Turn a USB Flash Drive into a Portable Gaming Console using Batocera

The Batocera firmware lets you flash a lightweight, emulation-focused operating system onto any flash drive, hard drive, or SD card. So what if we flashed it onto a flash drive, loaded it all up, and then used that as a portable gaming “system” that could be plugged into any Windows PC? That’s what we’re going to explore in this video.

Download Batocera
Batocera wiki
Batocera Nation YouTube channel

USB flash drive
Rii USB wireless keyboard
8bitDo Pro 2 controller

Note that you can use any number of storage solutions to host your Batocera operating system, like an external HDD/SDD, and internal drive installed into your PC, or even a SD card if you have a built-in (or USB) reader.

Artists featured in this video:
“Radar” by T-120
“Evening Breeze” by Mad Reflex
“Full Reset” by E-240

00:00 introduction
01:18 tools and tips
02:46 installation and startup
05:00 transferring files onto the flash drive
06:55 how to configure settings
11:00 testing on a different PC
12:01 gameplay testing + tunes
21:32 summary and conclusion

Note that if you have a pre-built PC (like from Dell or HP), you will likely need to disable “Secure Boot” in the PC’s BIOS menu before booting a USB flash drive.

6 thoughts on “Turn a USB Flash Drive into a Portable Gaming Console using Batocera

  1. This is heading towards the ultimate setup for me personally – a self contained system with everything on it and ready to go (like the sd card that comes with the super console x) but I’d designed to plug into my own pc or even a download image to unpack and go from. Granted id lose portability but it’s a good contributed and then i wouldn’t struggle to run anything. I’m guessing i could even run newer systems like ps3? Or Xbox 360?

    If love to see someone release a hard drive or downloadable image that’s pre made for this purpose!


  2. I have actually set this up on a PC I got out of the trash pile at work. It’s an HP ProDesk 400 G1 MT with no HDD. I am using Batocera and have set Kodi up for TV and Sports viewing. So far so good.

    I have been able to play everything up through PS2 and 3DS. Haven’t tried PS3 yet.

    Thanks for the guide and keep up the great work!


  3. Hi RGC,

    thanks a lot for the input! I was not aware one could do something like this. Like Steve already pointed out, this might just be the solution I was searching for!

    Still: Can somebody tell me, whether something like Lakka offers the same option?
    If yes: How do they compare against each other?

    Keep up the great work,


  4. So I installed the new batocera 32 on my old netbook
    My computer came out in 2008 and it has a intel atom cpu and 1gb of ram But when it was done installing it got stuck on a command line screen and it didn’t show the splash screen is there any way I can fix it and should I install it again?


  5. Is there a way to use specific shaders from RetroArch only for certain cores/system?

    I tried changing shaders via hotkey+bottom key, saving them and core override but doesn’t seems to work when restarting a game.

    Or are RetroArch settings not meant to be changed when using Batocera?


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