Anyone run MAME on a Raspberry Pi 3?


For you I suggest downloading Retro Pi

It incudes the latest version of Retro Arch,
In there there M.A.M.E., Final Burn Alpha, and all the usual suspects for Console and 80s microcomputer emulators.

Just download the OS and install the OS to a SD card. The Download comes with a .exe
To add roms just use a thumb drive, USB HDD, or transfer files via network.

Its possible to set everything up to operate everything with a Gamepad once all the setting are adjusted and the roms are installed.
You can even get the OS to boot with Retroarch being autostarted


Alrighty. This is all crazy easy to set-up. Here’s everything you need to know:

Things you need:

  1. RaspBerry Pi 3
  2. Micro USB power cord brick
  3. Decent case for your Pi 3
  4. Decent sized Micro SD card. At least 16GB. But it can use 128GB.
  5. USB gamepad of your choice.
  6. HDMI cable obviously.

^^ Should cost you $60-$70 total. Here are some good links to what i recommend:

Logitech F310: A console-quality, Playstation 2 style gamepad w/long wired cord:

Canakit Raspberry Pi 3 with Power brick:

64Gb Sandisk Micro SD:

And what, in my opinion, is the single coolest line of Raspberry Pi cases out there: The Zebra case. A little tricky to assemble but the end result is worth it. Many colors available:

While your at it, various heatsinks for your Pi 3 available. I don’t think it really needs these, so long as the case you choose has good ventilation but, i put them on mine because anyway because they looked cool:

Downloadable software required:

  1. Latest Retropie Image:

^^ The Raspberry Pi 3 itself has no built-in software. If you plug it in with nothing installed, it’ll just be a blank screen. Retropie is essentially your operating system for the Pi 3, stored on your Micro SD card which is basically the PI 3’s “Hard Drive”. All the emulators come pre-packed/installed with it.

  1. Win32 disk imager (Copies Retropie image to Micro SD Card):

  2. FileZilla FTP manager. For wirelessly adding/deleting files:


Unzip Retropie image, install Win32 Disk imager, Insert micro SD card into computer, and “install” Retropie Operating system image onto your Micro SD card using win32 Disk imager. Done.

Now before you plug everything in, for some HDTV and monitor types, Retropie has a quirk where it won’t want to output through HDMI. So once you are done installing the Retropie image, simply click on your micro SD card to inspect the installed contents, locate the “config” Text file. And add THIS into it:


^^ You can skip this step if you don’t run into this issue but, if you do, that is how it is fixed.

When finished, plug everything in, put Micro SD card into the PI3 and and turn it on.

Adding games:

Now the Retropie software is linux-based so it WILL NOT automatically display contents of the card when inserted into a PC or MAC. You cannot simply remove the card from your Pi 3, put it into your computer, and start adding Roms. It’s a tad more complicated than that but still easy.

Method 1):

USB method. Take a blank USB drive, create a yellow folder inside named Retropie and plug it into the Pi 3. The Pi 3 will create some folders inside. Unplug USB drive and plug it back into your computer. Now locate your Retropie file on the USB drive and click on it. Now you’ll see the folders for all the various emulators inside have been created. Locate the system you want, copy your games to it, unplug and plug USB drive back into the Pi 3, and it’ll automatically copy the games to the proper folder on your PI 3’s Micro SD card storage. This is the fastest method if you have many, large files to move over, like PSOne or Dreamcast games.

I actually just bought a cheap, long USB extension cable and keep that plugged into my Pi 3 at all times. Makes it easier to transfer stuff by USB whenever i want, and i don’t feel like i’m wearing out my Pi 3’s USB ports, by constantly plugging in/unplugging USB stick.

Method 2):

Good news is, because of the built-in WiFi on the PI 3, there is an even easier method to add games. By transferring wirelessly using an FTP manager like filzezilla, which is simple to set-up. Although not nearly as fast as the USB method for large files, this is still awesome because it makes adding/renaming/rearranging files very easy.


Great channel here, i recommend subscribing to ETA Prime. Learned everything i know about the Raspberry Pi 3 and hacking the NES Classic from this guy.

Adding files wirelessly:

That’s basically it for the Raspberry Pi 3. Once you start messing with it yourself, you’ll see how easy it all is but, let me know if you have questions.


One of the things i love the most about the Raspberry Pi 3 with Retropie is, you can control EVERYTHING through gamepad. Never have to touch a mouse or keyboard.

PC emulation is great but, always having to resort to mouse/keyboard to navigate stuff never sat right with me. It always took me out of that “console gaming experience”.

With the Rasperry Pi you can plug it into any display that can connect with HDMI, and control everything with gamepad. Just like a full-fledged game system. Love that.



Also thanks for the tutorial.

Quick question: as many know here, Im a junkie for Mortal Kombat games. How good is the mk2-umk3 emulation on the Pi3? I have read about sound issues on Pi2.


Um yeah…you need to check out BigBox.
I boot to it. Use only my Xbox One pad or an arcade stick. I can even start my Steam games from it.
Is it free? no…but nothing halfway decent in life IS.


Retropie is free and it’s awesome. Most of the emulators come pre-packed with the Retropie image also. So no need to be hunting down and installing emulators.

I have not tried the MK games but, they’d probably play fine on one of Retropie’s MAME ports.

Also there are gamepad shortcuts that are good to know:

Select+Start= Quits out of your game and takes you back to the main menu.

Select+R= For game saves/savestates.

Select+L= Loads your game save/savestate.

I’m sure there are probably other gamepads shortcuts in Retropie but, those are ones i use the most.


Retropie is free…yes. I love my Pi3 AND Retropie (as you can see)

However, that’s not my point. What you implied by always needing a kb and mouse for emulation on a PC was inaccurate.

Also…can a Raspberry Pi emulate N64, PS2 and Dreamcast well? No way!
That makes BigBox even more relevant.

Besides, the issue of having to download additional emulators is really non-issue as 99.9% of those emulators are free, easily-accessible, and a cinch to install and register in LaunchBox. Installing emulators isn’t rocket science, nor is it a chore.


Retropie is good, but in my opinion Lakka is much better for emulation, it is much easier to customize, and ya it can be set up to launch a game on boot


Depends on how you look at it. I’d argue that the SNES version of Turtles in Time is one of the only konami arcade ports that is superior to the original arcade version with all things considered (extra levels, mode-7, tighter controls, etc).


True, but besides the point I was making here.


I know. I’m just a sucker for talking about Turtles in Time whenever it’s brought up.


Don’t get me wrong I prefer the SNES port for content and better game play.
The Arcade game had better sound due to arcades being able to afford more advance hardware.

The point I was making when an Arcade emulator butches the sound so bad, you are sound wise better off with the console port.


I’m actually curious as to how this is done. I have Lakka on a system that I planned on being dedicated to a particular game, but I still have to navigate the UI to launch it.


It’s definitely possible, I’m working on so instructions for a rpi powered device that will boot into ST. When they are done I’ll be sure to post them.


Please do!


we discovered pizza because of the Turtles cartoon

wow 30 years has flown by

(we as in my family)


You’re not alone. Darksukul pretty much attacks anyone that disagrees with his views. He’s the quintessential troll. Like with me and my love of the NES Classic and all it’s hackable goodness, he constantly attacks me over it.

I suggest complaining to the mods if he continues and or, putting him on ignore at least.


The NES Classic is great. You should check out ETA PRIME’s vids on YouTube. Cool stuff.

As far as Darksakul being a troll, I disagree. I don’t have a problem with him, and I’m a pretty polarizing person myself (particularly online). It’s just that he has a well-developed BS detector and limited patience. That combo doesn’t always mix well.

I’m thinking it’s not what you say that sets him off–more like how it’s said. YMMV.


I run retropie on my raspberry pi. Works great with ps3 controller


PS3 controller should work. its a USB/Bluetooth device and it use generic drivers.
Glad you found something that works for you.