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ZX Spectrum


The ZX Spectrum was an 8 bit series of home computers released by Sinclair Research in 1982.

Emulator Rom Folder Extension BIOS Controller Config
lr-fuse zxspectrum .sna .szx .z80 .tap .tzx .gz .udi .mgt .img .trd .scl .dsk none /opt/retropie/configs/zxspectrum/retroarch.cfg
FBZX zxspectrum .sna .szx .z80 .tap .tzx .gz .udi .mgt .img .trd .scl .dsk none hardcoded
Fuse zxspectrum .sna .szx .z80 .tap .tzx .gz .udi .mgt .img .trd .scl .dsk none hardcoded
ZEsarUX zxspectrum .sna .szx .z80 .tap .tzx .gz .udi .mgt .img .trd .scl .dsk none configurable

Emulators: lr-fuse, FBZX, Fuse


Accepted File Extensions: sna .szx .z80 .tap .tzx .gz .udi .mgt .img .trd .scl .dsk

Place your ZX Spectrum ROMs in


Video Overview:

ZX Spectrum Video



lr-fuse utilises Retroarch configurations

Add custom retroarch controls to the retroarch.cfg file in

For more information on custom RetroArch controls see: RetroArch Configuration

By default,

  • Buttons A, X and Y are mapped to the joystick's fire button, and button B is mapped to the UP directional button.
  • Buttons L1 and R1 are mapped to RETURN and SPACE, respectively.
  • The SELECT button brings up the embedded, on-screen keyboard.

If you are using more than one joystick, then it is worth reading the official documentation at lr-fuse Github page.

The default joystick emulated by lr-fuse is the Cursor joystick. If you wish to set Kempston as your default, then add the following line to the file /opt/retropie/configs/all/zxspectrum/retroarch.cfg:

input_libretro_device_p1 = "513"

Running a 48K Machine

Some ZX Spectrum games require a 16K machine (e.g. Deathchase) or will run only on a 48K machine, for example, titles from Ultimate Play The Game such as Atic Atac and Jetpac.

By default, lr-fuse emulates the 128K machine but it is possible to emulate a given ROM in a 48K machine via loading the ROM, changing the Core Option per-ROM for Model (needs Content file) to 48k (see Setting Core Options per-ROM), then exiting and re-loading the ROM.

Joypad to Keyboard Mapping

Thanks to forum member @pjft's contribution to lr-fuse, it is possible to play ZX Spectrum games without a need for a keyboard. This is useful for games that don't support joysticks such as Chuckie Egg and for games that require keyboard input in addition to a joystick (e.g. Head Over Heels).

  1. Launch a game you wish to map a joypad to a keyboard.
  2. Launch the RGUI by pressing hotkey+X and navigate to Quick menu -> Options. In the menu, assign a key to joypad buttons Joypad Left mapping, Joypad Right mapping etc. as required. Below is an example for Chuckie Egg.

RetroArch Options menu for Chuckie Egg

  1. Exit the RGUI and test in-game if necessary.
  2. To save, return to Quick menu -> Options in the RGUI and select Game-options file. This will save the mappings to a game specific options file.
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