RetroArch Wii

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RetroConsole Level: 1 Author: Themaister, Toad King, Squarepusher/Twin Aphex


Copy the entire directory (retroarch-wii) to your SD card in your 'apps' directory. Start up the Homebrew Channel and start up RetroArch Wii from there.

On first startup, RetroArch will create a folder in the root of your storage device called 'retroarch'. All RetroArch configuration files are stored here.


On first startup, RetroArch will select one of the dozen or so emulator/game cores. The name of the core currently loaded will be shown at the bottom side of the screen.

You can now select a ROM that this core supports and load it in the Filebrowser.

To select a different core - go to the Settings menu (see 'Ingame controls'). Select the option 'Core' and hit the A button. A filebrowser will appear where you can select a different core. Press A to switch to the emulator/game core.

After doing so, select 'Restart RetroArch' to load the newly selected core.


RetroArch Wii will create a new input config file for each core you load. All input settings will be saved when RetroArch exits.

NOTE: When starting up a new core for the first time, you might have to first initialize the input settings. Go to the Settings menu (see 'Ingame controls') and go to 'Controller #number config'. Re-set the 'Device' by going back and forth between a previous device. The controls will be automatically applied.

This only has to be done once per core.


During ingame operation you can do some extra actions:

Wii Classic Minus - Go to Settings Wii Classic Controller Home + ZL + ZR - Quit RetroArch Wii Classic Controller Home - Go back to 'Menu'

Wiimote Minus - Go to Settings Wiimote Home - Go back to 'Menu' Wiimote Home + B - Quit RetroArch

Gamecube pad Z - Go to Settings Gamecube pad L + R + LStick Up + Rstick Up - Go back to 'Menu' Gamecube pad L + R + LStick Down + Rstick Down - Quit RetroArch


RetroArch is a modular multi-system emulator system that is designed to be fast, lightweight and portable.


Libretro is the API that RetroArch uses. It makes it easy to port games and emulators to a single core backend, such as RetroArch.

For the user, this means - more ports to play with, more crossplatform portability, less worrying about developers having to reinvent the wheel writing boilerplate UI/port code - so that they can get busy with writing the emulator/porting the emulator/game.


Right now it's unique in that it runs the same emulator cores on multiple systems (such as Xbox 360, Xbox 1, PS3, PC, Wii, etc).

For each emulator 'core', RetroArch makes use of a library API that we like to call 'libretro'.

Think of libretro as an interface for emulator and game ports. You can make a libretro port once and expect the same code to run on all the platforms that RetroArch supports. It's designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind so that the porter can worry about the port at hand instead of having to wrestle with an obfuscatory API.

The purpose of libretro is to help ease the work of the emulator/game porter by giving him an API that allows him to target multiple platforms at once without having to redo any code. He doesn't have to worry about writing input/video/audio drivers - all of that is supplied to him by RetroArch. All he has to do is to have the emulator port hook into the libretro API and that's it - we take care of the rest.


The Wii port of RetroArch has the following features:

- Switching between emulator cores seamlessly, and ability to install new libretro cores


The following emulators/games have been ported to RetroArch and are included in the Wii release of RetroArch.

For more information about them, see the included 'retroarch-libretro-README.txt' file.

- Final Burn Alpha Cores (CPS1 - CPS2 - NeoGeo) [version] (**) - FCEUmm (Nintendo Entertainment System) [recent SVN version] - Gambatte (Game Boy | Super Game Boy | Game Boy Color) [version 0.5.0 WIP] - Genesis Plus GX (Sega SG-1000 | Master System | Game Gear | Genesis/Mega Drive | Sega CD) [version 1.7.0] - SNES9x Next (Super Nintendo/Super Famicom) - VBA Next (Game Boy Advance) (*) - Prboom (for playing Doom 1/Doom 2/Ultimate Doom/Final Doom) - Mednafen PCE Fast (PC Engine/PC Engine CD/Turbografx 16) - Mednafen Wonderswan (WonderSwan/WonderSwan Color/WonderSwan Crystal)

All of the emulators listed above are the latest versions currently available. Most of them have been specifically optimized so that they will run better on Wii (some games would not reach fullspeed without these optimizations).

  • Some games don't run at fullspeed on Wii (VBA Next is a

RetroConsole Level 2 emulator port). It will be replaced by a port of gpSP in the near future.

    • The biggest Neo-Geo ROMs that can be loaded are around 23+MB in

size, such as Real Bout Fatal Fury 1 and King of Fighters '96.


- Prboom WAD|wad - SNES9x Next smc|fig|sfc|gd3|gd7|dx2|bsx|swc|zip|SMC|FIG|SFC|BSX|GD3| GD7|DX2|SWC - Genesis Plus GX md|smd|bin|gen|zip|MD|SMD|bin|GEN|ZIP|sms|SMS|gg|GG|sg|SG| cue|CUE - VBA Next GBA|gba - FCEUmm nes|NES|unif|UNIF - Gambatte gb|gbc|dmg|zip|GB|GBC|DMG|ZIP - Final Burn Alpha zip|ZIP - Mednafen PCE pce|PCE|cue|CUE - Mednafen Wonderswan ws|WS|wsc|WSC


FOR EACH CORE (except for Final Burn Alpha)

There are three modes -

EXTRACT ZIP TO CURRENT DIR: When you press 'X' on a ZIP file in the File Browser, its contents will be extracted to the current directory. From there, you can load the RMO and play.

EXTRACT ZIP TO CURRENT DIR AND LOAD FIRST FILE: When you press 'X' on a ZIP file in the File Browser, its contents will be extracted to the current directory. The first ROM that was extracted from the ZIP file that is a ROM will be loaded automatically.

EXTRACT ZIP TO CACHE DIR: When you press 'X' on a ZIP file in the File Browser, its contents will be extracted to the /dev_hdd1/ partition. From there, you can load the ROM and play.

WARNING: Savestates and SRAM files that have been created by loading ROMs from the cache dir this way will be removed after RetroArch has been closed.


Selecting a ZIP file from the Filebrowser will load that game directly.


If you find that RetroArch no longer works for whatever reason, there is a way to get it back to work -

- Remove retroarch.cfg from the 'retroarch' folder on your storage device, then start up again. The Libretro management service in RetroArch should automatically pick a random libretro core and write this to the config file.

What can you expect in the future?

- An official Android port of RetroArch (no, no App Store 'fee' - 'free' as in beer AND as in libre - will be the focal point of RetroArch 0.9.8) - Port of NxEngine to libretro - runs Cave Story (PC version is already done, runs on big-endian consoles but has too many bugs to be playable) - Port of MAME 0.72 to libretro - Port of VICE to libretro - Port of ScummVM to libretro - More emulators, more games that will run on RetroArch - Lots of other crazy ideas that might or might not pan out


- Mudlord for his Waterpaint/Noise shaders. - Hyllian for the xBR shader. - Opium2k for the nice manual shaders (bundled with PS3 release). - Deank for assistance with RetroArch Salamander on CFW PS3s and Multiman interoperability. - FBA devs for adopting the libretro port. - Ekeeke for help with the Genesis Plus GX port. - ToadKing for having done a lot of work on RetroArch Wii. - Freakdave for helping out with the Xbox 1 port.


Twitter: Source: Homepage: IRC: #retroarch (freenode)


v0.9.7.2 (SNES9X-NEXT ONLY)

- Fixed Tales of Phantasia not running - Fixed Robocop 3 not progressing past the title screen (backported echo buffer patch) - Fixed broken color addition (odd non-transparent tile patches in Zelda 3 and others) - Freed up some more RAM for Gamecube port - Some miscellanous speed hacks added

v0.9.7.1 (WII ONLY)

- (FBAcores CPS1) Sound crackling/popping fixed - (FBACores CPS2) Sound crackling/popping fixed - (FBACores NeoGeo) Sound crackling/popping fixed - Fixed left/right audio channels being in reverse issue - Filebrowser now filters by core supported extensions - Fixed filebrowser performance issues in v0.9.7


- (XBOX 1/Wii) Made an Xbox 1/Wii port. - (LIBRETRO) Added Mednafen PCE FAST, and Mednafen Wonderswan cores - (360) Added Genesis Plus GX to official 360 release - (Genesis Plus GX) Updated to v1.7.0 - (PS3) Improved GUI - (360) Improved UI - (ALL) Improved stability / error trapping - (ALL) ZIP extract modes expanded - it can extract the contents of a ZIP file to the current directory, and/or extract to current dir and immediately load the first ROM/game file. - Too many things to mention


- (PS3/360) Initial release of RetroArch PS3/360.

Download Link ( Download Link ( SNES9x-next, just extract over installation):

This release has been a long time in the making, and is the first time that I know of a lot of CPS2 games can be played on the Wii.

Just some caveats to know going in:

  • READ THE README SO YOU KNOW THE CONTROLS! We had put some unconventional controls in for menu navigation, specifically for the GameCube controller where we were lacking a Home button.
  • There might be some delay between loading RetroArch and displaying the menu due to the core loader. This wait might be amplified on slower SD cards/USB sticks and on first boot when files and directories are being generated.
  • Some cores can act up if you load multiple games in them without restarting. Specifically PrBoom will crash to HBC if you try to load a second WAD.
  • RetroArch does not do any frameskipping. While a lot of work has been done to make games run fullspeed all the time, there are some games that will lag a bit. (Specifically select FBA games and possibly some SNES games with features like pseudo-hires mode/SA-1 chips/etc.)
  • While we did a lot of work to make audio perfect, some testers still reported some popping. If you get these, try fiddling with the Audio Control Rate in options.
  • Most CPS2 games can load fine. Please report if you find any that crash on load.
  • Not all NeoGeo games can be loaded. If the ROM filesize is over 23 MB or so, it might crash on load.
  • The full FBA core was not released with the Wii version due to it being so large it cannot load some larger ROMs. If you want to give it a try though, you can download it here: (Extract it to apps/retroarch-wii, keeping the name CORE.dol. On load, it will rename it correctly.) Please note that ROMs will crash the emulator if they run out of memory. I've found most ROMs around 5-7 MB load fine, and 10 MB is probably the limit.
  • If for some reason your SNES games don't work, you can try a more recent SNES9x core. It's slower than the current one though.