Make a gaming console out of Raspberry Pi with RetroPie

2019-11-21 | 300 words

Another use for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer can be a retro gaming console. What we will need:

We will use the RetroPie software, which contains emulators for many consoles - NES, SNES, Sega, PlayStation, GameBoy, Nintendo 64 and many more. From the really retro ones like Atari to PlayStation.

If you have a new Raspberry, you can download a ready-made image and write it to an SD card. But I didn’t want to lose my Raspbian, so I followed the manual installation guide according to the official instructions. Be careful, for Pi 4 you have to (for now) use a slightly different guide - download files via Git, switch to the correct branch and run the installation - guide. The installation takes quite a long time.

In the configuration, you can choose to have the system boot directly into RetroPie. Alternatively, you can start RetroPie (or the nice EmulationStation frontend) from the console (even via SSH) with the command:


You can download ROM files (games) somewhere on the internet :) Then just upload them (of course, first unpack them - and it doesn’t matter if you upload individual files or even a parent folder) to the appropriate folder, for example, for me /home/pi/RetroPie/roms. I upload them there via Samba, but you can also choose a flash drive - here is the official guide.

A small sample of games that can be played. I also tried Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, Crazy Taxi, Crash Bandicoot Racing, LEGO Racers, Quake 2, Mortal Combat… and even Starcraft, but it was lagging.

Console selection - the number of available games is always displayed below it.

Isn’t it great? :)