New features in RetroArch

Posted on 2015-07-04 by kivutar

In this article, I will talk about the new features introduced in RetroArch during the last few weeks. We already posted some videos about it, so if you’re following us on social network you will find nothing new in this article, but I thought it would be nice to keep a trace of this on the blog. This new version of RetroArch is not yet included in Lakka because some of those functionalities still need polishing. But we will upgrade the package as soon as they mature.

GUI Translations

The menu now supports a minimalist translation system.

There are already some European languages available in the list, such as French, German, Portuguese, Dutch, and soon Italian and Esperanto. Unicode is not yet possible, so we won’t get Japanese or Chinese translations yet.

Per system playlists

The databases of OpenEMU have been converted and imported in RetroArch. This database system is read only, but very portable, compact and fast. Each entry contains the checksum of the corresponding ROM, which allows scanning of your ROM collection.

Scanning is still a work in progress, it does not scan recursive, and does not work on CDs or arcade ROMs yet, but give it some more time and it will work beautifully. It produces some static playlists, per system, in place of the old per core approach, so we can finally browser our Master System games and Megadrive games independently like it has been requested by so many users.

Dynamic backgrounds

This feature allow you to supply a folder containing backgrounds for each system.

Those backgrounds are loaded in a non blocking way behind the menu, and will change on the fly as you are browsing horizontally. There are already 2 or 3 themes available in the retroarch-assets repo:


Boxarts work the same as dynamic backgrounds, except they display Box Arts of the current ROM when you’re browsing vertically.

The nonblocking image loader does not allow us to get image dimensions, and for now only supports the format PNG. For these reasons, this feature is very experimental and is not yet worth enough to write a scrapper, but I still prototyped one quickly in Perl for testing.