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Gamers who are emulator fans tend to come across the same problem over and over again. How to organize the hundreds of emulators on your disks, which ends up being a hugely boring task especially when you consider all of the ROMs and disk units involved. In an attempt to solve this problem, and avoid your emulators from getting too messy, EmulationStation puts everything in one place. It’s a frontend with one of the best interfaces out there today. Even though the process of setting things up can be tedious, the results are very well worth it.

If you are in the system selection screen of EmulationStation then you can press several buttons to perform some actions. Some basic but essential commands I'll show you in the following table.

Button Action in Main Menu (System Selection) Action in Game Lists
A (east) (No Action) Go back to Main Menu
B (south) Select System Select ROM to play
X (north) Random System / Connect to a Netplay server (if enabled) / Connect to a Netplay server (if enabled) Select a random ROM / Host a Netplay server (if enabled)
Y (west) (No Action) Mark ROM as 'Favorite'
Start Main Menu Main Menu
Select Quit Menu Options Menu
Left Button (L1) (No Action) Jump in list up
Right Button (R1) (No Action) Jump in list down
Left Trigger (L2) Previous System Previous System
Right Trigger (R2) Next System Previous System
Left Hat Click (L3) Next song (if a song is played) Next song (if a song is played)
Right Hat Click (R3) (No Action) (No Action)

Press START button on your controller to show up then Main Menu of EmulationStation. If you press SELECT Button the Quit Menu will show up.

Start Button in Main Menu Select Button in Main Menu Start Button in Game List

Kodi Media Center

  • Start Kodi out of the menu if supported by your system

Games Settings

Controllers Settings

UI Settings


Startup Settings

  • Start on System Select which system is selected as default
  • Start on Gamelist Start ES on gamelist view off selected system
  • Overscan Only relevant for SBC supporting overscan

Display Options

Gamelist Options

  • Show Favorites on top
  • Show hidden files
  • Show folder
  • Show '..' parent folders
  • Show Filenames in Lists Show filename instead of scrapped game name

Game Collection Settings

Collections to display

  • Automatic Game Collections Add some predefined collections in the menu (2-player, 4-player games…)
  • Custom Game Collection Select between your custom game collection

Create Custom Collection

  • Create New Game Collection Game Collections are stored in $HOME/configs/emulationstation/collections
  • Create New Dynamic Collection


  • Group Unthemed Custom Collections
  • Short Custom Collections and Systems
  • Show System Name in Collections Add a system description to a ROM file e.g. Sonic [Megadrive]

Sound Settings




Network Settings


Updates & Downloads


Software Updates

  • Update Type Select between stable and beta updates
  • Start Updates You'll be asked if you really want to update

System Settings





    • Enforce Security To protect samba/ssh with a random password
    • Root Password Set your custom root password for SSH Login
  • Developer
    • VRAM Limit Setup max usage of Video RAM (Theme dependent!)
    • Show Framerate show how many FPS you can get on each emulator
    • VSYNC
    • Overscan Use Overscan feature for SBCs that support it (not PC)
    • Preload UI Pre-load UI elements like images, use it if you have 4GB or more on your system
    • Threaded Loading Use several CPU cores to accelerate loading. Use this option if you have a “high-end”ish CPU.
    • ASync Images Loading Can load several images in parallel, for a better user experience if you have no RAM/network constraints.
    • Optimize Images VRAM use FIXME
    • Optimize Video VRAM use FIXME
    • Enable Filters FIXME
    • Save Metdata on exit
    • Parse Gamelists only
    • Reset File Extension FIXME
    • Redetect Games Language/Region FIXME
    • Use Retroarch RGUI Menu Lets you switch between the new ozone gui
    • Log Level
    • Create a support file Needed for error detection mostly related to developers
    • Format disk Lets you format disks (exfat, ext4, btrfs)
    • Use OMX Player (HW accelerated)


emulationstation.txt · Last modified: 2020/06/09 18:20 by lbrpdx