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After a little googling, I'm not sure I know what Retroarch is and why you would want to use it with LaunchBox?

I see that some people on this forum say they use Retroarch. 

Is it a front end of its own and if so why/how would you want to use it with LB?

Or is it some tool that downloads all emulators that exist and sets them all up for you?

I really have no idea what it is :)

Should I use it with LB?? Does it make anything better? Easier? Harder?

Currently I was planning to start a new (i have been using it with rocket launcher so far) LB install pointing to all my downloaded and configured emulators.


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Thanks @polymorph77. Based on that video, best I can tell is that Retroarch downloads all(?) emulators a user might choose to have it download and will do some configuration of each emulator also, so that you don't need to run every stand alone emulator to set it up for your system and controller? I have a feeling you might want to run every emulator on its own to do some video and controller config on it, but I'm not sure. The video also shows LB running a windowed Retroarch when launching games. I assume LB can just show the games and in fullscreen without Retroarch interface?

Another thing is that I guess if you use Retroarch, LB then becomes dependent on it, which worries me a bit.

So, does everyone suggest to use Retroarch with LB for all emulators?

Or do some of you recommend setting up each emulator in LB one by one on their own with LB?

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The settings for full screen in RetroArch are set one time and after that the program will be in full screen every time. Brad who makes the video just doesn't like to run his games in full screen so  the changing of these settings isn't shown in his videos

Edited by DOS76
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Hi ckp, the reason I use retroarch is for ease of use, once you setup your controller in the front end it "should just work" with all the emulators. Of course if you need to change it you can do that on a per emulator level. yes you can also change video options per emulator and save to just that emulator. You can set whatever screen resolution or aspect ratio you want in retroarch so u don't ever have to see it as a front end, launchbox will just launch your rom fullscreen with controller support auto configured.

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I use two usb xbox360 controllers as well as a x-arcade dual joystick. 

Does Retroarch allow me to use both of these (not at the same time) and does it automatically set them up for two player in games also? 

Controller support passed through to emulators seems very attractive.

Does Retroarch not support ps1, ps2, and gamecube? How do you have those 3 setup in your LB, just individually with each one as a platform with emulator?

Does Saturn work in Retroarch? I think it requires a drive letter mount which is troubling for Windows 10 even with Rocketlauncher.


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@ckp Hi again, retroarch supports I think 5 controllers, arcade sticks are above my pay grade, but I don't see why not, in the input setup you set them up individually controller 1, 2 etc. Retroarch does support ps1, although it always runs awfully for me so I use standalone for that. Correct ps2 gamecube and wii are not supported so I use separate emulators for those systems. I don't use Saturn a lot only have 2 roms, but yaubuse is there and works fine with my 2 roms.

Hope that helps, any more questions crack on and ill do my best.

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Well, I've been using rocketlauncher a while and most users on their forum have trouble getting Saturn to work on Win10 and you have to setup Daemon tools lite in Rocketlauncher for CD stuff for Saturn. With Win10 you need to get scsi cd driver in DT Lite to work in order to use Saturn. But most users can't get DT Tools to install that drive as of Win 10. I am one of the few who got it to install so it works for me. I think the emulator mounts the image file as a CD with the help of Rocketlauncher setting that part up. 

Sounds like Retroarch and Mednafen do all of this for you under the covers without needing DT Lite and no issue on Win 10 I guess. That's great.

I think I'll have a look at Retroarch and see how I like it. 

When you get Retroarch setup with all your emulators, and then add it to LB, do you really have to add an associated platform for every platform in the LB emulator config for Retroarch, like I see in the video? With Rocketlauncher, you don't have to add any associated platforms because LB will automatically figure that out now (but you used to have to setup all those associated platforms).

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Hello again, you are using cue and bin for Saturn I assume? at least that's what my two roms are, they just work for me.

as for adding retroarch, once you have pointed launchbox to its .exe launchbox will auto populate that associated platform list. You only need to touch it if you are using a different emulator than default or are adding one not auto populated.


I'm on Windows 10 also.

Edited by polymorph77
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There are several very good reasons to use Retroarch where possible for your emulation needs. This is not to say that it is necessarily better than the stand alone options out there but I think these reasons give an overall more consistent experience when switching systems.

Reason #1: Hard Gpu Sync, this setting reduces input lag dramatically.

Reason #2: Shaders, whether you use a CRT shader or another (and there are many other choices to suit your tastes) You can achieve the same look across all your games which IMO goes along way in making these old games look good on a modern display.

Reason #3: Consistent easy controller setup out of the box and you can further tweak after to your needs if you have more controllers. I have 2 controllers I use and they are setup for each core. XBox controller for systems which require analog controls and another d-pad controller for systems and games that do not require analog controls.

Reason #4: Much more consistent updates. The cores are constantly being updated on a much more regular basis than the vast majority of stand alone emulators.

Reason #5: Easy save state management within the Retroarch Quick Menu

There are other reasons but that's just 5 simple but really good reasons to use Retroarch where possible.

Now that is not to say that RA is the absolute best option all the time. Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, PSP and Mame / Mess are better to use stand alone versions due to various reasons like speed. For Playstation I use the Retroarch PSX core for 2D sprite based games for shaders but for 3D polygonal games I will use ePSXe because it does much better hardware upscaling.

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This is great info. Thank you both.

@lordmonkus If it's not too much trouble, do you think you could give me a list of platforms that are best in RA in your opinion? It sounds very good. I would have thought "mame" games would be in that list also because i just assumed RA would be using MAME as the emulator for those games.

Aside from that big list, are these better in stand alone or RA in your opinion (some of my favorites and most used platforms):

- MAME games: you said to use stand alone mame as the best thing for these roms (why is it faster than with RA?)

- PS1 and PS2:  stand alone  ePSXe 

- Dreamcast: stand alone emulator (Demul)

- Nintendo 64:  stand alone emulator

- Gamecube:  

- Saturn: 

- SNES: 

- Wii (if i can ever figure out how to use without sensor bar and using normal controller like xbox360): 

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I don't use MAME so sorry pass. In my experience ps1 and 2 yes standalone is better in my opinion. I have very good luck dreamcast wise in retroarch but there is no save option, n64 I use retroarch at higher resolution than my tv can render and it looks and runs great, gamecube, dolphin, wii dolphin.


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There is nothing inherently wrong with the Mame core in terms of speed but stand alone Mame is better for 2 main reasons for me.
1: Shaders do not auto rotate with vertical games so if you are using a scanline crt shader it's going to look bad on vertical games. If you don't use shader or you use some other non-scanline shader this may not be an issues. I prefer Mame with HLSL shader settings because it auto adjusts.

2: Controller rebinding in the Mame was funky the last time I tried it because of Mames built in binding. I prefer to rebind within Mame itself on a game by game basis.

Playstation 2 you only have PCSX2 so there is no choice there for now

Playstation 1, like I said above. I prefer Retroarch for 2D sprite games and ePSXe for 3D games because it does much better hardware resolution upscaling. Retroarch right now does it's upscaling on the CPU which is slow.

Dreamcast, Demul is the best right now and the Retroarch Reicast core is just slow unless you got a beast of a system but Demul is still the better emulator overall.

Saturn, Mednafen standalone right this moment is the better option only because it has support for 3d analong controller but the Retroarch core it hot on it's ass. SSF and Yabause are old news and crap in comparison. SSF is a good emulator but it is known for input lag and you have to deal with disk mounting.

SNES, Retroarchs BSNES-Acurracy and Balanced cores are the best over all options but if you need some extra performance you got options with the Snes9x cores.

Wii and Gamecube like PS2 you only have one option and that is Dolphin right now.

Nintendo 64 is where things get messed up. Project64, Mupen64 stand alone and Mupen64 Retroarch all have their positives and negatives and neither is really better or worse than the other. It really is a game to game case on this system. Overall I would have to give the edge to the stand alone Mupen64 but Project64 is fine too once you disable the stupid "give us money" nag screen.

Just a couple of thoughts after I had this posted. Retroarch does add some performance overhead. For example on my lower end laptop I have hooked up to the TV I cannot use the PSX or Mame cores in Retroarch but stand alone Mame and ePSXe run like a champ on it. It's a 1.5 GHz AMD cpu for reference.

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RetroArch's handling of vertical games sucks period if I run a portrait game on my portrait monitor is comes out squished like it was on a landscape monitor then you have to change the view area its a pain in the ass and one of the worst things I can say about RA.

Edited by DOS76
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