RetroArch Starter Guide

RetroArch Starter Guide

Last updated: 28FEB2022 (see Changelog for details)

RetroArch is one of my favorite programs to use for retro game emulation, because it can emulate many systems. But it does have quite a steep learning curve. In this guide I’m going to demystify some of the more peculiar things about this emulation frontend, and show you how I set up RetroArch on my own gaming platforms.

This guide is meant to help you get set up with various RetroArch iterations. The video will primarily be done on Windows PC, but the same method will apply to MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Vita, and Xbox platforms, and more.

RetroArch really shines on retro systems, particularly PlayStation 1 and below games. For more modern consoles, it is often more efficient to rely on standalone emulators, which are generally more optimized than RetroArch. However, if you are using a system that relies primarily on RetroArch for emulation (like Xbox), or you have a beefy PC that can run well regardless of optimizations, you may find success in emulating higher-end systems in RetroArch, too.

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Retroid Pocket 2+ Starter Guide

Retroid Pocket 2+ Starter Guide

Last updated: 23JAN2022 (see Changelog for details)

The Retroid Pocket 2+ is a seemingly simple device to set up — it runs Android, so how hard could it be? Well it turns out there are some orientation quirks in getting the RP2+ up and running, and so this guide is meant to take you from the very beginning of your journey with the device and take you to the point of being a superstar.

I’ll be updating this guide as time marches on, so be sure to check back frequently as I add more updates and tweaks.

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Review: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2021)

Review: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2021)

Amazon’s latest Fire TV Stick 4K Max packs an impressive retro gaming value for its $55 MSRP — essentially, it contains 75% of the NVIDIA Shield’s gaming performance at 25% of the cost. In this video we’ll go over setup, customization tips, and emulation performance of this device.

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THIS is the handheld I’ve been playing the most. Here’s why.

THIS is the handheld I’ve been playing the most. Here’s why.

Unexpectedly, the Anbernic RG280V has become my favorite device to pick up and play for quick gaming sessions. In this video I’ll share six reasons why I love it so much, and one thing about it that’s kind of a bummer.

Buy one here
RG280V setup guide
RG280V metal shell

Song during introduction — “Return to Form” by T-120

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Guide: Xbox Series S/X and Xbox One Emulation

Guide: Xbox Series S/X and Xbox One Emulation

Last updated: 16SEP2021 (see Changelog for details)

In my quest to find great emulation at a budget price, the idea of running games on the Xbox series devices recently came on my radar. Considering that the Xbox Series S retails for $300, I decided to pick one up and test its performance against a similarly-priced PC, and the results are fantastic.

In addition to running classic games up to PS2 with higher resolutions, you maintain all of the functionality of the retail Xbox, and the whole endeavor is completely legal and available through Xbox’s Dev Mode process (after a $19 fee). It does take some configuration to get set up, and so this guide will help you through that process and get you well on your way for all the retro gaming your heart could desire.

There are other ways of playing retro games on your Xbox, to include getting whitelisted for an app store that launches a fork of RetroArch from the retail Xbox side, as well as a program called Tnavigator. But the use of these apps is a little sketchy since they circumnavigate Microsoft’s Dev Mode, and so for this guide we will only focus on the Dev Mode process and official RetroArch releases.

This guide would not be possible without the excellent work done by Ryan over at Archades Games, whose Xbox emulator tutorials are comprehensive and relevant. Many of the files used in this guide (including the reverted versions of RetroArch cores for PS2) are borrowed from his tutorials. For further exploration of specific systems, I recommend checking out his channel, and consider contributing to his Patreon page.

Note that this guide will work on Xbox One consoles too, but will require a different DevKit Activation app (more info in that section of the guide). All other parts of this guide apply. Performance will be worse than on the Xbox Series consoles; while I haven’t tested it myself, I have been told that the Xbox One is more than capable of playing Dreamcast and below.

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