RetroAchievements in a Nutshell
What is RetroAchievements?
RetroAchievements are a way to log your achievements on oldschool console games. The RetroAchievements.org is a site/project/community where people collaborate and play to earn custom-made achievements in classic games through emulation. The actual achievements are made by and for the community.
When you earn an achievement you see a message on screen with the cheevo's name and then its description, your achievement is registered on the site and you earn some points. The number of points depends on how the cheevos developer set it, but usually challenging cheevos worth more points. Also if you play in hardcore mode, those points count twice (see more about hardcore mode below).
What do I need to enjoy this feature?
The official RetroAchievements.org emulators are all Windows-based. But a member of libretro/RetroArch team managed to integrate this feature to RetroArch. And thanks to that we can enjoy the RetroAchievements feature in many platforms, such as Raspberry Pi!
So, to enjoy this feature using RetroPie, you just need to do the following:
Create an account at RetroAchievements.org. Don't forget to confirm your account creation with the email they send to you!
Configure your RetroArch as described in the docs: https://retropie.org.uk/docs/RetroAchievements/
Play some game!
Keep in mind that not every RetroArch core is compatible with RetroAchievements. Check this list to see wich one to choose.
How can I know if a game has achievements?
If you configured your RetroArch correctly, when you launch a game you can see if it has cheevos invoking RGUI -> Quick Menu -> Achievements List. If you set
cheevos_verbose_enableto true, you'll see messages about successfull login and the number of cheevos the game has with no need to invoke RGUI.
Obviously not every game has achievements. At RetroAchievements.org there's a page for each console with a list of games that have achievements. Those lists are continually growing as achievements developers add new sets for new games. Here you can see the list of supported NES games.
One thing that can confuse users is that some game ROMs have several versions: USA, Europe, Japan or even translated hacked versions. Usually (but not always) the user needs the exactly version that the cheevos developer used to create the cheevos.
In order to avoid this confusion/frustration, I've made a tool to check if a ROM is valid for RetroAchievements. You can find the tool and instructions on how to use it here: https://github.com/meleu/hascheevos
What is "hardcore mode"?
If you enable hardcore mode the emulator tries to act like the original console. It means no save states, no Game Genie cheats, no slow motion, no rewind...
It's usual to say that earning achievements in hardcore mode worth double points. But actually every single RetroAchievement has a copy of itself. One is the "normal" (aka softcore) and its copy is the hardcore. When you play in hardcore mode and earn an achievement, you get the hardcore and the softcore cheevo. That's why it counts the points two times.
For more info about hardcore mode, check this question at RetroAchievements.org FAQ
What RetroArch core should I use to get the best compatibility with RetroAchievements?
This answer is here: https://github.com/libretro/RetroArch/wiki/RetroAchievements
more info to be added later...
@cyperghost I wrote it for you bro! Hope it can help others...
Did the ps4 style achievements ever get added to retroarch?
@lilbud If you mean a fancy icon/trophy rather than that yellow lettering, then no.
Some discussion about ways to implement it is going at RetroArch issue tracker, but it's at that "brainstorming" stage. Nothing being implemented yet.
Why does the word cheevo always make me hungry?
I tend not to have my pi connected all the time, otherwise I'd be all over this:) good write-up.
@fruitybit try it on your Android phone (if you have one). Just install RetroArch and get something like an ipega PG 9023...
@meleu hehe 😂 just forked out for an 8bitdo, although I do have an old tablet I was thinking about putting retroarch onto.
@meleu My man! Just a heads up, the list of NES games gives me a 404. I was playing OG Legend of Zelda on the default NES emulator (FECuMM? Can't ever remember the letters.) But I like Nestopia as my default NES emulator. Opened my saved game to find out I wasn't getting cheevos with Nestopia, but was with FCUMM, or whatever. A list of supported Emulators would be pretty helpful IMO. Or did I do something wrong? Haha.
@meleu I'll step into this ;) I think it's good to use this thread as encourgement. Without you my friend I did not even know that such a system is available :)
And I think I'm not alone with that statement.
the list of NES games gives me a 404.
A list of supported Emulators would be pretty helpful IMO.
Damn! How could I forgot to write about that?!?! I've updated the OP with this info. Thanks again! ;-)
By the way, RetroAchievements doesn't work with Nestopia. :(
@cyperghost after creating your account, don't forget to send me a friend request! ;-)
@meleu Time to compete ;)
@meleu So I’m switching to hardcore mode as the achievements don’t make sense outside of hardcore mode.
I see there is a way to reset all achievements. Is there a way to reset all non-hardcore achievements?
P.S. Sent ya a friend request on there too. :)
Is there a way to reset all non-hardcore achievements?
There's no such filter there.
But keep in mind that when you earn a cheevo in hardcore mode you actually get two cheevos, the hardcore and the "softcore". That's why hardcore cheevos worth double points.
Then, if you reset a softcore cheevo that you got in the hardcore way, you're actually thowing out some of your points.
I hope I was clear. :-)
P.S.: Friend request accepted.
@meleu Guess I’ll just go back and get the hardcore version of all the softcore ones I’ve got then! 😎