Raspberry Pi 3 as an Emulator

Ryokai 3 3 RetroPie Mushberry 3D by Ryokai

Were games better in the good old days?

Now you can find out yourself using a Raspberry Pi! Hook up an old controller from your busted NES or brandish a brand new PS4 controller. It really doesn’t matter which. Read on for how to do it!

Remember when you were a kid in the video game store? Shining boxes from Nintendo and Sega on parade! Who would have thought that you years later now can play them all, on your shiny 55″ flat-screen TV and be using a controller of your choice?

How to install RetroPie? Easy! You can use almost any model of the Raspberry Pi but we recommend Raspberry Pi 3 Model B for best performance. You should get a case for the Pi, and make sure you have a compatible MicroSD card. You’ll also need an HDMI cable, TV-monitor and USB-keyboard and USB-controller of choice (alternatively old controllers, but those need adapters). You must also have a MicroSD card reader connected to your computer.

When you have all hardware, go to https://retropie.org.uk/download/ and download an SD image for Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. Extract the .gz file using 7-zip for Windows or matching programs for your system. Alternatively, use an online service.

Next, you’ll need to mount the .img file onto the MicroSD card. For this, connect your MicroSD card to your computer. Then you’ll need one of following programs to do it:

  1. Win32DiskImager for Windows
  2. Apple Pi Baker for macOS
  3. Etcher for Linux, alternatively use the dd command.

Boom! You’re done! Hook up your Raspberry Pi turned-emulator to your HDMI port on your TV and connect the power. On first boot, you’ll be able to connect a controller using the USB port. Follow the instructions and you can map different buttons to your liking.

How to add ROMS

To be clear, ROMs of real games are regulated by copyright law. Many countries do however allow the use of ROMs if you own a copy of the game already.

The easiest way is to load a USB stick with ROMs downloaded on your computer, then plug it into the USB port of your Raspberry Pi and put the ROM files in folders for respective emulators; SNES games in the SNES folder, Genesis games in the Genesis folder and so on.

For more detailed instructions, check out this guide here:

With a Raspberry booted with RetroPie, you can in theory play any game of the glory days using its emulator. Just hook it up to the TV and use a controller adapter or with a PS4 controller using Bluetooth.

So, what do you guys think? Is RetroPie the best thing since sliced bread, or do you dust off your old consoles from time to time? Let us know in the comments below!