Sat. May 18th, 2024

Step aside, no-name emulation apps. RetroArch is now available on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. It’s free to use, it doesn’t contain ads, and it supports both touchscreen and controller input.

Apple recently adjusted its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store. Delta was the first emulator to really make a splash, and now, we’ve got both RetroArchand PPSSPP. RetroArch isn’t actually an emulator—instead, it’s a frontend that loads emulators for over a dozen well-known and obscure consoles. You can hop from Nintendo DS and PlayStation games to Bandai WonderSwan and Neo Geo Pocket titles, for example.

However, there are a lot of quirks here. Transferring files into RetroArch is one such quirk—the app is sandboxed and cannot pull files directly from iCloud. So, on iOS, you need to manually move your ROMs into a RetroArch folder that’s created after first running the app. If you’re doing this on Apple TV, you need to transfer your ROMs wirelessly (the app will guide you through this process).

You’ll also need to run the Online Updater after first opening RetroArch, as it’s missing a few assets by default. And, frustratingly, some emulation cores are absent from this release. Only in-house cores and those that were previously approved for third-party marketplaces are included in RetroArch on iOS and tvOS. The lack of JIT compilation on Apple devices also locks out 3DS emulation.

If RetroArch emulation is running too fast on your device, it’s because the emulator isn’t syncing its content to your device’s refresh rate. You can fix the problem by opening “Settings,” selecting “Video,” pressing “Synchronization,” and selecting “Sync to Exact Content Framerate.”

Go on and download RetroArch from the App Store today. Be sure to check that you’re installing the correct app, as there’s a lot of garbage on the App Store right now. I also suggest reading through RetroArch’s Reddit thread, which has basically turned into a troubleshooting session. RetroArch does have a guide for iOS and tvOS, but it was written for sideloading, rather than App Store installation, so it isn’t up to date.

Source: RetroArch

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By John P.

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