How to install Pico-8 on a Raspberry Pi 3 or 4 for dummies (2021 version)
JimmyFromTheBay last edited by JimmyFromTheBay
Credit to the original tutorial author here:
The Pico-8 is brilliant and works well on both Pi 3 and Pi 4, although a lot of people (including me) seem to have had trouble with the latter. This updated version should work for both.
Things you will need: a Pi with a keyboard connected to it (games support controllers in play but I don't know of any way to quit out without a keyboard), and $15.
1. BUY PICO-8
Get it from here: https://lexaloffle.com/games.php?page=updates
2. DOWNLOAD THE RASPBERRY PI VERSION
When you pay you'll get a link to a page (the one above, in fact) with loads of versions including the Pi one, but no sort of installation instructions whatsoever. Download the Pi version and you'll get a file that unzips to a folder called pico-8 with six files in it:
3. COPY IT TO YOUR PI
Copy the entire folder over to /home/pi (so that you now have /home/pi/pico-8 with the six files in it).
4. ADD PICO-8 TO EMULATION STATION
Add the following lines to your ES_SYSTEMS.CFG file, the easily-editable version of which should be located in /opt/retropie/configs/all/emulationstation:
<system> <name>pico8</name> <fullname>PICO-8</fullname> <path>/home/pi/pico-8</path> <extension>.sh .p8 .png .SH .P8 .PNG</extension> <command>/opt/retropie/supplementary/runcommand/runcommand.sh 0 "/home/pi/pico-8/pico8_dyn -run %ROM%"</command> <platform>pico8</platform> <theme>pico8</theme> </system>
5. ADD SOME GAMES
Pico-8 "cartridges" come in .P8.PNG file format. You can download them from all sorts of places including the Lexaloffle BBS:
Stick a few into the /home/pi/pico8 folder.
Alternatively, you can replace the command line above with:
<command>/opt/retropie/supplementary/runcommand/runcommand.sh 0 "/home/pi/pico-8/pico8_dyn -SPLORE"</command>
That'll boot you straight from the LEXALOFFLE-PICO8.PNG cart in the EmulationStation menu to the Pico-8's internal games menu, which (assuming your Pi is connected to the internet) will let you load and play hundreds of games in various categories directly.
6. INSTALL WIRINGPI
Quit EmulationStation so you're looking at the Pi $ prompt. Type this:
sudo apt-get install wiringpi
It should install in a few seconds.
7. SET PERMISSIONS
If you try to run anything at this point you'll probably get a permissions error. So fix it first with this while you're still on the command prompt:
sudo chmod 777 ~/pico-8/pico8_dyn
8. REBOOT EMULATION STATION
Lastly, type this:
sudo shutdown -r now
And you should be good to go. Clicking on any game in the ES menu should now load it and run the game automatically. Press Ctrl-Q to quit back to the ES menu.
gold64 last edited by
@jimmyfromthebay Thanks for this. Works great on my Pi 3.
BenMcLean last edited by
I am working on a script that'll not only do the installation but will also make a nice little EmulationStation menu for ya automatically. https://github.com/BenMcLean/RetroPiePico8
It isn't ready yet but just FYI.