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C85B4D27 Dd95 493E 9Eac Ac5C8C1B3A63 How To Setup Retropie N64

This guide will cover how to setup RetroPie for playing N64 games along with some related questions. Let’s get started.

How To Setup RetroPie for N64?

What You’ll Need

Before we get started, there are a few things that you’ll want to make sure you have available:

  • You’ll need to have a Raspberry Pi device. You can purchase a Raspberry Pi 4 off of Amazon here.
  • Make sure you have already downloaded and installed RetroPie which you can do from the ReproPie website download page here.
  • You’ll need an external keyboard and mouse to use with your Raspberry Pi to download the BIOS files and your ROMs
  • Make sure you have at a minimum one N64 ROM ready to be able to test with. It will need to be in one of the following file extensions: .z64, .n64, .v64, or .zip
  • You’ll also need a controller handy that can connect to the RetroPie to use to play games. If you don’t yet have one, this Retro Fighters Brawler64 USB controller is a great choice:
  • If at any time you’d like to consult the official RetroPie docs, you can do so on their website here.

1. Setup Your Raspberry Pi

By default, RetroPie has an N64 emulator already installed for you that is ready to use. It’s the Mupen64Plus emulator version lr-mupen64plus. If the emulator isn’t already installed on your version of RetroPie, you can do the following:

  • In RetroPie, go to the options menu and then RetroPie Setup > Manage packages > Manage main packages

Retropie Manage Main PackagesYou can manually install the lr-mupen64plug N64 emulator by selecting Manage main packages

  • Go down and choose lr-mupen64plus
  • Next you’ll want to choose Install from pre-compiled binary
  • RetroPie will now automatically install the lr-mupen64plus emulator
  • Once it finishes installing, head back through the menu and then choose Exit

2. Move Your N64 ROMs To The ROMs Folder

Grab your N64 ROM files because now you’ll need to move them over to the RetroPie’s roms folder.

There are multiple ways to do this, but I’ll be covering what I believe is the simplest method to save you time.

Move ROM Files Using Your Raspberry Pi

You’ll need to have the Pixel desktop environment tool installed on your Raspberry Pi to be able to access desktop mode on it. We’ll now be covering how to get this setup.

Head to the RetroPie options menu and then go ahead and go to RetroPie Setup > Configuration / Tools > Raspbian Tools > Install Pixel desktop environment.

Install Pixel Desktop EnvironmentInstall Pixel desktop environment

After you have successfully installed the Pixel desktop environment on your Raspberry Pi, go ahead and restart the device. After restarting, you should now be able to access desktop mode by going to Ports > Desktop.

The desktop environment is cool because it allows you to easily navigate the files on your Raspberry Pi similarly to how you would on a Windows computer.

Now that we’ve installed the desktop environment, we’ll need to move our N64 ROM(s) to the proper folder on our Raspberry Pi:

  • /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/n64/

The easiest way to get files from your PC computer to your Raspberry Pi is by remotely accessing the Pi from your PC. To do this, you’ll first want to make sure that your Raspberry Pi is connected to the same network as your PC.

First make sure your Pi is connected to your WiFi or to your network router directly using an ethernet cable. On your Raspberry Pi, open the terminal window and type in:

  • sudo apt-get install xrdp

This command will now begin to install the remote desktop server.

Now you’ll need to figure out the IP address of your Raspberry Pi. To do this type, you’ll want to use the following command:

Make a note of your Raspberry Pi’s IP address because we will need to use this soon in order to connect to it remotely. You’ll also need your Pi’s username and password.

Now on your PC, go ahead and open the remote desktop app by typing remote desktop into the Windows search bar in the bottom left. Click remote desktop connection to use the remote desktop app.

Remote Desktop ConnectionSearch for and select Remote Desktop Connection on your PC

In the Remote Desktop Connection window that pops up, you’ll now want to enter the IP address of your Raspberry Pi that you got earlier. After clicking connect, then login using your Raspberry Pi’s username and password.

If everything went correctly, you should now be able to remotely access your Raspberry Pi from your PC. To double check that you are able to access your Raspberry Pi remotely, open up Windows File Explorer and type \retropie into the address bar. You should see your Retropie files appear.

Remotely Access Retropie From PcRemotely access Retropie from your PC

Remember earlier, we mentioned that we would need to copy our N64 ROMs from our PC to this directory on our Raspberry Pi:

Navigate to roms > n64 and copy your N64 files from your PC to this folder in your Raspberry Pi. After you’ve copied your ROMs over, restart your Raspberry Pi and the games should now appear as expected.

3. Play Your N64 Games

Now that your Raspberry Pi has been restarted, you can boot up EmulationStation and once you highlight Nintendo 64, it should show you at the bottom how many games are available to be played for that console. You’re ready ready to play!

Can You Play N64 on RetroPie?

Yes, you can absolutely play N64 games on RetroPie! All you’ll need to play is a Raspberry Pi (we recommend a Raspberry Pi 4), have RetroPie installed on the Raspberry Pi device, an external keyboard and mouse, at least one N64 ROM ready to test with, and a controller ready to use to play. After you’ve got all these things ready, you can follow the guide on this page to get all setup!

How to Make N64 Games Look Better on RetroPie?

You can improve the graphics of the N64 games that you play on RetroPie by selecting the correct emulator/graphics plugin. This can increase performance and make a huge difference in the gameplay quality.

You should always confirm that your N64 games run well first using the default graphics plugin before testing with more high resolution options. By default, all emulators will be set to the lowest resolution, CEA-1, for most displays. This is to by default increase performance by limiting up-scaling. This can be manipulated for each emulator though.

The GLideN64 graphics plugin is a great graphics plugin to use for upscaling Nintendo 64 games on RetroPie. It previously sometimes had issues with frame buffer emulation on the Raspberry Pi that were cause some visual glitches and crashes, however the most recent version of RetroPie available has fixed this issue.

What N64 Emulator Does RetroPie Use?

By default, Mupen64Plus-auto is the N64 emulator that comes with RetroPie. While the Libretro cores lr-mupen64plus and lr-mupen64plus-next have the convenience of RetroArch configurations and directly reading compressed zip files, standalone Mupen64Plus usually results in better performance.

Mupen64Plus is one of the best N64 emulators available, but you can try installing another N64 emulator like the Project 64 emulator which also runs most games very well.

How To Map N64 Controller on RetroPie?

With RetroPie open on your Raspberry Pi and your N64 controller connect to it, navigate to the main menu.

Retropie Main Menu

Scroll down and head to Configure Input > Yes.

After selecting Yes to configure input and making sure your N64 controller is fully plugged into your Raspberry Pi, you’ll be prompted to hold the A button on your N64 controller to configure it.

You should then see the name of the N64 controller populate in the bottom of the Configure Input screen. You can then begin to configure your N64 controller and map the buttons accordingly.

Once done, you’ll simply need to select the Ok button and you’re now ready to use your N64 controller!

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