TUTORIAL: RetroArch a complete emulator for your Android TV-Box, Smartphone or PC

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Today we share with you a new user Guide for the RetroArch multi emulator where we show you how to install and configure it quickly and easily. RetroArch is a software package that compiles several emulators with which we can play with infinity of consoles and retro arcade machines that is compatible with both Android TV-Box, Smartphones, tablets and Windows mini PCs. In this article we will see how to run it and configure it in a simple way, we can connect any gamepad or even play over the network.



WHAT IS RETROARCH?

The RetroArch software is a group of emulators that allows us to load roms, configure peripherals, a network system and other extras to play in an orderly manner on dozens of different systems. To play them you need the ROMS or ISO of the games and some of these systems also require the BIOS images of the machine to be emulated.

  • Popular emulators: ATARI, AMIGA, MSX, NES, SNES, GBA, MG, DREAMCAST, NDS, PS1, CPS1/2/3 …
  • Not supported: PS2, PS3, GAMECUBE, 3DS, WII, XBOX
  • Complete list of emulated systems

RETROARCH ON ANDROID TV-BOX OR SMARTPHONE

Installation and first steps

To use RetroArch on our TV-Box, Smartphone or Android Tablet, we only need to install the app from Google Play and follow some simple steps, as explained below.

  1. Install RetroArch from Google Play.
  2. If we use a TV-Box we need to connect a compatible USB or BT Gamepad.
  3. On Smartphone or tablet we can use touch controls.

The app management environment is very simple and does not require much explanation.

  • In the left area we have the RetroArch control menus.
  • In the right area we have three categories (in TV-Box press Gamepad right arrow):
    MAIN MENU = where we load the emulators, roms or network system.
    PLAYLIST = management of playlists.
    SETTINGS = System settings.

Install emulators Core, Games and BIOS

In order to run the games we need several elements, on the one hand the CORE of the emulator that we want to use and another the ROMS to play with the games, some of these systems also require BIOS files to run the machine to be emulated.

  1. To install an emulator we need to go to the LOAD CORE section and load the emulator core to later load games.
  2. The ROMS of the games can be copied within:
    /RetroArch/Download = Downloads
    – Also or any other folder on our system, then entering /storage/emulated/0/ = Search our directory
  3. For some systems we need the BIOS that you can download HERE, copy the files into /RetroArch/System.

Gamepad controls and settings in RetroArch

By default RetroArch is configured to be used with touch controls on Smartphone or Tablets, but as we will explain below it is also easy to configure it to use this emulator with Gamepad on our TV-Box.

If we have a TV-Box it will be necessary before starting to play to configure a couple of important points to use the Gamepad.

  1. Activate access to the Menu during the game, so we can access save games, load and other settings.
    – Inside Settings> Input> Hotkey Binds> Menu Toggle Gamepad Combo> Change to desired configuration.
  2. Disable for better visibility on-screen touch controls.
    – Inside Settings> Onscreen Display> Onscreen Overlay> Display Overlay> OFF

Within the settings we also have the option to change the configuration of the Gamepad keys or touch controls. We also have different options to change controls for multiple players or even network options to play doubles online.

RETROARCH ON PC WINDOWS OR LINUX

Installation and first steps

To use RetroArch in our mini PC we have multiple options, in any modern system we will have to opt for a 64bit distribution and if we are going to use old hardware based on Atom processors a 32bit version will be necessary.

  1. Install RetroArch for Windows or Linux.
  2. It is possible to use a keyboard but we recommend connecting a compatible USB or BT Gamepad.

The management environment of the app is very simple and does not require much explanation, the keys to move are always the same.

  • CURSORS = Move around the menu
  • INTRO = Enter selected option
  • DELETE = Go backwards in the menu.
  • ESC = Exit emulator.
  • We can use the keyboard in the lists or searchs.
  • The default system can be put in full screen.

Install Core of emulators, games and BIOS

In order to run the games we need several elements, on the one hand the CORE of the emulator that we want to use and another the ROMS to play with the games, some of these systems also require BIOS files to run the machine to emulate.

  1. To install an emulator we need to go to the section LOAD CORE and load the emulator kernel and then load games.
  2. For we must enter LOAD CONTENT and run the ROMS of the games we want.
  3. For some systems we need the BIOS that you can download HERE,
    – Copy the files into “C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\RetroArch\system“.

Gamepad controls and settings in RetroArch

To get the most out of RetroArch, a Gamepad connected to our computer is necessary.

Within the settings we have the option to change the configuration of the Gamepad keys for all players. We also have different options to change controls for multiple players or even network options to play two online.

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