retroarch-lakka

Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! A while back somebody had asked me what is a good emulator you can use for the NES. I gave them some NES emulators but then I was thinking why would you want a stand alone emulator for one particular console when you can have an emulator that runs many different consoles. That’s where the people at Libretro come in. They are the people behind the application RetroArch and the operating system Lakka. Here’s a link to their mission page.

Now RetroArch and Lakka run the same and look very much a like. Let’s start with RetroArch. RetroArch is a frontend application that enables you to run emulators across a wide variety of systems. From the Atari 2600 to the Nintendo GameCube. And it can play arcade folks. It’s pretty much one app that has many different emulators to put it in simpler terms. All in one application. How cool is that? It can be downloaded on many different pieces of hardware from a Windows PC to an Android Phone. Here’s a link to their supported platforms page. I’m pretty sure you have a piece of hardware that can support RetroArch.

Lakka is an operating system that can transform a small computer (mini pc or single board computer) into a retro gaming console. It uses linux distribution and uses RetroArch as it’s frontend. The key difference between RetroArch and Lakka (besides the logo) is that Lakka has the cores (or emulators) pre-installed  for you once the program is set up. RetroArch you have to download the cores you want to use. Setting up RetroArch is a little more work but simple. And once it’s set up you’ll be enjoying hours of retro gaming.

Now using these programs can be a little confusing in the beginning but they make it simple to operate. If you have a PS3 it uses that nice xmb theme for it’s interface. I wish they brought that theme to the PS4. Setting up your controller button layout is very simple to do. You can use hot keys if you want but I prefer not to. You can easily exit a game and choose to save/suspend your state, load your state, rewind, and much more options. But I feel one of it’s greatest features is Netplay. Netplay enables you to play a game with someone online. How awesome is that? Playing a two player retro game online! Technology has sure advanced. Who ever thought that you could play an old retro game online with someone? Works well if you are playing a fighting game or beat ’em up game.

Now the benefit of having RetroArch/Lakka is if you play many old games across many different systems you don’t need several different apps. You can just download this set up your cores and be done with it. Now depending upon what device you are using N64 and anything made after that may struggle. If you are using a high powered gaming PC you should have no trouble but if you are using something such as an Android tablet, or Android phone you may want to check to see if it can handle the later consoles. PS1 and anything older should run just fine regardless of the hardware you are using.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not as fancy as Retropie, or Recalbox. But both of those operating systems use RetroArch  backend. I feel RetroArch/Lakka doesn’t try to do too much. Just enter and exit your games as simple as possible. Hopefully they do come out with cloud saving in the future. That would be incredible. Anyway this is the emulator I recommend to anyone wanting to play any retro console. I encourage you to do your research and give it a try. Perhaps if there is enough interest I could possibly put a tutorial together for you guys. It is simple to use but can be a bit tricky to configure.

So you’ve heard my thoughts on RetroArch/Lakka. I’ll leave links to their websites along with Libretro down below. What emulators do you use? Do you use RetroArch/Lakka? Are you going to give it a try? Any questions you may have? Please let me know in the comments below. Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! Remember that TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE! Thanks for reading folks! Play on playas!

Links: 

Libretro

RetroArch

Lakka

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