In this blog article I want to explain how to install the Raspberry Pi RetroPie. With RetroPie you turn your Raspberry Pi into a kind of classic game console, which allows you to play old games e.g. from Amiga 500, Nintendo64 up to Playstation 1 smoothly.
You can download RetroPie from the website retropie.org.uk/download/. There are two different versions, one for the Raspberry Pi version 0/1 and one for the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. Downloading takes a moment because the file is very large.
Once you have downloaded the image, then you can write it to the SD card normally with Etcher and then boot the Raspberry Pi. After installing it to the SD card, we need to start configuring it.
Maybe at this point a short hint for the configuration. It makes sense to get a gamepad beforehand. For example, this wireless gamepad from GameSir: https://amzn.to/2IGFf94.
With such a gamepad, the setup is much easier. You will notice during the first boot of RetroPi that the configuration is not designed to be done with a keyboard, but with a gamepad. By the way, you can also use a Plastation 3 or Xbox360 controller for the configuration if you have it at hand.
The first time you boot, you have to hold a button on the gamepad first, and then start the setup. As a first step, you need to assign the control buttons that you find on the gamepad. After completing this control button configuration, you will already be in the main menu of RetroPie. Now you can do the further configuration here.
We can now access the RetroPi Menu. Here you will find all the necessary settings, including the item 'RASPI-CONFIG', under which we can call the Raspberry Pi settings and thus make known settings. But now we should first set up a WiFi network, because KODI will be downloaded later. KODI is a Smart-TV extension. For this we need an internet connection.
To set up the Raspberry Pi WiFi connection, we first need to set up our WiFi country settings. That means, we define in which country we currently use WiFi, so that the communication between Raspberry Pi and router works properly.
For this we have to go to the normal settings of the Raspberry Pi (raspi-config) and look for the "Localisation settings", where we define the WiFi country.
In the list below you will find Germany / Deutschland. Now you can get out of the settings. Now we connect to the WiFi network. When you are connected, it goes back to the settings of RetroPie.
Install Raspberry Pi KODI
Now we can set up Raspberry Pi KODI. For this we have to go into the setup of RetroPie. You can also find the setup in the configuration. And here we have to update the RetroPie setup script first, so first download a new version.
After that we can install KODI. To do this, select the menu item 'Manage packages' and then under 'Manage optional packages' you will find a whole list of packages that you can download and install.
To do this you have to scroll through the list a bit until you reach point 312, where you will see 'kodi' and can start the installation by pressing "Enter". After the installation is finished, you will see a window again that shows the processing of the packages.
There we can go out, because all packages have been installed. Now we should reboot once and after that we can test KODI right away.
Configure Raspberry Pi KODI
At the moment, of course, RetroPie still starts first. But we want to set it up so that Kodi should start first and you can access RetroPie from startup. We now see the possibility to switch between RetroPie, the configuration and ports. Behind Ports is now KODI.
You start that now. After a short moment we see KODI start.
Back in the RetroPie interface we can now go to the configuration again and find under RetroPie Setup the possibility to change the autostart function. There you can now choose if EmulationStation (RetroPie) or KODI should boot at startup. At this point you choose 'Start Kodi at boot'. Now you reboot again and KODI should start first.
If you click on the shutdown icon at the top of KODI and then 'Exit', you will get back to the RetroPie interface and thus back to the game console.
What is missing now, of course, are Raspberry Pi RetroPei games. You don't get any games with RetroPie, you have to install them yourself. But on the site Mamedev.org you can find free games, which you can download and use.
Otherwise, for each game you also need the original game license, which you must buy beforehand. Then you can play the games on RetroPie. Of course, it is recommended to use a real gamepad for this. At this point, one more restriction must be mentioned. RetroPi is not a full-fledged game console.
It can mainly be used to play very old games up to Playstation 1. RetroPi is therefore quite a nice gimmick. But at the same time you have an entertainment center integrated and all that on the inexpensive Raspberry Pi. Isn't that fantastic?
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