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Where to Download and Play RetroPie ROMs with Emulators

So, you have RetroPie ready to go – everything is plugged in, the controller is waiting to warm up, but there are no games at all. This is the most difficult part in the process – not the most technical one, but the most annoying one. Here is everything you need to know to bring back some good memories.

Becoming familiar with different types of ROMs

RetroPie ROMs are available in all sorts of formats. They vary between different types of consoles, but they also come with different legal profiles. There are more types out there, but some of them stand out in the crowd.

Copyrighted ROMs are owned by particular people or companies. Downloading such things might be illegal, but no one really checks anything. Some countries may allow a copy, as long as you use it for personal reasons – just do your homework upfront.

Abandonware is somewhere in the middle – legal, but not really. The people or companies owning the legal rights are no longer available. If they are still around, they may no longer bother with licensing rights – such ROMs are quite easy to find.

Then, you have public domain ROMs, which can be downloaded for personal uses only.

Homebrew ROMs are not to be overlooked either – they are made by small companies, rather than large corporations. They are quite new when compared to classic games and they are not always legal to download without buying them first.

From all these types, it looks like ancient games seem to be the most approachable category because they have been abandoned by their developers or publishers. They are still protected, but no one really cares anymore.

You have to be careful when downloading ROMs over the Internet. Just because they are available, it does not mean that they are free of rights – but on the same note, finding something online does not make you the guilty party if you had no clue about the rights.

If you think about it, those who made such ROMs public are more likely to be guilty.

When choosing a ROM website, you need a reputable source like Romspedia. It may also be a good idea to look for free games, as you are less likely to face any legal trouble – and as you may already know it, you are less likely to end up in trouble for downloading a game anyway.

There are many more options out there, but the above-mentioned source is known for offering access to games for different platforms – not only are they original, but they are also easy and free to download. No matter what you are after, chances are you will find happiness within minutes only.

How to add a game to RetroPie

You have just found the perfect games, but how do you add ROMs to RetroPie? There are a few different options – here comes the easiest one. You will require a computer, as well as a classic USB drive – it should be formatted in FAT32.

  • Get the empty flash drive into the computer. Even if it is not empty, you will lose everything anyway when you format it. Do it in the FAT32 partition – backup everything first, as you will lose whatever is on the stick.
  • Once clean, you will need to go on the flash drive on the computer and create a new folder. Rename the folder as retropie – there is no need to use any capital letters. The system will recognize the folder anyway.
  • Plug the flash drive into the Pi and give it a few minutes. RetroPie will create another folder and prepare the USB drive for games.
  • Remove the USB drive and plug it into your computer.
  • Go to the download folder containing the ROMs and copy them to the emulator folders. You will normally find it in the retropie folder – named as roms.
  • Keep the Raspberry Pi turned off and insert the flash drive into it, but without turning it on.
  • Once the USB drive is in, turn the unit and you will see all your games in RetroPie.
  • Start the game you wish and enjoy – controls will be similar to what you used to play in the past.


As a short final conclusion, RetroPie may seem a bit confusing at first. However, it is not such a big deal. The application is straightforward and will not require any experience. Adding games to the emulator is not that difficult either – a few simple steps and you will have your childhood games ready for fun.

What really makes the job difficult is finding the right games. Fortunately, there are quite a few good sources of ROMs, regardless of the platform you want to emulate. You will find more or less known releases, suitable for all preferences.