Recalbox, retro gaming on your couch with your fat TV

Recalbox, retro gaming on your couch with your fat TV

I have been willing to talk about this for quite some time but totally forgot to do so. One of my passion is retro gaming and months ago I discovered Recalbox, a very easy and fast retro gaming solution. Let’s see more !

recalbox menu

Fast and easy, you said?

Yes, sir! Trust me, I have tried quite a lot of emulators, frontends, and even “ready to use” solutions. None of them come close to Recalbox in terms of usability. For years, I couldn’t find anything that came close to the original XBMC and its emulators. From installation to use, everything is simple and it keeps getting simpler along with new releases.

Overview of recalbox features

First of all, Recalbox is designed for the Raspberry Pi, nothing more, nothing else. However, it runs on all revisions of them, from zero to 3.

Recalbox will allow you to play old games from your childhood, this is what we call retro gaming. It’ll also allow you to run Kodi directly from on option inside the menu. Kodi runs as usual but the version is a little bit outdated. Let’s  focus on the gaming part.

Supported systems

It will allow you to emulate the following machines :

  • Atari 2600,
  • Atari 7800,
  • NES,
  • Game Boy,
  • Game Boy color,
  • Game Boy Advance,
  • Super Nintendo,
  • Famicom Disk System,
  • Master System,
  • Megadrive (Genesis),
  • Gamegear,
  • Game and Watch,
  • Lynx, NeoGeo,
  • NeoGeo Pocket,
  • FBA (subset),
  • iMame4all (subset),
  • PCEngine,
  • Supergrafx,
  • MSX1/2,
  • PSX,
  • Sega Cd,
  • Sega 32X,
  • Sega SG1000,
  • Playstation,
  • ScummVM,
  • Vectrex,
  • VirtualBoy,
  • Wonderswan.

That’s a huge list!

Supported hardware

In order to play those games, you’ll probably want to use a game pad. No problem, here is another (long) list of supported peripherals :

  • 8BITDO pad collection
  • Akishop PS360+
  • Bigben Pad Luxe PS3
  • CSL – Gamepad USB SNES
  • CronusMAX Adapter (Xbox360 Out)
  • Freebox controller
  • iBuffalo SNES Classic USB Gamepad
  • Logitech Rumblepad 2 USB
  • Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 (with 2.4GHz RF USB dongle)
  • Logitech Gamepad F310 (USB)
  • Logitech Dual Action Gamepad (USB)
  • Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710 (with 2.4GHz RF USB dongle)
  • MadCatz wireless FightPad for PlayStation 3 (with 2.4GHz RF USB dongle)
  • NGS Maverick PS3/PC
  • Official Wii Classic Controller Pro w/ Mayflash USB Converter
  • PlayStation 3 Afterglow Wireless Controller (with 2.4GHz RF USB dongle)
  • PlayStation 3 BigBen interactive BB4259
  • PlayStation 3 BigBen interactive BB4401
  • PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 (With bluetooth dongle)
  • PlayStation 3 GASIA Clone
  • PlayStation 3 ShanwWan Clone
  • PlayStation 3 Sixaxis (With bluetooth dongle)
  • PlayStation 3 Rock Candy (With bluetooth dongle)
  • PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 (USB)
  • RetroUSB SNES pad
  • Saitek P380
  • Saitek P480
  • Saitek P880
  • Slickblue(TM) Wireless Bluetooth Game Pad Controller For Sony Playstation 3
  • Snakebyte idroid:con (with bluetooth dongle)
  • Subsonic Bluetooth Controller PS3
  • Thrustmaster T-Wireless
  • Wii U Pro Controller (With bluetooth dongle)
  • XBox One (USB only)
  • XBox360 USB
  • XBox360 Wireless
  • Xbox controller from original Xbox with USB modification
  • Xiaomi Controller
  • Official Nintendo Wiimote
  • Official Nintendo Wiimote Classic Controller
  • Zero Delay USB Encoder PC/PS3 controller
  • Zero Delay USB Enconder Remix PC/PS3 controller

And that’s a partial list of supported hardware. You can add Bluetooth dongles, USB drives, etc.


Lots of systems supported, a huge list of controllers… but how well does it play?

The frontend is really nice, each console has its own graphic arts with a screenshot from a famous game, and music theme. Best way to figure it out is to see it by yourself :

Managing roms, bios, etc.

Now, the boring part with this kind of stuff is the setup. You have to perform tedious tasks in order to get all the emulators set up, putroms in the right places, keybindings, etc. Not with Recalbox!

Recalbox automatically creates Samba shares and add a local website to manage it. Basically, it means that you need to browse to you Pi IP (sic) in your web browser, and just browse the menus in order to add bios (if needed) and games (aka roms) :

recalbox browser

Keybindings are also easy as pie. Each emulator comes pre configured and it “just works”. In case you want to change it, you can easily do it via the menu.

Coming soon…

This was a fast overview of what Recalbox can do in an other article, we’ll see how to install Recalbox. In the mean time, do not hesitate let me know if retro game and how you do so.

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