How to play Elite on the Raspberry Pi

We could hardly have a Raspberry Pi Gaming Day without mentioning Elite. Pete Taylor shows how to run the iconic game on the Raspberry Pi. He says:

I grew up playing Elite – originally on a BBC B and then a few years later on it’s 32 bit successor the Archimedes, it was brilliant, addictive and years ahead of it’s time.


Elite running on Raspberry Pi

“It’s a bit stretched on my screen, but smooth and playable!”

The game “runs as smoothly as I remember, and is very playable”. At last, a chance to improve on my “Mostly Harmless” rating (and I think I only got that by cheating) — thanks Pete!


RomanNV avatar

Install a Fuse spectrum emulator under Raspbian or RiscOS and have a play to Elite too. It’s more easy than ArcEm.

Robbie avatar

what file do i open with fuse for it to work

poglad avatar

Yes… he says he found the Spectrum emulator ran quite slowly. It runs full speed on Raspbian for me, very nicely indeed. But the BBC emulators go quite slowly. Apparently BeebIt on RISCOS zips along nicely, so for running the ORIGINAL version of Elite on the Pi, that could be the one to go with.

Seeing as Archimedes software ran on RISCOS, it’s a bit annoying that it has to be run in an emulator. I know it was a different ARM chip, but it would be nice if the custodians of the source code could recompile it for us. :-D

cDave avatar

From what I’ve heard about how tightly coded it was, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that there is no “source code” to recompile, as bit were written in machine code.

poglad avatar

He also suggests using ArcEm to run Archimedes conversions of 16-bit Atari ST/Amiga games… again, an Atari ST or Amiga emulator ought to be the preferred choice here, if not on RISCOS then on Raspbian. Tools for the job, that’s what I say!

Trixster avatar

Well, despite the instructions on the link I managed to get this running, but it’s way too fast. Any ideas on how to slow it down to near the original speed?

Davespice avatar

I have put up some more detailed instructions on how to get it working and also how to play it properly. Might be of some help to you.

Trixster avatar

Answered my own question: if wishing to use the keyboard make sure you enable damping by pressing caps lock whilst playing (I dredged that up from my memories of playing Elite on my Dad’s old BBC B, back in the depths of time), and prior to starting ArcElite turn the mouse sensitivity down to 1 and disable mouse control on the desktop (middle button on the Elite icon on the task bar).

Gary avatar

Is there an official pi version of Frontier? I know its a freeware game these days so available to just play and i have a copy that I’ve run on pi using Dosbox but its still a little fiddly.
Would be nice to just install it and play from the start menu/command line without the need for an emulator.

Lucas avatar

Anyone know what device the motorola is. Looks like it’s just a dummy laptop case with a screen keyboard and touchpad that the raspberry pi is hooked up to? I’ve looked for those before but never been able to find them.

Andrew avatar

It’s a Motorola Laptop Dock for smartphones. I bought one for $50 and I’ve seen them for even less recently. There’s a guide for getting one to work with the Raspberry Pi on the forums, which involves some obscure HDMI adapters and soldering. Works pretty well, but no headphone jack and the trackpad doesn’t have scrolling.

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