As of late, I’ve been getting back into some sweet retro gaming. My Son is now 8 and there is nothing better than showing him some of the games that crafted my childhood. From Super Mario to Golden Axe, I decided to create my own retro gaming console with a Raspberry Pi.
1 – What You’ll Need
So you can do this on an existing PC, but I would strongly recommend purchasing a Raspberry Pi. You can pick one up from Amazon here.
Raspberry Pi is a single board computer, designed initially for teaching computer science. You’re going to want to pick up a power supply also from here and a microSD card (32GB or larger).
Grab yourself a couple of gamepads and a retro Pi case. I would recommend this GeekPi kit, which has everything you need. Lastly, search those drawers for your best spare HDMI cable.
2 – Install RetroPie
Once you’ve got your Pi, let’s get RetroPie installed! Get your SD card into your PC, you may need a USB to microSD card adapter. Download the latest image build from https://retropie.org.uk/download/ and extract the .img file with something like 7-Zip.
You can then use Etcher to write the .img file to the SD card and voila! You have RetroPie installed.
3 – Configure
Plug in your USB controllers and follow the on-screen instructions to configure. It should recognise the gamepads and you can also configure an Xbox or PlayStation controller if you’d prefer.
Once the gamepads are set up, you’ll find the RetroPie is looking pretty empty. Fear not! Until it has some roms on there, it will stay that way. Let’s work on that next.
Two options here are ethernet (hard-wired) or over Wi-Fi (you can use USB, but that requires it to be permanently connected). The wireless connection can be set up from the RetroPie menu.
Once the wireless or network is set up, you should be able to navigate to \\retropie in Windows Explorer or smb://retropie in macOS Finder. If the DNS entry doesn’t work, just replace retropie with the IP assigned. Simply copy the rom files to the roms folder on the RetroPie, feel free to make some systems folders for organisation.
4 – Play, Test and Tinker
Once transfer is done, restart the device from the menu and give it a spin! The out of the box emulators work for most roms, but there are plenty of options to install additional ones if needed. Just head over to https://retropie.org.uk/docs/ for more information.
Thanks for reading! Any questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer.