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Using Content, Folder, and Core Overrides for Custom Settings

There are various and comprehensive ways to save customized settings within the RetroArch menus. 99% of settings can be adjusted and saved from the menu but are only plain text files and can be adjusted manually with a text editor.

  • Global settings can be overridden on a per core or per game basis, with the config override system.
  • Input settings are handled separately with the input core and game Remap system.
  • Likewise Shader Preset settings are also their own entity for per core and game settings
  • A standalone file also saves the Option settings for all cores that support them. The settings in this file can be overridden on a per game basis.


Please read the Getting Started guide.


  1. Game settings
  2. Core settings
  3. Default settings


Overrides (.cfg) & Remaps (.rmp)

Overrides and Remaps are designed to be a lightweight easily maintained configuration method. They save only settings that differ from the preceding settings files.

For example if only one setting differs between your retroarch.cfg and a "core".cfg, then the "core.cfg" file will only contain one setting.

The RetroArch loading process is:-

  • Load retroarch.cfg
    • Apply "name-of-core".cfg & "name-of-core".rmp override
      • Apply name-of-game.cfg & "name-of-game".cfg override


Core specific overrides that are not in game specific overrides persist and will be loaded.
Also once you have created an override any future changes will need to be saved via the Quick Menu.

Options (.opt) & Shader Presets (.cgp|.glslp|.slangp)

Custom per game core options and shader presets work slightly different. These are full configurations and are loaded instead of the base shader preset and core option settings.

Configuration Files & Location


Depending on your chosen platform the location of these files after installation may vary.


Some settings cannot be saved in an override file from the menu. You can manually add settings to the override file to workaround most situations.

The default and global settings file

  • retroarch.cfg (located in the base install path)

The global file for core option settings, for cores that support options

  • retroarch-core-options.cfg (located with the retroarch.cfg)

Core options

  • "name-of-game.opt" If not found load
    • retroarch-core-options.cfg

The options files list the settings found under Quick Menu -> Options. The retroarch-core-options.cfg is created automatically on loading a core that supports Options.

A game specific options file is created when you select Quick Menu -> Options -> Game-options file. (located in "/config/"corename"/"name-of-game.opt". The path is set under Settings->Directory->Config)


Load Content Specific Core Options Automatically must be set to On in RetroArch's Configuration settings in order for game specific options to be automatically loaded upon content load.

Override Configs

The override system activates on loading of content. RetroArch looks for configs with the logic as explained previously.

Per Core/Game Overrides

  • Load retroarch.cfg
    • Apply name-of-core.cfg
      • Apply "name-of-game".cfg

Per Core Override

  • "name-of-core".cfg (located in "/config/"corename"/"name-of-core.cfg". This path is set under Settings->Directory->Config)

These settings files are created from the Quick Menu -> Save Core Overrides option and contain ANY (supported) settings you have changed since loading content. These settings will be loaded every time you load content with that core.

Per Game Override

  • "name-of-game".cfg (located with per core override file)

These settings files are created as above with the Quick Menu -> Save Game Overrides. The settings will take precedence over "name-of-core".cfg

Input Remaps

Input remaps use the same logic as core/game overrides and use the .rmp extension. They can be adjusted and saved from Quick Menu -> Controls -> Save Game or Core Remap. Set the save directory in Settings -> Directory -> Input Remapping (by default they will save to /config/remaps/"name-of-core"/"name-of-core/game".rmp)

Shader Presets

Shader Presets are combinations of one or more shaders. They can be adjusted and saved from Quick Menu -> Shaders -> Save Core/Game Preset. Set the save directory in Settings -> Directory -> Video Shader (by default they will save to /shaders/presets/"name-of-core"/"name-of-core/game".cgp|glslp|slangp)

In addition to this you can save custom non core/game specific shader presets from Quick Menu -> Shaders -> Save Shader Preset As(by default this will save to the shader directory set in Settings -> Directory -> Video Shader under "name-you-assigned .cgp|glslp|slangp)

So if you create your "perfect" combination of shaders you can recall this with Quick Menu -> Shaders -> Load Shader Preset then continue on to save it as a core or game preset. This will save time if using the same preset for multiple games or cores.

There are plenty of user created default presets that come bundled with the RetroArch installation and these can be updated from Main Menu -> Online Updater -> Update Cg|Glsl|Slang Shaders

Example Screenshots

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