What is RetroPie?
RetroPie originated with the goal and plan of turning the Raspberry Pi into an awesome retro gaming console, and it has grown and progressed from there. RetroPie allows you play all of your favorite old Nintendo, Sega, and other home-console games, as well as PC and arcade games. For the more advanced user, there are many options to configure and customize the system to your personal liking.
Tools and Materials I used to complete my Retro Pie Project:
- Cana Kit/ Raspberry Pi Kit (If you are able to get one of these kits, many of the additional tools and materials below may be already included in your kit.)
- Computer or Laptop
- Raspberry Pi
- MicroSD Card
- A USB MicroSD Card Reader
- A monitor or TV Screen
- HDMI Cable
- Power Supply (for Raspberry Pi)
- Game Controller (with USB plug-in capability)
A helpful list of first time installation instructions and more information can be found here: https://retropie.org.uk/docs/First-Installation/
I used this helpful video on how to get started: https://youtu.be/E1sbnPZ_A8w
A look at the process and how it turned out:
To start with, you need to visit https://retropie.org.uk/download/ to download the pre-made images for the Raspberry Pi. You will need to select your Raspberry Pi model, and then download that image. After downloading the image, I used a program called Etcher https://www.balena.io/etcher/ to flash the Retro Pie image OS onto a Micro SD card. After the flash was complete, I transferred the Micro SD card to the Raspberry Pi.
In order to have games to play on Retro Pie, you need to download ROMs (Read Only Memory). These will simulate the games for the console. I did this by simply googling ROMs and downloading the games of my choice and transferring the file to the game system folder. I used this link (along with some help from our awesome CST Instructor) for help accomplishing this: https://retropie.org.uk/docs/Transferring-Roms/.
When I booted the Raspberry Pi, Retro Pie launches on start-up. I had to make sure that my USB game controller was plugged into the Raspberry Pi on start up because it will detect the controller and walk you through a series of prompts to set up and configure the controls. Once this was complete, because I already had ROMs loaded in, I was able to see a menu and many games to choose from.
I have been having a really awesome and nostalgic time exploring and playing these games on the Retro Pie Project. The games look exactly as I remember playing them on the original game consoles. Some of my favorites include Mario Kart, Super Mario World, Zelda, and Mortal Kombat.
I think the Retro Pie Raspberry Pi project is a great option for beginners. The instructions are fairly straight forward and the project seems to work well. I had tried several other projects before this one that I was not successful with, so it felt good to get a project done that worked properly and that I really enjoyed using.
Pictured below, I have the menu of the Retro Pie on my TV screen, showing a few options for game systems. Below that is a picture of the Raspberry Pi and the game controller I used, which was similar to a Super Nintendo game controller.