Are you looking to (re)discover the joy of playing retro video games using a Raspberry Pi and RetroPie? Here’s everything you need to know to get started!
What you’ll need
For the initial SD card setup, you’ll also need:
Another computer connected to your network. We’ll refer to this as “your usual computer”, to distinguish it from the Raspberry Pi computer that you are setting up for retro gaming.
Choosing the right Raspberry Pi and accessories
Although RetroPie will work on any Raspberry Pi, even the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, we recommend using one with as much RAM as possible, because this will result in a smoother gaming experience. For our tutorial, we’ll be using an 8GB Raspberry Pi 4. Raspberry Pi 400 is also a great choice, especially if some of your favourites use the keyboard as a controller.
If you’re using a Raspberry Pi 4 or a Raspberry Pi 400, you will need a USB-C power supply and a micro-HDMI-to-standard-HDMI cable. Older models will require a micro USB power supply and a standard-HDMI-to-HDMI cable instead.
Power supplies come in a variety of formats, and you may find that an unofficial model such as a phone charger won’t be powerful enough for your Raspberry Pi. For ease and reliability, we offer affordable official USB-C and micro USB power supplies in a variety of regional formats. If you plan to use your own power supply, you’ll see a lightning bolt in the top right corner of your screen if it’s not supplying enough power to the computer.
Download and install Raspberry Pi Imager
We’re going to use an application called Raspberry Pi Imager to write RetroPie to our microSD card. Raspberry Pi Imager is available for free for Windows, macOS, Ubuntu for x86, and Raspberry Pi OS. You can download it to your usual computer here.
Open Raspberry Pi Imager and connect your microSD card to your usual computer
Open Raspberry Pi Imager, connect an SD card adapter to your computer, and insert your microSD card into it.
Install RetroPie to your microSD card
In Raspberry Pi Imager:
CHOOSE OS: RetroPie can be found under Emulation and game OS. Here you can pick the correct image for your model of Raspberry Pi.
CHOOSE STORAGE: select your microSD card.
WRITE: lastly, click to write Raspberry Pi OS to your microSD card.
Setting up your Raspberry Pi
Once your microSD card is ready, insert it into your Raspberry Pi. Connect your keyboard, mouse, and monitor or TV.
Plug in your gaming controller
We’re using a generic USB gaming controller, but you can also use a variety of wired console controllers such as those made for Xbox and PlayStation. If you plan on using a wireless gaming controller that doesn’t have its own dongle, be prepared to troubleshoot some connection issues.
Lastly, connect your power supply to your Raspberry Pi.
Configure your gaming controller
RetroPie should now begin its initial start up process. When prompted, follow the on-screen instructions to configure your controller. When complete, press your newly assigned A button to exit the setup.
Add games to RetroPie
Format your USB flash drive using your usual computer
You’ll need to format your USB flash drive to FAT32 or exFAT before you use it to move your games to your Raspberry Pi. You can format it on macOS using the Disk Utility application, or on Windows by right-clicking on the flash drive then selecting Format.
Build your folders
Next, create a new folder on your USB flash drive and name it “retropie”. Eject the flash drive from your usual computer and plug it into your Raspberry Pi. RetroPie will now create folders on the USB flash drive for you. This should only take a few minutes, and you’ll know it’s complete when the LED on your Raspberry Pi stops blinking.
Download ROMS to your usual computer
Game files are called ROMs, and you can download them from a variety of online sources. There are a few copyright restrictions surrounding ROMs, and you should always check that the website you’re using is not supplying pirated content. Websites like itch.io provide some brilliant homebrew ROMs, and you can also find some official SEGA ROMs on Steam.
Read the full story here: https://www.raspberrypi.com/tutorials/retropie-raspberry-pi-tutorial/