RetroArch iOS release (v1.0.0.1)

Excited to hear about the iOS port about to be released soon, what is shader performance like? Will it support hdmi out? Also if I were to suggest a bluetooth controller, the icade 8-bitty is a good all-around practical controller for old school gaming.

The initial release has iCade support and BTStack support (native PS3 pad/Wiimote Classic support) - the iCade support was originally put in by meancoot for people on non-jailbroken devices since they can’t run BTStack there and without at least iCade support there would be no real physical gamepad support.

Regarding HDMI Out - right now you get the usual bordered graphics - however, I bought a Lightning AV adaptor for my iPad Mini and also a similar adapter for my iPad 2 so you can be rest assured that for the next point release ( there will be something more complete in there - something along the lines of XBMC where you can set it to the full resolution of your HD display.

At least it seems to be free of lag and ghosting which is what I suffered under Android through HDMI Out.

Regarding shader performance - I wouldn’t expect miracles even though I haven’t tried it yet at all. All GPUs in tablets/phones are still embarrassingly weak compared to even a netbook GPU, and the shaders we use in RetroArch are the most demanding task that no game really would try to get away with - so poor performance is to be expected without at least a PS3/360-class GPU.

Starting with Tegra 5 you might be able to expect PS3/360-rivalling GPU power with obviously far better ‘performance per watt’ figures.

could anyone give me a .ipa or something so i can try this out? i have sadly no clue when it comes to compiling.

Hmm - that might be a good idea to get this release out without having to depend on a Cydia repo.

Does anybody have a HOWTO on how to make an IPA that will work on all jailbreak devices?

.IPA’s work on non-jailbroken devices too i think? since you can just drag them into itunes and install it that way. or maybe they need some type of “signature”

also found this: Apple have changed the way they assign downloaded apps … unfortunately as of now, this technique will ONLY work for apps assigned to the original downloader.

but dont know how that will affect something thats not on the official appstore

oh, i read that wrong. you said on jailbroken devices? thats no problem then! as long as you can make an .IPA file, you can install it via itunes\appcake\ifunbox

Tried shaders just now on RetroArch iOS and right now they don’t work at all which comes as unexpected since the same code worked just fine on Android and Blackberry.

You’ll have to wait until until we get this sorted out I believe. Not that it matters much since most GPUs in iPads won’t be powerful enough for at least 95% of the shaders bundled anways.

OK, here is the first version.

How to install

  1. Go to Cydia, go to ‘Sources’.
  2. Click on ‘Edit’.
  3. Click on ‘Add’.
  4. Add as a source ‘’.
  5. After it is done with fetching the package listings, click on ‘Search’.
  6. Type in ‘RetroArch’.
  7. Install.
  8. You will now find an icon of ‘RetroArch’ on your start screen.


  • Shaders don’t work yet so don’t bother trying to get them to work right now. This will be looked at.
  • Remember that your system directory is a hidden folder -


This folder is where you should store BIOS files for emulators, such as the PSX BIOS Files for PCSX ReARMed and the Sega CD BIOS files for Genesis Plus GX.

  • If you want to use PS3 pads and/or Wiimote Classic pads on a jailbroken iOS device, you will first need to install BTStack. Note - you cannot use BTStack on non-jailbroken iOS - it’s only iCade support for you there.

superb work! playstaion ran alot better than i expected! and working bang on with the icade 8-bitty. epic retroarch is epic!

going to have to get BTstack also so i can try it with a ps3 controller.

Crash on rom startup of pcsx rearmed Device : IOS 6.1.3 semi tethered jailbreak Iphone 4

Couldn’t find a workaround it’s the same thing since wip1 0.99

Not a bug. Unless you have a jailbroken iOS device (that means 6.1.2 evasi0n or something of that nature), you can not run PCSX ReARMed - because it uses a dynamic recompiler CPU core. Apple doesn’t allow this in their apps (much like Microsoft doesn’t with Windows RT). Android does however allow it, so does Blackberry, and so does iOS jailbroken.

If you have a semi-tethered/non-jailbroken iOS device, your only option for PS1 emulation is Mednafen PSX, and that is a LOT slower than PCSX ReARMed (perhaps Ryphecha can hazard a guess here), so you might have to wait for the iPhone 6/7 or 8 to come out before that will get you playable speeds.

So what this basically means is - that if you want fullspeed PS1 emulation - it’s jailbreak or bust.

Thanks for your information Does that mean only untethered jailbreak works ? It’s a shame, I would really like to test this and see how this works , PSX4ALL sucks aaaaa

Yes, only untethered ‘real’ jailbraek allows you to run cores that depend on dynamic recompilation.

Desmume will be a similar story.

On a somewhat more positive note, Desmume and PCSX ReARMed are really the only two libretro cores right now that depend on dynarecs - so the rest should be fine for non-jailbreak. Just don’t expect to get playable N64 emulation as well on non-jailbreak in the future since that will also need a dynarec CPU core like PS1 to be anywhere near playable.

Did anyone tried to use a PS3 controller? I’m using my with Blutrol and Broglia emulators just fine. But with RetroArch the controller is not being paired.

I just need to enable Btstack and Pair the Ps3 controller (with the proper iphone bluetooth MAC)?

Apart from that…What a amazing performance on the PCSX ReARMed… unbelievable…

Does tethered jailbreak works though … since I have no way of downgrading and changing to untethered

From what I’ve heard it will work for most cores, but PCSX reARMed and the future Desmume cores won’t work since you need untethered jailbreaks for the advanced features they require.

Like ToadKing said - everything will work except for PCSX ReARMed and Desmume.

Really - it is a technical impossibility on non JB to run those - You can thank Apple for that.

Ps3 Controller anyone? :frowning:

Read the guide:

Thanks Toad King. But i did it before asking here.

I already use my Ps3 controller in my 4s with Blutrol and other emus with native support. Retroarch is just not finding it…

---------------------------------------- Edit Sorry my bad is working now.