Unfortunate problems with RetroArch menu usage


I may have posted about this before, but here’s a more complete post.

1 - The speed increase when you hold any button. When you navigate any kind of menu, the best behavior for D-pad is that if you hold it, it will move to the next option and stop for a bit, and then scroll past many other options at a fixed, higher speed. Why isn’t RetroArch this way too? I mean it’s similar, but it feels a lot more broken… if you just hold any button for a bit, even if its not moving anything, the speed of the cursor will incrementally go up anyway, and will be really fast when you do press the D-pad. This speed transfers to the d-pad even if you just pressed A to enable an option, if you press A and then move the d-pad right away, the A press will noticeably have started the speed increase. It’s kinda hard to explain, but it really feels broken or buggy. It’s REALLY easy to go all over the place and mess things up.

2 - Playlist navigation. Can’t Playlists be a drop-down menu, like the Settings? (Or like the Collections option, except with icons and thumbnails) It gets really awkward when I have many playlists, and Im in the middle of them, but need to go back to the options to change something, and have to wait while I go past every playlist until getting to the option menu. I wish that instead, I could press B to exit the game selection so I am right there near where all the settings are. Also, it really is a problem if you have over 100 games in a playlist, and you press down to look for a game, but accidentally press left or right… it will take you to the next playlist or something, but when you go back to the playlist you were just in, it starts you from the top. This could be avoided entirely if playlists behaved more like the file browser, but only with the icons and thumbnails of playlists. File browsing is a lot more comfortable and safe. (Plus, each playlist could have its own folder tree too, further organizing everything more neatly)

3 - Controller config. Actually, IS there a way to change what buttons do what in the menu? I’m surprised I haven’t found this yet, when I have so many options for games and emus, and even for the menu itself, but specifically not for the gamepad WHILE in the menu. I need to change the buttons for left and right, if the above problem cant be solved. And other strange things like the button that changest the box art into screenshots, I want to disable that too, for example.

4 - Faster way to change resolutions. This has been mentioned here, for example:

Why is it that navigating through files has the feature of incremental speed, which is where you wouldn’t need it much because there are never that many options? (Besides, you can use the shoulder buttons to pageup/down) but with numbers like these, which can go up to over 1000, you have to see it increase really slowly at a fixed speed? It would be most ideal if each digit could be selectable, kinda like a password, so that if I want to start from 1000, I can just change the fourth digit from the right to 1 by simply pressing up once, and then go digit by digit. That would be TONS quicker. (Sadly, I wouldnt even need this anymore because I think I already set up all my emus manually the slow way and with config edits, but it would really help those poor unassuming newcomers.)

Anyway, in the end, I know it is really difficult at this point to fix any of these things… and probably even more difficult considering everything RetroArch is ported to, but I thought I’d throw it out there and see what others think. Thank you!


Have you tried the Ozone menu? It acts a little more like you’re wanting for some of those things, I think.

Menu functions are hardcoded to the retropad, except for the option to swap the ok and cancel buttons.


Hmm, I’ve never seen that in the options before (I use a Raspberry Pi and Android). It seems like it could be neat, problem is, I am way too deep in my XMB customization and themes to abandon :sweat_smile: (I will probably even go as far as manually draw my own font for it one day)


Wow, so I used it a bit more in depth now. I immediately noticed 1 simple thing that would make the XMB better for me. When I am in the Playlists, if I press “B”, it goes all the way to Main Menu. Would something like that be easy to implement in XMB?

Another problem that seems to affect all themes is, when navigating into folders, sometimes you might wanna cancel out of there and just appear in the main menu again. Instead, pressing “B” will cycle through all previous folders before finally getting out of there. Cant there be an option on top of the list that says something like “Cancel”? Like, there is an option that says Parent Directory, it would be most ideal if just below it was Cancel


Imho the entire UI needs a major overhaul. I made a retroarch image for friends and barely I can figure it out sometime (exaggerating a bit but yeah).

It needs to present categories such as:

  1. Global options (audio, video, input)
  2. Core options (took me weeks to even realize this existed in the “quick menu”??..)
  3. Library browser
  4. Global hotkey options such as save state, fast forward etc

And even better would be a popup wheel that quickly lets you navigate these without going back to the main menu. This would be especially great for the hotkeys.


One thing that totally absolutely confused me at first was the Global settings vs Core specific settings. Like, how can you tell that a core has loaded a setting on its own? Simply looking at the settings wont give you any hints unless you REMEMBER what every single global option is supposed to be.

The shader list is also complex and confusing to understand, and kinda risky considering the varying system requirements.