Run NEO GEO CD with RetroArch Directly (mame_libretro)

@aorin1 gave us a great guide for running NeoGeo CD with RetroArch & RocketLauncher. I wanted to follow that up with my method

Tested on Windows & Android (Nvidia Shield TV)

Whats Needed

  1. RetroArch 1.4.1 (others may work fine also)
  2. Arcade (MAME) core
  3. CHD format games
  4. BIOS (from MAME set)
  5. neocd.xml Softlist Hash file (From MAME emulator install)

Note:- For maximum compatibilty you should match you MAME romset version to the Arcade(MAME) core version. Currently 0.184 (FYI most games work if the versions dont match)

File Names & system folder

For this all to work the MAME core is expecting a specific file name inorder to launch the game correctly. You can pinch the softlist hash files from a windows MAME emulator install (matching your core/games/MAME emulator versions for maximum compatibility)

Download and extract your version of MAME from Latest Release OR Previous Releases

Place the whole “hash” folder into your RetroArch “System(BIOS)” folder you should have created anyway, under the mame directory (which you may need to create)

Example H:\RetroArch 1.4.1\system\mame\hash\neocd.xml

Folder Structure

Your folder structure should match the below. CHD games are placed in uncompressed folders (Note:- best to contain all of your files in a folder named “neocdz” to match the MAME Softlist name. Its been a while since I setup so cant confirm other folders work)


The compressed bios is also placed alongside the “dummy” zip files and game folders.

"Dummy" Launch Files

The compressed zip files of the same name are empty folders for the purpose of launching. (as required by MAME).

SEE “Extra Info” below for method to create them

Core Options

I leave these stock. If you have changed them for other things you will need to boot another MAME game and set them as below saving your configurations as required

Load A Game

With all that setup correctly you can now launch a game. Navigate to your games, select a .zip file and LOAD archive with the core when prompted.

I pinched Aorin’s Photobucket image because doing things twice is pointless

Extra Info

If you need to create the .zip dummy files you can try this (There is probably easier ways, I just dont know them)

Save this text as a .bat file and run it in your neocdz games folder

dir /a /b /-p /o:gen >C:\WINDOWS\Temp\file_list.txt start notepad C:\WINDOWS\Temp\file_list.txt

Save the output text to a convenient location

Use this program to create folders from the text list Text2Folders

Use a compression tool to indivdually zip the folders in batch

I used 7z installed on my C:/ with this text saved as a .bat file

for /d %%X in (*) do “c:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe” a “” "%%X"

Enjoy your Neo Geo CD Games


Awesome!!. Thanks for this complement for the previous tutorial. I will have a look when I sit down to continue my hyperspin setup. I have some task to get done there and I will add this one to my “to do” list.

If you only knew how many hours I spent on getting NeoGeo CD to work on RetroArch before finding this.

:slight_smile: probably as many as me before I wrote that.

Shame you didn’t find it before

Awesome,thanks for the tutorial.Does this work on mame2016 core?android 4.4 can’t load mame mainline core.

Probably…think i wrote it using that core before it got saved as 2016. Wasnt usung android 4.4 though.

Thanks,i will give it a try anyway.

@Thatman84, thanks for your tutorial.

Why neocdz and not neocd bios?

I think the neogeoz is the parent bios but can’t remember or it’s the CD bios…either way that’s what was needed


It seems the lates FBA core now supports Neo Geo CD also

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Cool. Is there a Instruction how to get Neo Geo CD Working on FBA Core?

I couldnt see much but if you look at for the fba core it has the github link at the bottom.

There is a little bit about it on the 1st page although it looks outdated. Should be the same as mame setup. Put everything in the correct folders and names and away you go

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I tried the FBA Documentation but get a “404 Not Found Error”


I have tried that but Does not Load up for me Sadly. Can Try Again.

Be good IF there was just a Neo Geo CD Core that ran it easily

Your right there is not one yet. I just assumed sorry.

Try here

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Tried there but all looks very Confusing to find out about the NEO GEO CD on FBA

Yeah it is a little confusing.

Keep an eye on this

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Thanks for that. I will keep an eye on it