Atari 5200

The Atari 5200 is the video game console version of the Atari 400 computer developed by Atari. It was released in 1982.

Initially conceived to compete against the Intellivision, it ended up primarily competing against the ColecoVision. Despite beating both systems in performance and value per dollar, the 5200 was considered a commercial failure, only reaching 1 million units sold compared to the 2600's 30 million units.

Its unique joystick allowed for 360 degrees of input values and a keypad, along with featuring more utility buttons such as Start, Pause and Reset.

Although software is not directly compatible between the Atari 5200 and the 8-bit Atari computers it was based on, most Atari 5200 emulators are compatible with software designed for either system. Because of this, Batocera refers to the Atari 5200 the same as the Atari 800 internally sometimes.

This system scrapes metadata for the “atari5200” group(s) and loads the atari5200 set from the currently selected theme, if available.

  • Emulator: RetroArch
  • Folder: /userdata/roms/atari5200
  • Accepted ROM formats: .rom, .xfd, .atr, .atx, .cdm, .cas, .car, .bin, .a52, .xex, .zip, .7z
MD5 checksum Share file path Description
281f20ea4320404ec820fb7ec0693b38 bios/5200.rom Atari 5200 BIOS

Place your Atari 5200 ROMs in /userdata/roms/atari5200.

ROMs in the .a52 format require an additional selection of the ROM type at the start of the emulator and sometimes that selection screen is not visible and requires a blind button press. You can convert the .a52 files into a different format, .car, which contains additional information so that the selection screen is bypassed. The method of doing that inside the emulator together with a list of this information for all known Atari 5200 ROMs can be found here: Cartridge Type Code List

RetroArch has its own page.

libretro: atari800

Atari800 is an Atari 400, 800, 600 XL, 800XL and 130XE computer and Atari 5200 console emulator libretro core by Petr Stehlik.

This is a bit more complicated than I thought. Needs confirmination about which settings actually apply to only 5200.

libretro: atari800 configuration
ES setting name batocera.conf_key Description ⇒ ES option key_value
Settings specific to atari800
ATARI SYSTEM atari800.atari800_system Choose what Atari System to emulate
⇒ 400/600XL/800 (48K) (OS B) 400/800 (OS B), 800XL/1200XL/XEGS (64K) 800XL (64K), 130XE (128K) 130XE (128K), Modern XL/XE (320K CS) Modern XL/XE(320K CS), Modern XL/XE (576K) Modern XL/XE(576K), Modern XL/XE (1088K) Modern XL/XE(1088K).
VIDEO STANDARD atari800.atari800_ntscpal Switch frequency and resolution by region
SIO ACCELERATION atari800.atari800_sioaccel Speeds up file loading (a few games will not load)
⇒ Off disabled, On enabled.
HI-RES ARTIFACTING atari800.atari800_artifacting Artificial color filters to mimic actual hardware
⇒ Off disabled, On enabled.
INTERNAL RESOLUTION atari800.atari800_resolution Enables alternate resolutions for some games
⇒ 336×240 336×240, 320×240 320×240, 384×240 384×240, 384×272 384×272, 384×288 384×288, 400×300 400×300.
Settings specific to atari5200
JOYSTICK HACK (FOR ROBOTRON) atari5200.atari800_opt2 Treats the second analog stick as joystick 2
⇒ Off disabled, On enabled.

Many required settings for the emulator are not exposed to RetroArch or EmulationStation but need to be set inside the emulator itself. You can access this menu by pushing in [L3] or the [F1] key.

Analogue joysticks are supported only via hard-coded mouse inputs (bypassing RetroPad and default controls). The analog sticks of gamepads are not supported. This makes some games unplayable unless you connect a mouse.

Sure that it's not possible to remap them?

Here are the default Atari 5200's controls shown on a Batocera Retropad:

For further troubleshooting, refer to the generic support pages.

  • systems/atari5200.txt
  • Last modified: 6 months ago
  • by atari