Retropie Mame Games

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I built my first retroPie system a few months ago using a Raspberry Pi 3 and three USB controllers. I spent a bit of timing looking for MAME games that were easy to get into and didn’t require much experience or masses of time. So here is a run down of my favourite MAME games so far in no particular order …

Gauntlet 2 (Atari 1986)

I first played Gauntlet 2 on my Atari ST with my brother. As long as one of you stayed alive you could respawn and keep the game going forever. Fueled by tactical Pot Noodle breaks we played this game for hours. Gauntlet is great as a multiplayer and supports up to four players. The controls are easy to pickup and you can choose how well to co-operate with the other players. It’s no surprise this is one of the most popular games for 4-player “coffee table” game systems.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (Konami 1991)

“Turtles in Time” is sideways scrolling beat-em-up. It supports up to four players with a basic control system that doesn’t require you to memorise complicated button combinations. You can play each of the four turtles each with their own distinctive weapon. In the UK we had “hero” forced on us as “ninja” was considered far too subversive. Now we can all gorge ourselves in retro-ninja goodness.

Robocop 2 (Data East 1991)

  • I thought this was odd since no guides tell you anything about BIOS files (they're all mostly 'put games on USB drive and connect it, all should work'). So I loaded up a few PSX games, a few dreamcast games and two MAME games. If I want to play a PSX game, I get a brief 'No BIOS loaded, expect poor performance'.
  • Is MAME the only way to play arcade games on the Raspberry Pi? No, besides the MAME forks, there are also versions of FBA, AdvanceMAME, GnGeo etc. Which all emulate arcade games. You can see the full list here of the emulators, including MAME versions, that can be used with RetroPie.
  • Retropie is new talk of the town in the gaming industry or should I say in the retro gaming industry as it has done an amazing job. With the Retropie emulator, we can now play all those classic games on Raspberry Pi, ODroid C1/C2, and even on PC as many users are switching to classic games which provides them a different gaming experience.

Mame has been around since Early 2000s and one of the best things about the Device is the Ability to use the current emulators Mame and Mame2016. In this video, i will show you how to get video previews up and running in RetroPIE 4.2 OR HIGHER.How to use WinSCP ssh - https://youtu.be/fsRkTlv5rxwTorrent.

If you want a sideways shoot-em-up and you are partial to a bit of Detroit law enforcement then this game is worth a look. You control Robocop in sequences that loosely follow the plot of the film. Robocop 2 is similar to its predecessor but allows another player to join in. Most of the action is sideways scrolling but some levels are viewed from behind RoboCop and provide a gun sight with which to shoot your targets. The sprites in this version are improved and Robocop looks much better.

Alien Syndrome (Sega 1987)

Released shortly after the film “Aliens” hit the cinema, Alien Syndrome let you blast your own fair share of alien xenomorphs. It’s a top-down run-n-gun action-fest were you have to rescue human hostages against the clock. It’s slightly trickier than it first looks as you frantically blast anything that moves trying to find the last hostage as the seconds tick away.

Joust (Williams Electronics 1982)

I wasn’t familiar with Joust until I read “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline as the the game plays an important role in the plot. In the game you are a knight who flies an ostrich who must defeat other knights flying buzzards. Sounds crazy? It is. Crazy fun! A second player can join the fun and you can decide to either play cooperatively or against each other. I suspect the creator of “Flappy Bird” had played Joust due to the obvious similarity in the control mechanism. If this game does not feature in the film adaption of “Ready Player One” I will not be happy.

Double Dragon (Taito 1987)

Another 2-player classic from my Atari ST days. Back then we played Double Dragon with a joystick. I never really learnt the moves and just randomly thrashed the poor “Quickshot” joystick while attempting to look like I knew what I was doing. This was the first non-sporting game I had ever played where I got to swing a baseball bat.

Galaga (Namco 1981)

This is one of my favourite arcade games of the Space Invaders variety. I played it a lot at a camp site in the south of France on a family holiday during the 1980s. It took 1 Franc coins and the guy running the site would sometimes give us a handful for free.

The game follows the Space Invaders format but the aliens dive bomb your ship. Special alien ships can use a tractor beam to capture your ship but if you manage to rescue it you get a two ships joined together for double the fire power. It briefly featured in the 1983 film “War Games”.

Alligator Hunt (Gaelco 1994)

Alligator Hunt is a shoot ’em up arcade game released by Spanish company Gaelco in 1994. Aparently after reptilian-looking aliens invade earth the only people to stand in their way are two kids on skateboards. It can be played by two players.

Track & Field (Konami 1983)

Track & Field was released in 1983 by Konami. It can be played with two player and generally involves mashing a button as fast as possible to complete various sporting challenges. Lots of people may associate it with the ZX Spectrum. It makes for a refreshing change from the other titles in this list as it is one of the few games that doesn’t require killing or blowing anything up.

Streetfighter II (Capcom 1991)

Streetfighter II is probably one of the most iconic fighting games ever created. 1991. You get a selection of playable characters, each with their own unique fighting style. There are various special combinations of button presses but if in doubt just move and press buttons randomly.

All of these games are simple enough to dive in and start playing without much in the way of instructions.

Here is a video that combines this list of MAME games and demonstrates some example gameplay :

A word on RetroPie, MAME games and ROMS

RetroPie is free software and can be downloaded from the Official RetroPie website. Feel free to buy kits and bundles but the software itself is free so be aware of what you are paying for.

Emulators require games to be added. These files are referred to as “ROMS”. RetroPie does not include any game ROMs.

The MAME emulator within RetroPie uses ROMs from the “mame 0.78 reference set”. ROMs from another version may not work correctly.

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MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. MAME can emulate thousands of games that otherwise would have been lost in the ash-heaps of history.

See Also: FinalBurn-Neo, Neo Geo

There are a variety of arcade emulator versions available in RetroPie. There are significant differences in performance, compatibility, and configuration between them. If you're getting started with an arcade emulation project, begin by reading the Arcade page.

This page is a resource for additional details on RetroPie's MAME emulators including configuration paths, controls, and the ROM sets which each emulator requires.

EmulatorROM Folder(s)ExtensionRequired ROM Set Version
mame4all-piarcade or mame-mame4all.zipMAME 0.37b5
lr-mame2000arcade or mame-libretro.zipMAME 0.37b5
lr-mame2003arcade or mame-libretro.zipMAME 0.78
lr-mame2003-plusarcade or mame-libretro.zipMAME 0.78-MAME 0.188
lr-mame2010arcade or mame-libretro.zipMAME 0.139
lr-mame2015arcade or mame-libretro.zip .7zMAME 0.160
lr-mame2016arcade or mame-libretro.zip .7zMAME 0.174
AdvanceMAME 0.94arcade or mame-advmame.zipMAME 0.94
AdvanceMAME 1.4arcade or mame-advmame.zipMAME 0.106
AdvanceMAME 3arcade or mame-advmame.zipMAME 0.106
MAMEarcade or mame.zip .7zsame as MAME version
lr-mamearcade or mame-libretro.zip .7zsame as MAME version

MAME ROM paths

Retropie Mame Version

Three of the available MAME ROM paths in RetroPie are shared directories which are used by more than one emulator: arcade, mame-libretro, mame-advmame. In order to successfully load zipped ROM sets in these locations you must specify the arcade emulator version which matches your ROMs.

To avoid having several menus for different arcade emulators, all arcade-based ROMs can be placed in the arcade ROM folder, but you will have to specify which emulator each zipped ROM set will use from the Runcommand Menu.

Emulators

mame4all-pi

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-mame4all
Binary/opt/retropie/emulators/mame4all
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame-mame4all
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/mame4-all/samples/

MAME Version: 0.37b5 (July 2000)

Active Sets: 2241

  • BIOS: 1
  • CHDs: 0
  • Samples: 35
  • 1126 Parent Roms
  • 1025 Clones Roms
  • 129 NeoGeo Roms (Parent+Clone)

MAME 0.37b5 DAT File: mame4all-037b5-RetroPie-260.dat

MAME 0.37b5 XML File: mame4all-no-clones-no-neogeo Does not include clones or NeoGeo romsets.

Controls

While in a game press Tab to open the menu to set up controls. The MAME4ALL configuration is saved in:

Other files in the cfg directory are ROM specific configs.

Note: If configuration or other aspect of the configuration need resetting to defaults, remove the default.cfg or ROM specific .cfg file, and it will be re-created with default values next time MAME4ALL is started or the ROM configuration modified.

lr-mame2000 (MAME 2000)

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-mame4all
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-libretro
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/arcade
Binary/opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-mame2000
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame-mame4all/retroarch.cfg
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/BIOS/mame2000/samples/
Retropie

MAME Version: 0.37b5 (July 2000)

Active Sets: 2241

  • BIOS: 1
  • CHDs: 0
  • Samples: 35

MAME 0.37b5 DAT File: mame4all-037b5-RetroPie-260.zip

MAME 0.37b5 'Lite' DAT File: mame4all-no-clones-no-neogeo - Does not include clones or NeoGeo romsets.

Controls

MAME 2000 uses RetroArch control configuration. Custom Retroarch controls can be added to the retroarch.cfg file in

  • /opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
  • /opt/retropie/configs/arcade/retroarch.cfg

lr-mame2003 (MAME 2003)

Please see MAME 2003 on RetroPie for information on how to configure specific features of this emulator.

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-libretro
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/arcade
Binary/opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-mame2003
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/BIOS/mame2003/samples/

MAME Version: 0.78 (December 2003)

Active Sets: 4705

  • BIOS: 15
  • CHDs: 30
  • Samples: 56

MAME 0.78 XML DAT File: MAME 0.78.dat

MAME 0.78u5 DAT File: mame2003-lr-working-no-clones - Working romsets only. Does not include clones.

MAME 0.78u5 'Lite' DAT File: mame2003-lr-lite - Working romsets only. Does not include: clones, NeoGeo, PlayChoice NES/multiplay, romsets with rotary/dial/trackball/light gun controls, or romsets classified as casino/quiz/mahjong/fruit_machines/rhythm/mature.

Mame 2003 catver.ini also contains data on games definitively known not to work, as well as sorting data for mature games and other, less desirable, romsets.

Controls

MAME 2003-Plus uses both RetroArch control configuration and the MAME input configuration menu (accessible by pressing Tab). Custom Retroarch controls can be added to the retroarch.cfg file in

  • /opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
  • /opt/retropie/configs/arcade/retroarch.cfg

lr-mame2003-plus (MAME 2003-Plus)

MAME 2003-Plus (also referred to as MAME 2003+ and mame2003-plus) is a libretro arcade system emulator core with an emphasis on high performance and broad compatibility with mobile devices, single board computers, embedded systems, and similar platforms.

In order to take advantage of the performance and lower hardware requirements of an earlier MAME architecture, MAME 2003-Plus began with the MAME 2003 codebase, which is itself derived from xmame 0.78. Upon that base, MAME 2003-Plus contributors have back-ported support for several hundred additional games as well as other functionality not originally present in MAME 0.78.

Please see the libretro MAME 2003-Plus core documentation for information on how to configure specific features of this emulator.

Folder/FileLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-libretro
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/arcade
Binary/opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-mame2003-plus
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
/opt/retropie/configs/arcade/retroarch.cfg
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/BIOS/mame2003-plus/samples/

MAME Version: 0.78-0.188 (MAME 0.78 as a baseline with other ROMs back-ported from later MAME romsets)

Active Sets: 4850

  • BIOS: 15
  • CHDs: 30
  • Samples: 66 + 6 Optional 'Soundtrack Samples'

MAME 2003-Plus DAT File: Github project page. An XML 'DAT' file can be generated from the emulator, directly from the MAME menu.

The MAME 2003-Plus catver.ini also contains data on games definitively known not to work, as well as sorting data for mature games or other, less desirable, romsets.

Controls

MAME 2003-Plus uses both RetroArch control configuration and the MAME input configuration menu (accessible by pressing Tab). Custom Retroarch controls can be added to the retroarch.cfg file in

  • /opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
  • /opt/retropie/configs/arcade/retroarch.cfg

Some notes about extra controls options and configuration available in MAME 2003-Plus:

Retropie Mame Games Won't Start

  • MAME 2003-Plus can use different RetroPad layouts, chosen with the Device Type configuration option in the Controls menu in RetroArch:
    • Classic Gamepad, based on mainline MAME's default Xbox 360 controller layout, likely to suit DualShock or SNES-style gamepads.
    • Modern Fightstick, a fight stick and pad layout popularised by Street Fighter IV and assumes an 8+ button controller.
    • 6-Button, a layout intended for SNES-type RetroPad controls as well as 6-button arcade panels arcade panels.
    • 8-Button, a layout intended for an arcade panel (8 buttons)
  • MAME 2003-Plus maps the analog controls to joystick control by default, instead of the D-Pad. This can be changed from the Core Options, switching the Control mapping option to digital.
  • MAME 2003-Plus disables the MAME menu by default (usually mapped to Tab). It can be enabled by changing the Input interfaceCore Option to simultaneous.

lr-mame2010 (MAME 2010)

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-libretro
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/arcade
Binary/opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-mame2010
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/BIOS/mame2010/samples

MAME Version: 0.139 (August 2010)

Active Sets: 8782

  • BIOS: 67
  • CHDs: 406
  • Samples: 70 (4 more samples are not in circulation)

MAME 0.139 DAT File: MAME 0.139.dat

Controls

MAME 2010 uses RetroArch control configuration. Custom Retroarch controls can be added to the retroarch.cfg file in

  • /opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
  • /opt/retropie/configs/arcade/retroarch.cfg
Default Player 1 and 2 Controls
Default Player 3 and 4 Controls
Native MAME UI Controls

Note: these controls are only operational for Player 1

lr-mame2015 (MAME 2015)

Note: This emulator is considered 'experimental' in RetroPie and has limited functionality. It requires more processing power than earlier MAME versions and will not run as many games at full speed on Raspberry Pi hardware.

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-libretro
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/arcade
Binary/opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-mame2015
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/BIOS/mame2010/samples

MAME Version: 0.160

Active Sets: ??

  • BIOS: ??
  • CHDs: ??
  • Samples: ?? (4 more samples are not in circulation)

MAME 0.160 DAT File: ProgettoSnaps MAME .dat page

Controls

MAME 2015 uses RetroArch control configuration. Custom Retroarch controls can be added to the retroarch.cfg file in

  • /opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
  • /opt/retropie/configs/arcade/retroarch.cfg

lr-mame2016 (MAME 2016)

Note: This emulator is considered 'experimental' in RetroPie and has limited functionality. It requires more processing power than earlier MAME versions and will not run as many games at full speed on Raspberry Pi hardware.

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-libretro
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/arcade
Binary/opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-mame2016
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg

MAME Version: 0.174

Active Sets: ??

  • BIOS: ??
  • CHDs: ??
  • Samples: ?? (4 more samples are not in circulation)

MAME 0.174 DAT File: ProgettoSnaps MAME .dat page

Controls

MAME 2016 uses RetroArch control configuration. Custom Retroarch controls can be added to the retroarch.cfg file in

  • /opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
  • /opt/retropie/configs/arcade/retroarch.cfg

AdvanceMAME 0.94

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-advmame
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/arcade
Binary/opt/retropie/emulators/advmame/bin
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame-advmame
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-advmame/samples

MAME Version: MAME 0.94 (March 2005)

Active Sets: 5563

  • BIOS: 25
  • CHDs: ?
  • Samples: ?

AdvanceMAME 0.94 DAT File: advmame-0.94-RetroPie-260.7z

Controls

While in a game, press Tab to open the menu and set up controls. AdvanceMAME configuration for controls is stored in /opt/retropie/configs/mame-advmame/advmame-0.94.0.rc. Changes to specific games result in .rc file entries with a prefix for the ROM (i.e. bwidow/input_map[p1_doubleleft_up] keyboard[0,up] for the bwidow game).

Note: The .rc file can also be edited manually, with a text editor. Any config can be made ROM-specific using a romname/ prefix which is handy for overriding a setting for a specific ROM or class of ROMs, such as vertical/. However, a single mistake in the .rc file will stop AdvanceMAME from launching. It is always best to make a backup of the configuration file before manual edits.

AdvanceMAME 1.4

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-advmame
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/arcade
Binary/opt/retropie/emulators/advmame/bin
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame-advmame
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-advmame/samples

MAME Version: MAME 0.106 (May 2006)

Active Sets: 6166

  • BIOS: 26
  • CHDs: 86
  • Samples: 64 (3 more samples are not in circulation)

AdvanceMAME 1.4 DAT File: advmame12-106.7z

Controls

While in a game press Tab to open the menu to set up controls. AdvanceMAME configuration for controls is stored in /opt/retropie/configs/mame-advmame/advmame-1.4.rc. Changes to specific games result in .rc file entries with a prefix for the ROM (i.e. bwidow/input_map[p1_doubleleft_up] keyboard[0,up])

Note: The .rc file can also be edited manually. Any config can be made ROM-specific using a romname/ prefix which is handy for overriding a setting for a specific ROM or class of ROMs, such as vertical/. However, a single mistake in the .rc file will stop AdvanceMAME from launching. It is always best to make a backup of the configuration file before manual edits.

Retropie Mame Games Not Working

AdvanceMAME 3

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-advmame
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/arcade
Binary/opt/retropie/emulators/advmame/bin
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame-advmame
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-advmame/samples

MAME Version: MAME 0.106 (May 2006)

Active Sets: 6166

  • BIOS: 26
  • CHDs: 86
  • Samples: 64 (3 more samples are not in circulation)

AdvanceMAME 3 DAT File: same as AdvanceMAME 1.4, see above.

Controls

While in a game, press Tab to open the menu and set up the controls. AdvanceMAME configuration for controls is stored in /opt/retropie/configs/mame-advmame/advmame.rc. Changes to specific games result in .rc file entries with a prefix for the ROM (i.e. bwidow/input_map[p1_doubleleft_up] keyboard[0,up])

Note: The .rc file can be edited manually. Any config can be made ROM-specific using a romname/ prefix, which is handy for overriding a setting for a specific ROM or class of ROMs, such as vertical/. However, a single mistake in the .rc file will stop AdvanceMAME from launching. It is always best to make a backup of the advmame.rc file before manual edits.

MAME

Note: This emulator is considered 'experimental' in RetroPie. It requires more processing power than earlier MAME versions and will not run as many games at full speed on Raspberry Pi hardware.

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/arcade
Binary/opt/retropie/emulators/mame/bin
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/mame
BIOS/home/pi/RetroPie/BIOS/mame
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame/samples

MAME Version: MAME has monthly versioned releases, there is no single version. Version 0.221 was released for May 2020, 0.222 for June 2020, etc.
Installing from binary will probably get a version that's a little behind the current MAME, installing from source will always get the latest monthly release.

NOTE: installing from source requires a lot of RAM and CPU power, on Pi3 and lower end systems could take more than one day - use the binary release when available, instead of installing from source.

MAME Dat Files: ProgettoSnaps MAME .dat page has versions for each MAME release.

Active Sets: ???

Controls

While in a game, press Tab to open the MAME menu, then choose the Input configuration. MAME controls configuration is saved in /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame/cfg :

  • default/general input configuration file is default.cfg
  • per-game configurations are saved in <romname>.cfg

lr-mame

Note: This emulator is considered 'experimental' in RetroPie. It requires more processing power than earlier MAME versions and will not run as many games at full speed on Raspberry Pi hardware.

FolderLocation
Roms/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame
/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame-libretro
Binary/opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-mame
Configuration/opt/retropie/configs/arcade
BIOS/home/pi/RetroPie/BIOS/mame
Samples/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/mame/samples

MAME Version: Similar to MAME, lr-mame follows the monthtly MAME releases, so there is no single version. Installing from binary will probably get a version that's a little behind the current MAME, but the upstream Libretro repository tries to keep up with MAME's monthly releases, so installing from source

NOTE: installing from source requires a lot of RAM and CPU power, on Pi3 and lower end systems could take more than a day. Use the binary release when available.

MAME Dat Files: ProgettoSnaps MAME .dat page has versions for each MAME release.

Active Sets: ???

Controls

lr-mame uses the RetroArch control configuration.

Mame Games For Retropie

  • /opt/retropie/configs/mame-libretro/retroarch.cfg
  • /opt/retropie/configs/arcade/retroarch.cfg