What is RetroArch?

RetroArch is a powerful engine that allows you to:

  • Play games (retro and more current ones)
  • Watch movies (soon)
  • Other stuff (augmented reality, etc) (soon)

It comes with its own built-in collection of applications to provide you with a ‘one-stop-shop’ for entertainment.

RetroArch is an open-source project that makes use of a powerful development interface called Libretro. Libretro is an interface that allows you to make cross-platform applications that can use rich features such as OpenGL, cross-platform camera support, location support, and more in the future.

What is RetroArch most commonly used for ?

RetroArch can be many things to many persons. However, it is currently used by most as a modular multi-system game/emulator system. It suits that usecase well since it has been designed to be fast,
lightweight, and portable. It has features few other dedicated games / emulators have,
such as:

  • Real-time rewinding
  • Multi-pass shaders (up to 8-pass)
  • Game aware shading
  • Remote networked sound support
  • A built-in GUI/OSD system

And more…

What platforms does it support?

RetroArch sets the standard on cross-platform portability right now.

  • Linux (x86 and x86_64)
  • Windows (32bit/64bit)
  • Mac OSX (Intel)
  • Playstation 3 (PS3 SDK)
  • PlayStation Portable (PSP) [WIP]
  • Xbox 1 (XDK)
  • Xbox 360 (XeXDK/Libxenon)
  • Gamecube
  • Wii
  • Raspberry Pi
  • OpenPandora
  • Android
  • Blackberry (10/Playbook)
  • iOS

What web platforms does it support?

Far be it for us to just limit ourselves to physical platforms – we also go beyond that:

  • Javascript (ASM.js – Enscripten)

Check out a handful of demos here – RetroArch Emscripten. Note – best results are obtained by using Firefox Nightly. It can mean the difference between a core running at fullspeed or not depending on your hardware/OS.

Where can I get it?

Latest stable releases are available at the Downloads page.


Android app on Google Play

Fork me on GitHub
  • http://miodrags.5gbfree.com Miodrag Stancevic

    When I tried to open Retroarch I got an error: “retroarch.exe is not a valid WIN32 application”

    • AndresSM

      Maybe you tried the x64 megapack, there is a WIN32 and a WIN64 pack

  • Albert

    OH wonderful! I hope the latest verision comes to 360 <3

    • AndresSM

      It will take some time. Maybe by the time 1.0.0.2 or 1.0.0.3 arrive.

  • Vineyard101

    Works great on mojo

  • Pitoanto

    Hi.
    I have a JXD S5110 with Skelrom 1.6. My question is, How do I get out the FPS while in game screen?

    Good job wuth RetroArch. You’re the bests :)

    • AndresSM

      You can go into RGUI (green menu) and in settings you have show framerate

  • Micechal

    The rounded croners don’t seem to work properly in Firefox 26, but they do in Chrome 32. Try using “border-radius: 6px;” instead of “-moz-border-radius: 6px;”, which (I think) is obsolete.

  • Ernie Beltran

    Any way to make it full screen on the ios jailbroken device??

  • lul

    How can you make the legend of Zelda ocarina of time work. Link doesn’t move :c

    • AndresSM

      What platform?

  • Andrew

    Hi the left right up down doesn’t work with Pokemon stadium when selecting the Pokemon for battle. Any help. Please email me mj23ixx@aol.com

  • Incognit

    Can somebody help me, i want to play DK64 but the Ape can’t enter into the level. It just goes through the door but doesn’t happen anything. Is on iOS 7.0.4 on an iPad 4. Your help will be thankful. And by the way, is a pretty cool emulator. Great work.

  • Incognit

    Well i finally make the DK64 work as it has to be. Changed the CPU compiler and used the cached interpeter and worked as it was designed, but very slow. The Dynamic recompiler doesnt work, as shown in my other comment the ape can go through walls. So hope this bug if it can be named like that get fixed on a RetroArch update…

  • Thunder

    PLEASE!!
    somebody tried to play Killer Instinct Arcade on retroarch MAME, it is possible?

    • AndresSM

      It works fine for me on Windows.

      • Thunder

        Can u help me I have the roms and the chd file but it doesn’t run, do u have the old file to run on mame v78 retroarch? or how do u do to play it, I have an iPhone 4S and iPad 3

        • AndresSM

          I use MAME 0.154. I’m just starting to work on mame078 to fix path mappings, etc.

          In the meantime this page has some useful info that might help you
          https://github.com/libretro/mame2003-libretro

          • Thunder

            That means tha will be possible to play killer instinct arcade on retroarch iOS ?

          • AndresSM

            It should be possible already but I haven’t personally used mame078 at all. That page tells you how.

            I’ll be fixing path mapping so that mame078 works the same way other cores do, use standard paths, etc.

          • Thunder

            Sorry for many questions, the only actual mame is the v078 or are other mame in iOS?

          • AndresSM

            No idea I only use RA on Android and Windows

          • Thunder

            Ok I will try to run KI, hope it runs :(

          • Thunder

            sorry man but i do this….
            “Better path management. For now all games must be placed in a folder named ‘rom’.”

            “Other folders must be created manually in ‘rom’s parent directory. Their names can be found under the File I/O section of src/libretro/osd.c.”

            but this part is what i dont understand, i put the roms on folder “rom” and created a folder “kinst” for the CHD, i put the CHD out the folder with the roms and it not runs, any idea how to put the roms, can u help me, please

          • AndresSM

            My guess is you should find an older mame version and see how it behaves by default.

            Have you tried non CHD games? are you sure your CHD is for 078?

          • Thunder

            :)

          • AndresSM

            No and this is not the place for ROM requests

          • Thunder

            Well thanks and sorry for ask that :)

  • Thunder

    Any idea what could be… I found the full mame 78 rom set and tested on PC mame78b and all roms works but when intrude to play KI on iOS retroarch it doesn’t run input the rom and chd on folder as I do on pc

    • AndresSM

      I tried KI on MAME078 core in PC and all I get is a blue screen

      • Thunder

        I tried on mame78b and it runs but on iOS not :(

  • Dandare

    Great Project for CRT/Scanline fans like me. I tried it with GZDoom, but yet it crash for unknown reason. Hopefully it will be supported in future. Maybe a whole desktop applied CRT Filter for Windows would be cool, too

    • AndresSM

      What is GZDoom?

      • Dandare

        It’s the OpenGL Version of ZDoom. http://zdoom.org/wiki/GZDoom.

        • AndresSM

          There is a PRBOOM core, you would need a GZDoom core to do that I guess

          • Dandare

            I guess that, too. But even the PRBOOM Core, didn’t work further then the Start-Screen. If you click “New Game” the Menu disappear and nothing happen. Well,i was just to mention the demand for proper Boom emulation :)

  • Thunder

    Ok I give up with KI, now have u tried to play doom on prboom

  • DynaMyke

    I’m having a lot of trouble trying to run psx games on my google nexus 7! Is this the right place to ask? Many thanks

    • AndresSM

      What kind of problems?

      • DynaMyke

        OK so I got things working to some extent but now it seem every game I try to play whether it be Sega genesis to psx, all keep freezing! I get a few mins into it and it freezes, other games take about 10 seconds to freeze. Any idea?

        Many thanks

        DynaMyke

        • DynaMyke

          This is what happens

          • DynaMyke

            Ok so it won’t let me post the picture but it freezes for 5-30 seconds then shows retroarch is not responding

          • AndresSM

            Disable the threaded video option, it’s a known issue, fixed by now but it hasn’t been pushed to google play yet.

          • DynaMyke

            How about playing Sega CD games? Are they compatible with androids retroarch?

          • AndresSM

            Yes

          • DynaMyke

            What core? I have BIOS files but no joy

          • AndresSM

            Both picodrive en genplusgx should work. You need bin/cue images

          • DynaMyke

            OK thanks for your help! I’m sure I’ll be back in touch if I have no luck!

          • DynaMyke

            Ok so I haven’t got genplusgx on my version of retroarch, I still can’t run sonic CD for Sega CD. Below I have added a picture of my ROM file. At the bottom you will see both the bin and cue file for sonic CD and above somewhere are multiple BIOS files. I have tried load and detect core but picodrive is the only Sega core that appears and just crashes out when i choose it. Am I doing something wrong?

          • AndresSM

            Required BIOS file(s): “BIOS_CD_J.bin“, “BIOS_CD_U.bin” and “BIOS_CD_E.bin“

          • DynaMyke

            Oh and thanks so much, disabling that option makes it run perfectly. Many thanks to you

  • Arrow Slanger

    Hey there AndresSM, I am using RetroArch on my iPhone 5 w/ iOS 7.04.I am having a blast running all the old NES games I used to play as a kid. For my question, I decided to try and hook up the Wii remote, I have BTStack installed, and am able to get the Wii remote connected, but it seems like the buttons are mapped wrong, like the thumbpad on the wii remote makes my character jump, the b button makes him move up etc. Also, when I select Wii remote + classice, nothing happens, its only when I select sixaxis/dualshock that I get any response using my Wii remote. Any suggestions or tutorials you can link me to?. Thanks.

    • AndresSM

      I don’t have an iOS device so no idea..
      You can always try on the forums

  • cm

    Hey need help for this lag im getting, im not quite sure but it seems it has to do with the emulation or roms from certain sites.

    • AndresSM

      You should state your platform at the very least…
      Also what core and what games

  • http://www.mozzarellashop.it MasviL

    Are save states and/or save games cross-platform compatible?
    I mean: can I generate a save state and/or save game in Windows and use it on Android (or iOS etc.)?

    • AndresSM

      Yes

  • Sergei_Alekseev

    Hello. Latest version for Android + PCSX ReARMed freezes randomly. Nevermind with or without threaded video driver.

  • blackhawk

    hi, i cant seem to download retroarch app from emu4ios.com, it says its being worked on and i have been checking for about a week now, is there any way to know how long its gonna take.

    • AndresSM

      Justo download it from here or the official cydia repo

      • Lolage

        The files is in the form of a “.app” folder. What do I do to make it an app that can be installed on my phone? Isn’t it supposed to be “.ipa”?
        Edit: BTW I’m not Jailbroken and I wont consider jailbreaking it anytime soon

        • AndresSM

          download from the cydia repo with cydia

        • AndresSM

          No way around that then sorry.

  • blackhawk

    Nvm srry i found all my answers on this page lol, I want looking in the right place, thanks for the help.

  • Phill

    Can you use a Moga Ace controller with this? If so, how?

    • AndresSM

      I guess with meancoot’s mfi wrapper but to be honest I have no idea

  • Emilio1770

    Hello, I have retroarch installed, I also have my ps3 connected, all the buttons work when I play games but I can’t get the analogs to work, pls help? Thank you,

    • AndresSM

      Known issue, might be fixed on next version

  • Emilio1770

    Help

    • AndresSM

      As I said, it might be fixed on the next version

  • DecMaster

    Hi ! I have the same problem like blackhawk: I’m not jailbroken and the different site where I was able to download RetroArch for no jailbroken ios (so without cydia but with safari) mark that: “Installation issue being worked on ! pleaseheck back later if you want to install RetroArch” and that was already the same message 2 month ago. So can I download RetroArch by an other method (without cydia and jailbreak please) or can you try to solve the problem because I want really play N64 and PSX on my iphone *-*

    • AndresSM

      That method relies on exploiting developer certificates for enterprise distribution. It’s a loophole on the Apple Enterprise distribution system and no, RetroArch won’t support that.

      • DecMaster

        But many person have it :/ I would like to believe you have right but the persons have it with no jailbreak so it´s mean that is possible right ?

        • AndresSM

          Indeed, not possible. You can either jailbreak or build yourself.

          You would need an apple developer account though, that’s like $100 a year or something

  • Roland Garros

    when I download retroarch for PC and extract, I do not see the retroarch-phoenix.exe file anywhere? I have tried re-installing as well.. help

    • AndresSM

      Phoenix has been deprecated, now everything is handled by RGUI (the green menu)

  • Dan

    This is just about the coolest piece of software I’ve ever installed on my iPhone. The only problem is that the erection it’s given me has persisted for longer than 4 hours, which means I’m going to have to go to the emergency room. Thanks developer(s) of retroarch! You may just have cost me my penis! (WORTH IT!)

  • Jose

    Hello there, Great Program just purchased for Ouya.
    But I can not make it keep the border configuration no matter what I do. It will work went I do it on Game but once I exit the border is gone.
    Can you provide me with a Zip file of the entire Configuration already completed so all borders work.
    I am sure is simple enough but been working on it for weeks.
    Any help you can provide will be grateful.

    P,S, THE PROGRAM IS PERFECT. keep up the Excellent work.
    Thanks in Advance.

    • AndresSM

      Is save configuration on exit enabled?

  • healicious

    hi, can i use my currently save files (psx)(which played in xbox360 using pcsxr360v2.0.1) to my ios 7 iphone 5?

    • healicious

      i can play smoothly with my jailbroken iphone 5 but i need import my save files.

      • Squarepusher

        I don’t know. Try renaming the files to the filename of your ISO and the extension to .srm.

  • unknown

    is it support .rar game files?

    • AndresSM

      nope

  • Guest

    How do i download files to the app it says its a zip and i dont know any other way to get a game

  • stupidkidz93

    Hi, I am a newbie here. I seem to have problem with the fast forward function in my iOS6 device.. is it only me or everyone has the same problem?

  • Shiroshinobi

    I downloaded the retroarch app today on my non jail broken 32gb iPhone 5s but I cannot get ps1 games to play but GBA and n64 work any solutions??

    • AndresSM

      You are most likely missing the BIOS files

      • Shiroshinobi

        Scph1001? I downloaded but idk where to save them to?

        • AndresSM
          • Shiroshinobi

            I downloaded it and it still won’t play?

          • AndresSM

            what did you download?

          • Shiroshinobi

            The scph5501.bin bios

          • AndresSM

            I think you need all three of them and you need to put them in your system folder. I’m not sure but the name might be case sensitive.

            Sadly I don’t have an iOS device to guide you

  • Kadir Kuru

    Hi when I play pokemon stadium up down left or right doesn’t seem to work on pokemon selection !!

    • animez2

      you need to get the overlay by pressing the setting button at the bottom (looks like a gear) and then press global configure or something, then output overlay and look for n64 and press n64 button overlay

  • Emilio1770

    Hello, do you know when is the next updat for retroar

  • kyledunne30 .

    Can anyone help me get the moga power ace to work with retroarch? I really wanna play n64 and psx on here with the controller. Thanks.

  • José María Ruiz-Tapiador Guind

    Hi All

    Is retroarch compatible with icade cabinet?

    If it is possible could some one tell What steps I need to follow?

    regards

  • Oldschoolgamer

    When I load n64 games the controls do not appear on the screen they are invisible. Can someone please help me out? When I run PS1 the controls show up just fine. I am running the system on an Ipad.

    Thank you,

    • AndresSM

      You need to enable your overlay, it’s not enabled by default

  • Chris Thwaites

    First of all, what a program! The Wii compatibility is superb, running CPS2 so well seemed like a long lost dream. I do have just a couple of questions though.
    1) Do I need any Neo-Geo bios for Fatal Fury to run, and where would I put this? (I have the BIOS for a Neo-Geo console emulator, is it the same?)
    2) Any help with Prboom or TyrQuake setup is much appreciated (Do I require just the PC games, and where would I put these?)
    Thanks again!

    • AndresSM

      1. Yeah, you need it in the rom path. I don’t think Wii has enough memory for all neo-geo games, check the forum for more info

      • Chris Thwaites

        Yeah, I think I saw Neo-Geo rom limit is 24mb, about the same as GxGeo…

  • Emilio1770

    Sorry my friend but can you tell me how to get retroarchs new update on cydia, thanks

  • veritas_jk

    Hi I am big fan of your program on ps3. Can I adjust screen side?

  • Mayo Vera Luna

    Excuse does moga ace power can be used in retroarch?

  • Joe

    Hi

  • Joe

    I downloaded digimon world for Nintendo ds but mame is available core for this games and it crashes why!!

    • AndresSM

      Auto detection is not perfect. Only desmume core works with NDS

  • Saqib2000

    How do you get ds emulator to work on retro arch? It doesn’t work for me.It says Failed to load content. Pls halp me

  • eyeon

    I’m using RetroArch on my s7800b. I was having issues with it crashing, so I uninstalled and reinstalled it. I can’t get it to recognize the gamepad now, I am able to load games but can figure out how to set the inputs, there isn’t alot in the options. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • AndresSM

      Android’s input driver is due a refactor,.
      With that said, in the Retroarch menu, under input you can remap your controller.

  • animez2

    hello, ive downloaded retroarch and played Legend of Zelda OOT for a while now, and everything was fine until this afternoon when i tried opening retroarch on iOS. BTW MY IDEVICE IS NON-JAILBROKEN, i do not wish to jailbreak as jailbreak is stupid and will destroy your device. anyway, the problem is that every time i try opening the app, it closes. so you open then it goes to a black screen and closes to return to iPad menu. i can’t open the app anymore?!. ALSO, how can i access the saves of the iOS device and extract them from my computer so i have a backup save file on my computer. i downloaded i explorer which enables you to access the app files and documents of iOS on the computer (with your idevice plugged in). please help as i don’t want to erase my data on zelda

    • AndresSM

      First of all, jailbreak won’t destroy your device. The Mupen core and PCSX-ReARMed are a lot faster with jailbreak since that allows the emulator to use the dynamic recompiler.

      Second, is the black screen problem with N64 only? or does it happen with every core?

      • animez2

        It crashes EVerytime I open retroarch, regardless of console, it crashes upon opening of ra app

      • animez2

        Is there a way I can access state saves of my ipad and transfer those saves onto my computer so I have backup saves copied to my computer. And if I delete retro arch and reinstall again, will deleting it delete all saved data on the file or will the files still be there (save States)

  • TechnoGod

    Can someone help me when I try to load a game on all cores it says “failed to load content”

    • AndresSM

      On what platform? some more info would be nice

      • TechnoGod

        iPad 2 on iOS 7.1

        • AndresSM

          what cores did you try? what games? what are their filenames.

          • TechnoGod

            I tried the N64 and the NDS I did unzip the game files and they still won’t load

  • Nathan Nicewonner

    hi I was wondering how do i work retro arch on the google nextbook because i have a few games that i want to play but they are meant for the computer