Arcade Rom Packs that are Lite and organized


I ran into lots of rom problems when trying to get NES and SNES working and I found out after that if they are “no-intro” or “TOSEC” it makes the process a lot easier. I am running into similar problems with arcade ROMS. the packs I am getting are illogically enourmous, poorly organized, is there a “recommended” rom pack? something that has about 100 Retro standup arcade roms? something I can link boxart and screen shots to? a lot of the rom packs I am getting are just numbered roms with no titles and there is thousands of files. im hoping to find something that is smaller than 10GB


the MAME v0.078 set for use with MAME2003 is pretty reasonably sized. It’s missing a lot of newer games, but all of the classics should be available.


40GB!!! Ok I’ll give it a shot, maybe I can delete some bigger ones or doubles.

Do you know if it’s possible to organize mame roms like the others? IE: with “named_boxarts” and screen shots?


I think so. I don’t actually use any of that stuff so I’m not 100% on it, but I believe mame2003 and FBA are the most likely to support them.


no luck!! I found the 0.078 file pack along with one called “MAME libretro for blue motion” and the 2nd one is only about 2.5GB and seems to be a lot of copies from the 0.078.

Both of these packs have very “machine” names for the .zip files for example. “a51mxr3k” “kinst2” “19xxjr1” there is very little that is recognizable like “Donkey Kong” or “Ladybug”. I also downloaded the .png thumbnail pack from libretro and all of the named_box arts are pretty much what I was expecting, meaning they were normal names with normal images… Donkey Kong, Ladybug etc… if they need to line up name for name, this wont work.

also these Rom packs have folders and .zip files. I am not unpacking anything. I am pretty sure they need to stay this way, but maybe I am wrong.

I can build a playlist on my PC and it does recognize these as MAME, and it makes a list with all of these weird machine titles (with no thumbnails recognized). I am in the process now of transferring the actual roms over


I think you might be looking for an arcade filtering tool. I have written one: Simple Arcade Multifilter - app for MAME and FB Alpha ROM sets


A couple of years ago the good folks over at Arcade Controls came up with the “All Killer, No Filler” list. The list was created around the MAME 0.170 set I believe but very few roms if any have been renamed since then.

It is pretty good list and only takes up 5 to 10Gb depending if you include the CHD games.

I have maintained a couple of DATs for personal use (with a few additions) in sync with the latest MAME and the upcoming FBA (WIP). The MAME set has 700 games and the FBA one 540. I can share the DATs here if there is any interest.


I reworked the DATs a little bit, here they are for those interested. All credit goes to BadMouth and the community over at Arcade Controls (

These are for use with ClrMAME Pro.

Some of the changes I made from the original list, off the top of my head:

  • no CHD games
  • chose the no-CD version of CPS-3 games to save space
  • added some clones based purely on personal preferences, mostly because I am Japan-based and prefer Japanese naming/title screens
    • Batsugun Special Version (which is considered superior to the original)
    • DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu & Dai-Fukkatsu Black Label (absent from the original list)
    • Gokujyou Parodius (parent set “Fantastic Journey”)
    • Gradius (parent set “Nemesis”)
    • Gradius II (parent set “Vulcan Venture”)
    • Kaitei Daisensou (parent set “In the Hunt”)
    • Shippu Mahou Daisakusen (parent set “Kingdom GrandPrix”)

Some other stuff I don’t remember. The DATs don’t contain any info on samples.

The MAME set sits at 4.87Gb - 663 games. I would advise against using this set with RetroArch since the current MAME core is behind upstream so the rom set is probably not 100% in sync. The FBA sets sits at 3.18Gb - 537 games. You need the latest core from the Online Updater.


this is a bit over my head… what is a .DAT file? why are they so important? I see an option in playlist buddy to use them but I don’t understand what their purpose is.

the most important thing for me is to link thumbnail images in Retroarch with the arcade games. this is my ultimate goal. I have figured this out with home console roms but it seems there are some gaps in my own knowledge missing to get mame roms functioning with thumbnails.

I cant tell if im supposed to use these .dat files with the mame pack 0.078? do I download a new mame rom pack? … I found a rom pack at arcade punks that I am currently downloading called (:black_medium_small_square:All-Killer-No-Filler-LaunchBox-No-Intro-Lordmonkus and MadK9) it is 15GB. I hope this is what I need.

if anyone could explain this a bit better to me (keep in mind im not that bright) I would be very grateful.


@scampo1977 this is a good description:

DATs describe the ROM contents including filenames, file sizes, and checksums to verify contents are not incorrect or corrupt. DATs are usually maintained either by emulator developers (such as with MAME or Final Burn Alpha) or digital preservation organizations like TOSEC and No-Intro.

In order to verify or rebuild a set, you need its corresponding DAT file and a software tool to process the DAT. For example, the authors of RetroArch recommend that Super Nintendo Entertainment System ROM collections be validated against the No-Intro “Nintendo - Super Nintendo Entertainment System” DAT. ROM collections for use with the MAME 2003 emulator should be validated against a “MAME 0.78” DAT (such as the one found in its metadata folder). And so on.

Source: Validating, Rebuilding, and Filtering ROM Collections


The trouble with those small arcade rom packs is you’re at the mercy of someone else’s taste in games and you’re going to be missing hundreds of good ones. Also you’ll have no idea what version they are and that’s going to cause endless nightmares because Arcade game emulation is very dependant on which version of the rom dumps you’re using.


I didn’t know that custom “no filler” lists were being made. I made one at the time a few years ago cutting the rom list to about 900 games, 3D boards not included (Naomi, Model 2/3, Namco…) or SNK/CPS games.

They are in a single folder so the original “All Killer, No Filler” sorting lists were great to organize the roms further. It cleaned about 500 of them leaving a few gems outside (many Cave and Fighter games, and all Racers), and probably some bad games along.

I have manually sorted 200 more so when I finish I can share the batch files. Normally I also include historical games, even if they are not so good like most games from certain companies (konami, rare…)


markwkidd is it possible to give me a hand using playlist buddy? I cant figure it out. its not because your software is difficult to use, its only because im not used to these things.

I downloaded the no filler rom pack from arcade punks and found the roms and they are 3.4GB !!! this is exactly what I am looking for, they even came bundled with a bunch of different thumbnails. I have managed to figure out how to make playlists with playlist buddy but so far I have not figured out how to attach thumbnails within playlist buddy. this no filler pack came with a single file with a .xml extension. I am guessing this is my magic key.

in playlist buddy I have done this…

#1 box… a link to the address where my roms (in .zip format) on my PC are located.

#2 box …. Detect (I have left this alone)

#3 box… My local desktop

# 4box… I put a check in this box and then put an address to where the no killer .xml is located

#5 Box… “Playlist settings” no checks in any of the 3 boxes here

#6 box… “Thumbnail Settings (Optional)” I put a check in the box and I put an address to where all of the no killer thumbnails are located

I am trying to get this working on my PC first then I will try to get this working on my PS3. for now I have been putting the playlist generated into the playlist folder in RA and it is not working. the folder where all of my .zip ROMS are located came with the title “All Killer No Filler” and I changed this to “MAME” it didn’t seem to make a difference.


I feel like I am getting close but I still cannot attach thumbnails to these games. I even have a multitude of different .png games including screen shots, marquees, box art etc. along with the libretro library of covers. I cant them to link to the ROM

The .xml file that came with this rom pack seems to be for something called “launchbox” when I try to use this .xml file in playlist buddy by checking the following… ARCADE MODE… SEARCH XML DAT SPECIFIED BELOW… I get a a playlist file .lpl, that when is opened by notepad++ it has 0 lines of information on it.

To simplify things I have 1 folder named MAME with 1 .zip rom in it…ladybug

I have a folder in thumbnails with the 3 sub folders… Named_boxarts….Named_Snaps…Named_Titles…. and in the first folder I have 1 .png with an identical name as the zip ROM

So I have 1 rom and 1 .png and the simplest

I can start the rom and play it and it works. but I cant link the thumbnail to the rom.