Reply To: [GUIDE] Overlays & Arcade Bezels in RetroArch


Billy T. Pilgrim

[EDIT: Sorry, I misread your post initially and it looks like you’ve already tried some of the stuff I’ve suggested. Still, the rest should still be useful for narrowing down the problem.]

Hi there shortbuskid, you’ve got perfect timing – I’ve just started coming to these forums again after a while away. If any of the menu options I’m saying are wrong or not there or anything, let me know as I’m away from my Pi at the moment and doing this from memory.

First, I know it’s a hassle, but the most common cause of this not working is either file permissions or capitalisation, so double triple quadruple check those. Also, shootersf makes a very good point that I think I forgot to mention in the OP – this does only work on RetroArch based emulators.

I don’t think your problem lies in the main RetroArch cfg file. How it works is this: First Retroarch looks at its main cfg file to get its settings. Then it looks at the one for the core it’s using – this is the one that’s in the emulator’s individual folder in the configs directory. Any settings in there take priority over the ones in the main retroarch.cfg. Then when it’s done with that, it looks for a .cfg for the individual rom it’s loading. Again, any settings in that config take priority over the ones in the other two configs. What I reckon might be happening is that for some reason it either can’t find or can’t access the cfg files for the roms you’re loading.

Without the full details of what you’ve got running I can’t say exactly what your problem is, but there are a couple of things you might try to narrow it down. It could be because RetroPie has updated since I made this guide, and I’m not sure if its new way of working breaks something in my configs.

First, we’re going to check whether the overlays themselves are working properly in the first place. go into your configs folder, and go into the folder for a different RetroArch emulator that you’ve got some games for. Let’s say SNES, everyone loves SNES games. Back up the retroarch.cfg file in there, then try adding the overlay lines into that one – the lines beginning “input_overlay_enable” and so on. It doesn’t matter which of your bezel cfgs you specify here, just one that you know exists.

Save the file and try starting a SNES game. If it comes up with the overlay on it, then we know it’s not the overlays themselves. Doesn’t matter if it’s all in the wrong places or covers the game or whatever at the moment, we just need it to appear in the first place.

If that works, scroll down.

If it doesn’t, double check all the options you’ve got there – opacity, scale and so on. If it’s a big 1080p overlay which just has a bezel at the bottom and you’re running your emulator at a much lower resolution, the bezel could be working right but you can’t see it because it’s off the bottom of the screen. Remember, you need your retroarch render resolution to be set to “Use video output resolution” in the runcommand menu to get RetroArch to use the resolution you’ve set. You can test whether the bezel is going off the bottom of the screen by setting the scale to something like 0.25 – if that was your problem, you’ll see the bezel up in the top left corner.

So, if your overlay works when it’s in the console’s retroarch.cfg but not when it’s in the individual rom’s .cfg file, try this. Go into the runcommand menu, and open up the option for using a specific per-game config file. If the contents of that rom’s .cfg file appear there, then RetroArch will see it and you’ll have to come back to me to try something else. If they don’t appear, try entering in the contents of the .cfg file into that box, then running it and see what happens.

If none of this works, please feel free to come back on here and ask again. I’ve just wiped my Pi and started over and I’m just about to do the arcade games, so if I run into anything useful I’ll let you know. If you do need more help, it’d be really useful to know:

– What model of Pi you’re using.
– What version of RetroPie you’re using.
– Whether it’s from a clean install or whether it’s upgraded from an earlier RetroPie.
– Which rom and overlay you’re testing it with (assuming it’s one of the ones I made).
– What other emulators / games you have on the system.

The more I know, the better I can help – because knowing is half the battle 😉

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