Basics for running RetroArch on Vita

-Firstly, sorry if this is posted in the wrong place, but I really wanted to add information that I had been searching for previously, and could not find the answers in one concise place-

Intro For many people this will all seem very obvious, but if you’ve just joined in on running RetroArch on the Vita, there’s a chance that you may want a little help for getting into a basic set-up. Once you’ve had HenKaku unlock your Vita, you’ll be able to install many types of frontends, but the best to start with is the basic RetroArch vpk, as this contains many of the other options in it.

From here, you’ll want to set things up in a manner that suits you,

FileZilla / FTP Select a comfortable place in the ux0: directory of your Vita to place your roms and/or cores as you’ll likely be loading them frequently from that location. If using FileZilla, I’ve personally found that files transfer best when sending them to a preexisting folder rather than dumping them straight into ux0: And a personal filing system I’ve used is to categorize by cores, and then a file per console I wish to emulate for the roms.

Accessing RetroArch menu in-game This is important, and should not be overlooked; if you use the PS button to close out of RetroArch you will essentially wipe it, losing your saves, and possibly your user settings. To access the menu from a game, you’ll have to press R, L, Start, and Select simultaneously. This can be cumbersome, so you can change this under Settings (cog icon)> Input> Menu Toggle Gamepad Combo. The options are: “L1+R1+Start+Select”, “Start+Select”, “Down +L1+R1+Y”, “L3+R3”, and “None”. I wouldn’t advise having none, and sometimes the L3/R3 buttons aren’t so easy to access on the Vita. If you choose “Start+Select” please bare in mind that some games use this as a way to exit a menu (Tekken 3, for example)

Once you access this menu, the three main things you’ll be doing here are Saving, Loading, and Quitting

Saving Some roms will let you access the “memory card” so that you can save in-game as you would normally, other roms will tell you that there’s no memory card, or simply never had a save feature. For the latter, you can save from the aforementioned menu, and as long as you exit properly, you will be able to load the file from the same menu the next time you load the rom. Remember, that even if the rom thinks there is a memory card you must exit RetroArch from it’s own menu, and never with the PS button, or those save files will be long gone upon your return.

Alternatively, you can set RetroArch to insta-save upon exiting your rom, and similarly to insta-load when you start it back up, meaning that the game will feel continuous, though I have read of this slowing things down (Here I admit, I’ve not done a great deal of research)

This is just a small collection of info that I had previously been looking for, and could not find in one location. If people have advice to add, or notice anything I’ve missed, please add to this list. I’m not purporting to know the finest details of how to have RetroArch run perfectly on a Vita, but I feel that these things at least should be known before you go on to experiment around and search deeper into the system. Finally, once again, I apologize if this already exists, or it should have been posted elsewhere. I am simply trying to help

1 Like

Thanks for this info. I have installed several cores and have all my setting ps saved. I play evrything on 4:3 mode. But I want to play PC Engine games with the Mednafen core on 8:7. How can save the 8:7 only with Mednafen core and not all cores?

So, I dunno which exact thread I should write this down on, but I have 2 issues (both of which relate to RetroArch on the PSVita); The first one is that Diddy Kong Pilot won’t work on the VBA Next core, for some reason. My second is that there are some cores missing, despite all of them having their .info files present (like bsnes, DeSmuME, Dolphin, the N64 cores, etc.)

Is there a specific file that I need to add to the system folder to make Diddy Kong Pilot work, and is there a reason for as to why there are some missing cores that look like they shouldn’t be missing?

I fixed the Diddy Kong Pilot issue; Had to add gba_bios.bin to the system folder, and run the game on the gpSP core instead of VBA Next (DKP is the only GBA game I’m aware of that doesn’t work on the VBA Next core). Now my only issue is the cores that look missing, but also look like they shouldn’t.