RetroPie for Raspberry Pi 4: video game emulation on our fastest-ever device

For many of you out there, your first taste of Raspberry Pi is using it as a retro gaming emulator running RetroPie. Simple to install and use, RetroPie allows nostalgic gamers (and parents trying to educate their kids) the ability to play old-schoolskool classics on any monitor in their home, with cheap USB game controllers or models from modern consoles.

GuzziGuy RetroPie Table

Mid-century-ish Retro Games Table’ by Reddit user GuzziGuy

And because our community is so wonderfully inventive, Raspberry Pis running RetroPie have found themselves in homebrew gaming cabinets, old console casings, and even game cartridges themselves.

Along came Raspberry Pi 4

When we announced Raspberry Pi 4 last year, a much faster device with more RAM than we’d previously offered, the retro gaming enthusiasts of the world quickly took to prodding and poking the current version of the RetroPie software to get it to work on our new, more powerful computer. And while some succeeded, those gamers not as savvy with manually updating the RetroPie software had to wait for a new image.

Retro Pie 4.6

And so yesterday, to much hurrah from the Raspberry Pi and retro gaming community, the RetroPie team announced the release of image version 4.6 with beta Raspberry Pi 4 support!

One of the biggest changes with the update is the move to Raspbian Buster, the latest version of our operating system, from Raspbian Stretch. And while they’re currently still advertising the Raspberry Pi 4 support as in beta, version 4.6 works extremely well on our newest model.

Update today!

Visit the RetroPie website today to download the 4.6 image, and if you have any difficulties with the software, visit the RetroPie forum to find help, support, and a community of like-minded gamers.


ScratchCoder avatar

Isn’t using ROMs like that illegal?

Liz Upton avatar

We, and RetroPie, encourage users to acquire ROMs legally – which isn’t that tough. If you already own a game on an old platform, you’re golden – and there’s lots more information on how to play legally here:

Brian Goldberg avatar

Two more good sources are (which has lots of Neo Geo games and others) and Steam, which has a whole host of retrogames including a large catalog of Sega Genesis games.

Fuge avatar

I purchased a game from Do I need to download the “offline backup installers” on the Raspberry Pi i order to play it? Thanks for any help

Lucy Hattersley avatar

There are many, many developers who are happy to see their old games as freeware to be enjoyed and distributed. Jeff Minter is one such example:

There are many companies who have given explicit permission for their back catalogue to be distributed. World of Spectrum has a list of companies that have allowed permission for ROMs to be distributed. It includes big names such as Gremlin Graphics – the world’s best Spectrum developer (yay). They also list companies who have explicitly denied permission, such as Ultimate Play The Game.

There are also many Homebrew developers making new games, for old systems, specifically with the aim of distributing ROMs. Blade Buster is one of my favourites

The MagPi magazine has a page with links for legal ROMs that it uses when talking about RetroPie and emulation.

Darren F avatar

Excellent news, can’t wait to have a play….

jonathan levis avatar

Great, my passion will always be satisfied. My son also loves this

fogia_steph avatar

I would like to install Retropie or another emulator on my RPI 4 but still want to keep my full desktop. I don’t want to install Retropie and then the pixel environment, but just install an emulator just like any other program. Is it possible?

vbfd avatar

berry hair esqueçi o nome?

Crescent Colors avatar

Can the Retro Pi 4 play ROM hacks of games that are on the system that its emulating? (For example the Gameboy Advance emulator on Retro Pi playing Pokemon ROM hacks) Thank you for reading.

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