RetroArch 1.3 was just released for iOS, OSX, Windows, Linux, Android, Wii, Gamecube, PS3, PSP, PlayStation Vita and 3DS.

You can get them from this page:

Once again the changelist is huge but we will run down some of the more important things we should mention:


Reicast (Dreamcast core)

RetroArch-1219-085722 RetroArch-1225-080518 RetroArch-1215-190216RetroArch-1215-193138

We have ported Reicast over to the libretro API. This is a Sega Dreamcast emulator.

Supported platforms:

Right now, it runs on OSX, Windows, and Linux (64bit Intel only for now). Over the next coming days/weeks we will be porting it to Android and iOS as well and making it work for 32bit Intel too, so keep watching this space.

There were some improvements made over regular Reicast. Render To Texture features are enabled (they are disabled by default in Reicast), which means that certain effects like the heat room in Resident Evil: Code Veronica and the pause screen in Crazy Taxi render correctly. A bug got fixed which led to a bunch of sprite tile glitches in Capcom Vs SNK 2. We added a workaround so that Marvel Vs Capcom 2 no longer crashes (by  detecting the game and changing it on the fly to rec_cpp). We made the x64 dynarec work on OSX which wasn’t working before. We implemented a workaround for Soul Calibur (whitelisted for OSX/Linux only for now) that should prevent some of the Z-fighting.


1 – Reicast NEEDS BIOS files. You can run it without BIOS files but the success rate is so low that we really stress you always use it with bios files. The BIOS files go inside <system directory>/dc. If you have not set up a system directory, then it will look for a folder called ‘dc’ inside the same directory you loaded the ISO from.

2 – Make sure that ‘Shared Context Enable’ is enabled in RetroArch. To verify this, go to Settings -> Core -> HW Shared Context Enable and make sure it says ‘ON’. If you don’t do this, you might find that there are severe graphical glitches or that nothing even shows up at all.

3 – It should be stressed that the 64-bit dynarec for x86_64 is a lot slower than Reicast’s 32bit dynarec. Right now, the Reicast libretro core on PC is only available in 64bit form. When the 32bit version comes out, you might want to try it on a 32bit version of RetroArch too, it might give you a big speedup vs. the current 64bit version.

I fully intend on doing more work on Reicast once we have these releases out of the way.


You will find installation instructions for the platforms here

MacOSX PowerPC (10.5) (NEW)

Starting with version 1.3, RetroArch is now available on PowerPC Macs running OSX.

You need at least MacOSX 10.5 (Leopard) to be able to run the PowerPC version of RetroArch OSX.

I have included the cores which are known to work so far with the RetroArch bundle itself since we don’t yet have OSX PowerPC cores on our buildbot.

PlayStation Vita/PlayStation TV version (NEW)

There is also a RetroArch version available now for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV. To use this, you need to use the (still quite impractical for daily usage) Rejuvenate jailbreak. No better jailbreaks are available as of this time, sorry. We will continue fleshing out this port for when a more mainstream jailbreak comes around.

Nintendo 3DS version (NEW)

The Nintendo 3DS version is in a satisfactory enough state to be released now. It has received quite some attention on the Internet already. For instance, some of our cores (like dosbox libretro) has received quite some attention in the press. Others have been impressed by PCSX ReARMed being able to run on 3DS. Overall, the 3DS version has made quite the splash.

You will get the best experience using a New Nintendo 3DS since it has a much faster CPU than the regular 3DS. All of the cores available for 3DS will benefit from this bump in specs.

Lakka – the RetroArch turnkey solution for HTPCs/ARM devboards (NEW)


Remember all that talk about RetroBox last year? RetroBox has now turned into Lakka.

With Lakka, you can turn nearly any ARM or x86 hardware into a fully-functioning retro videogame console capable of running countless games with a very nice userfriendly console user interface. We strive to make it as plug-and-play as possible so that you are not reminded at any point in time that this is actually a PC running Linux.

Startup time is very quick (less than 5 seconds is a conservative figure), and in most cases we use DRM/KMS graphics drivers to ensure the best possible latency given the hardware. The entire user interface is gamepad controlled, you don’t have to bring a keyboard and mouse to this thing, it should be as plug-and-play as possible.

Please check out our sister project’s website here: It’s quite overwhelming the amount of ARM hardware and HTPCs that Lakka can run on.

This is our antidote and answer to the kind of ripoff RetroArch Android boxes that have begun to pop up like Retro Freak and Retron5. The only thing we lack yet obviously compared to those is reading from the original cartridges (inso far as that is important), but we encourage developers to contribute to the project so we can build it up to have support for that too. In the end having something that you can get free of charge and bring your own hardware to it is in your own best interests vs. these kinds of retro hustles.

For the more technical minded, I can’t stress this enough: you are getting an inferior experience emulating on some underpowered Android SoC the likes of which are in these el-cheapo devices that are nevertheless sold at huge markups, you’d very much want to bring your own hardware and run Lakka on it for the best experience and also so that you aren’t held hostage by the hardware itself with forced firmware updates crippling what you can do with the hardware. In most cases we use DRM/KMS drivers with Lakka, so you don’t get the overhead of an X11 server to begin with. What little we lack in terms of spit and polish we hope we can fix with some collaborative effort.

MacOS X (10.6/10.7/10.8+)

RetroArch is available for both 32bit and 64bit Macs running OSX.


RetroArch is available on iOS, both on iPhones and iPads. You can use the Cydia version if you are on a jailbroken device, otherwise you will have to sideload it yourself on your non-jailbroken device.


The user interface got a total overhaul (see ‘Revamped User interface’). Numerous bugs were fixed.

I removed the camera and location API permissions, these were experimental augmented reality features which in hindsight were not really worth it to have to release several different APKs for and it was preventing us from being able to appear on Android TV. It was only ever used in one test core which wasn’t even available through the buildbot anyway so it was just a big inconvenience in the long run.

I know the v1.2 release did not go over well with Android users and there was a lot of criticism. I hope that with v1.3 we are able to win some of these users back. Needless to say it has been hard making RetroArch less CLI-focused but I think it’s finally starting to bear fruit.

You can get the Android version either from the Google Play Store or (better yet), through F-Droid. F-Droid is a really convenient way of being able to run RetroArch. As soon as we push an update to the code, F-Droid within no time will inform you an update is available and allow you to upgrade to the latest version. This makes it possible for you to update RetroArch daily without having to wait for a while for some stable version to come out.


Wii version

Wii and Gamecube ports are the same as ever. More work is needed on the USB HID part of RetroArch Wii before we can reliably use the DualShock3/4 and other USB pads.

PSP version

The PSP version has been updated. There are no big changes to mention for this port.

RetroArch Improvements

Improved playlist support

Both PlayStation1 and PSP games can now be scanned. Once the games are scanned and identified inside the database, they are added to a system-specific playlist. This makes it easy and convenient for you to start these games by just going to the playlist and selecting them instead of having to go through the filesystem and manually select the file again.

Revamped user interface 

There was a ton of criticism about version 1.2’s user interface on mobile devices, like Android. We have decided to give it a makeover. It now resembles a Material Design user interface and some of the annoying display bugs were fixed on Android. It now also has tabs at the bottom which you can touch. This can quickly take you to the playlists and/or settings screen.

XMB has also received a makeover. A bunch of actions now have their own tabs inside the horizontal menu. For instance, you can now scan for content by going to the ‘Add’ tab and selecting a directory instead of having to navigate through a bunch of menus. The history list is also now on a separate tab, as is the settings themselves.

RetroArch/libretro’s reach

We don’t like to brag a lot and we don’t like self posturing. Nevertheless, RetroArch and libretro is definitely starting to become omnipresent. Plenty of people have used it in some form or another without even being aware of its name or its existence. For instance, there have been plenty of projects unrelated to us or the team (like NewRetroArcade) which were actually just libretro frontends implementing the libretro API, and the popular Raspberry Pi distribution RetroPie for instance uses RetroArch for a lot of the videogame emulation it provides.

Not everything has gone according to plan. We had to do a very substantial rewrite this past year that has definitely been daunting and some of you noticed that things didn’t progress as fast as we’d like but we are finally out of development hell again and ready to fire on all cylinders again. There will never again be another half a year delay in development due to endless rewrites.

What’s next for RetroArch

RetroArch 1.4 (the next version) will bring RetroArch to two new platforms.

New platforms – tvOS/Windows Phone

There will be a tvOS port, and there will be a Windows Runtime (WinRT) port so that RetroArch can run on Windows Phones among other things. Those are the two big porting endeavors I will be busy with. I hope to get something substantial done by end of February/March, but don’t hold me to that.

There will be a new user interface as well added to the mix that will cater more to people used to point and click-based interfaces. We showed some screenshots before of the ‘Zarch’ interface we have been working on, and there is also a ‘Hexa’ user interface which might make it out of the prototype stages as well.

There will also be a lot of new cores. In fact, cores are being updated and added daily through the cor e updater, so definitely keep watching that space. You don’t have to wait for version 1.4 in order to be able to use these new cores.

83 thoughts on “RetroArch 1.3 released

  1. Still getting the “The procedure entry point PowerCreateRequest could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll.” error message in 64-bit Vista even though this problem was identified in November…

    1. well, vista and xp are low priority by now.
      someone is looking over that

    2. The Windows version is going to get a ninja update so that it can run on XP again, and I presume Vista as well.

      1. Good to hear!

      2. Is there a update for vista yet? Getting the same error as NinjaMic

  2. Great work as always! Thank you for the best mutli-emulator out there!

  3. Awesome stuff, excited to give the PS3 port a go.

  4. I’ve tried to download RetroArch from F-Droid for a long time, but I can only find version in the “archived” repository. Do I have to add any other repository to download a newer version from there?

    1. Read the instructions here for how to install from F-Droid:

      1. When I read the article, I supposed it only included the links to download the binaries, but I’ve seen it’s got extra information. Now the app is up-to-date, thanks!

  5. When you have it working for Remix OS I would love to do a review for you! is our review on the new Android OS, if we could add RetroArch to the mix I would toss my Windows 10 out the window 😉

    1. it’s just android, should work already

  6. Heck of an update! I can’t wait to get this installed on my assorted devices and try it out. 😀

  7. Any way to add games to the platform db? Sometimes some roms don’t exist in the db and it would be nice to be able to manually add them

  8. core update not working for me – says failure to download .index.
    git version 4de1726.

    anybody else experiencing this?

    1. on what platform?

      1. hi radius4 – I am on windows7.
        I tried a bit later and it worked – downloaded the reicast core ok, but i can’t seem to get it to work with cue/bin – does it need a chd file?

        1. I just use cdi and gdi dumps, so not sure about those

  9. Awesome! I still can’t get the Light Phaser to run on any core (Android version), so it’s useless for me.

    1. what is a light phaser?

      1. – Also Sega used Zillion anime series to promote it.

  10. Marcus Callender

    January 19, 2016 — 3:27 pm

    Still experiencing the freeze on my android after some time when opens1 audio driver is used on all cores save for the one for nes (forgot the core’s name). Would really love to play games with audio in the future

    1. what device do you have? we’ve never seen this

      1. Marcus Callender

        January 19, 2016 — 6:22 pm

        A sky 5.5q. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post links. If I’m not allowed to then I apologize

        1. Well… it seems to be just a regular smartphone… it doesn’t happen on many other devices so I dunno what to say about this.

          Try increasing audio latency, maybe the driver on your phone doesn’t like low latency audio

          1. Marcus Callender

            January 20, 2016 — 2:01 pm

            seems to work at 80ms latency, thanks so much!

  11. How do you compare libretro core versions to that of the emulator they are based off of? For instance, you have reicast now. However that core equals which build from the actual reicast?

    The same thing goes for things like MAME core. Is MAME core the latest .169 version? An older version? How to know?

    Where are the core changelogs posted?

    1. Go through the sourcecode, you cannot expect core changelogs, it would take far too much time to do. And cores are updated in real-time whenever changes are pushed on the buildbot.

      Even Microsof is no longer going to provide details for Windows updates since it is too time-consuming, and that is a billion/trillion-dollar company, not a core team of say 5/6 members.

      1. Dolphin emulator publishes all code commit comments. Go look here: after every build # you can see what changed. You can even go in and see the source code diffs.

        Microsoft also publishes all their details on each and every patch.

        What I’m looking for is to understand how to match a libretro core to the version of the emulator it is based off of.

        MAME is a perfect example. Can I use a brand new .169 ROM with the libretro MAME core? Who Knows, cause nothing is published about which version of MAME the libretro core is based off of. For all I know it is based off of .121 of MAME.

        How does one find this out.

        This is simple to fix and doesn’t have to be a burdensome endeavor. A simple one liner for things like MAME core would be:

        “Based off of .160 MAME source”.

        Then a later commit might be “updated to .165 MAME code base”.

        1. OK, I think I found what I was looking for. The MAME core libretro uses is the very old .139 core. For other people trying to figure this out, it is documented here:
          So if your looking to use any new roms available past .139 version of MAME, use actual MAME instead of retroarch. Exactly what I was looking for!

          1. Wrong.

            MAME 2010 – 0.33-ish (iMAME4All-esque)
            MAME 2003 – 0.78
            MAME 2010 – 0.139 (MAME4Droid Reloaded-esque)
            MAME 2014 – 0.159
            MAME – current day MAME

            Those are all the MAME libretro cores available.

            Regarding the update notes: feel perfectly free to contribute to the project and provide those notes, I have enough stuff to do as-is and an open source project is meant for collaboration, not for one person to do all the work on demand.

  12. Howdy. I upgraded to RetroArch 1.3 on the Nintendo Wii hoping that the FBA CPS1 and 2 cores would’ve been fixed, but I still notice that some Capcom games like Aliens Versus Predator and The Punisher still won’t play on them. Other Capcom games work on it, but I haven’t found anything else on why RetroArch does not seem to play these games on the Wii.

    Is there anything you can tell me on it?

    1. This release was all about retroarch. Not really focused on the cores

      1. Is there a better way I can get an answer for my inquiry? Haven’t found much help on Google or related emulation forums.

        1. well, it’s as I said, most of the cores weren’t really touched.

    2. The v 0.98 can run Predator and The Punisher… flawlessly.

  13. Joel D. Beckwith

    January 20, 2016 — 3:40 am

    Thanks for the awesome FREE work. The Dreamcast core is working great for me except for one issue: Can you post a method for reformatting the VMU? I get the same message for each game indicating that the VMU is somehow full so I can’t save anything (also won’t save the date/time).


  14. Thanks for the awesome FREE work. The Dreamcast core is working great for me except for one issue: Can you post a method for reformatting the VMU? I get the same message for each game indicating that the VMU is somehow full so I can’t save anything (also won’t save the date/time).


    1. I get the same issue. Running Windows 64 bit version of RA 1.3.

  15. Hi devs I have problem with the menu on my Archos Gamepad 2, touch does not responds correctly that I can’t select anything, can you help?

  16. I just installed Mac OS 10.11.3 before downloading this and it does not appear to work. I get an error saying that RetroarchCG can not be opened because of a problem….. I definitely downloaded the right version as it works on another mac running 10.11.2

    Is anyone else experiencing this?

    1. You have to install the nvidia CG framework

  17. There’s nothing in F-Droid.

    1. we have our own repo, check 2 or 3 posts back on this blog

  18. Using the nightlies that work on Vista. I can’t stress how grateful I am the command line log window is no longer mandatory and that PSX has a proper playlist. Reicast works surprisingly well despite current 64-bit slowness. Keep up the good work!

    1. Can you link me the nightlies that work for Vista? I’m getting the kernel32.dll error

      1. By now they should all work, but I’m still using the one from 1/21

  19. Hi Team , Why Windows RT and not UWP compatible for Windows 10 , IOT , Windows Mobile 10 and XboxOne ?

  20. For some reason I can’t map any controllers on my Android TV (Razer Forge). My Razer OUYA XBOX and Flirc do not work (some of them have A and B working, but otherwise nothing). So I can’t navigate the menus to map them. I plugged in a USB keyboard and that didn’t work either.
    Maybe when the user has an unmapped controller, the controller map dialog could come up automatically?
    I really want to be able to use this. Any ideas?

  21. Guys, i cant register on forums (image vericifation is bugged). Btw, where can i find a proper guide for retroarch emulator config(ps3 version)? I downloaded and installed the emu, and tried the Ps1 madnafen core, but i got black screen when i select a game. Tried with 3 games too.(bin files)

  22. Can’t sign up to the forums. Keep getting an error message stating: Image verification could not be verified due to server issues. Please try again later.

    Please fix!

  23. I have a aftv and on version 1.3 its impossible to set up, gamepad wont bind and need a keyboard and mouse to navigate, any one has had luck on aftv?

  24. Great work on the emulator and releasing on so many platforms. However, I can’t help but think the support is really lacking. I can’t get RA to work at all on my jailbroken iOS device and can’t find any support for it. A bit frustrating – I understand it’s a niche device in the great scheme of things, but an FAQ would be super useful at least. Like, why does Retroarch only show zips in my library and not the ROM files?

  25. Awesome job! Any chance of Retroarch in PS2?

  26. Same here, I’ve been trying to register on the forums but the Captcha image appears to be broken so I can’t get past verification. And Contact Administrator has been disabled so this is the only place I know of that I can try to get the attention of someone 🙂

    Please fix the captcha so I can join the forums?

  27. Since this update, my wireless Gamestop controller no longer works. The controller still pairs and connects properly with my Droid Ultra and RetroArch still allows me to bind buttons to user 1’s input, but I can neither navigate menus with my controller as I previously could or play games with it. The inputs are still bound, but ignored.

    I’d also like to know why the slow button does not function like the fast forward button and simply toggle on/off. Is this just a technical limitation?

  28. Hey there!

    I tried a lot but it just wont work … i had 1.2.2 for my fire tv stick running and working … uninstalled it and installed 1.3 … now i cant open any of the downloadable content (donkey kong, mario, …) all are *.mgw files and when i want to open it i get the message “no cores available”, when i try to open it without autodetection of the retroarch crashes and i am back in the fire tv interface.
    What can be the reason?

    I really tried a lot … reinstall, reboot, checked the directory and much more … i have no clue what i can try else.

    Please help! 🙂

  29. Hey there!

    I tried a lot but it just wont work … i am quite desperate spending hours and hours without any success.

    I had 1.2.2 on my fire tv stick running and working. I uninstalled and installed 1.3 … now I cant open any of the downloadable content (donkey kong, mario, …) – all are *.mgw files as far as I see and when i try to open them with the automatic core detection feature i get the message “no cores available”, when i try to open it without the feature retroarch just crashes and i am back on fire tv and can restart RA … what can be the reason!?

    I really tried a lot … reinstall, reboot, downgraded, updated, checked the directories and so on … I have NO clue what I can try else … i guess there is something corrupted but i have no idea what I can try more.

    please help! 🙂

    1. to download cores you can go to updater/core updater, and download the G/W core for mgw files.

  30. Edward Jeronimo Da Silva Filho

    January 31, 2016 — 2:23 am

    PS3 1.3 version not working! Kmeaw 3.55 CEX.

  31. My game controllers work with the psx emulator but when i try to use the snes or the N64 the controllers do not work at all and then retroarch just closes out when i hit the menu combination (L3-R3) please help is there something in the settings i need to adjust?

  32. I do not need these files included in the RetroArch file. Downloads, Saves, States and System. Because I have to delete the RetroArch File regularly. Because I cant start it. Even if I just reboot my pc and the cpu usage is low, RetroArch wont start. Please help me and fix this.

      1. Now I do not have these problems anymore with RetroArch 1.3

  33. So no Xbox 360 version forever? You couldn’t install RGLoader on your RGH’d Xbox 360?

  34. read the post that is two posts older than this one

  35. Would be fun to see a bootable RetroArchOS maybe along the road. haha if it was ever thought of

  36. so, i use for ps3, but I noticed that compatibility is not increased, with previous versions rom like “Mazinger” worked, not with this new version! We can also hope for greater compatibility in the future of romeset sega system? alien storm unfortunately is not working

  37. Hi, I’ve been trying to get RetroArch to start for a while now. Ever since 1.0 or whatever came out last year I haven’t been able to get RetroArch working. Whenever I load it, it shows up as a windowe w/white background, and after half a second it gives me the “RetroArch is not working.” This happens in both 86 and 86_64 versions. Tried running debug version but doesn’t give any info when the crash happens. PLZ HELP??
    Win 10 Home (dont judge)
    Processor: Pentium Dual-Core at 2.20Ghz
    64 Bit, x64 based processor

  38. So I’m in the main menu and I can scroll around but I can’t select anything. Is there some kind of key mapping I can look at so I know wat I’m supposed to press to select an option? Otherwise this amazing peice of software becomes useless to me.

  39. iOS version works but Android 6.0.1 (cm13.0 latest nighty build) version doesn’t work properly.

    Mame many games not working like street fighter alpha 3 which works on mame4droid

    PSP games not working like Tekken 6 and FFVII

  40. Le Bris Thomas

    March 8, 2016 — 9:31 am

    2 things i wish with retroarch: better AA and shaders for the ps3 version, and a windows universal app (so we can instal it on xboxone ^^ )

  41. I am new to RetroArch but I have been playing around with emulators since the mid 90’s. I downloaded and add the Reicast (Dreamcast core) had all bin files from NUlLDC. I put everything in system/dc. I cheked the core information and says the Bios is required and Missing. I tried to lauch the core anyway and it crashed. Anyone have a suggestion of what I may have overlooked. (PC is a high end gaming rig). I have tried other Sega emulators and they all work using RetroArc.

  42. victor leandro jaramillo

    March 9, 2016 — 9:56 pm

    Buenas tardes, Yo descargue la aplicación en su versión 1.3 para android de la google play solo por el reicast (emulador de sega dreamcast) PERO EN LA LISTA PARA ACTUALIZAR O DESCARGAR NUCLEOS NO ESTA e hecho de todo y sigue sin aparecer o estar y aparte es técnicamente imposible de localizar dicho núcleo en esta su pagina oficial o en la red, agradecería la respuesta, EN LA IMAGEN SE DEMUESTRA QUE NO ESTA ni por dreamcast o reicast o sega dreamcast

    1. hola
      No tenemos aun reicast para android, esta solo en OSX/Windows/Linux

  43. victor leandro jaramillo

    March 9, 2016 — 9:58 pm

    Imagenes de que el nucleo dreamcast no esta

  44. I’m trying to play PS1 games, but when I try to load the cue file its says No Core Available, even though I have every core available and the ps1 bios.

  45. What core should i use to play cave mame roms in retroarch??

  46. Can you please release a brief and simple guide to setup Retroarch? I am having problems.

  47. Shutterfashion

    May 5, 2016 — 6:05 am

    Hate to be that guy – but if you don´t mind me asking – do you have any rough ETA on an tvOS version? Retroarch on the ATV will be the best thing ever. Thanks for all the hard work!

  48. Will REiCAST ever work on Wii? I know it probably won’t have the smooth running graphics as Dreamcast does but it would be epic to play Shenmue on Wii.

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