Introduction: Raspberry Pi 3: Retro Arcade Emulator

My motivation for doing this is the lack of technological literacy in todays world. Even with the abundance of computers and small devices people are still very ignorant on the basic functions of the things they use everyday. I think that this will catch up to us one day if we don't understand the things we use, much like your car breaking down you can't do anything if you have no knowledge of cars, and you can't depend on a mechanic. The original motivation came from watching the "Ben Heck Show" where he builds mods and portable versions of modern video gaming consoles. I became very interested in the idea of building your own gaming machine especially since I have built computers before and have played video games my whole life. Afterwards I began research on Raspberry Pis and found they were adapted to many things such as arcade machines and homemade GameBoys. So I looked up guides on building my own and found there was already kits made since there is a decent following in this field and here we are.


This kit is what I used because its price is moderate in comparison to the other kits, and it comes with a cool case for your Raspberry Pi along with 2 Controllers and an SD card with a preloaded operating system. So all you need to do is to download games and transfer them to the SD card.

Step 1: Step 1: Install Heatsinks

When the components of any computer work, they generate heat. And above a certain level of heat this can reduce the lifespan of the device or even outright destroy the device. A "heat sink" carefully machined block of metal designed to dissipate heat from an electronic component and pass it onto the air surrounding the device.

Step 2: Step 2: Install in Case

The Vilros Retro Case comes apart in 2 Pieces.

The circles on the bottom line up with the screws on the Raspberry Pi. After lining it up place the part on, aligning the ports as shown in the second picture.

Then screw the 4 holes in the bottom with a small Phillips Head screwdriver.

Step 3: Step 3: Power

Plug in the A/C to Micro USB power adapter in the port shown.

After insertion a red light will appear and glow, indicating it is on.

This will provide power to the device and removing and replugging this cable will be the method of turning the system on or off.

Step 4: Step 4: Insert SD Card

Insert the provided 32 GB Samsung EVO SD card into the slot next to the power indicator.

You want to do this with the red and white side facing down. Also be careful and gentle when inserting because there is no click lock mechanism on this version of the Raspberry Pi and these SD cards are very fragile by nature.

Step 5: Step 5: Plugging in Display

Plug the included HDMI cable into the HDMI port next to the micro usb power port.

Then plug the other end into your television,monitor,etc.

This will show the interface of the Raspberry Pi and you would not be able to interact with it otherwise.

Step 6: Step 6: Configure Input

The Raspberry Pi will boot into the screen shown above.

Plug in the 2 included controllers or any input device of your preference and follow the on screen instructions to map your controls.

Be sure not to mess this up because it will be the main source of controlling your Raspberry Pi, however you can go back in the settings and reconfigure if needed.

Step 7: Step 7: Installing ROMS

1. Ensure that your USB is formatted to FAT32

2. Create a folder called retropie on your USB stick

3. Plug it into the pi and wait for it to finish blinking

4. Pull the USB out and plug it into a computer

5. Add the ROMs to their respective folders for their console (in the retropie/ROMs folder)

6. Plug it back into the raspberry pi and wait for it to finish blinking

7. You can now remove the USB stick.

8. Refresh emulation-station by pressing F4, or rebooting your system

9. Your games should now appear on the main interface under the logo of their respective console

DISCLAIMER: I assume no responsibility for the violation of laws in your quest to download ROMs, as these are intellectual property the legality of whatever method you may use to attain them can lead to legal consequences.

Downloading ROMs is only legal for games that you own, and that is what I recommend you stick to doing.