EmulationStation Menu Trees

This is a “tree” of the menus in EmulationStation, with a short sentence or two explaining the option (sometimes with a link to the relevant page). Think of it as a glossary of sorts. [Ctrl]+[F] through here to instantly find the option you're after!

Still needs a bit of work adding in all the possible menu entries. Sit tight!

This is the one you access by pressing [START] in any list.

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

Show your RetroAchievements progress if you have enabled it from the Games Settings menu.

  • HARDCORE MODE with this mode on, special Libretro features like rewind, fast forward or cheat codes are disabled. Very much the real “console” experience, for hardcore fans.
  • LEADERBOARDS some games keep a ranking of all RetroAchievements players. Compete with the best players on the Internet!
  • VERBOSE MODE when you unlock an achievement, get details about the achievement you have unlocked, with a cute little badge in the upper left corner of your screen.
  • AUTOMATIC SCREENSHOT do you want to keep a screenshot of the moment you unlocked a RetroAchievement? They are stored in the Batocera screenshot directory.
  • UNLOCK SOUND if you want to play a sound, like the classic PS3 or Xbox360 success unlock sound. You have a selection of retrogaming-oriented sounds, but you can also add your own unlock sounds in /userdata/sounds/retroachievements/ as long as they are in the .ogg format.
  • USERNAME and PASSWORD are the ones you have set up on the RetroAchievements website.
  • SHOW IN MAIN MENU if you want a shortcut to the RetroAchievement screen from the main menu (see the screenshot below)
  • FIND ALL/NEW GAMES in order to show a little icon in the Batocera menu for the games that have RetroAchievements, you have to use this option to calculate the MD5 checksums of your ROM files and make sure they match what the RetroAchievements database is expecting. You can do that for all games in your library, or games that haven't been indexed yet.

The global settings that apply by default to all games.

  • Tools
  • Update Games Lists Choosing this option will perform a scan of your game folders and refresh the list of available games accordingly.
  • Default Settings
  • Game Ratio Set the aspect ratio used by the games. If not using Auto, Core Provided is recommended. Square Pixel will render pixels aligned to your screen, but is not recommended as most systems did not have perfectly square pixels with their displays.
  • Video Mode The output resolution sent to your display. This is (usually) independent of the emulated system's rendering resolution.
  • Smooth Games Enables bilinear filtering or the equivalent of that in the emulator. Not available on all emulators. Automatically disabled if the rendering resolution is set to the video mode resolution.
  • Rewind Lets you use the [HOTKEY]+[D-pad Left] shortcut to rewind time during a game. See other commands at Hotkey shortcuts.
  • Auto Save/Load When enabled, will do a save state when quitting a game, and load it when starting it back, letting anyone quit and start a game without losing progress.
  • Shaders Set This is used to select a preset shader set for games. See Shader Sets for more info.
  • Integer Scale (Pixel Perfect) Older games are ordinarily expanded to fit a bigger screen, however, the pixel geometry may be warped if the image is scaled by a value that is not an integer. This forces the games to be scaled only by an integer factor, it will appear smaller on the display as a result (unless the display is exactly a multiple of the original resolution of the game). See Anti-aliasing for more. FIXME (change to relevant header when added in the future)
  • Decoration You can choose which bezel collections to use with this setting, Auto will use a per-system bezel. See Decorations (and The Bezel Project) for more information.
  • Stretch Bezels (4K & Ultrawide) Overlays are typically designed for 16/9 1080p monitors. If your screen uses a higher resolution or a different aspect ratio, this option can be used to make the bezel correctly fit the screen. See Display Issues for more info.
  • Latency Reduction Enables run-ahead in libretro cores.
  • AI Game Translation A menu used to set up the AI Translation. See AI game translation for more info.
  • Per System Advanced Configuration This will let you set up most system specific configurations, refer to the system's page in systems for info on each particular system's settings. If you have games settings and system specific settings conflicting, the game-specific one will take priority.
  • System Settings
  • RetroAchievements Settings This submenu is used to set up RetroAchievements. See RetroAchievements for more information.
  • Netplay This submenu is used to set up netplay. See Netplay for more information.
  • Missing BIOS Will list every missing BIOS. See BIOS files and how to add them.
  • Check BIOSes before running a game : When launching a game on a system requiring BIOSes, you can either tell batocera to warn you about missing ones, or not.

Configure your supported_controllers and player order here.

  • Configure A Controller Clicking this option will show a window asking to hold a button on the gamepad to configure, it will then ask for a list of inputs. See Configure A Controller for more info.
  • Pair A Bluetooth Controller : Pressing this will make you able to pair a Bluetooth controller, for some unfortunately you might need to pair it manually using the command-line.
  • Forget Bluetooth Controllers : Choosing this will list your paired Bluetooth controllers, and let you unpair them.
  • Gamepad order : The list here can be used to affect specific gamepads to specific players.
  • Show Controller Activity : Checking this option shows the number of controllers connected with icons inside EmulationStation, and they will blink when used.


  • Theme Set : This is used to choose the theme you are using, additional themes can be downloaded from the Updates & Download category in the main menu, see Theme Set for reference.
  • Theme Configuration : This opens a submenu to customize your currently used theme, customization options are specific to the used theme.
  • UI Mode : You can select different modes for batocera, Kiosk mode and Kid mode will reduce the amount of possibilities, see also UI mode.

Startup Settings

  • Start on System : Select which system is selected as default
  • Start on Gamelist : Start ES on gamelist view of selected system
  • Overscan : Option only relevant for SBC supporting overscan settings, can be used in case the image is cropped improperly on the screen.
  • Systems displayed : This is used to choose which systems to display, and which ones to hide.

Display Options

  • Transition Style : This is used to decide if the menu should have a fade-in transition effect, a moving effect, or change instantly when starting a game.
  • Carousel Transitions Instantly show next/previous system
  • Screen Saver Settings
    • Screen Saver After : This is used to decide how long the system must stay unused before triggerring the screensaver.
    • Screen Saver Behavior : This is used to choose what the screensaver will do.
      • Dim : Simply dim the screen.
      • Black : Turns the screen black. This does not actually turn off the monitor.
      • Slideshow : Displays on full screen screenshots that have been scraped for the games available on your system (on rotation after a given time). When this is selected, new options will appear.
      • Random video : Play a random video from a selection of videos. When this is selected, new options will appear.
        • Random video : To play videos from a custom folder (by default, /userdata/screenshots/). Drop a few videos for old video game commercials in there, and sit back for some nostalgia. And if there is a video you don't like, just press [D-PAD RIGHT] to skip to the next.
    • Stop Music on Screensaver : Enabling this will stop the main menu music from playing when the screensaver is used, if video files are used as a screensaver, their audio will be then used instead.
    • Random Video Screensaver Settings : Show a random video snap.
    • Slideshow Screensaver Settings : Show a random screenshot image.
      • Swap image after indicates the time in seconds before switching to the next image when the screensaver takes over
      • Show game info adds an overlay of the game title and platform
      • Use marquee as Game Info if you scraped the game marquees and prefer to display a graphic image rather than plain text
      • Decorations - do you want to add a bezel to the picture? You can select between the default bezel for the system showed in the snap, a random bezel, or none.
      • Stretch images
      • Use custom images enable this option if you want to display custom images from a folder, rather than your scraped pictures
      • Custom image dir path where custom pictures will be fetched – by default /userdata/screenshots
      • Custom image dir recursive in case you want to search for video files in subfolders of the previous path
      • Custom image filter extensions for videos – by default .png,.jpg
    • Screen Saver Controls : Enable the use of the buttons to perform different actions during the screensaver.
  • Game Launch Transition : auto, fade, slide or instant
  • Show Clock : Displays the hour on EmulationStation
  • On-Screen Help : Displays the buttons' actions in EmulationStation
  • Quick System Select : This feature allows you to scroll right or left when you've already entered a game folder. If this were to be turned off, you would have to back out to the main menu and then scroll left or right to find your system of choice.
  • Show Battery Status : for battery-powered devices, chose between Nothing, icon or icon and text (percentage)

Gamelist Options

  • Show Favorites on top : When active, the favorites games will be put on top of the list.
  • Show hidden files : When enabled, the files described as hidden by the gamelist.xml file ill be displayed.
  • Show folder : This option makes it possible to show the folder hierarchy inside a system, or to display all games as if they were directly put inside the folder.
  • Show '..' parent folders : When subfolders are shown, enabling this will show a .. entry to go back one folder, this entry can be hidden.
  • Show Filenames in Lists : Shows the filename instead of scrapped game name.

More information about custom collections at its respective page.

Several options are available in this menu:

  • AUTOMATIC GAME COLLECTIONS: Batocera can create automatically some collections, based on the information scraped in your gamelist.xml files. You can create automatically collections for 2 and 4 players games, all games (on all systems), favorites (across all systems) and the never played or last played games. For arcade systems, you can also have automatically created collections by editor or arcade system, like sega, snk, namco and so on.
  • CUSTOM GAME COLLECTIONS: to manage the personal collections you have created.
  • CREATE NEW CUSTOM COLLECTION: in order to create your personal collections. Once you have given a name to your new collection, you can add games from the menu by pressing the Y button on your controller. When you are done with adding games in your collection, a new item FINISH EDITING COLLECTION will appear in this menu to let you close it.
  • GROUP UNTHEMED CUSTOM COLLECTIONS: toggle on if you want your collections to all appeared in a dedicated COLLECTIONS item at the top level on the menu, otherwise each of your custom collection will appear at the top level.
  • SORT CUSTOM COLLECTIONS AND SYSTEMS: in case you have set to “off” the previous option, do you want your collections to appear amongst the other systems, ordered from their alphabetical names among the other systems (toggled on), or would you prefer to see all your collections grouped together at the end of your systems list (off)?
  • SHOW SYSTEM NAME IN COLLECTIONS: toggle on if you want to see the [SYSTEM] added after the game names in your custom collections. Otherwise only the game name will appear. Useful if you have the same game name across multiple gaming consoles.
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


  • Sort Systems: Alphabetically, by manufacturer, by hardware type, by release year
  • Start on System: Restore last selected, or choose your favorite system to start with
  • Start on Gamelist
  • 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]
  • Frontend Music : Is used to enable or disable the music in EmulationStation.
  • Display Song Titles : Used to show the name of the music file in EmulationStation when it starts playing.
  • How many seconds for song titles : How long new song pop-up badge is displayed.
  • Only Play System-Specific Music Folder : Can be used to play only specific musics when going inside a given system folder, see also EmulationStation music.
  • Play theme musics : Can be enabled to let the currently used theme use its own musics.
  • Lower Music when playing video : When a video preview is playing, reduce the music played in ES.
  • Sounds
  • Enable Navigation Sounds : Some themes use navigation sounds, enabling this let's you hear them when moving in the menu.
  • Enable Video Audio : When you have a video played back in the EmulationStation menu – either through a video thumbmail of a game that you scraped or when you use the video screensaver option – you can toggle on/off this option so that it does not interfere with the FRONTEND MUSIC option that might have been set up above.
  • Informations
  • IP Address This displays your IP address which can be useful if you want to access your device over the network (you should be able to access your device in Windows through the file explorer. Type \\(IP address of Batocera) in the address bar to gain access to the share.)
  • Status This menu option will show you information about your network and if you're connected to the internet (not your local network). This can be useful for troubleshooting issues with online gaming or game scraping. Batocera checks its status by trying to reach out to the Batocera public website. If you see “NOT CONNECTED” it indicates that the website cannot be contacted by your Batocera box: there might be a temporary network issue that is not necessary on your personal network.
  • Show Network Indicator : Will display a small icon in EmulationStation when connected to the network if this is enabled.
  • Settings
  • Hostname The hostname will be a name to distinguish your device from others on the network. Your router may append .local or .lan to it, check its settings.
  • Enable WiFi Enables or disables the Wi-Fi, useful for handhelds to save power. When using a wired connection, this will be turned off automatically.
  • WiFi SSID Set up your Wi-Fi SSID.
    • <List of Wi-Fi networks scanned> You may need to use “Refresh” if you had just turned it on.
    • Refresh Scan for networks again.
    • Manual Input Manually type out your network's SSID. Special characters may need to be escaped with a preceding \.
  • WIFI Key This is the password to your wireless network that you're attempting to connect to. Special characters may need to be escaped with a preceding \.

Allows you to scrape boxart/marquees for your game collection from an online database.

  • Scrape From Choose your database source. Remaining options will appear/disappear based on this. Read Scrape From for more info.
  • Image Source
  • Box Source Prefer 2D boxart or an automatically generated 3D render of the boxart. This will apply to both the boxart thumbnail image and the “Mix” image outputs.
  • Logo Source Choose whether to use the marquee (with its own background) or the wheel (with a transparent background) for the logo.
  • Scrape Ratings This option will scrape the user ratings of each game and will be displayed with the artwork you downloaded. This can be helpful when wanting to try new games you have never played before.
  • Scrape Videos Downloads a short, low-resolution video to play when the game is selected. This option takes up a lot of bandwidth and will dramatically increase your scraping time for large collections! Weaker SBCs may also struggle with this.
  • Scrape Fanart Downloads a HD fanart of the game to display in the background/screensaver. Depends on how the theme has implemented it.
  • Scrape Manual Batocera 5.27+ offers you the ability to show game manuals (by hitting [Select] on a game) if you scraped the manuals.
  • Scrape Pad2key settings For Batocera v29+, you can automatically download a pad2key profile to use the joypad to emulate a keyboard.
  • Username if you use screenscraper as a source, and you have an account with multiple threads, using your screenscraper username and password here will leverage scraping with as many parallel threads as you have access to. It's a lot faster.
  • Password
  • Scrape Now Begin scraping. Your system may become unresponsive for a moment, but scraping will begin in the background. When done, be sure to Update Games Lists to see your boxart!

Download freely distributed content for Batocera! See Content downloader/updates for more info.

  • System
  • Information
    • Your System Version ✔
    • Disk Usage ✔
    • Temperature ✔
    • Architecture ✔
    • System ✔
    • CPU Model ✔
    • CPU Number ✔
    • CPU Max Frequency
  • Language
  • Power Saver Modes
  • Kodi Settings
    • Enable Kodi
    • Kodi at Start Directly start Kodi on boot
    • Start Kodi with X Start Kodi by pressing the X button on your controller
  • Hardware
  • Brightness
  • Video Output
  • Audio Output
  • Multimedia keys: if you have an Odroid Go Advance or its clone, do you want to enable the lower system keys?
  • Overclock Only relevant for some SBC, not for PC
  • Storage
  • Storage Device
  • Backup User Data
  • Install Batocera on a new disk
  • Advanced
  • Security
  • 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 and the classic one
    • Switch A/B buttons in EmulationStation - this option might be useful, if you are coming to Batocera from other distributions with a different default mapping
    • 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)

Pressing [SELECT] at the system list (top level) will give you access to the following shortcuts:

  • Quick Access
  • Launch screensaver that you configured, for video or picture display
  • Skip to next song when you play a background music in EmulationStation
  • View Batocera Manual you next best friend when you don't have access to this fantastic wiki ;-)
  • Quit
  • Restart System Reboot the machine. The #1 troubleshooting procedure. If Batocera isn't the default boot drive, this will return you to your main operating system.
  • Shutdown System Powers down the device. By default, will send the halt signal to your device, so that you can power it back on again using a button.
  • Fast Shutdown System Shuts down the system without first saving modifications made to gamelist.xml. Only use this for troubleshooting purposes, as it can undo changes made during the session.

Pressing the select button at the game level menu will give you access to the following shortcuts:

  • Navigation
  • Filter games by text
  • Jump to : a letter
  • Sort games
  • Other filters
  • Find similar games: On Batocera 29+, you can find games that are similar to the one you are selecting. When you want to play all the games in a series, for instance.
  • View Options
  • Gamelist view style
  • View customization
  • Game Options
  • Advanced System Options
  • Advanced Game Options
  • Edit this game metadata
  • menu_tree.txt
  • Last modified: 6 months ago
  • by atari