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Manual (EN)

strodown edited this page Apr 15, 2019 · 120 revisions

Recalbox 6.0 DragonBlaze

Manual v1.5.0


The recalbox is a system that will allow you to play retro games easily.

It runs on a micro computer called the Raspberry Pi, and uses a batch of optimized emulators.

I - First use

The necessary package :

Category Raspberry 0/0w/1/2/3 Odroid C2 Odroid XU4 PC (32 or 64 bits)
Storage 8GB+ µSD card (pi1: SD) 8GB+ µSD card 8GB+ µSD card 8GB+ USB stick or Hard drive
Power Supply Good quality µUSB 2.5A Good quality µUSB 2.5A Use the official Odroid power supply Standard PC power supply
Video HDMI cable, HDMI2VGA,HDMI2DVI HDMI cable HDMI cable HDMI, VGA (and probably DVI and DP)
Controllers USB or bluetooth USB or bluetooth USB or bluetooth USB or bluetooth

See for more information on the first install.

After the Installation, the first thing you have to do is to connect the recalbox to the TV with the HDMI cable.

To power on the recalbox, just plug the micro USB power cable in.

Many controllers work out of the box, but if you want to configure directly an USB controller, plug in a USB keyboard and see Add an usb controller

To shut down the system:

  • In the system screen press START and choose “QUIT” then “SHUTDOWN SYSTEM”. (Shortcut: Press SELECT to show the shut down only menu)
  • Wait for green/orange light on PI to stop flashing (, so that you don't trash the SD card.)
  • Unplug the power cable.

II - Configuration

A - Controllers

Wired and wireless PS3 Dualshock and Xbox 360 controllers are supported. Many USB and Bluetooth controllers are supported too. For more information see the peripheral compatibility list

Note: By default the PS3 controller is selected in the config. If you are using other controllers it may be necessary to de-select the PS3 controller, select the controller you are using, save the config & reboot. Find your controller below for more specifics.

1 - PS3 controllers

As of 4.0.0, the internal bluetooth device is not supported by recalbox for connecting to PS3 controllers wirelessly. If you want to use a PS3 controller wirelessly, you must use a compatible bluetooth dongle.

In order to associate a PS3 controller, first connect the controller to the USB port and wait 10 seconds. After this you can now disconnect the controller and press the Home button to initiate the wireless connection.

For asian copies of the PS3 DualShock 3 (such as GASIA or SHANWAN), you will need to adust some settings. See PS3 controllers drivers

If unsure about the power supply and power consumption of the devices attached, try to avoid charging the SixAxis on the RPi as this may cause stability issues. In this case plug the controller on the recalbox only to associate your controller with your recalbox.

If you understand the parameters involved or want to try using the SixAxis over a USB connection, you need to disable the ps3 bluetooth driver in recalbox.conf by setting controllers.ps3.enabled=0

Remember that the configuration of the controllers in recalbox is based on the SNES buttons assignment :

ps3 pad snes pad
x B

Note: The default HOTKEY button is the PS button. The one in the middle of your controller.

For more info about HOTKEY actions like saving/loading see the Special commands section.

2 - XBox 360 controllers

Note: XBox 360 Wireless controllers need specific wireless receiver hardware.
Since 4.1, the Xbox configuration doesn't require you to enable any specific driver. It works just out of the box and can even be used along with DualShock pads (which was not the case in 4.0).

Remember that the configuration of the controllers in recalbox is based on the SNES buttons assignment :

xbox pad snes pad

Note: The default HOTKEY button is the HOME button. The big one in the middle of your controller.

For more info about HOTKEY actions like saving/loading see the Special commands section.

3 - Add a bluetooth controller

To add a bluetooth controller, set your controller in pairing mode.
Then go to the menu with start button or a keyboard and select Controller Settings.

Select Pair a bluetooth Controller:

A list of detected controllers appears, just select yours and now the controller is paired! Now you can configure it if it's not already a supported controller!

For 8bitdo users, see 8bitdo on recalbox.

4 - Configure a controller

You can add USB controllers on the recalbox.

Most models are compatible, see the compatibility list

After plugging your usb controller or pairing your bluetooth controller, press START with an already configured controller (or ENTER on the keyboard) and select "CONFIGURE INPUTS".

Then follow instructions.

The last button, the HOTKEY is a button that will activate buttons combination (see Special commands). For xbox 360 and PS3 gamepads, the default hotkey button is HOME or PS. It is recommended to use L3 (the joystick click on dualshock) or SELECT

Buttons assignment is based on the Super Nintendo controller :

The L and R buttons (with L2 R2 L3 R3) are based on Playstation controllers.

Pass any buttons you don't have by pressing a button for 2 seconds.

Back on the configuration screen, you can assign the controller to a player. Your controller is now configured !

5 - Buttons mapping

For 6 buttons controllers (snes, psx, arcade etc) the buttons are mapped to corresponding buttons on the original controller.
For 2 buttons controllers (nes, pcengine, gameboy etc) the mapped buttons are B and A.

6 - Keyboard mapping

If you totally failed at the controller configuration or just want to configure a controller, you can attach a wired USB keyboard to the recalbox. Enter is START, Space is SELECT, S is BACK, A is OK

7 - GPIO controllers

You can connect your arcade joysticks and buttons directly on the raspberry GPIOs. See GPIO controllers

You can connect original controllers from PSOne, Nes, Snes, Megradrive and other. See DB9 and Gamecon controllers

8 - Virtual Gamepads

With Miroof's Virtual Gamepads you can add up to 4 controllers with your phones ! Virtual game pad is based on snes controller. Just start your Internet Navigator on your phone, and type the recalbox IP followed by the communication port (port=8080). You can get the recalbox IP in the setting menu NETWORK SETTINGS

For more info see Virtual Gamepad

B - System Settings

You have two ways to configure your recalbox. The frontend Emulationstation offers many configurations features. See EmulationStation settings

But if you want to fine tuning emulators one by one, you should have a look at recalbox.conf

Be aware N64 controller will need custom configuration.

III - EmulationStation

A - Presentation

When you start the recalbox system, the frontend emulationstation shows up.
You can select your systems, launch your games, or access configuration menu from here.

The first screen is the system screen :

It shows all available systems.

B - Settings

By pressing start, you will be able to change some system settings.


You will access system information, language selection, overclock settings, updates settings and kodi settings.
You can change the overclock of your RPI. The overclock speed order for RPI1 is :
Extreme may void your warranty but is the only one that will give you really good performance for all emulators on RPi1.

It is also recommended to overclock your RPi2, if you want emulate the N64 and have the best gaming experience.


You can set game options : video ratio (16/9, 4/3), image smooth, rewind and auto save/load.
The rewind option allows you to turn back time in games.
:warning: This feature may slow down some emulators (snes, psx) if you enable it by default. You can enable it by emulator in recalbox.conf

The auto save/load option allows you to auto save a savestate when you exit a game, then reload automatically this savestate when you restart this game. Once the game started, and the savestate loaded, if you want to return to the title screen of this game, use the special command reset. You can enable it by emulator in recalbox.conf

You can also easily configure shaders for your systems. The shader set configuration contains the shader sets available for recalbox. The scanlines shaders enable scanlines on all systems to look like a CRT television. The retro shaders is a set of the best shaders, chosen by the community, that will offer you the closest to original gaming experience !
More info on Shaders configuration page.

You can also switch shaders in-game using your controller. Use the Special commands Hotkey + R2 or Hotkey + L2 to see the next or previous shader.


You can configure your controllers.


You will have access to the frontend setting. You can set the overscan here if you have black border or a cropped image. See Overscan settings for more information.


You can enable or disable background sounds in emulationstation, set system volume and choose output device (auto, jack or hdmi)
Select jack to force analog output.


You can enable and configure the wifi and the hostname, get the recalbox IP Type the SSID of your network and the network key with a keyboard.
Once you validate, the wifi is activated.
A known bug bug exists that does not allow you to enter all the characters you need for the SSID or the Key. You can configure this directly from your wifi using recalbox.conf

C - Controls

Frontend commands :

B → Select
A → Back
Y → Switch Favorite on the roms list, contextual help in a menu X → Launch Kodi Start → Menu
Select → Options (reboot menu on systems screen)
R → Next Page
L → Previous Page

When you select a system with A, the screen change and show all available games.

When the game is running, go to the section During the game to see how you can go back to the frontend.

D - Favorites

You can set a game as a favorite by pressing the Y button. The game will be on top of the game list with a ☆ before its name. Toggle the favorite with Y. It is necessary to turn off/reboot the system properly with the emulationstation menu to save your favorites and then find them in the next startup.

E - Scraper

For each game, you can get the cover art and information about the games you have stored while browsing your games lists in the emulationstation. Press START and go to SCRAPPER. Then follow the instructions.

IV - During the game

When you are in the game, there are special commands available.

A - Saves

Emulators bring a very useful feature : save state. A saved state is a quick save of the game, and allows you to reload the game at this point.

With save states, you will never have to seek for a saved point again !

You can save more than one state per game if you change the save slot.

You can save a state with Hotkey + Y You can load a state with Hotkey + X

B - Special commands

Hotkey + Y → Save State
Hotkey + X → Load State
Hotkey + Up → Select Save Slot -1
Hotkey + Down → Select Save Slot +1

Hotkey + Start → End Game and Quit To Main Menu
Hotkey + A → Reset Game
Hotkey + B → Retroarch Menu
Hotkey + L1 → Screenshot

Hotkey + Right → Speedup game
Hotkey + Left → Rewind (if activated in options)

Hotkey + R2 → Next shader preset
Hotkey + L2 → Previous shader preset

In FBA and Mame, press Select to add a credit.

You can access retroarch configuration menu with Hotkey + B If you want to configure retroarch and save the config, you can select the "Save Settings on Exit" in the retroarch menu. After that, all configuration you make in rgui will be saved.

V - Updates

The recalbox update can be done in the frontend menu. Configure the wifi or plug an ethernet cable on the recalbox, press Start and select "SYSTEM SETTINGS" with A, then "UPDATES" and "START UPDATE".

After the update, the system will reboot.

VI - Network features

If you configured the wifi or plugged an Ethernet cable on the recalbox, it shares files on your local network. On your computer, got to Network on Windows explorer, and select the recalbox :

If you don't see the recalbox in your network, try to type \\RECALBOX in the explorer address bar. If it doesn't work, go in the recalbox menu, NETWORK SETTINGS and note the ip. Then type your ip in the explorer address bar, for example \\

You can access all recalbox shared folders :


You can open recalbox in your webbrowser at http://recalbox/ or http://recalbox.local/ or using the actual ip, for example There you can see the system status, configure recalbox and also upload ROMs and BIOS.

Depending on your recalbox installation you can also use the new user-friendly web-based manager 2.0 -

A - Add your games

Just copy the files in the corresponding folder. You can use either .zip files or uncompressed roms. To refresh the game library, go to the Menu, then Games Settings then Update Games Lists

Don’t hesitate to talk about your favorite games in the recalbox forum !

B - Arcade games

If you want to add arcade games on your recalbox, you should read the mini how to Easy Arcade on Recalbox and learn how to check your roms version.
Then you can also enable the Neogeo Unibios to have more options with your games.

C - Scummvm games

When you add a Scummvm game, create a folder with the name of the game followed by the ".scummvm" extension and copy files of the game in it. In this folder, you will have to add a single file, named [gameshortname].scummvm

You can find short names for all supported games at

For example, you can copy the game "Broken Sword" in the directory "Broken Sword 1.scummvm" under the scummvm directory. In this folder create a file named sword1.scummvm

|- Broken Sword 1.scummvm
|  |- sword1.scummvm
|  |- ... other files of the game

The name of your directory will be displayed as the name of the game in Recalbox menu. Selecting it will start the game.

You can quit the game and get Scummvm options by using the Ctrl + F5 shortcut.

D - Screenshots

Press Hotkey + L1 in emulators to take a screenshot. The png file is saved in the "screenshots" directory, you can access on the network.
Share your best screenshots with us on

E - Save your saves

The saves folder share contains all saves and saved states. You can copy all the files if you want to secure them.

VII - Kodi Media Center

By pressing X button on your controller, you can launch Kodi Media Center, aka XBMC. You can also access Kodi by pressing start and launching it from the menu.

To quit Kodi, Navigate to the lower left power icon and select "Power Off System" in the program, and you will come back to recalboxOS. Currently(3.3.0b17) using the "Exit" button may lock up your PI

The controllers are now supported in kodi, but if you prefer, you can use HDMI CEC or a smartphone remote application. More info on the mini how to Kodi on recalbox

VIII - Troubleshooting

A - Controllers :

  • The PS3 controller is blinking but does not associate
    Plug a controller on the recalbox and wait 10 seconds. You can now unplug the controller and press the Home button.

  • The PS3 controller seems dead
    You must reset the controller by pressing a little button behind the controller in a little hole, with a paperclip.

B - Other

  • Black border, image too big
    Use your tv remote to find the image menu, and set the image size to 1:1 pixel or full.
    If it doesn't work, try to activate the overscan in the recalbox menu System Settings.
    See Overscan settings for more information.

  • Black screen on PC monitor If you have a black screen on PC monitor (hdmi or dvi) edit the config.txt file (MAJ at start) and remove the line hdmi_drive=2
    More info in Mini HowTo - Connect your recalbox to a DVI screen

C - Hard reset

  • If you want to reset the system, plug an usb keyboard and press Shift at startup. You can reinstall recalboxOS from here. All your data will be erased.

D - Root Access

  • Use the username root and the password recalboxroot
  • You can connect through ssh to the recalbox.
  • You can access a terminal by quitting emulationstation with F4 and then press ALT+F2.

More info in Mini HowTo - Root access on terminal

IX - recalbox.conf

The file recalbox.conf shared in the samba system directory is used to modify other settings that will not appear in the frontend. See recalbox.conf

















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