options -> Scrape all systems
  5. Once complete, ‘Cancel‘ out of the RetroPie setup utility back to the CMD
  6. At the CMD, type ‘emulationstation‘ and hit Enter
  7. You should see that all your ROMs are now scraped

Connect Xbox One S/X Bluetooth Wireless Controller

  1. RetroPie Menu -> BLUETOOTH -> Register and Connect to Bluetooth Device -> Connect xbox controller
  2. This will begin scanning for available devices, so make sure you have your controller in pairing mode.
  3. If this fails, go into ‘Remove Bluetooth Device‘ and remove the controller entry, then retry registration.

Xbox One S/X Controller Right Trigger Config Issue

If you have trouble configuring the right trigger button on the Xbox One controller, continue on to finish the remainder of the key config, then use up on the D-Pad to return to the config line and assign it. You might have to change the left trigger to something else temporarily, assign right trigger, then re-assign left trigger.

Neo-Geo Roms

In order to run Neo-Geo games, aside from the ROMs you will need the BIOS file. Put this file in the same directory where your Neo-Geo ROMS. This BIOS file is not impossible to find, but it takes some digging. It also must match the ROM set version.

Create a Backup Image

Don’t let all the time you spent bringing up your system go to waste. Create a backup image of your finalized system. You can easily restore it in the future or share it with friends.

  1. Mount your MicroSD card in Windows
  2. Open Win32 Disk Imager
  3. Make sure the SD card is selected and not another USB drive
  4. Click the folder icon and navigate to a location with at least the capacity of the MicroSD card size
  5. Type a name for your backup image and click Save
  6. Click the Read button to begin creating your image
  7. This will take quite a while, but once complete you’ll have an IMG file that can be easily restored to any same or larger sized MicroSD card
  8. To restore, simply browse to select the image, choose your foramated SD card and click the Write button.