Skip to content

Directory configuration

Next step you might want to consider is setting directories for RetroArch, this can help get the best experience possible.

Although the defaults will suit most users, if you want to configure custom BIOS's or change the save location, you will have to change directories.

From the RetroArch settings:

  • Navigate to Settings
  • Navigate to Directories
  • Select the directory you want to changed
  • Navigate to the desired location using the file browser

From a text editor:

  • Close RetroArch
  • Find your retroarch config folder


If you are having trouble locating your retroarch config folder, check back in the Directories setting, take a mental note of what appears on the Config directory, this should lead you to a retroarch folder. If all hope is lost do a system-wide search for retroarch.cfg

  • Open retroarch.cfg
  • After the = sign, make changes then save.

Paths to consider changing:


This is where you specify the location for all your BIOS's, by default RetroArch looks for BIOS in your "Starting directory" folder. It is not suggested that you dump all BIOS files in the "Starting directory".


Some emulators (Example: PS1 and PSP) will require BIOS files to even function.

It is suggested that this be changed to a folder named "system" under your retroarch config folder. If you can't be bothered to try and find this config folder (since it varies from OS), and you want to skip having to use a text editor, choose another location that the BIOS files will be.


You might want to change this directory from "retroarch.cfg" with a text editor since the RetroArch file browser doesn't show hidden folders by default. system_directory = is what you need to change in the config file.

File Browser

Another one you'll want to consider changing. This will be the starting directory when you select "Load Content" and it can be very handy to have this set to your ROM folder. Although this probably isn't needed since RetroArch has an import feature, it doesn't hurt to have this set anyway.

Savefile and Savestate

Last one you should consider changing are the save locations, by default it will place them in the same folder as your ROMS. If you care about organisation you should change these to another folder.