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Getting Started

  1. Prerequisites - Make sure you have the tools you need to make a gaming SBC.
  2. Single Board Computers - Become familiar with these miniscule marvels of modern technology.
  3. Images - Learn about the various preconfigured OS builds.
  4. Cases - Choose a case that meets your needs.
  5. Storage - Figure out how much space you really need.
  6. Power Supplies - A bad power supply is the easiest mistake you can make.
  7. Input - How do you want to control your games?
  8. Imaging - A simple guide to putting your chosen Image on your chosen storage option.
  9. Assembly - Various guides for assembling SBCs and cases together.
  10. Game Sources - A rough collection of links to free and paid games you can legally get for your SBC.

Picking out a Distro

There are many pre-packaged Distros for various SBC's. Raspberry Pi is the most popular of the Single Board Computers so it will have the most distro's. We will list the distro and which devices are compatible. Note: It may or may not include having to build from source.

Retropie


  • Most Popular Distro, usually the first that comes to mind with Raspberry Pi Emulation.
  • Constantly developed
  • Uses the EmulationStation Frontend
  • Supports Custom Themes
  • Pre-packaged build for Raspberry Pi 2/3B and Pi 1 and Pi Zero/W
  • Will have to build manually for Odroid.
  • 70% gui navigation, with some options possibly requiring a keyboard.

Compatible with: Raspberry Pi: 3B, 3B+, 2B, 1, Zero, Zero W. Odroid: XU4, C1, C2 (Will require build from Ubuntu Image)

Recalbox


  • Probably the 2nd most Popular Distro.
  • Constantly developed
  • Pre-packaged build for Raspberry Pi 2/3B and Pi 1 and Pi Zero/W
  • Also comes pre-packaged for Odroid XU4 and C2
  • Uses EmulationStation Frontend
  • Can use Custom Themes
  • A better option for people who do not want to tweak, but just want to get into gaming.
  • Almost 100% GUI navigation with virtual keyboard for Wifi login info.

Compatible with: Raspberry Pi: 3B, 3B+, 2B, 1, Zero, Zero W. Odroid: XU4, C2 PC: 32 bit and 64 bit

ROTT (Retropie on The Tinkerboard)


  • Fan Developed Distro
  • Port of Retropie for the Tinkerboard
  • Still under development
  • Does support N64 Emulation (pretty good actually)

Compatible with: Asus Tinkerboard: Tinkerboard, Tinkerboard S

Retro Arena


  • Fan Developed Distro
  • Port of Retropie for the Odroid XU4 and C1/C2
  • Constantly in development
  • Image built ready for use.

Compatible with: Odroid: XU4

Lakka


  • Built off of Retroarch
  • Most compatibility across all platforms
  • Themes are based on retroarch gui, not EmulationStation.
  • Lightweight
  • Usually gets compatibility with other boards first.

Compatible with: Raspberry Pi: Zero, 1, 2, 3b Odroid: XU4, XU3, C2, C1 Tinkerboard: Tinkerboard/Tinkerboard S