This tutorial will teach you how to setup RetroPie on Raspberry Pi 3. The same guide will work for both the Raspberry Pi 1 and Raspberry Pi 2 as well.
RetroPie is software that can be installed on various project computers such as the Raspberry Pi, ODroid C1/C2, or PC. This software transforms your device into a powerful retro-gaming system that will provide hours of fun.
RetroPie includes support for 52 different gaming systems which means that you can play everything in one place. There is no longer a need to install a separate emulator for every gaming system. Fire up your Raspberry Pi 3 and enjoy all of your favorite retro-games in one friendly user interface.
RetroPie is simple to setup and configure if you follow the step-by-step guide outlined below. RetroPie also offers tons of different configurations which will apply to the power user.
TROYPOINT suggests watching the entire video tutorial below as the general written steps don’t cover the important details.
How To Setup RetroPie On Raspberry Pi 3
Step 1 – Obtain Necessary Components To Build RetroPie Raspberry Pi 3
Step 2 – Download & Install Free Software
The RetroPie installation file downloads as a compressed archive. You will need to install 7-Zip to extract the image. You will also need to install a program that will write the RetroPie image as a bootable file to the Micro SD Card. Windows users can install Win32 Disk Imager, Mac users can use Apple Pi Baker, and Linux users may use Etcher.
Step 3 – Download RetroPie & Write File To Micro SD Card
Visit the Download page for RetroPie and download the appropriate installation file for your respective device. Once you have downloaded the .gz installation file, you must extract it with 7-Zip which you should have installed during Step #1. Format your Micro SD card if necessary. Write the RetroPie .img file to the Micro SD Card with Win32 Disk Imager (Windows), Apple Pi Baker (Mac), or Etcher (Linux).
Step 4 – Create RetroPie Folder On USB Drive
Insert USB drive into computer. Format if necessary. Create a folder on the USB drive named retropie.
Step 5 – Assemble the Raspberry Pi
Insert the Micro SD Card into the Raspberry Pi 3. Place the Raspberry Pi inside the NES case (insert screws if necessary). Connect the USB dongle for keyboard. Connect power cord. Connect HDMI cable. Connect gamepad(s).
Step 6 – Connect RetroPie Raspberry Pie To Television & Power On
Connect HDMI cord coming from Raspberry Pi 3 to port on television. Plug power adapter into outlet and device will begin to boot.
Step 7 – Configure Attached Controllers
Map the buttons on your controllers when prompted by RetroPie.
Step 8 – Connect RetroPie Raspberry Pi 3 To WiFi
Enter the RetroPie configuration screen and use your keyboard to connect to WiFi. You will need the keyboard to type in your SSID password when prompted.
Step 9 – Insert USB Drive into Raspberry Pi 3 For Formatting
Insert USB drive into Raspberry Pi and wait for green light to stop blinking rapidly. After 30 to 60 seconds, remove the USB drive.
Step 10 – Transfer Game ROMs
To USB Drive
Plug USB drive into computer. You will now notice that there are new folders on your drive that RetroPie has added. Drop your ROMs into their corresponding folder (NES games should be dropped in NES folder, PlayStation games dropped in PSX, etc.).
Step 11 – Transfer Game ROMs To RetroPie Raspberry Pi 3
Remove USB drive from computer and plug into Raspberry Pi. Restart EmulationStation. When system re-boots, emulators and games will appear. You may need to restart system multiple times for all games to load onto device.
In-Depth Video Tutorial
How To Save Games In RetroPie
You can easily save game progress within RetroPie by using the Save State feature. You must first pick a Save State Slot by pressing Select + D-Pad Left or D-Pad Right. Once you choose a slot, you will see that number appear in the bottom left corner of your screen. When you want to load from that Save State, you will first load that state and then push Select + Left Shoulder.
Select + D-Pad Left = Decrease Save State Slot
Select + D-Pad Right = Increase Save State Slot
Select + Left Shoulder = Load From Current Save Slot
Select + Right Shoulder = Save To Current Save Slot
Select + Start = Return To Game Menu
How To Transfer ROMs To RetroPie Raspberry Pi 3
This tutorial will show you how to easily transfer ROMs with a USB drive, however there are two other methods. You may also use SFTP and network transfer as well. You may find additional information on the two other methods here.
How To Get ROMs For RetroPie Emulators
ROM Dumper – You may use a device similar to the Kazzo Cartridge ROM Dumper to legally backup the various games that you own.
Retro gamers may use a Website such as Emuparadise to download tons of ROMs from the most popular gaming systems ever created. It is important to note that this is considered illegal in most countries due to copyright laws. Some argue that it is perfectly fine to use sites such as Emuparadise as long as you are downloading a ROM for a game that you currently own (this is not true).
TROYPOINT feels that if you own a game, you should be able to play it on any system regardless of how you obtain the ROM file.
If you choose to download from sites such as Emuparadise or any torrent sites, it is extremely important to hide your identity with a VPN. A VPN will mask your IP address and provide an encrypted connection to the Internet so your ISP, government, etc can’t log what you are downloading.
TROYPOINT recommends IPVanish VPN due to its fast download speeds and easy-to-use interface. Plus, they have an app available for almost any device you want to run it on (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc)
Simply install the IPVanish application onto your computer, click the connect button, and then download your ROMs. This will ensure 100% anonymity so your identity will not be leaked.
Use the coupon code SAVE20NOW at checkout and receive 20% off any IPVanish VPN plan. This will expire soon so don’t delay.
This page will be updated on a continual basis. Questions about this project? Please let us know in the comments section and we will try to help.
This page includes affiliate links where TROYPOINT may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Many times, you will receive a discount due to the special arrangements made for our visitors. I will never promote something that I personally don't use or recommend. Purchasing through my links directly supports TROYPOINT which keeps the content and tools coming. Thank you!