Building your own RetroPie machine

Getting the hardware

RetroPie is provided free of charge. There are people offering pre-made kits for sale, with significant mark-ups, using RetroPie as a selling point. Please be careful who you give your money to.

It is quite simple to put together the hardware you need to get RetroPie up and running. You can buy the parts separately or can buy affordable kits that contain the various components you need – e.g. the Canakit, or a kit from The Pi Hut, or Pimoroni (see below).

We currently recommend getting a Raspberry Pi 3 – as it is the best performing board for running RetroPie on.


Raspberry Pi 3

  • Raspberry Pi (A, A+, B, B+, Zero, 2, 3)
  • 5V 2.5A Power supply
  • 8GB Micro SD Card Minimum
  • HDMI or RCA 4 Pole Cables
  • Gamepads and/or Keyboard
  • Ethernet or Wifi dongle (built in on the pi 3)
  • Raspberry Pi Case (optional but recommended)
  • Micro SD Card Reader

Special Hardware & Kits

The ControlBlock is a piece of hardware created by the founder of the RetroPie Project: Petrockblog. With the ControlBlock you can connect arcade buttons, original SNES controllers and even an On/Off switch.

The PowerBlock provides a simple power switch functionality that lets you switch on and off your Raspberry with an arbitrary switch and LED indicator


GamepadBlock – An Arcade and Original Game Controller USB Interface for your favourite controllers. Supports Windows, Mac, and Linux (including Raspberry Pi™).

The Picade is a kit by Pimoroni that enables you to set up a bartop arcade with your Raspberry Pi.

Reputable Sellers

Pi Hut Pi 3 Kit

Pi Hut Pi 3 Kit

Pi Moroni Pi 3 Kit

Pimoroni Pi 3 Kit

Canakit Pi 3 Kit

Canakit Pi 3 Kit

ModMyPi Retro Gaming Kit

ModMyPi Retro Gaming Kit

Please note we are not affiliated with the above companies, and are not paid for mentioning them. There are many places to get your RetroPie hardware from, and these are just a few well known sources.

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