RetroArch For Android – The Best Emulator Available On The Play Store

A few days ago, i posted here about the updated version of RetroArch WII, on the same day it was released, the devs released the very first Android version and it has got me super excited, this is going to be a long article, but i hope that it opens your eyes and makes you see how awesome this Emulator is and i hope that it helps people better understand how to use it. This Android version just happens to be the best Emulator on the Play Store, it is a Free Open Source Emulator which is far superior than any of the Closed Sourced over priced Emulators on the Play Store, it has a bunch of highly dedicated developers, who have managed to put RetroArch on multiple device, here is a little info about RetroArch, which will be followed by the Android specific version, so click below to read more 🙂

Taken from the official RetroArch website, links will be at the end of the article

What is RetroArch?

RetroArch is a modular multi-system emulator system that is designed to be fast, lightweight, and portable. It has features few other emulators frontends have, such as real-time rewinding and game-aware shading.


What platforms does it support?

RetroArch sets the standard on cross-platform portability right now. Linux (x86 and x86_64). Windows (32bit/64bit), Mac OSX (PPC/Intel), Playstation 3 (PS3 SDK/PSL1GHT (WIP)), Xbox 1 (XDK), Xbox 360 (XeXDK/Libxenon), Gamecube, Wii, Raspberry Pi, OpenPandora, Android

Why is it special?

Right now RetroArch is unique in that it runs the same emulator cores on multiple systems (such as Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, etc). For each emulator ‘core’, RetroArch makes use of a library API that we like to call ‘libretro’. Think of libretro as an interface for emulator and game ports. You can make a libretro port once and expect the same code to run on all the platforms that RetroArch supports. It’s designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind so that the porter can worry about the port at hand instead of having to wrestle with an obfuscatory API. The purpose of the project is to help ease the work of the emulator/game porter by giving him an API that allows him to target multiple platforms at once without having to redo any code. He doesn’t have to worry about writing input/video/audio drivers – all of that is supplied to him by RetroArch. All he has to do is to have the emulator port hook into the libretro API and that’s it – we take care of the rest

Now you know what RetroArch is, here is the Android Specific information and help:

What Cores Does It Have/What Games Can It Run ?

If you do not know what the console is, click on its name and you will be taken to a Wikipedia explanation.

       Emulator/Core   Games That Can Be Played On The Emulator/Core
PCSX ReARMed PlayStation/PSX
Genesis Plus GX* Sega Mega Drive/Genesis / Sega CD / Sega Master System / Game Gear 
SNES9x Next SNES/Super Nintendo
VBA Next Gameboy Advance
NEStopia NES/Famicom
FCEUmm NES/Famicom
Mednafen PCE Fast PC Engine / PC Engine CD/TurboGrafx-CD
Mednafen NGP NeoGeo Pocket
Mednafen VB Virtual Boy
Mednafen Wonderswan Wonderswan
Prboom Plays Games From The Original Doom Engine
NX Engine Cave Story
FInal Burn Alpha (Arcade Emulator) CPS-1 / CPS-2 / NeoGeo
Gambatte Gameboy / Gameboy Colour

*Genesis Plus GX Requires BIOS in order for the Sega CD Emulator to work, i can not tell you where to get them, but where ever you find them, make sure they are name like so: Europe(E) = bios_CD_E.bin Japan(J) = bios_CD_J.bin America(U) = bios_CD_U.bin The BIOS must be in the same folder as the game, as seen here: Bios What extensions can the games/roms be in ? Anyone that has used an Emulator before, knows that the games can have various extensions, .zip, .rar are only but an example, below i will post Emulator specific extensions, this has been taken from the Android RetroArch Cores Help Guide, which can be downloaded here.


Please note that if a game does not work, it may be down to the fact you are using a wrong extension, for instance, using a .ISO will not work on Mednafen PCE Fast, so make sure you are using the correct extension before you say the Emulator is not working.

      Emulator/Core                        Extension  
 PCSX ReARMed bin|cue|img|mdf|pbp|cbn
 Genesis Plus GX  md|smd|bin|cue|gen|zip|MD|SMD|bin|iso|ISO
 SNES9x Next  smc|fig|sfc|gd3|gd7|dx2|bsx|swc|zip|SMC
 VBA Next  gba|GBA|zip|ZIP
 NEStopia  nes|NES|zip|ZIP|fds|FDS
 FCEUmm  fds|FDS|zip|ZIP|nes|NES|unif|UNIF
 Mednafen PCE Fast  pce|PCE|sgx|SGX|cue|CUE|zip|ZIP
 Mednafen NGP  ngp|NGP|ngc|NGC|zip|ZIP
 Mednafen VB  vb|VB|vboy|VBOY|bin|BIN|zip|ZIP
 Mednafen Wonderswan  ws|WS|wsc|WSC|zip|ZIP
 Prboom  WAD|wad|IWAD|iwad
 NX Engine  exe|EXE|zip|ZIP
 FInal Burn Alpha (Arcade Emulator)  zip|ZIP
 Gambatte gb|gbc|dmg|zip|GB|GBC|DMG|ZIP


  • Plug and play detection of many USB / Bluetooth gamepads
  • Real-time rewinding in games
  • Very advanced pixel/vertex shader support (will push your GPU to the limit)
  • Totally customizable touchscreen overlays
  • Expandable with new cores, and the ability to make your own cores and use them with RetroArch
  • Totally free – no ads, no ‘collecting stats’, no push ads, no BS



Download Popstation GUI – Converts PSX ISO’s to PBP format

Download My Edited Button Overlay

I use an external control pad, so this only gives me the in game menu button and none of the button layouts, so all you will see an any one time is the in game menu button. You will need to find out where RetroArch is installed, on my Transformer it is in /data/data/org.retroarch – you will need to then go into the Cache folder, then go into the overlays folder, once in there backup psx-landscape.png, then copy over my one, job done 🙂

Edit: It seems this method is only temp and you will have to transfer that file over each time you use the emulator >.<


Download RetroArch Android From Official Site

Download RetroArch Android From Play Store

Official RetroArch Forum Official RetroArch Twitter