Introduction: Gaming Beyond RetroPie (x86 Games on Raspberry Pi)
If you own a Raspberry Pi, you probably know that it has some games and applications already installed, like Minecraft, the browser, Mathematica, etc. And if you are also a gamer, you've definitely heard about RetroPie and have probably already tried it. But what you also should know is that when it comes to x86 platform, RetroPie will only allow you to play some very old DOS, first-generation PS, N64 etc. games. So lots of your beloved titles will stay out of reach. However, there is a solution. And today I will tell you about it.
Step 1: Get, Download and Install ExaGear Desktop Software
To be able to play x86 games on your Raspberry Pi you will need to get some special software - ExaGear Desktop. It will let you run not only your favorite games, but also lots of x86 apps (like Spotify, Teamviewer, Skype, etc.) on your RPi. You canget it from the corresponding website.
As you get it, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on what you need to do.
Download the ExaGear Desktop archive with installation packages and license key. Open Terminal (command line) and unpack the downloaded archive using the following command:
$ tar -xvzpf exagear-desktop-rpi3.tar.gz
Then install and activate ExaGear on your Raspberry Pi by running the 'install-exagear.sh' script in the directory with deb packages and one license key:
$ sudo ./install-exagear.sh
Step 2: Launch Guest X86 System
Enter the guest x86 system using the following command:
$ exagear <p>Starting the shell in the guest image /opt/exagear/images/debian-8</p>
Make sure that you are in x86 environment by running the ‘arch’ command:
$ arch i686
It is recommended to update apt-get repositories on the first launch of the guest system:
$ sudo apt-get update
Step 3: Install X86 Wine Inside ExaGear
In order to be able to launch x86 games you will need Wine. It can be installed easily with the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install wine
After installing Wine it is recommended to run winecfg:
and enable the “Emulate a virtual desktop” bar. Otherwise you can face issues when application will try to switch to full-screen mode.
Now all preparations are finished and you can proceed with installing and running PC games. I will use Heroes of Might and Magic 3 as an example.
It’s possible to run a different kind of distros and installers, but in some cases you need to do unobvious tricks to make it work. That’s why it's better to use DRM-free versions of games from the GOG site, as this is the most straightforward way to launch a game.
Step 4: Install and Play Heroes of Might and Magic 3
I'd recommend to install HoMM3 from the GOG website.
To install HoMM 3 just run the installer with Wine in Terminal (command line) and the graphical interface of the game installer will show up:
$ wine setup_homm3_complete_188.8.131.52.exe
After installation is finished you can run HoMM 3 from your Desktop.
Wait a couple of minutes while HoMM 3 is loading, and finally, you will see the start menu. Now select the map and play Heroes of Might and Magic 3 on your Raspberry Pi.
The same way you can install and play many more other x86 games on your RPi.