retropie4+& attractmode super tips (raspberrypi)



march 2017 :

updating as i go along ,some chapters might not make sense as im still writing the tips and tricks





lets update the system/retropie and the emulators

  • If updating from 3.x and earlier: Select Update RetroPie-Setup Script and then Update All Installed Packages
  • If updating from 4.x and later: Select Update All Installed Packages

first do the guide here


now is a good time to update the jessie and compile the attract mode for hardware rendering of videos smoother snaps /intro vids etc or if you have white screen thats also a giveaway you could do with mmal hw rendering support (if says software in the genral settings of attractmode than thats a good sign you havent compiled it with extra params


BOOT [retropie/recalbox system etc] FROM USB harddrive post install

(rpi3 firmware update not needed works on rpi2 etc)

diskinternals linux reader for peeking into ext4 linux raspberry partitions

on your desktop make a new folder called boot (this will be your booting sd card eventually)

grabbing the /boot dir files from the fat32 partition of your retropie image and place it onto your sd card[format it as fat32 then change the cmdline.txt to point to your usb sda1/2 partition


Expanding sd image to larger sd  or usb drive!

for cloning sd to USB drives vmpplayer12 which can run a virtual OS (im on windows) as linux seems to be the only real way of expanding a usb drive ,not even resize2fs or other terminal commands in raspbian worked forthe  usb drive)

for sd card to sd card  imaging/resizing we dont need a vmplayer setup we can use the other apps… heres what you need

  • SD to SD
    • win32diskimager (to image the sd to another /or file for backup i use this method this for my rasperberry images also ))
    • minitools partition wizard  its free version is all you need to resize the target so that  your 3ds can see all of the new 32gb sdcard
    • 5 mins
    • for this example i had a 16gb sd image of recalbox/retropie  and i wanted to clone it and then use all of the new 32gb card space for all those lovely roms!
    • use win32diskimager to/click  ‘read’ (or save the source ) from the 16gb sd card to a file we can backup for future use and write back to the new bigger card right away..
      select the correct drive letter (topright) then browse/ find a folder to save to and type a memorable title for your working/source  image and then  hit read -wait a it writes to your pc
    • when its finished dont close the app we need it still…to write back to larger  blank sd card
    • once thats done load /swap out your new bigger sd card (mine is 32gb ) into your card reader with the app still open you now just click ‘write’  ..(the drive letter & file name/path should have not changed so its good to go)
    • wait a while and when its done we now go into mini-partition-wizard to make it resize from 16gb to 32gb .
    • In mini-partition-wizard find the new larger sd card (your newly cloned  image )among your harddrive list and right click on the horizontal bar (showing the size of the sd card) and choose ‘resize’ …you should get another ui-popup and you basically just grab the right side bar line [ coloured bar ]and drag it across to the right to fill into the grey unused area therefore making full use of the 32gb!
    • click apply.. thats it once its finished place it back into raspberrypi and (fdisk -l in a terminal)will show you its new sized or jsut look inside windows it will also show you that its32gb  in size

  • SD  to a USB drive (bit trickier so we need ubuntu with gparted this is the app that will resize your usb drive at the end)
    • vmplayer12 free ,this will load your os of choice we will need ubuntu desktop so lets grab the iso
    • ubuntu OS also free and usually has gparted already installed gparted is the equivalent linux version of a  windows minitools partitioning app in gui mode! no linux terminal nonsense!
    • 5 mins
    • first install vmplayer and click on create virtual machine .. search for the ubuntu.iso you downloaded earlier and since its linux and supported theres no problem here takes no time to show you a desktop fill your login details then you can get on wit h loading gparted app to resize your usb clone drive of your source SD retropie/attractmode image

not sure what your usb is called whilst plugged into rpi type in your terminal ‘   ls /media/usb*   ‘

my usb path is ended up being sda2 so my cmdline.txt is changed from this      to       this


attractmode bevel art MAME2003 [0.78 set] :

samples in /home/pi/retropie/BIOS/mame2003/samples     [eg.  donkeykong]

roms       in /home/pi/retropie/roms/mame-libretro

bevel art /overlays    .cfgs   go into same roms/ folder inside (mame-libretro) once you have installed the shaders/overlays using videomanager the pngs stay in the folders that video manager setup no need to copy into roms -only the .cfgs need to..


controllers not setup right? missing key binds/hotkey?

try using a keyboard and go into   settings (libretro ) input and click on set default binds.. this worked for me, do it to 2 player also and at least your ps4/3 xbox /snes  pads will have most buttons mapped for you and should let you click select+start to go back to frontend(emulayionstation/retropie/attract)


DREAMCAST/REICAST controller mappings

heres my cfg files for ps4 pad[1P] and usb cheap clone snes pad[2p]

Reicast Ps4 Snespad Controllermappings]
Reicast Ps4 Snespad Controllermappings]
Version: 1
2.0 KiB


my custom art remixes: download below

some jap sega versions i redid as i couldnt find any that matched the orig ones already in my retropie setup

Launcher Splash Screens Megacd And Megadrive V2
Launcher Splash Screens Megacd And Megadrive V2
Version: v2
7.8 KiB



also noticed ‘nibbler’ arcade game in mame had no overlay for it so did one on the style of the others with blurred arcades in the back


Version: v1
328.2 KiB



videos go white/grey/sluggish ? reduce vid size sould make it work again or you needs to rebuild your attract into mmal hardware video capable  video mode you know you havent been suing hardware suuport as youll only have ‘software’ available in the attract mode general/settings?want mmal hardware support for faster HQ video rendering do this:

When you ‘make’ the ffmpeg, compiling can take a while seems-you may think its hanged/ broken or crashed dont worry it will appear in the terminal eventually and just continue with the next command

 permissions /eg overlays not working? roms not loading?

sudo chown -R pi /opt/retropie/ will fix your permissions for /opt/retropie [overlays etc amongst otherthings]



currently/working :

latest attract +retropie/emulationstation  as of march 2017

FB Alpha v0.2.97.39 ROM set for finalburn v0.2.97.39

mame2003 (with 0.78romset) with samples in >pi/retropie/BIOS/mame2003/samples

+ bevel art using this site for setup and retropi vmanager


setup rp-videomanager for arcade/console overlaybezels/scanline shaders

pi@retropie:~/rp-video-manager $ ./

1) Config Menu 3) Overlays for 1080p 5) Quit
2) Apply Shaders 4) Overlays for 720p


choose 1

choose 4 install required files

choose 3 for overlays or 8 for arcade also if you want that too

9 quit/back. then 5 quit done

retroarch config emu files for all retropie consoles listed  are updated and should load the png and set the shaders automagically





ps4 pads work(onrpi3 tested  with built in blutooth) and 8bit works(8bitdo need firmware updates laso remove hakcmode to off in retropie bluetooh settings) clone snes pads(cheap one) works  kodi ‘kidney’ keyboard also fine)


I Misconfigured my pad and now keyboard wont work?or other input issues and you cant use emulation station properly?

SSH in (, run sudo ~/RetroPie-Setup/ and go to Emulation Station configuration via

(or if your F4 into terminal whilst emulation station (via a keyboard) is on try typing the same command above and you should be ok !)

Manage Packages -> Core Packages -> emulationstation -> Configuration or
Configuration / Tools -> emulationstation

and choose the option to Clear/Reset Emulation Station input configuration

(All packages with configuration appear in Configuration / Tools when installed)


compiling attractmode:

“-j4” makes it compile faster 4 processes..


scraping a system thats missing for
emulationstation maual via commandline (windows)

you’ll need:


i needed to fix famicom disk system images and metadata in emulationstation: ;lets use

launch powershell in windows navigate to your roms folder this is easier and you run this command there in its shorter form. for example my folder setup is /FDS [roms are here] and folder called images[your own correctly named images to your rom names in here]

scraping via default ‘gdb’ option didnt work returne no hash errors on every rom, so i enabled ovgdb instead which seemed to work .and also foudn metadata (desc,publisher,year,name,etc)

my windows dirs are setup like this

/FDS [roms inhere]
…> Akumajou Dracula (Japan) (v1.2) [b].zip
…> blahblah…[b].zip

….>Akumajou Dracula (Japan) (v1.2) [b].png

the scraper command will use the files from your images dir to grab the names for the image path entries and it also create the metadata descriptions from the online database “ovgdb” this way its instant xml creation no downloading images wasting time -since we already have them matching our rom names.
This worked for me as theres a big error if you dont use the other db online totally locally/offline scraping via my images/ddirs wouldn’t work but adding the ‘ovgdb=1’ allowed scraper to not crash and continue matching my rom to my images offline whilst grabbing the metadata  online!.

in your root dir where your folders live make a new dir if you havent already got one called images and place your images in there, scraper wants this structure but later on we can update the final gamelist.xml instantly to change these image paths to your own path to match  your retropie setup.

run this scraper command inside ‘FDS’ [put scraper.exe inside FDS also for this example to work] (you should also have an images folder in the root with your roms with your images so that scraper can see them by default which makes the command a bit more shorter)

you should have an xml almost instantly appear in your fds dir looking something like this:

now this is a working xml  for your emulationstation/attractmode , as scraper wants the images folder as default..we may need to update this to reflect our actual images folder path in our raspberry pi folders mine will be boxartso in your fav notepad editor something which can do a find+replace on all the txt we select t highlighting inn otepadd++ ‘./images’ txt copypaste and in the replace box i typed ‘./boxart’ as thats my path im using in my rpi hit replace all button:

changes this

for all entries.

you can copy over your gamelist.xml easily with your windows explorer  put \\retropie\roms into your address bar and find your roms dir and place it inside! or use ftp/ssh[putty] etc if your prefer.

remember  if nothing is changing /updating in your es make sure emulationstation is not hogging the file or dir as it wont update otherwise exit it or reboot and try to copy it over again

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