New to this and I need help


This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  taalas 2 years, 10 months ago.

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    I have a Raspberry Pi 2B that I have hooked to a monitor, and have NOOBS installed on a 8GB micro SD card. Rasbian runs fine on the Pi. I now want to install RetroPi game emulator and play games through the Pi.

    First question: Should I purchase another micro SD card to install the RetroPi software on? If so, what size is recommended?

    Second question: Do I need to somehow uninstall the NOOBS from the Pi before installing RetroPi, or can I simply load the RetroPi over the NOOBS Rasbian?

    Third question: I plan on hooking up a USB external hard drive to the Pi. Should I use the external hard drive for ROM storage?

    Thanks for any advice!



    Hello bismarckdon,

    to hopefully answer some of your questions:

    The Pi completely runs off the SD card, which means once you exchange the card and put another one in it is as if the other card never existed. Nothing for you to uninstall.

    To use RetroPie you have 2 options:

    Either use the RetroPie-Setup script to install all necessary software components inside an existing Raspbian distribution (like you possibly have installed using your NOOBS card), or getting a preinstalled SD card image.

    The latter might be the better option if you are looking for a ready to go solution. You just download the SD card image, write the contents to an SD card and you are ready to boot from it.

    For this you can either use your existing card (replacing the NOOBS image) or get a new one. If you get a new one the size depends on the number and kind of roms you would like to store on the card. I use a 16GB card and this covers the roms I use on the system very well.

    As for storing roms on an external USB device, I think it might be possible, the default rom paths point to a place on the SD card though and you would have to change them. I haven’t done this though, so this should probably be confirmed by someone who has…



    Thank you for the advice. As I mentioned, I am new to this and I’m sure I’ll have a lot of questions along the way.



    No worries, I have started using RetroPie myself very recently and know that getting the concepts can be hard at first. I’d be happy to help if I can…



    Another quick question. Do you recommend a specific game controller? Not sure which way to go.



    Personally I am currently using an Xbox 360 controller with a wireless PC receiver, mainly because I already had it and it maps to all buttons of the virtual RetroArch controller. The D-Pad on this controller is very wonky though and if you plan to stick to older systems that don’t rely on analog sticks I would go for an SNES controller (I plan to purchase one soon).

    You can either use an original and connect it via a USB converter or the breakout board that is part of the RetroPie project or buy a 3rd party SNES controller with USB built in. These tend to vary in quality though, search the forum for peoples suggestions. I hear the iBuffalos should be a good option.



    Just gonna jump in on that controller question:

    I set up my RetroPie about a week ago, and I started using an old wired xbox controller I had. It worked fairly well, and did everything it had to.

    However, I also recently purchased some USB N64 controllers to use instead, as I thought that they would be more authentic, and feel more retro.

    I HIGHLY reccomend using N64 controllers – they work a treat. I mostly emulate SNES games, so while a SNES controller would seem like an obvious choice, the N64 controller works I think much better.

    For starters, the N64 controller has a D-pad and analog stick, but unlike an xbox controller, both work to control the SNES D-pad, even though I’ve configured the analog stick as an analog stick.

    The Z trigger I’ve set to select, which works well, and whilst the N64 has no X or Y buttons, 2 of the C buttons are automatically used as x and y when playing SNES games.

    There is no better alternative in my mind.

    There is a large range of choice of N64 controllers out there, personally I went for some fairly cheap ones, but they work great and I reccomend them:

    Sorry for the rant about controllers, just thought I’d let you know how great I think these are xD



    Thanks a bunch for the help. At this point, I want to get everything up and running on my monitor to test it out. I have plans to build a tabletop arcade style arcade enclosure to house everything. I know at that point, I’ll be switching to joysticks and buttons, but that’s down the road.

    Thank you all for the help!



    I’m running all my Playstation games from a 500GB USB HDD

    Here’s the simple guide:

    How to load ROMs from a USB drive on RetroPie 3



    Not to be the bad guy here, I just wanted to say that I have read bad things about the Qumox controllers. Most of them seem to be of bad quality and the N64 one especially has the problem, that the analog stick isn’t really an analog stick at all but just mimics the D-Pad (even sending the same signals) and can’t be used for analog input at all. Just check some reviews on the controllers if you’s like confirmation on this…

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