Retroarch – How to add or play games?

Even though Retroarch is a really great frontend for emulators using libretro API, it can be a bit confusing for beginners to get started and play a game as it is not a simple File->Open as most people are used to from other (standalone) emulators. At least it was for me, until I figured it out. Hence a very quick tutorial on how to

Play a game instantly with Retroarch

Once you got Retroarch installed on your system (this might be worth another article) and started it up, you look at its frontend. By default this is XMB which looks similar to the Playstation 3 (PS3) interface with horizontal and vertical aligned menus. To load a game from your device, which needs to be supported by Retroarch obviously, go to

  • Main Menu
  • Load Content
  • / (3rd item, depends on the Operating system you are using (eg. Windows, Linux, OS X, …..)
  • Then browse to the directory where your game is located and select it
  • if the game is zipped, select Load Archive
  • If the filetype is not yet associated with a core, the you can select the core here. Give it a try, which one works best on your system. (If a core is already associated, the game starts immediately.)
  • Now the game should start

Load and scan your game library

Probably the preferred option of everyone is to scan the whole library and then easy select the games from each of the systems available. Including a nice boxart.

How to do this? Lets have a look.

Preparation: In my experience it works best, if you store all your roms within folders separate by systems: So have a SNES, NES, Gameboy, … folders with each of the games in it.

Steps to scan a folder:

  • Go to “Import content” (the + sign)
  • Scan Directory
  • Browse to the folder you like to scan.
  • Once in the folder, select “Scan This directory”
  • Depending on the number of roms within the directory to scan this can take quite some time…. Retroarch shows the progress in the bottom left corner.

Once finished, a new icon with the system(s) scanned shows up on the right hand side on the horizontal menu axis. Go there and select the game you like to play. Have fun.

Hope this helps some newcomer. Questions, comments or any feedback in general is very welcome.

 

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