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Emulation Station Configuration on Custom 20 button Cabinet

  • Hi,
    I'm new to RetroPie and purchased a 20 button kit to build a cabinet with.
    I've settled on this layout: by @dsstrainer.
    Buttons are as follows
    Top Row:
    Exit, Reset, 1 Player, 2 Player, Save State, Load State
    Cabinet Front:
    2 coin buttons
    Joystick, L,R,X, Y,B,A

    I ran Emulation Station and quickly realized that the layout does not allow for select / start. How do you configure buttons this way? Should I put hidden Select / Start buttons in the cab then wire buttons to hotkey equivalents (Exit for instance wired to Start+Select)? Or is there a better way to do this?


  • Global Moderator

    @neb said in Emulation Station Configuration on Custom 20 button Cabinet:

    The layout you have is quite different from what ES expects as a gamepad, IMHO you'll have to configure RetroArch and the emulators anyway to add your mapping, so it really doesn't matter what you choose in ES.
    I guess you can use Menu as Start (so it brings up the ES menu) and for Select - maybe one of the coin buttons or the Exit button.

  • Mitu, thank you, I will read up on RetroArch and play around with it.

    When you wire up shared buttons like that do you wire p1 to controller 1 and p2 to controller 2 and 1 coin button to each as well? Also is it typical to wire the shared buttons such as exit, reset, save state, load state to just 1 of the controllers or both?

  • @neb I have something similar with a xin mo setup - when you set up the buttons by running the emulation station configure input, you assign the coin buttons as the select button for each controller, assign the 1 player button as the “start” key for player 1 and the 2 player button as the “start” key for controller 2. There is no need to add extra buttons for start and select and in fact that could get super complex when setting up games because you will want the buttons in the games to act like I just said anyhow - “push player 1 start” in game you want to press the player 1 button.

  • @BJRetro Fantastic, thanks for your help! I'll try it all out now. Regarding the remaining Exit, Reset, Save & Load buttons do you just wire to the first controller choose anything in ES then later use RetroArch to configure per emulator?

  • @neb I configured those as player one left trigger (L2), right trigger (R2), left thumbstick (L3), right thumbstic(R3) in emulation station but yeah for the functions you will want them to do you will also have to remap hotkey inputs on retroarch GUI. I ultimately chose ES menu functions only for those buttons because I had some non retroarch emulators at the time (reicast and Mupen) and just wanted very consistent operation not some emulators you could exit with the button others not, some you could save on, others not. So I wound up with menu, back, page up and page down in ES menus for those extra buttons.

  • Thanks @BJRetro, for the final ES question around HOTKEY ENABLE, do you just use P1 select for that?

  • @neb yes I use the player 1 coin (configured as select) button as the hotkey. So you press that plus one of the other buttons. If you ever want one of those four service buttons to do something in the emulation station menus too let me know, I can re-find what I did to set them as menu, back, page up and page down. I also re-coded my “player 1 start” button, which is labeled on the cabinet artwork as “start” as well, to be the button to select a game in the emulation station menus (instead of the default, the “a” button). That was because it was more natural for someone to think the start button selected a game in the menu than whatever of the buttons happened to be coded as “a.” Enjoy your journey! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I know very very little but I can at least share what worked for me. BTW from various forum posts think we are very close to getting a Retropie 4.5 image - I wonder if you would be better off waiting to start your project until that comes out so you don’t configure everything and then wind up having stuff change with the 4.5 updates. I probably won’t update my bartop to 4.5 out of fear since I now have everything working as I like but if I was just starting out I would probably want to be on the newest image.

  • @BJRetro, That would be great, I've played around in Emulation Station and RetroArch and have not figured that part out. I'd love to map an exit game, restart game, save state and load state button. The hot key works great but since the button kit I got has the extra buttons I'd love to use them. I also got it so that the hot key + exit, restart, save, load works but would be great if a press without the hot key worked.

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