Libretro/RetroArch Documentation Project

OK, so documentation hasn’t been one of this project’s strong points - one of the most glaring failures as of late being that the main documents concerning the libretro API and the shader spec were all down.

I’ve taken some effort to update and upload both documents again - they have been updated somewhat to reflect the numerous changes that have happened ever since SSNES became RetroArch and the PS3 standalone emulators were killed to make room for RetroArch PS3.

I will also be looking into creating a wiki soon as I feel it’s quickly becoming necessary with the amount of cores we have and the known ‘issues’ associated with them.


Anyone thinks it’s a good idea to have a video tutorial of basic usage on PC?

On PC there are four usage scenarios:

  • Raw CLI, for the hardcore, or external frontend users.
  • Phoenix, for GUI-only folks
  • RGUI / CLI mix, KMS console style
  • RGUI / Phoenix mix, advanced users?

Some things that should be covered:

  • How to get it (source, Windows builds)
  • Where to get libretro cores, and what it means.
  • How to start RetroArch with the two essential things: ROM and libretro core.
  • How to configure input.
  • Explain shaders.
  • How to deal with multiple configs.
  • RGUI demystified. What to configure to get a good RGUI experience.
1 Like

Yes, a video tutorial is always a good thing there is not much info when someone start using RetroArch, especially on PC (which is odd) or at least some kind Readme text file with important stuff like some useful commands, what key to press to save/load states …

+1 for Video tutorials

I’ve started to document RGUI on our Wiki:

Core at the top of the menu, yay! Per core options are a great addition too, we will no longer have to change video settings each time we load games from different cores. Looks great!

Don’t know what you mean here. Core Options are core-specific things like colorization in gameboy, not settings in general.

EDIT: All TODOs are filled in in the article now. Let me know if anything is missing.

I thought it meant aspect ratio and resolution eettings are saved on a per core basis, like 2:1 and 640 x 448p for CPS2 etc.

Added some more articles:

In the load game from history menu option, does it list games from the currently selected core or various cores? Also, if I had let’s say A Link to the Past on my game history list and I am currently using the Neo Geo core, will it automatically switch cores to Snes9x Next and load the rom?

It lists all ROMs. It’ll swap out the core for you as well. At least on PC, pretty sure it works that way now on consoles as well.

Wow! That is a fantastic feature and very user-friendly, thanks!

Yes, I put in the patches to have it work on Wii, PS3 and Xbox 1 as well. Xbox 360 I’m now working on.

Great! Sounds like everything is getting more streamlined with ease of use.

Going by the screenshot, am I right in thinking that the video options is a nested menu? If so, would it be better to do this also with the control options, i.e. we don’t need to see up to player 4 as most users will be playing solo. Looks great btw. Keep up the good work :slight_smile:

Yeah, I want to move the control stuff over to a submenu as well.

Nice. Rewind, Load and Audio could also be grouped. I love the style of RGUI, very minimalist and reminds me of my friend’s old green BBC Micro monitor back in the day :slight_smile:

Looks good :cool:

Would someone be able to point me to a link with a description of what the phoenix options are for the PC. A lot of them make sense but I am confused by several of them

Here are explanations for most of them:

Some of them are outdated at this point and a few more will be outdated with the 0.9.9 release, but hopefully it will help with some of them :slight_smile:

Perhaps I’m missing it but are there any documents on creating cores or a step by step of the porting of an existing emulator to a core? Even if just something which points to commits of interest? The cores I’ve looked at have included pulling in upstream changes and random build fixes which can make the main changes difficult to tease out.