How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (2023)

How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (1)

Thanks to the developer mode on Xbox Series X and S you can install emulators likeRetroArchName. Turn your Xbox Series X or S into a retro gaming powerhouse and emulate PS2, GameCube, Dreamcast and more without affecting your ability to play retail games.

First, enable developer mode

The first thing you have to do isActivate developer mode on your Xbox. To do this, you need a paid Microsoft partner developer account. There is a one-time fee of $19 (prices vary in other regions). After activating your account, you can add your Xbox as a developer console.

RELATED: How to put your Xbox Series X or S in developer mode

How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (2)

With a valid developer account, you can download the Xbox Dev Mode app, activate your console in Partner Center, and restart in developer mode. From there, simply set up your network connection and access the Xbox Developer Mode web interface via a browser.

For this guide we assume that you have followed the full setup procedure and your console has already been started in developer mode.

Installing the RetroArch emulator

RetroArchNameis an emulator that works on practically all platforms and has a UWP package made only for Xbox One (and as an extension for the X and S series). This multi-system emulator uses plug-ins or "cores" to extend support for many different systems. You can choose which cores you want to use and switch between them to get the best performance.

RetroArch allows you to play games from a variety of platforms right on your Xbox. These include slot machines, retro consoles (like the SNES and Genesis), modern handhelds (like the PSP), and the first 3D home consoles (like the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo N64, and Sega Dreamcast).

(Video) [Xbox Series X|S] Retroarch Setup Guide For Xbox Dev/Retail Modes

To get started, you must first download and install RetroArch. On a computer, just access theDownloads tun RetroArchPage and get Xbox One version and "Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 UWP Runtime Package" dependency file.

Then access the Xbox Developer Mode web interface by going to the web address in the Remote Access section of the Dev Home on your console.

How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (3)

On the home page, select "Add" to enter the file upload interface, and then drag and drop the downloaded APPXBUNDLE file into the box (or click "Choose File" and browse) . Select Next and locate the downloaded dependency file.

Click "Start", wait for the process to complete and select "Done" after everything has been transferred.

How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (4)

RetroArch should now be listed as Not Running under Apps and Games available in Dev Home. Highlight it, press the Views button on your controller (the two squares) and select "Show Details". From this menu, change the "Application Type" drop-down menu to "Game".

How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (5)

(Video) How to INSTALL RetroArch emulator on XBOX Series X|S

Exit this menu and press A to launch RetroArch. If you're prompted to sign in, enter your Xbox Live account information if you haven't already.

Configure RetroArch

Once RetroArch is installed and running on your console, you can finish configuring the emulator, add some ROMs, and play some games. Before you get started though, there are a few things you'll probably want to do.

RetroArch's user interface is modeled after Sony's X-Media bar. This appeared first on PS3 and later on PS4. There is a horizontal menu and a vertical menu, but you won't see the icons representing the horizontal menu when you first launch the UWP version of RetroArch.

After the UI loads, press left and right on the d-pad to see the other options.

How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (6)

You can fix this by installing missing assets and changing the display driver. To do this, select "Main Menu" in the top left, scroll down to "Online Updater" and select "Update Assets". While you're there, you can also update core info files, controller profiles, databases, overlays, and anything else you need.

After this process is complete, a black screen will appear and the menu will reload.

Now you need to define a key combination that will allow you to access the game's pause menu. To do this, simply return to the "Main Menu" and swipe horizontally to select "Settings" in the top left corner.

(Video) Xbox Bans Emulators in Retail Mode... | MVG

How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (7)

Scroll down to "Input" and select "Hotkeys". Set the Menu Toggle Gamepad Combo shortcut by pressing left and right on the d-pad until you find a shortcut that works for you (Start + Select or R3 + L3 are good options).

How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (8)

Finally, save your settings by going back to the "Main Menu" and selecting "Configuration File". Click Save Current Configuration, exit and reload RetroArch. You should see a much cleaner UI with all icons visible.

Adding ROMs and BIOS files

ROMs must be placed in the Downloads folder in local storage space accessible to RetroArch. To do this, open the Xbox Device Portal in a browser on your computer and click File Explorer. Navigate to LocalAppData > RetroArch > LocalState > Downloads and use the file selector below to add any legally purchased ROMs.

Note:When purchasing ROMs and BIOS files, be sure to follow all relevant laws. A law professor provided us with adetailed analysis of the rules surrounding retro video game emulation.

It should be possible to add ROMs to an external drive, but unfortunately we couldn't get this to work during testing due to RetroArch's temperamental nature in its UWP application form.

You must place any BIOS files you want to use in LocalAppData > RetroArch > LocalState > Systemfolder.

How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (9)

(Video) [Xbox Series X|S] Retroarch N64 Emulation Fix If You Updated The Core

RELATED: Is Downloading Retro Video Game ROMs Legal?

play games

To play, select "Load Core" from the "Main Menu". Make sure you select a core that matches the type of system you are playing on. You may need to do some research to find out which ones are best for the job.

With the core selected, choose "Load Content" from the "Main Menu" to find its ROM file. Hold A until the ROM file loads. In the future, you can find your main and ROM file in the "History" menu.

How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S (10)

To pause a game, save a game state, or return to the RetroArch main menu, use the keyboard shortcut defined earlier. You can also exit RetroArch from there. To return to retail mode, simply select "Exit Developer Mode" from the Quick Actions menu on the Dev Home.

The best backwards compatibility yet

Xbox Series X and S don't just have thosebetter backwards compatibility of this generation, but they are also incredibly powerful emulation engines. With this version of RetroArch getting the spotlight, we expect developers to pay a little more attention to the UWP build in the future.

RetroArch is a fantastic multi-system emulator no matter what system you run it on. If you're interested, there's so much more to dolearn to help you get the most out of RetroArch.

RELATED: How to set up RetroArch, the best all-in-one emulator for retro games



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How to install the RetroArch emulator on Xbox Series X or S? ›

With the link copied or noted, move onto your Xbox Series X|S console and open Microsoft Edge. Enter the live link from Discord into the search bar for Microsoft Edge on your Xbox. After searching, you will be taken to an Xbox Store listing for RetroArch. Select Install to add RetroArch to your console.

Can you install RetroArch on Xbox Series S? ›

It usually takes a long time until a way to break the security of the system is found and one of them is installed. However, with the recent Microsoft consoles everything has been much faster and you can now install RetroArch on the new Xbox Series X and Series S.

Can Xbox series X run RetroArch? ›

The Series X/S consoles have two modes: Retail Mode, and Dev Mode. Through clever obfuscation, gamr13 was able to skate around Xbox store enforcement and release versions of RetroArch that run in Retail Mode, which makes full use of the Xbox Series X/S hardware.

How do I install RetroArch emulator on Xbox One X? ›

2. Install RetroArch on Your Xbox
  1. Click on the RetroArch icon and select “Install” from the drop-down menu that appears.
  2. This will take you back to the Edge Browser where you'll once again be prompted that the site is attempting to open Microsoft Store. ...
  3. Install RetroArch by clicking the “Install” button.
Sep 19, 2022

How do I install RetroArch emulator? ›

To get started playing classic games on your mobile device with RetroArch:
  1. Download the RetroArch mobile app for the Apple Store or Google Play.
  2. Open RetroArch and tap Load Core.
  3. Tap Download a Core.
  4. Scroll through the list and select the emulator(s) you want.
  5. Return to the main menu of RetroArch and tap Load Content.
Sep 11, 2020

Is there an emulator on Xbox Series S? ›

Luckily, if you own an Xbox Series X|S you can expand the variety of games your console can play by adding emulators. These emulators enable you to play retro games from various platforms through ROMs you can add to your Xbox.

Can you run an emulator on Xbox Series S? ›

As pointed out by @gamr12, you can still emulate games on the Xbox Series X | S, but only if you put the device in Developer Mode, which you have to pay for.

What consoles can run RetroArch? ›

It can run on several PC operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux), home consoles (PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Wii U, etc.), handheld consoles (PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, etc.), on smartphones (Android, iOS, etc.), single-board computers (Raspberry Pi, ODROID, etc.)

Can you jailbreak an Xbox Series S? ›

Booster Tools only work with Xbox One consoles. Hence, you can't jailbreak other Xbox consoles like Xbox 360, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, or Xbox Series X with it. Besides, you should also note that the Xbox One must run the latest software update to use Booster Tools.

What consoles are supported on RetroArch? ›

The supported consoles are the following: PlayStation: Vita, PSP, PS2, PS3 and PS4 via custom firmware. Nintendo: 2DS, 3DS, GameCube, Wii, Wii U and Switch via custom firmware. Xbox: One S, One X, Series S and Series X.

Is Xbox Series S dev mode free? ›

You can enable Xbox One/Series X/Series S Dev mode for free to sideload UWP:

How much is dev mode on Xbox? ›

Xbox's dev mode began as a simple $25 devkit for Xbox One and Series X/S developers. However, when owners found out that the emulation frontend, RetroArch, could be used to emulate various consoles on Series X/S and One consoles, it became a new reason for players to adopt Xbox's next-gen consoles.

What is retropass Xbox? ›

Retro Pass is a simple frontend for RetroArch, RetriX Gold, Dolphin, XBSX2 and Xenia Canary running on Xbox. This frontend is made specifically for Xbox console and hopefully, should feel familiar to Xbox users right from the start.

Why won t RetroArch work? ›

Potential reasons are: you are missing a required file like the BIOS, or it is named incorrectly (you can check it by loading the core and then navigate to Main menu -> Information -> Core Information); the core doesn't support your game; your ROM is a bad dump (most commonly due to incorrect CUE files; make sure the ...

Where does RetroArch install? ›

By default RetroArch searches for cores in ~/. config/retroarch/cores , which is where the Online Updater installs them. Cores installed with pacman are placed in /usr/lib/libretro and thus will not appear in RetroArch's GUI.

How do I install an emulator on my Xbox Series S? ›

Open RetroArch on your Xbox Series X|S. Ensure you have the Main Menu highlighted, and select Online Updater. Select Update Installed Cores to add every available emulator to your version of RetroArch. To ensure RetroArch is up-to-date, select every Update option at the bottom of the Online Updater.

Can Xbox Series S run PC games? ›

Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One owners will be able to play PC games via Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud gaming platform from later today. An update to the browser version of GeForce Now means it will work with the Microsoft Edge browser for Xbox.

Can Xbox Series S emulate PS2? ›

XBSX2 is a fork of the current PCSX2 build, capable of emulating PS2 games on Xbox Series S hardware.

How do I get PC games on my Xbox Series S? ›

To take advantage of Xbox Play Anywhere, you will need to have installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition update on your PC, as well as the latest update on your Xbox console. Then, simply log into your Xbox Live/Microsoft account and your Xbox Play Anywhere games will be available to download.

Does an Xbox emulator exist? ›

Xenia. Producing results comparable to the graphics of the original Xbox, Xenia is regarded by many as being the best of the best Xbox emulators on the internet. Not only does Xenia sound a little bit like the bad-ass warrior princess, but it can also play original Xbox 360 titles.

Is RetroArch safe for Xbox? ›

You won't be banned. Running ROM's and game images via RetroArch is a legal grey area depending on how you obtain such content, but RetroArch itself is not illegal.

What is the system requirement for RetroArch? ›

Processor: Intel Pentium 4 and up (CPU with SSE2 instructions required) Memory: 32 MB RAM. Graphics: Any compliant OpenGL 2.x or Direct3D11 GPU. DirectX: Version 11.

What can t the Xbox Series S do? ›

Just like the PlayStation 5, the Xbox Series X and Series S lack the optical audio output that the Xbox One and other previous-generation consoles included, so gaming headsets (and audio receivers) can't receive optical audio as they could in the past.

Is it legal to jailbreak? ›

Jailbreaking has been legal in the United States since the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed in 2010. The act grants users the right of root access to their phones, but there are still limitations. You're legally responsible to abide by copyright law when deciding which apps and operating systems to download.

Do I need BIOS for RetroArch? ›

Some Cores need BIOS files in order to correctly emulate hardware and/or software as needed by the content. RetroArch and LibRetro do not share any copyrighted system files or game content. You must provide your own BIOS and content in accordance with your local laws as applicable.

What can I use instead of RetroArch Xbox? ›

  • 157. Lutris. Free • Open Source. ...
  • 237. PlayOnLinux - PlayOnMac. Free • Open Source. ...
  • 138. Snes9x. Free • Open Source. ...
  • 121. ePSXe. Free • Proprietary. ...
  • GameHub. Free • Open Source. Game Library Manager. ...
  • PPSSPP. Free • Open Source. Game Emulator. ...
  • 105. Project64. Free • Open Source. ...
  • DuckStation. Free • Open Source. Game Emulator.

What consoles have working emulators? ›

You can find emulators for most retro consoles and all Nintendo consoles. That includes the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Game Boy, Nintendo DS and 3DS, and the Nintendo Switch. There are also emulators for the PS1, PS2, and PS3, as well as the Sega Genesis and arcade machines.

Can Xbox Series S emulate GameCube? ›

The Xbox Series X/S is unprecedented among consoles in letting users easily emulate older games. When it launched in 2020, new owners discovered the ability to install emulators that could play classic PlayStation 2 and GameCube games on it.

What software does Xbox Series S use? ›

The Xbox system software is the operating system developed exclusively for Microsoft's Xbox home video game consoles. Across the four generations of Xbox consoles, the software has been based on a version of Microsoft Windows and incorporating DirectX features optimized for the home consoles.

How many GB is free in Xbox Series S? ›

The Series S includes a 512 GB SSD (364 GB available) with similar custom hardware and software specifications.

What happens if you enable developer mode Xbox? ›

In Developer Mode, you can develop and test software for the console, but you cannot play retail games or run retail apps. Developer Mode can be enabled on any retail Xbox console, via the “Retail to Dev Kit conversion” app found in the Xbox store.

How much does a console dev kit cost? ›

Various online sources suggest each PlayStation 4 dev kit costs around $2,500, this price increasing with add-ons and different configuration options. Sony has also started releasing PS5 dev kits ahead of its Winter 2020 release.

Can you take your Xbox out of dev mode? ›

The preferred method of deactivating Developer Mode on your console is to use the Dev Mode Activation app. Navigate to Games & apps > Apps. Open the Dev Mode Activation app. Select Deactivate.

What is Xbox code ox87dd0017? ›

This may mean that you're experiencing network connectivity problems.

What does XBSX stand for? ›

The name Xbox was derived from a contraction of DirectX Box, a reference to Microsoft's graphics API, DirectX. The integrated Xbox Live service launched in November 2002 allowed players to play games online with a broadband connection.

What is ox87dd000f on Xbox? ›

This error indicates that there may have been a service outage just before you tried to sign in.

How to setup ROMs for RetroArch? ›

Please make sure to download a compatible core for your game otherwise in the next step retroarch might not even recognize the game file.
  1. Downloading a core for our emulator.
  2. Place your game ROMs in a folder.
  3. Navigate to the ROM Folder.
  4. Enjoy your games!
  5. Remap the Backslash key to Close Content.
Nov 17, 2022

Is RetroArch on the Play Store? ›

Cross platform. RetroArch can run on the usual platforms like Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. RetroArch also runs on Apple and Android for tablets and phones, as well as on game consoles like PS3, PSP, PS Vita, Wii, Wii U and more!

Where to download cores for RetroArch? ›

But don't fire up your browser: you can install cores from inside RetroArch. Head back to the first column in RetroArch, then scroll down to “Online Updater”. Select “Core Updater”, the first item in the resulting menu. From here you can download a wide variety of cores.

Is it possible to install mods on Xbox Series S? ›

A Guide to Modding for Your Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S

Some games feature mod marketplaces built into the game where you can install modifications. Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have these marketplaces and are a great way to start modding. It's possible more games will make this option available.

Is it legal to mod an Xbox? ›

Is it illegal to mod or give yourself something in a video game? Generally speaking, it is not against the law to mod a game or to cheat in a game. It may be against the rules or policies of a company, and you may get banned (temporarily or permanently), but it's not typically unlawful.

Is it illegal to jailbreak an Xbox? ›

The point is: Jailbreaking your consoles is illegal, and the distinctions between owning hardware and licensing firmware/software give companies legal grounds for litigation, especially in matters of piracy.


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