Raspberry Pi directions

***General Information:

Notes that will help you get started, and general information that will help you here and there. If you need help, feel free to message me on eBay/Etsy/Amazon or you can email me directly at retrogameasylum@gmail.com. This document is my default for all my Retropie / Raspberry Pi builds, so there might be something here that doesn’t pertain to your purchase, you can just ignore it.

Please note, however, everything about this, RetroPie, EmulationStation, the Emulators and Roms, they are all created and supported by the community, there are no companies that provide support. If you have issues I will try and assist, I know a lot about this, but if there is something I don’t know, I will turn to Google and try and assist you. Another thing to note, while generally everything should work the way it does, sometimes there are issues with individual Raspberry Pi or a controller. Know that if an issue does arise for you, I will try my best to help.


Generally, the vast majority of the games will work without issues. With that being said, however, there will always be the game that doesn’t work. Every console will have games that will not load, sadly, that is just how it is. The vast majority will, but there will always be that one that won’t. When it comes to the Console sets, the vast majority will work with no issue, the Arcade sets work well as well, but have a few more that will not work, and the Computer sets depend on the actual set. When you bought this item from me, you should have seen my list of consoles and how well they work, so hopefully this doesn’t come to a shock for you.

***Wired Controllers:

Unless otherwise noted, a controller will be the default way to play.  To configure a wired controller (or keyboard) plug it in before powering up. When EmulationStation loads, it will ask you to configure a controller. Press and hold ‘a’ and you will be brought to a screen where you can input each button. Press the corresponding buttons as it asks for them, press and hold any button to skip an input button (this is handy for the analog sticks inputs if your controller doesn’t have analog sticks.  If you mess up you can access this configuration menu again later by pressing Start in the RetroPie UI and going to Configure Input (you can also do this if you need to set up multiple controllers or keyboards). You should leave the last setting, the hotkey button, blank so you can use the default, that is if it asks for the hotkey button. You can do this with a wired keyboard as well if you want to play with a keyboard.

***Wireless Controllers:

If you are using a PlayStation, Xbox 360, or Steam controller see the next section first (Controller Drivers). If you are using an 8BitDo, make sure the controllers firmware is up to date, there will be directions on how to do this with your controller.

To configure a wireless controller, you will need either a wired controller or keyboard to start. From the main GUI, using your wired controller or keyboard, go into the RetroPie Setup Menu, then go into the Bluetooth option. Next turn on your device and make sure it is searching for a connection. Use your wired controller/keyboard to select ‘Register and Connect to Bluetooth Device’. A list of MAC address, and possibly the devices name, will be displayed for every Bluetooth device able to connect, select yours based on the description. If yours does not show up try again. On the next screen select the ‘DisplayYesNo’ option.

If an error occurs, you can try again. It the error persists, try turning everything off, controller and Raspberry Pi, and retry.

If you are using an 8Bitdo controller make sure the ‘8Bitdo mapping hack’ from the main Bluetooth menu is turned off “(OFF – new firmware)”.

Finally, you need to tell Emulation Station to search for and recognize your new Bluetooth gamepad on system boot. From the main Bluetooth menu, select ‘Set up udev rule for Joypad (required for Joypads from 8Bitdo etc)’. Select your controller from this list.

***Controller Drivers:

If you are using one of these three controllers (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Steam Controller), you will need to manually install the drivers. The reason behind this is due to the fact that the drivers can interfere with each other; the Xbox 360 controller driver can make the PlayStation 3 controller not work during gameplay for example. To install, go into the RetroPie Menu – RetroPie Setup – Manage Packages – Manage Driver Packages – select which one you need to install – Install. You might have two options here depending on if you are connected to the internet or if the option is supported: Binary installs from the SD card, Source connects to the internet to install the latest version). They are named well enough that you will be able to tell which one is which. Keep selecting ‘back’ to go back and the ‘exit’ to exit after install (Escape key on a keyboard will also take you back).

***Connecting to Wi-Fi:

Select the RetroPie menu from the main menu. At the very bottom click Wi-Fi and then you can connect to a network with option 1 “Connect to Wi-Fi network.”

***Keeping your purchase healthy:

To ensure the longevity of your product, there are two ways I recommend closing down and powering off the Raspberry Pie. First is to press F4 on a keyboard and type “sudo halt’ in the console command. If you pick this way, all you will have to do next time is press the up arrow on the console command and ‘sudo halt’ will be selected, since it was the last command typed. The second method is pressing ‘start’ on a controller, go down to ‘quit’ and selecting ‘shutdown system’. 

After you do one of these two methods, you are good to go. After either of these, wait for the green light on the back of the Raspberry Pi to stop blinking before cutting the power to the system. If you have a hard drive build, you should also now turn off the hard drive.

***Running the updater:

Honestly, there isn’t any major reason to update. The only thing that might be considered is if an emulator gets a major update to make the games run smoother. The reason I state this is the fact that the main file that populates EmulationStation’s menus has been customized by me to add other consoles to the menu, if you update, this file will be overwritten to a blank file and no consoles will be displayed on the main menu. If you update, you will need to contact me on how to add the file back. The easiest way is to SSH into the Raspberry Pi (please look this up and know how to do this, I use WinSCP).

One other thing, update at your own risk. The system and all the emulators are able to be updated, but I take no responsibility if the games do not work after updating. Update at your own risk. It is not that likely that they won’t work afterwards, but I have experienced it firsthand while testing this. Upgrade at your own risk!

***Types of Emulators:

There are two main types of emulators here, ones that are configured to use Retroarch’s default controller scheme, and the second are those that have their own controller scheme. The emulators with “lr-“ at the beginning are the ones that use Retroarch’s default controller scheme, meaning that every emulator that starts with “lr-“ will use the same controller scheme. With these default controller schemes, ‘start + select’ on a controller will exit the game, or Esc on a keyboard. When you select a game to play, between selecting the game and the game loading, a gray box will show up and you’ll be able to see the emulator on this gray box. 

***Using Save States:

The majority of the console emulators, so the Nintendo and Sega consoles, do support save states, but the majority of the computer emulators do not, so your Amiga, Apple 2, Commodore, etc. The emulators that start with “lr-“ will generally support save states. The quick way to do save states is ‘Select + Right Shoulder’ to save, and ‘Select + Left Shoulder’ to load. This, however depends on what buttons you have mapped to the shoulder buttons. You can also press ‘Select + X’ to get the Retroarch menu where you can use save/load states easier (at least in my opinion).

***Arcade Games:

There are a few consoles that are considered Arcade emulators and they are: AAE, Arcade, MAME, Final Burn Alpha (FBA), Capcom Play Systems, Neo Geo, Nintendo Vs. System, and Nintendo Playchoice 10.

‘Select’ will add more coins and ‘start’ will start the game. R1 will bring up the emulator's menu, 'tab' on the keyboard will also bring this up. Since the latest update to the RetroPie OS, sometimes the controller does not work to add coins, this is an extremely small chance and quite rare, but still needs mentioned. If the controller will not allow you to add coins, use a keyboard to add, then a controller can be used to play. Generally, the ‘select’ button is ‘5’ on a keyboard, and ‘start’ is ‘1’.  

All games generally will work, but the game will tell you upon load if there are any issues, just minor problems. If there are issues though, I have found that they do not affect gameplay, usually just the lack of audio, odd coloring, or a glitched menu. If the game first boots to a grey screen or some odd glitched graphics, give it a minute and the game will load fine.

Start and Select at the same time will exit the game.

***Screen Size and Ratio:

Two things to state here: first, if there is a black box around the screen, so the image does not expand to the end of the screen, or if it is overstretched, such as on a CRT monitor. For either of these go into the RetroPie Menu – Raspi-Config – Advanced Options – Overscan. If you see the black border, turn it off, if the screen is overstretched (CRT monitors) turn it on. From the ‘Advanced Options’ menu, you can change the resolution if you want.

To change the aspect ratio, such as 16:9 or 4:3, go to RetroPie Menu – Configuration Editor – Configure basic libretro emulator options – Configure default options for all libretro emulators – Aspect Ratio. ‘Unset’ is the default, meaning whatever each individual emulator display ratio is. Different emulators can have different rations, but pretty much all are 4:3.

***Disc Swapping for Multi-Disk Games in RetroArch

To change disks in-game (such as with PS1 games), use the Retroarch GUI hotkey (default is Select+X) in-game. Go to Quick Menu -> Disk Control. 

To open the virtual tray first click on ‘Disk Cycle Tray Status’ then change the ‘Disk Index’ to the disk you need, the close the virtual tray by clicking on ‘Disk Cycle Tray Status’ again.

***Mucking around under the hood:

If you choose to add, edit, modify, or anything in between, to this SD card, do so at your own risk. I can only provide assistance to my stock SD cards. If you try and return a damaged SD from tampering, I will scan the contents against my stock to see if it was messed with. With that being said, if you want to remove an emulator or roms, I can provide assistance with that.

***Cheats for consoles that support them:

Cheats will only work with RetroArch supported consoles/emulators. The majority of the Home Consoles will be able to use cheats, and several Home Computers can, but a lot of the computers do not.
Start a game and once it loads, press the Select button and the X button to bring up the RetroArch menu. (if the RetroArch menu does not show up, it is not a RetroArch console/emulator and you will not be able to use cheats).
From the RetroArch Menu, you will be in the 'Quick Menu' (noted at the top of the screen).
Scroll down to 'Cheats' and select it.
From here select 'Load Cheat File (Replace)'.
This will bring up a list of consoles, select the console you are playing, for this example I will use the NES.
Scroll down to your console, for me I selected "Nintendo - Nintendo Entertainment System"
Next, find your game, there might be a few options for your game, so this might be trial and error to find the correct cheat file.
For me I am playing 1942 so I selected "1942 (Japan, USA).cht". Note there are two different cheat files for the game 1942.
After selecting the game, you will be back to the previous menu, but at the bottom will be your cheats.
Go through and select which cheats you want, pressing the Right button to turn them on.
After you have selected your cheats, scroll back up and select "Apply Changes"
Once you apply the changes, press the B button once to go back to the Quick Menu, scroll to the top and select "Resume".
Your game should be resumed with the cheats active. Not all cheats work for every game, you can always try to restart the game to see if the cheats work after the restart.

***Default Keyboard layout (this is just what I use):

D-Pad Up – Up

D-Pad Down – Down

D-Pad Left – Left

D-Pad Right – Right

Start – Page Down

Select – End

A – Enter

B – R. Shift

X – “ ‘ “ comma button

Y –  / backlash button

Left Shoulder – Top row 3

Right Shoulder – Num Lock

Left Trigger –Top row 2

Right Trigger – Num pad /

Left Thumb – Top row 1

Right Thumb – Num pad *

Left Analog Up – W

Left Analog Down – S

Left Analog Left – A

Left Analog Right – D

Right Analog Up – Num Pad 8

Right Analog Down – Num Pad 5

Right Analog Left – Num Pad 4

Right Analog Right – Num Pad 6

Hotkey Enable – -NOT DEFINED-