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Screen goes black randomly during playing


  • Global Moderator

    @StigNasty said in Screen goes black randomly during playing:

    Do you have any idea why setting it in the os and app settings it wouldn’t work

    No, I don't. I don't use the desktop environment for RetroPie, so that's not something I have experience with.


  • administrators

    I think we need to put in the sticky topics about this - we keep getting people using incorrect 3rd party guides reporting issues. So much bad information out there. Not sure why people expect us to support it!


  • administrators

    @mitu I have amended the first sticky topic to include for now "Do not report issues with running on a RPI4 - it's not yet officially supported, and there are many 3rd party guides with incorrect instructions out there. We can't support installs based on these." - not that people will bother to read it but :-) Feel free to reword.



  • I found a workaround for the black screen issue: Switch from the X-Windows season to TTY with Ctrl+Alt+F1 start emulationstation, play your games exit emulationstation, switch back to your X-Windows system with Ctrl+Alt+F7



  • @chriej Or you install sudo apt-get install xscreensaver
    and set the screen safer appearance time higher, worked for me, now I can use retropi above X-Windows.



  • @chriej i’ll try that.



  • @BuZz Read it. Know it. Was just looking for a workaround to use till it eventually is supported (for the most part, most has been working on retropie, I’m happy to report). I’ll try the other package that was suggested.



  • Hi, I'm having this same problem on the Raspberry Pi 4.

    I have a couple of extra things I can add if it can help diagnose. I really think this is just an issue with a controller not being able to wake a screen time out, and there's some setting that just needs to be configured -- I don't know where it is though.

    If I start a game from emulationstation, I can play it for awhile, and after a certain period of time the screen will go black but the music will still be playing. So the emulation is still running. If I go to a keyboard connected to my RPi4 and hit any key, the screen comes back up. So it's some sort of screen timeout issue that responds to a keyboard but not a controller. I have a PS3 controller connected through the ps3controller package.

    When running emulationstation, if i leave it alone for awhile, the screen will dim but no go black, and the screen undims when I touch the controller. So no issues there. When running Kodi I don't have this problem either.

    One thing differently is that since I had to install Raspbian Buster first, I've been starting emulationstation from the terminal in the Raspbian Buster GUI (is that what it's called? the desktop environment? I'm not that well-versed with Linux, so any corrections are apprectiated). When I had an RPi3, the system would boot directly to emulationstation, which was probably pre-configured by the downloadable RetroPie image. Since I am installing on an RPi 4 and doing it manually, there are probably some configurations that need to be done manually, and I assume one of them has to do with a screen timeout.


  • Global Moderator

    @deaftlolight Retropie is not configured to run from a desktop session - just like on the Pi3, if you want to manually set-it up, use the Lite version of Raspbian and install over. I see that despite the read-me-first topic warning, people still report 'bugs' for unsupported configuration.



  • @deaftlolight look earlier in the post. The aforementioned install works fine. Also, I think the newest version of Raspbian now allows the screen blanking/screen save to be disabled completely.



  • I've found a work around, if you are using a ps4 controller you could use the middle touch pad to "wake" raspberry pie. As i said, it is a work around but it is working :)



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