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Jump to: 7. Test the Arcade with RetroPie
I installed the latest version of RetroPie at the time (March 2022), which is version 4.8. I used an old 32GB MicroSD card but I don’t nearly needed all that storage. 16GB would have been more than enough, especially since I have no intentions of loading it up with hundreds of games. Rather just a few handfuls of MAME Arcade games, and that’s it.
I had also looked at and tried a couple other platforms (Lakka and Recalbox), but the problem with those were related to changes in video drivers that would not support screen rotations (
dtoverlay=vc4-kms-v3d in the
/boot/config.txt file), so at the time of this writing, these platforms won’t work for this arcade’s vertical screen. Hopefully in the near future those newer video drivers will address screen rotations better, but at least RetroPie 4.8 is still using the old drivers and so screen rotations still work at the OS level.
There are plenty of discussions going on around how the OS level screen rotation performs worse than doing the rotation within the emulator itself. That may be so, but in this particular case:
- screen rotation is super easy to set at the OS level
- I am only interested in the MAME 2003 and 2003-Plus emulators and don’t require high performance games
- the OS level screen rotation has been working great; no noticeable performance issues
It is the easiest to download the RetroPie image and then write it to your MicroSD card. I used ApplePi-Baker for this. Once that is done, leave the MicroSD card plugged into your computer and navigate to the
/boot directory on the MicroSD card.
In a text editor, open up the
config.txt file and add the
display_rotate flag to enable screen rotation:
# For more options and information see # http://rpf.io/configtxt # Some settings may impact device functionality. See link above for details # uncomment if you get no picture on HDMI for a default "safe" mode #hdmi_safe=1 # uncomment this if your display has a black border of unused pixels visible # and your display can output without overscan #disable_overscan=1 # Vertical screen Arcade1up display_rotate=3 # uncomment the following to adjust overscan. Use positive numbers if console # goes off screen, and negative if there is too much border #overscan_left=16 #overscan_right=16 #overscan_top=16 #overscan_bottom=16
You can now eject the MicroSD from your computer and insert into the Raspberry Pi. There will be more setup to do later, but first you should plug everything into the arcade and test the setup.