RetroArch can be utilized via its robust graphical interfaces as well as a powerful command-line interface (CLI). Getting familiar with the command-line helps you understand the design principles of RetroArch.
Note: please be aware of whether your system uses DOS/Windows style paths with backslashes
\ or Unix-style paths with forward slashes:
Loading a ROM and libretro core (Unix-style path)¶
retroarch -L /path/to/libretro/core.so game.rom
Loading a ROM and libretro core with flatpak¶
retroarch -L /path/to/libretro/core.so game.rom flatpak run org.libretro.RetroArch/x86_64/stable -L /home/MYUSERNAME/.var/app/org.libretro.RetroArch/config/retroarch/cores/nestopia_libretro.so Tetris.nes
Verbose logging output¶
To get a better idea on what's going on, use the
--verbose flag. If you want to report a bug, it is vital that this log is included.
Using a config file¶
By default, RetroArch looks for a config in various places depending on OS:
~/.retroarch.cfg, and finally, as a fallback,
retroarch.cfgin same folder as
To override this, use
retroarch --config customconfig.cfg. If you have some special options you want to store in separate config files, you can use
retroarch --config baseconfig.cfg --appendconfig specialconfig.cfg. Be sure to pass
--menu as well if you aren't loading content directly from the command-line, or RetroArch will close immediately after launching. See man-page and/or
--help for detail.
Other essential CLI flags¶
--help help flag to display RetroArch's built-in CLI documentation. You'll probably discover some features you didn't think about.
If you're unsure if a particular feature is compiled in, execute