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How to Install Emulator (RetroArch) on Raspberry Pi 4

How to Install Emulator (RetroArch) on Raspberry Pi 4

Everyone loves classic video games – sure, they are definitely outdated, and graphics no longer meet today’s standards, but then, they are collectible. Some people love them for the nostalgic memories they bring; others appreciate history or enjoy playing them with their friends.

All in all, if you truly love classic games, chances are you want to enjoy them on your Raspberry Pi device as well. Installing games on this unit is not as easy as it may seem. Instead, you will need an emulator, and this is when RetroArch kicks in.

Known as the most updated and best-managed emulator for the console, it has a unique interface and smooth operation. Most importantly, it allows you to enjoy plenty of classical games without too much hassle.

Installing RetroArch on Raspberry Pi 4 can be done in two different ways. Both of them are pretty simple and straightforward – you only need to follow some step-by-step instructions and spend a few minutes of your time. Here is how to do it.

How to install RetroArch through Snap Store

There are a few options, and the Snap store is probably the easiest one. It is quick to do, and it requires no experience whatsoever. The installation is straightforward – no technical knowledge is required, but just a few minutes.

The first step in the process involves installing snapd. The installation is easy – open a terminal and type:

sudo apt install snapd

In some cases, based on the permissions you set, you may have to enter the password associated with the administrator account or username. You should know if you are the only one using the device. The installation will take less than a minute.

Once complete, you need to reboot the device. Again, while there are more ways to do it, you might as well do it in the terminal with a simple command:


Give the device a few minutes and download core snap. This ensures you will get the latest version of snapd on your Raspberry Pi 4.

sudo snap install core

Finally, once these steps are complete, you can go for the actual RetroArch installation.

Open the terminal and put in the following command:

sudo snap install retroarch

RetroArch should be installed within seconds only. Once installed, you can run it through the terminal. Simply put the name in the terminal, and it will load straight away.

This is probably the easiest way to get RetroArch on your Raspberry Pi 4 device. It only needs a few minutes and is less likely to cause any errors. However, there are more options out there, and using the source code from “GitHub” is another common option, yet a bit more time-consuming.

How to install RetroArch through GitHub

This procedure implies downloading the source code over GitHub. Once downloaded, you can install it on your Raspberry Pi 4 device. Just like for the previous solution, you will need to start with a few other packages before moving on to the RetroArch installation. All in all, here are all the steps.

Before anything else, make sure your Raspberry Pi 4 device is fully updated. You need to check for all kinds of potential updates. You do not have to be an expert, though. Open up a terminal and type in the following command:

sudo apt update

If there are any packages to update, the good news is the job should not take less than a minute or two. Then, once you are done with the update, you must check the packages and ensure they are also up to date. Again, there is a simple command to get the job done:

sudo apt upgrade