Build Your Own Retro Games Machine with Raspberry Pi
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Build Your Own Retro Games Machine with Raspberry Pi

A fun DIY project to build your own custom built retro games machine for next to nothing using the Raspberry Pi
4.6 (91 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
610 students enrolled
Created by Chris O'Connor
Last updated 5/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $45 Discount: 78% off
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  • 4.5 hours on-demand video
  • 8 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Gain the knowledge to build a fully functional retro gaming device.
  • An understanding of what the Raspberry Pi is, what you can create with it, and the huge range of interesting and useful things you can do with one.
  • Get a lot of fun and satisfaction from having created your own self-built, custom retro gaming machine for next to nothing!
View Curriculum
  • You’ll need a Raspberry Pi – easy to find and cheap to buy. I tell you all about this in the course. A Raspberry Pi can range in price from $5 - $35 typically.
  • Some bits you probably already have lying around spare – keyboard, HDMI cable, memory card, games controller
  • An internet connection
  • Basic computer and internet skills – if you were able to find this course then you already have all the technical ability you need to do this

Discover how, at an extremely low cost, you can create your own retro games machine and play all your favourite games from years gone by, whatever the game, whatever the platform.

Game emulators have been around for years, but they can be confusing to set up, and often the games you want to play, simply just don’t work!

Dedicated hardware exists to emulate certain game systems. But they emulate just ONE system, usually miss out vital things you need to play your games, and cost FAR more than the Raspberry Pi based system you’ll create yourself by the end of this course.

Where is the fun in buying something that is limited in what it can do, when you can build your own, far more powerful solution at a fraction of the price? And one that does exactly what YOU want.

In this course you will be taken, step-by-step, through exactly what you need to know in order to create your own retro gaming machine. Not only is it tiny and can be permanently connected to your TV, out of site, and ready for whenever you want a quick blast from the past, but you will have access to a huge selection of different games systems and games.

Many people have tried building something like this and end up with over 90% of the games not working – because they don’t have the information that is covered in this course.

Take a look at just some of the systems this course shows you how to emulate...

  • Amstrad CPC
  • Atari 2600
  • Atari 800
  • Atari Lynx
  • Atari ST
  • Apple II
  • Colecovision
  • Commodore Amiga
  • Commodore Pet
  • Commodore 64
  • Gameboy
  • Gameboy Color
  • Gameboy Advance
  • Intellivision
  • MSX
  • NeoGeo
  • NeoGeo Pocket Color
  • Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Nintendo 64
  • Sega Game Gear
  • Sega Master System
  • Sega Megadrive
  • Sega CD
  • Sony Playstation
  • Super Nintendo
  • Vectrex
  • ZX Spectrum
  • Thousands of arcade machine games!

And this is nowhere near a complete list! There are many more games consoles and microcomputers that you could be playing.

Learn from someone who has built his own machine, has tried all the major options out there, and has cut through the minefield of misinformation, confusion, and problems that trying to do something like this on your own entails. Let me help you build YOUR ideal retro gaming machine so you too can relive the fun and excitement.


Q. Will I need to do any soldering or know any electronics to do this?
A. No. The hardware side of this simply involves clipping things together and plugging in cables.

Q. Do I need to do any programming, know Linux, or edit files?
A. No. I’ve made things as straightforward as possible – no coding of any sort required! This is a Raspberry Pi project that is aimed at Pi newbies and experts alike. If you are a Linux or Raspberry Pi expert then feel free to dive right in though, and customize things even further if you want to.

Q. Do I need to know about the Raspberry Pi before I do this course?
A. No. I take you through everything you need to know, covering what it is and where to get it.

Q. What if I run into problems?
A. It’s unlikely that you will because I’ve made everything as straightforward as possible, but in the unlikely event that you do then I’ll be there in the discussion area, ready to give you help, should you need it.

Q. I’m experienced with the Raspberry Pi, what else can I do with this?
A. A lot! For example, instead of a simple case, why not build a custom arcade cabinet, or house the Raspberry Pi inside a controller, or program genuine arcade sticks to work with it? If you are experienced with hardware projects and coding on the Pi then there are no end of ways you can extend this project.

Who is the target audience?
  • Someone who is happy to do a simple, low-cost, DIY project to create the ultimate retro games machine
  • Raspberry Pi enthusiasts keen to start a new, fun, and exciting project.
  • Retro gamers looking for a dead-simple way to play the games they love, whenever they want.
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Curriculum For This Course
68 Lectures
4 Lectures 09:46


Where to Get Your Games
Raspberry Pi - What It Is and Why It's Ideal for the Retro Gamer
4 Lectures 12:41
About the Raspberry Pi

The Different Models of Raspberry Pi

Building Your Raspberry Pi Games Machine
6 Lectures 27:31

Memory Cards - Important Information

Raspberry Pi Cases

Where to Buy Your Raspberry Pi

Action Point : Hardware
What You Need to Know About MAME
4 Lectures 18:52
An Introduction to MAME

Which MAME Should You Use?

Understanding MAME ROMS & Releases

MAME - A Comparison

Let's see how much you understand about MAME. If you want to have arcade games that play, then getting to grips with MAME is key.

Understanding MAME
3 questions
The Utilities You'll Need to Burn Images
4 Lectures 01:13
About the Utilities

SD Card Formatter

Software to Burn Images to Your Card

Action Point : Download the Software
Option 1 - PiPlay
12 Lectures 46:39

PiPlay - an Overview

Where to Get PiPlay

How to Install PiPlay

PiPlay First Time Boot

Configuring PiPlay

Transferring Games to PiPlay

PiPlay - Upload Problems

How To Fix PiPlay's Upload Problem, and an Alternative Upload Method

Testing Your PiPlay System

Adding BIOS Files to PiPlay

PiPlay Summary
Option 2 - Lakka
6 Lectures 23:26
An Overview of Lakka

Where to Get Lakka

Getting Lakka on Your Memory Card

First Time Boot of Lakka

How to Copy Games to Lakka

Testing & Summary of Lakka
Option 3 - Recalbox
10 Lectures 54:33
An Overview of Recalbox

Download Recalbox and Setup The Card

First Time Boot With Recalbox

Loading Games to Recalbox

Changing Settings in Recalbox

Testing Your Recalbox System

Loading BIOS Files to Recalbox

Scraping in Recalbox

Playing Arcade Games in Recalbox

Recalbox Summary
Option 4 - RetroPie
15 Lectures 01:23:13
An Overview of RetroPie

Downloading RetroPie and Setting Up Your Card

RetroPie First Time Boot

Transferring Games to RetroPie Using FTP

Testing Your RetroPie Games

Adding a BIOS File to RetroPie

Configure Your Controller With RetroArch

Loading Your MAME Games to RetroPie

Checking Your MAME Games in RetroPie

Configure Your Controller for MAME Games

Adding Additional, Alternative, or Experimental Emulators to RetroPie

How to Choose the Default Emulator in RetroPie

Choosing and Adding Themes in RetroPie

Transfer Games Using a USB Stick

RetroPie Summary
Summary and System Roundup
1 Lecture 06:18
So Which One Is Best?
2 More Sections
About the Instructor
Chris O'Connor
4.6 Average rating
402 Reviews
7,683 Students
9 Courses
WordPress Expert, Author, Raspberry Pi Enthusiast

I've been building web sites since the mid/late 90's, and am the author of the book WordPress For All : How To Create A Website For Business Or Personal Use, Quickly & Easily - Whatever Your Skill Level. It is available available on Amazon for the Kindle, with a paperback version due to follow in the near future.

I've been using WordPress since it was first released, and prior to that, B2 (the software WordPress was forked from). I've built numerous websites both for myself and for clients, using HTML, WordPress, and Joomla. From the very first commercial web site I built (in the days before Google existed) I have made a point of building my sites with search engine optimisation in mind, and have had top ranking for many of my sites for some of the toughest keywords out there.

I'm a big fan of Twitter, and if you follow me on Twitter then make sure you let me know that you found me on Udemy and I'll be sure to follow you back.