Please do not post a support request without first reading and following the advice in https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/3/read-this-first

  • Hi everybody, my best friend is a huge gaming fan and i wanted to gift him a Retropie console.
    Of course i am no expert in this, so before buying all the stuff i wanted to ask you a few questions about this project.

    The idea is simple, i want to make a retropie that we can use together - with my group of friends.
    So I know I am gonna buy a Raspberry Pi 3 (i've seen there are pre-made kits with SD cards, HDMI cables etc.) - but i need two more things:

    1. I want to load the games from a SATA hard rive (so i guess i should buy an adapter USB to SATA), then i can put in it pretty much complete romsets of games (from the NES to the Dreamcast)
    2. More important i would like to plug 4 controllers together so i know i should buy a powered usb hub. Then, considering it is powered i guess i should plug the HUB to the Pi and the hard drive (and four controllers) to the HUB (right?)

    We already have 4 PS3 controllers, then again i guess i should buy the Pi's Kit, the usb to sata wire and the powered hub (i already have the hard drive). But (and that's why i opened the topic) can you suggest me exactly what to buy? With links and stuff (of course i would stay the cheapest possible). I am pretty scared that most of the stuff could be incompatible with the system and then just waste money.

    So can you guys help me?
    Thank you very much.

    P.S. making a wood box to 'store' all the components would be a super bad idea, right?


  • If youre using PS3 controllers, they can work with rpi wirelessly. You wont need a usb hub.


  • for the things you are asking, why not build a cheap pc to run emulators?


  • @Concat said in Retropie for a friend:

    If youre using PS3 controllers, they can work with rpi wirelessly. You wont need a usb hub.

    Hi, thanks for your reply. I have a doubt, though.
    Can the Pi handle 4 - PS3 - controllers connected via bluetooth and also a Sata Hard Drive connected via USB?
    Isn't it too much for it?

    @badhorse said in Retropie for a friend:

    for the things you are asking, why not build a cheap pc to run emulators?

    Well for the same reason why everybody is doing a retropie. It's super small, portable and the launch-pad makes it like a super sweet console. We just want that tiny thing near the TV :)


  • I have no idea about the Sata drive. I use an SD card. It can handle 3 ps3 controllers via Bluetooth just fine...

    I think you just need to bite the bullet and buy a simple kit. Once you have it and can start configuring it, you will start to map out your perfect system.


  • Hi friend,

    The Pi's power hardware limitations won't matter when it comes to pairing Bluetooth devices. It will utilize the similar amount of resources as any other controller would, which is basically just some computation. It won't cause any significant load. The real question is if a Bluetooth can handle 3+ devices which is a definite yes. I am running RetroPie on a Pi Zero so I added a Bluetooth dongle so I won't need a big USB hub attachment.


  • @Smilator
    The hard drive needs to be powered either by plugging into the wall or using a powered USB hub. There is a PiDrive hard drive that is low powered that might work. I believe it shares the power adapter with the Raspberry Pi. I also see they have an enclosure for the both the hard drive and the Pi in one case.

    Another option instead of a hard drive would be to use a large USB flash drive:
    https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/Running-ROMs-from-a-USB-drive

    I've never tried it but I've read that powered USB hubs can power the Raspberry Pi but I'm not sure if it will be the correct 5V 2.5A (or whatever the Pi 3 needs).

    With the correct power adapter to your Pi, you can run the four PS3 controllers via Bluetooth without any issues.

    then i can put in it pretty much complete romsets of games (from the NES to the Dreamcast)

    I really haven't had many issues with NES, SNES, Gameboy (Color/Advance), Genesis, Sega CD & 32X, Game Gear, TurboGrafx 16/CD but it has been pretty much hit or miss with Dreamcast games. You might check out the Dreamcast Compatibility List:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1AD91IcudqHP7dDmEXLO25Pzb85uUgAy4chU2QxlZBQk/edit#gid=379183179

    The games that don't work, you really don't need to have because they are just wasted space (unless in the future there is an update to the emulator that supports that game).

    PSX games are more reliable than Dreamcast but I've had issues with some of them as well. I don't know if the PSX has a "Compatibility List" like the Dreamcast.

    P.S. making a wood box to 'store' all the components would be a super bad idea, right?

    Yeah. Someone on this forum (maybe @obsidianspider) is making a box with arcade buttons & a joystick on top and all the hardware inside and then you just plug it into the TV. Gives you that arcade feel but the box just sits on a coffee table and you get to use your large HDTV! You could even make the box wider and add a 2nd set of arcade buttons/joystick for player 2. The player 3 and 4 can use Bluetooth PS3 controllers.

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