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How to Make a Retro Gaming Console with Raspberry Pi

Enjoy a blast to the past with retro video games! N64, Super Nintendo, NES, PS1, the gaming classics are still lots of fun. This guide will show you everything you need to do to get playing.

What you'll need:

Connect everything together

Before starting up the system by plugging it in (the Pi has no on/off switch, so it will be on as long as it is plugged in), hook the HDMI cable to the Raspberry Pi and to a TV set or monitor. Also, plug in the Fastoe Retropie Gaming SD Card and plug in a USB gamepad.

Retropie SD Card -> Raspberry Pi 4 MicroSD Card Slot
Raspberry Pi Micro HDMI Port HDMI Cable TV or Monitor
Raspberry Pi USB Port Micro USB Cable USB Gamepad
Power Supply -> Raspberry Pi Power Port

Now’s the time to unwrap your handy Raspberry Pi power adapter and plug it into an AC outlet. Carefully plug the micro USB connector into the side of the Raspberry Pi. The unit will power up.

Configure your RetroPie controller

After a few moments, the EmulationStation front end will start up. You will see a screen that says: “WELCOME. 1 GAMEPADS DETECTED. HOLD A BUTTON ON YOUR DEVICE TO CONFIGURE IT. PRESS F4 TO QUIT AT ANY TIME.”. The setup script will guide you through pairing the buttons.

Hold down any button on your keyboard or gamepad and the name will appear at the bottom and then open up into a configuration menu: Follow the onscreen instructions to configure your gamepad- if you run out of buttons just hold down a button to skip each unused button. When you get to OK press the button you have configured as "A". If you wish to configure more than one controller, you can do so from the start menu of emulationstation. For more details on manual controller configurations see this page Here.

See the following diagrams for reference:

SNES Controller

XBox 360 Controller

PS3 Controller


The Hotkey button enables you to press it in combination with another button to access functions such as saving, loading, and exiting in emulators. It is suggested to use the Select button as the hotkey. The following chart shows the default hotkey combinations. For example, if you chose Select as your Hotkey, that means you hold down Select while pressing the other button to execute the command.

Hotkey Combination Action
Hotkey+Start Exit
Hotkey+Right Shoulder Save
Hotkey+Left Shoulder Load
Hotkey+Right Input State Slot Increase
Hotkey+Left Input State Slot Decrease
Hotkey+X RGUI Menu
Hotkey+B Reset