RETROARCH - The all-in-one emulator dreams are made of, son

Jul 10, 2013
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So ATM what is the best emulator for each platform? I got the Beetle PSX HW Meda- emulator for PSOne, any other ones worth getting?
Below is what I currently use in Retroarch, for everything else I use the stand alone versions.

Gameboy= Gambatte
GBA= MGBA
NES= Nestopia UE / FCEUmmx
Nintendo DS= DeSmuME
PC Engine= Mednafen PCE Fast
ScummVM
Genesis= Genesis Plus GX
Saturn= Mednafen Saturn
SNES= bsnes balanced
Playstation= Mednafen
 
Jul 10, 2013
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Isn't the mupen64 Retroarch port decent as well?
It absolutely is, however for the games I like PJ64 has always worked great. With PJ64 its really easy to update to the newer versions of Glide that have been released recently too. I think im right in saying you cant change the mupen64 plugin manually to newer versions?

N64 elulation is a bit like Dreamcast (NullDC or Demul) where to get the best mix of compatability, performance or accuracy it's best to use more than one emulator and see what works best on your build depending on what you want to play.

The above list was more about cores that are imho good enough to use exclusively within Retroarch without needing to use another stand alone emulator, which I dont think mupen64 is in the state to do so with yet.
 
Jul 7, 2010
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Should mention that if you're interested in cheats, the following cores just recently have cheat support added:

mednafen-beetle
snes9x
bsnes mercury
Genesis Plus GX
VBA-M

Yabause and mupen64plus already had working cheats.
 
Jun 23, 2010
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Oman
Below is what I currently use in Retroarch, for everything else I use the stand alone versions.

Gameboy= Gambatte
GBA= MGBA
NES= Nestopia UE / FCEUmmx
Nintendo DS= DeSmuME
PC Engine= Mednafen PCE Fast
ScummVM
Genesis= Genesis Plus GX
Saturn= Mednafen Saturn
SNES= bsnes balanced
Playstation= Mednafen
Thanks.
 
Dec 28, 2005
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Below is what I currently use in Retroarch, for everything else I use the stand alone versions.

Gameboy= Gambatte
GBA= MGBA
NES= Nestopia UE / FCEUmmx
Nintendo DS= DeSmuME
PC Engine= Mednafen PCE Fast
ScummVM
Genesis= Genesis Plus GX
Saturn= Mednafen Saturn
SNES= bsnes balanced
Playstation= Mednafen
Sameboy and Mesen are looking to take Gambatte and Nestopia's crowns. RA devs have already looked into doing ports of both; Sameboy seems to be easier for them to port over. For Mesen, the original author might do a port.
 
Oct 31, 2007
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So I'm trying to get RetroArch to recognize my PSX rips. I can start them just fine, but RetroArch doesn't recognize them and add them to the collection. As far as I understand it looks for the CRC number to identify games? How do I add this to my files (ripped all games as ".bin and .cue")?
Is there any other way to identify the games by, the PSX serial number for example?
 
Jul 7, 2010
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So I'm trying to get RetroArch to recognize my PSX rips. I can start them just fine, but RetroArch doesn't recognize them and add them to the collection. As far as I understand it looks for the CRC number to identify games? How do I add this to my files (ripped all games as ".bin and .cue")?
Is there any other way to identify the games by, the PSX serial number for example?
Use Retroarch Playlist Buddy.
 
Jul 7, 2010
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That seems to only write a playlist with "DETECT" entries all over. It doesn't seem to be able to match anything.
Assuming you pointed it to a folder with just PSX ROMs, rename the output file to Sony - PlayStation.lpl, then it will show up on the right as a Playstation collection, and yes, it will ask you what core to use the first time you run each game (but will remember thereafter).
 
Oct 31, 2007
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Assuming you pointed it to a folder with just PSX ROMs, rename the output file to Sony - PlayStation.lpl, then it will show up on the right as a Playstation collection, and yes, it will ask you what core to use the first time you run each game (but will remember thereafter).
Yeah, but how do I get it all to match the games with the thumbnails (for game covers, etc.) that you can download within RetroArch?
There is an option for that within the Playlist Buddy program, but it doesn't seem to work or I'm using it wrong.
 
Jul 7, 2010
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Yeah, but how do I get it all to match the games with the thumbnails (for game covers, etc.) that you can download within RetroArch?
There is an option for that within the Playlist Buddy program, but it doesn't seem to work or I'm using it wrong.
Oh, that.

I went and got my own thumbnails off the web because I wanted better quality images. Essentially, Retroarch looks for a png file with the same name as the game is named within the collection.

To give an example, I have this in my PSX playlist:

C:\DATA\Games\ROMs\PSX\Breath of Fire 3.pbp
Breath of Fire 3

..and this is the thumbnail file:

C:\DATA\Games\RetroArch\thumbnails\Sony - PlayStation\Named_Boxarts\Breath of Fire 3.png

If it's called 'Breath of Fire 3', there needs to be a 'Breath of Fire 3.png'.

Other useful tools for getting this setup nicely are Irfanview for batch image conversion / resizing, and Advanced Renamer to quickly rename files.

EDIT: if you just wanna use the RA thumbs that get downloaded, you'll need to rename your ROMs so that they match the thumbnail names :-/
EDIT2: be aware that Vulkan driver will crash if you try and launch a game with a thumbnail from a collection, currently.
 
Dec 23, 2012
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Is there a way to get Retroarch to remember the last window position? It seems to start all over the place and some times off the screen when using 4x scale.

edit:

Does anyone know why the genesis plus gx core load games with black bars around it:


Other cores I've tried loads the game like this:


And the video_scale is all wrong with the genesis plus gx core. If I set it to scale at 3x, the game launch at 2x scale. If I set it to 4x, it launches at 3x scale. What's going on here??
 
Jul 10, 2013
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Does anyone know why the genesis plus gx core load games with black bars around it:


Other cores I've tried loads the game like this:


And the video_scale is all wrong with the genesis plus gx core. If I set it to scale at 3x, the game launch at 2x scale. If I set it to 4x, it launches at 3x scale. What's going on here??
Games from that generation of consoles display 224 lines inside the 240p output so you are seeing the overscan that a crt tv would normally hide.

Any reason you are not using full screen? Then you just enable integer scaling to get the correct scale, also cuts down on the input lag if you use an exclusive full screen mode.
 
Dec 23, 2012
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Games from that generation of consoles display 224 lines inside the 240p output so you are seeing the overscan that a crt tv would normally hide.

Any reason you are not using full screen? Then you just enable integer scaling to get the correct scale, also cuts down on the input lag if you use an exclusive full screen mode.
I thought having video_crop_overscan turned on would crop the black bars. It does for the nes, snes, cps2, and beetle cores but not the genesis plus gx.

...anyways I play on windows mode cause I multi-task a lot.
 
Dec 28, 2005
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I thought having video_crop_overscan turned on would crop the black bars. It does for the nes, snes, cps2, and beetle cores but not the genesis plus gx.

...anyways I play on windows mode cause I multi-task a lot.
The RetroArch crop overscan option is depreciated now. Instead, cores have their own overscan cropping core options. GPGX has an overscan option you can disable to crop it. If you don't know how to get to core options, load a game with the GPGX core, hit F1 to bring up the menu, then go into Options.
 
Dec 23, 2012
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The RetroArch crop overscan option is depreciated now. Instead, cores have their own overscan cropping core options. GPGX has an overscan option you can disable to crop it. If you don't know how to get to core options, load a game with the GPGX core, hit F1 to bring up the menu, then go into Options.
This is my GPGX core option list, I do not see the crop overscan option.


The "Borders" option when set to "full" just turns the resizable black border to an unresize blue border:
 
Dec 28, 2005
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The "Borders" option when set to "full" just turns the resizable black border to an unresize blue border:
Yeah, borders was the option I meant. I just quickly looked in my core options file, where it's called overscan. I can't replicate the black bars on the top and bottom of the image in windowed mode unless I turn on integer scale and maximize my window. I would assume you don't have that on since you don't have the borders in other cores though. The window scale options all work as expected for me too.

Maybe if you're running a PAL version it adds borders? I'm using the Japanese version (moving clouds in Green Hill :O).
 
Dec 23, 2012
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Yeah, borders was the option I meant. I just quickly looked in my core options file, where it's called overscan. I can't replicate the black bars on the top and bottom of the image in windowed mode unless I turn on integer scale and maximize my window. I would assume you don't have that on since you don't have the borders in other cores though. The window scale options all work as expected for me too.

Maybe if you're running a PAL version it adds borders? I'm using the Japanese version (moving clouds in Green Hill :O).
I have integer scale on for all cores. Turning it off for genesis core removes the border but the scaling is still messed up I.E. 4x scale in config loads as 3x scale, 3x scale loads as 2x scale. I tried both the (USA, EUROPE) and (JAPAN) version of sonic and they acted the same.

Every core I've tried loads the same way with the black borders cropped at 4x scale expect this one, it's strange. I guess I'll have to live with integer scale off and 5x scale to make it load like the rest of the cores.
 
Dec 23, 2012
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I'm just getting a black screen when I try to boot PS1 games? I have the Beetle HW core and my BIOS files are in the System folder, so I really don't know what is going wrong? Could anyone help?
Try using the regular Beetle core. I had some weird glitches when I tried the Beetle HW core, too. Also, check the hash value of your bios against those required by Beetle, it's very strict when it comes to which bios it accepts.
 
Dec 23, 2012
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Jul 30, 2015
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Jul 10, 2013
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I'm just getting a black screen when I try to boot PS1 games? I have the Beetle HW core and my BIOS files are in the System folder, so I really don't know what is going wrong? Could anyone help?
you are more than likely not changing the video driver to vulcan in the main and individual core settings. reboot retroarch to make sure the changes are saved.
mednafen psx hw will not work with anything but the vulcan driver.
 
I've having some issues with Retroarch (Windows x64), and I'm hoping someone can help me fix it. FPS counter is showing 60.0fps solid. However, I'm getting terrible frame pacing stutters. My TV is set to 59Hz (59.94) in the Nvidia control panel (I've also tried 60Hz instead). Retroarch is set to use 59.940Hz (which it detects my display as). I have tried Vsync on in Retroarch itself, and also off but with it turned on through the Nvidia application settings instead. Vsync off in both gives even worse stuttering.

Games seem to run fine, but when the screen scrolls, it gets really jerky and stutters and looks horrible. It's not consistent at all, either. I have posted a video here demonstrating this. It does this with the Beetle PSX core, but I've also tried bsnes mercury balanced, Genesis Plus GX, and Nestopia cores, and they all have the same issue. I even notice when navigating through the menu that it seems like there are frame skips when scrolling through the menu options at times. I'm using the 1.5.0 stable version, but also tried the latest nightly and it was doing the same thing.

I have tried switching between gl, d3d, and vulkan video drivers, and all seem to have the same issue. I've tried turning on and off Threaded Video and Hard GPU Sync. Neither of these help any, and only bring about even more stutters. I'm at my wits end trying to get the scrolling to be smooth. Does anyone have any suggestions what the issue could be? I also noticed the fast forward toggle isn't working for some reason. I was using it a few weeks ago, but now the games are only running at 100% speed. Not sure if this is related. Only thing I did was delete my cfg file and start over to see if there was some setting I inadvertently had that was causing problems. Oh, I also have Game Mode in Windows 10 disabled (since it only allocates 75% resources). I'm running next to nothing in the background (closed everything I could so my system tray consisted of nothing but the bluetooth icon and Defender).

I'm running an i7-4790k @ 4.4GHz. Display is 1080p, bilinear filtering off, no shaders at all. 8GB DDR3 RAM, and GTX 760. CPU usage is only around 10-15%. I used to play PS1 games on my old 2.3GHz Core 2 Duo laptop with 4GB DDR2 RAM and a GTX 9500M at 720p before without noticing this problem.
 
Jul 7, 2010
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I've having some issues with Retroarch (Windows x64), and I'm hoping someone can help me fix it. FPS counter is showing 60.0fps solid. However, I'm getting terrible frame pacing stutters. My TV is set to 59Hz (59.94) in the Nvidia control panel (I've also tried 60Hz instead). Retroarch is set to use 59.940Hz (which it detects my display as). I have tried Vsync on in Retroarch itself, and also off but with it turned on through the Nvidia application settings instead. Vsync off in both gives even worse stuttering.

Games seem to run fine, but when the screen scrolls, it gets really jerky and stutters and looks horrible. It's not consistent at all, either. I have posted a video here demonstrating this. It does this with the Beetle PSX core, but I've also tried bsnes mercury balanced, Genesis Plus GX, and Nestopia cores, and they all have the same issue. I even notice when navigating through the menu that it seems like there are frame skips when scrolling through the menu options at times. I'm using the 1.5.0 stable version, but also tried the latest nightly and it was doing the same thing.

I have tried switching between gl, d3d, and vulkan video drivers, and all seem to have the same issue. I've tried turning on and off Threaded Video and Hard GPU Sync. Neither of these help any, and only bring about even more stutters. I'm at my wits end trying to get the scrolling to be smooth. Does anyone have any suggestions what the issue could be? I also noticed the fast forward toggle isn't working for some reason. I was using it a few weeks ago, but now the games are only running at 100% speed. Not sure if this is related. Only thing I did was delete my cfg file and start over to see if there was some setting I inadvertently had that was causing problems. Oh, I also have Game Mode in Windows 10 disabled (since it only allocates 75% resources). I'm running next to nothing in the background (closed everything I could so my system tray consisted of nothing but the bluetooth icon and Defender).

I'm running an i7-4790k @ 4.4GHz. Display is 1080p, bilinear filtering off, no shaders at all. 8GB DDR3 RAM, and GTX 760. CPU usage is only around 10-15%. I used to play PS1 games on my old 2.3GHz Core 2 Duo laptop with 4GB DDR2 RAM and a GTX 9500M at 720p before without noticing this problem.
Have you tried full-screen windowed mode? That's how I roll, with refresh in RA set to 59.94. I know that with any sort of v-sync, fast-forward won't work, so you have to choose I think. I leave Hard GPU sync off. Let me know if you want to know more of my settings, I have no issues with judder.
 
Have you tried full-screen windowed mode? That's how I roll, with refresh in RA set to 59.94. I know that with any sort of v-sync, fast-forward won't work, so you have to choose I think. I leave Hard GPU sync off. Let me know if you want to know more of my settings, I have no issues with judder.
Yeah, I usually run in windowed full screen. I tried with the setting off, as well (and didn't notice any difference).
 
Dec 28, 2005
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I've having some issues with Retroarch (Windows x64), and I'm hoping someone can help me fix it. FPS counter is showing 60.0fps solid. However, I'm getting terrible frame pacing stutters. My TV is set to 59Hz (59.94) in the Nvidia control panel (I've also tried 60Hz instead). Retroarch is set to use 59.940Hz (which it detects my display as). I have tried Vsync on in Retroarch itself, and also off but with it turned on through the Nvidia application settings instead. Vsync off in both gives even worse stuttering.

Games seem to run fine, but when the screen scrolls, it gets really jerky and stutters and looks horrible. It's not consistent at all, either. I have posted a video here demonstrating this. It does this with the Beetle PSX core, but I've also tried bsnes mercury balanced, Genesis Plus GX, and Nestopia cores, and they all have the same issue. I even notice when navigating through the menu that it seems like there are frame skips when scrolling through the menu options at times. I'm using the 1.5.0 stable version, but also tried the latest nightly and it was doing the same thing.

I have tried switching between gl, d3d, and vulkan video drivers, and all seem to have the same issue. I've tried turning on and off Threaded Video and Hard GPU Sync. Neither of these help any, and only bring about even more stutters. I'm at my wits end trying to get the scrolling to be smooth. Does anyone have any suggestions what the issue could be? I also noticed the fast forward toggle isn't working for some reason. I was using it a few weeks ago, but now the games are only running at 100% speed. Not sure if this is related. Only thing I did was delete my cfg file and start over to see if there was some setting I inadvertently had that was causing problems. Oh, I also have Game Mode in Windows 10 disabled (since it only allocates 75% resources). I'm running next to nothing in the background (closed everything I could so my system tray consisted of nothing but the bluetooth icon and Defender).

I'm running an i7-4790k @ 4.4GHz. Display is 1080p, bilinear filtering off, no shaders at all. 8GB DDR3 RAM, and GTX 760. CPU usage is only around 10-15%. I used to play PS1 games on my old 2.3GHz Core 2 Duo laptop with 4GB DDR2 RAM and a GTX 9500M at 720p before without noticing this problem.
If you can't fast forward, something is probably forcing Vsync on. Forced Vsync tends to be worse than RetroArch's native Vsync from my tests. Make sure you have the Nvidia control panel Vsync option set to Application Controlled. Both global and retroarch.exe (the control panel has a config for RA). I have it set to that with Vsync on, threaded video off and hard sync on in RetroArch's settings and get smooth scrolling at 60hz. I don't set a specific refresh rate in my retroarch.cfg, so it uses the default 59.94.

Also, it's worth noting that not all games scroll smoothly. I usually test Dragon's Curse in Mednafen PCE Fast to see if I'm getting smooth Vsynced scrolling, since it scrolls at a perfect 60fps.
 
Jul 10, 2013
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Yeah, I usually run in windowed full screen. I tried with the setting off, as well (and didn't notice any difference).
windows 10 enforces triple buffered vsync on windowed full screen content, i recommend exclusive full screen mode wherever possible.

also your refresh rate will be slightly different between windowed and exclusive which is something to bear in mind, exclusive will be closer to 60hz, for me adjusting my settings to the exclusive mode was enough to remove the slight stutter i was experiencing.
 
May 15, 2013
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If you can't fast forward, something is probably forcing Vsync on.
Speaking of fast forward, what is up with Retroarch's wonky high refresh rate monitor support?

I can either: lock the maximum run speed to 1.0x (works with borderless, but doesn't allow for fast forward) or run Retroarch with exclusive fullscreen, which isn't ideal, since each run requires video mode switching).

Is it even possible to play in borderless fullscreen with fast forward working and the game not running at 144/120 fps?
 
Well, I just put Retroarch on my laptop (i7-7700HQ), and things runs smooth there with the exact same settings. I guess there's something wrong with my desktop PC and I'll need to do a format and clean install of Windows or something. God I hate PCs. Thanks for the suggestions.
 
Dec 28, 2005
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Speaking of fast forward, what is up with Retroarch's wonky high refresh rate monitor support?

I can either: lock the maximum run speed to 1.0x (works with borderless, but doesn't allow for fast forward) or run Retroarch with exclusive fullscreen, which isn't ideal, since each run requires video mode switching).

Is it even possible to play in borderless fullscreen with fast forward working and the game not running at 144/120 fps?
My 120hz monitor doesn't have any variable refresh rate support, so I set swap interval to 2 in RA to enable frame doubling. This fixes video juddering. But I have this Nvidia driver bug where swap 2 doesn't work in exclusive or borderless fullscreen after running Youtube (or any other video streaming site) videos in fullscreen. It doesn't affect RA's windowed mode. It happens in Chrome and Edge, but if I turn off hardware acceleration in Chrome it doesn't. It's seemingly random the amount of times I have to fullscreen a video to break it.
 
Jun 23, 2010
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So a few quick questions-
1- How do I edit the PSOne Mednafen emulator's graphics settings? Like I run the game via Retroarch, what do I do next to edit the graphics so I can make it smoothed out etc.

2- In relation to Genesis Plus GX- is there a standalone Windows version that runs as a normal .exe without retroarch?
 
Dec 28, 2005
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So a few quick questions-
1- How do I edit the PSOne Mednafen emulator's graphics settings? Like I run the game via Retroarch, what do I do next to edit the graphics so I can make it smoothed out etc.

2- In relation to Genesis Plus GX- is there a standalone Windows version that runs as a normal .exe without retroarch?
1. After loading a game, hit F1 to open the menu, then go to Options.

2. There used to be a test .exe for Windows that only ran in a tiny window and had no options. I don't think those are compiled anymore, since the author recommends using the libretro core now.
 
Nov 6, 2004
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Well, I don't know about RA on Wii, but on most of the Wii homebrew emulators there is a 240p option that outputs properly on normal TVs.

BTW, what kind of CRT is that? Most TVs had the scanlines running horizontally unless it was turned 90 degrees like in an arcade cabinet.