RetroArch |OT| Emulation Heaven

Oct 25, 2017
404
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I'm having some trouble setting up Retroarch on a new Windows 10 PC. At first, I had no sound whatsoever (and yes I had audio enabled and mute audio disabled). Then I changed from xaudio to daudio, and audio started working in games, but the menu is still silent/muted, despite me having enabled menu audio. Which isn't a huge deal, but was annoying while troubleshooting.

The BSNES mercury and PPSSPP cores are working fine. I only have one Wii game available, and that causes the Dolphin core to CTD. I tried three different Saturn games with the Saturn Beetle core. One loads to an "empty drive" message on the config screen, one loads to a "2 tracks" message on the config screen, and one causes a CTD. All three PSX games I've tried cause CTDs for both PSX Beetle and PSX Beetle HW, and that's after trying two different sets of BIOS files. And yes, I put them in the system folder. I've spent over an hour on Google trying to solve these problems, but a lot of the documentation I'm finding is out of date/contradictory. Can anyone point me in the right direction on maybe what file formats (iso?/bin?/img?) are most likely to work or not work with these cores, or exactly which BIOS files I need and what they need to be named? I'll edit my post if I'm even going over the line mentioning BIOS files, but I own a PSX, two PS2s, two PS3s, and two PSPs, so it's not like I can't legally play PSX games.

I always thought PCSX2 was obnoxious and fiddly to get working, but it seems idiot-proof compared to this....
Someone earlier had similar issues with PS1 emulation in this thread so I'm gonna quote my reply here for easier viewing:
I've lately been using Retroarch with the Beetle PSX core (Mednafen's name for the libretro fork), haven't had any performance problems so far. Once you run Retroarch, from the main menu choose Online Updater -> Core Updater and choose PlayStation (Beetle PSX). Retroarch will download and upack the core. You'll also need PS1 BIOS binaries which you should put in the "system" folder inside Retroarch's root folder. I've actually had some problems with this recently as Retroarch wouldn't load certain PS1 games until I realized that it was only the European games (just loaded into a black screen), so it seems the Beetle PSX core is a bit picky about which BIOS versions it wants. They also need to be named "SCPH5500.bin", "SCPH5501.bin" and "SCPH5502.bin", those being the JP, USA and EU versions respectively. I believe the actual BIOS versions that worked on Beetle PSX for me are listed here, near the bottom of the page under "Alternative BIOS files", namely the ps-30j, ps-30a and ps30e (versions 3.0). Won't post any links but you should be able to find some with the info in this post.
The Saturn images I have are all in bin/cue format but some of them won't load (Retroarch doesn't crash, just refuses to load or recognize) but I haven't really looked into it. The PS1 images I have are also all in bin/cue format but I don't have any problems anymore after I've started using the appropriate BIOS versions.

Hope this helps.
 
Oct 27, 2017
90
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There are no menu sounds yet, so your daudio experience should be right. Though I've never had issues with xaudio in Win10.

The Dolphin core is not recommended to use right now. It only implements the Gamecube controller as an input and is out of date. I think you need to copy a bunch of stuff from stand alone into your system folder to get it to work too.

The above post should help with the PSX BIOS. For Saturn, Beetle wants mpr-17933.bin and sega_101.bin which match the MESS (or MAME now) BIOS set. You preferably want dumps that match Redump's sets. Those are bin/cue.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,392
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Someone earlier had similar issues with PS1 emulation in this thread so I'm gonna quote my reply here for easier viewing:


The Saturn images I have are all in bin/cue format but some of them won't load (Retroarch doesn't crash, just refuses to load or recognize) but I haven't really looked into it. The PS1 images I have are also all in bin/cue format but I don't have any problems anymore after I've started using the appropriate BIOS versions.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for your reply. The BIOS files I currently have in the system folder have names and CRCs that match the ones in that link, so I don't really know what to do now.

There are no menu sounds yet, so your daudio experience should be right. Though I've never had issues with xaudio in Win10.

The Dolphin core is not recommended to use right now. It only implements the Gamecube controller as an input and is out of date. I think you need to copy a bunch of stuff from stand alone into your system folder to get it to work too.

The above post should help with the PSX BIOS. For Saturn, Beetle wants mpr-17933.bin and sega_101.bin which match the MESS (or MAME now) BIOS set. You preferably want dumps that match Redump's sets. Those are bin/cue.
Yeah, all of my Saturn games simply crashed to desktop before I started using the BIOS files you mentioned. Now 2/3 load, but just to the Saturn OS screen. The games themselves don't load.
 

Kvik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
758
0
Downunder.
All three PSX games I've tried cause CTDs for both PSX Beetle and PSX Beetle HW, and that's after trying two different sets of BIOS files. And yes, I put them in the system folder. I've spent over an hour on Google trying to solve these problems, but a lot of the documentation I'm finding is out of date/contradictory. Can anyone point me in the right direction on maybe what file formats (iso?/bin?/img?) are most likely to work or not work with these cores, or exactly which BIOS files I need and what they need to be named?
More often than not, whenever one of my PSX ISO failed to load, the issue lies with an incorrect hash checksum. Therefore, for Beetle HW, it's good practice to check the hash of both your BIOS and ISO files. Use something like this freeware: https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/hash_my_files.html

Compare the hash with the checksum of the BIOS hash in the RetroArch documentation: https://docs.libretro.com/library/beetle_psx_hw/#bios

To check your PSX ISOs, you can use redump: http://redump.org . Normally you just need .bin and its .cue sheet. When making a playlist for RetroArch, you'll need to use the cue sheet instead of the .bin file. You can read more about it here: https://docs.libretro.com/library/beetle_psx_hw/#loading-content
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,392
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OK, I feel like an idiot. Apparently Retroarch really doesn't like archived files. I'm having much better luck now that I'm unzipping/un7zipping.

Is there a particular way to zip them so Retroarch doesn't bug out, or am I just going to need a separate subfolder for each game?

And I appreciate all of the information and help, it's obviously made things much easier for me to troubleshoot and arrive at the actual problem.
 
Oct 25, 2017
132
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Germany
The Libretro documentation is pretty extensive these days. (Sadly no page for Dolphin yet.)

https://docs.libretro.com/library/beetle_psx/
https://docs.libretro.com/library/beetle_saturn/

Both PS and Saturn cores support Mame's CHD format, which compresses slightly better than Zip. The Beetle PSX page has a short section on how to use it. Alternative instructions with a little more info on the format (among others) is collected here:
http://emulation.gametechwiki.com/index.php/Save_Disk_Space_for_ISOs#CHD_Compression
 
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Oct 25, 2017
12,098
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31
Oman
OK 2nd question: What file type does the beetle emulator recognize? Like .BIN and .CUE or? Cuz I made an ISO of my FF9 discs but it isn't recognizing them :X
 
Nov 4, 2017
57
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Hi.
Would this be a good way for PS1 emulation or are there better options?


I tried this but I couldn't get it to work, loading cores didn't seem to work. I also tried PCSXR but with terrible results, meaning basically unplayable. Framerates seemed ok, but everything looked worse than on original hardware, also lots of issues with menus and such.

I'm running PCSX2 (1.4) without any issues and x2 resolution though so I'm clearly doing something wrong with PS1 emu. :p

Any tips as for which PS1 emulator or retroarch build I should be using?

Fun fact I bought this laptop mainly for PS1 emulation, I didn't really expect it to be powerful enough for PS2 emulation.
i5 950m 8gb btw (I don't think it matters though since PCSX2 works basically flawlessly depending on the games)


Edit : like, should I download "1.6.7-x64-setup.exe" from the link in the op and be good to go? Or do I then still need a core and how? Anything else?
Dunno how compatible it is, but Mednafen is a really good ps1 emulator
 
Oct 25, 2017
514
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I need some confirmation guys. I am dabbling with Retroarch more seriously than usual, tried some games and scanlines.

https://imgur.com/a/DdYuwes

Would you say that these shots accurately represents the type of results you can get without too much fussing around ? Because while after the fact those shots are not bad, the overall result while playing is relatively ugly. I may be realizing that these games are old and no matter the amount of fancy I throw at them, err, these games are old :-/ (I think more accurately you could say these games are early 3d or 32-bits Squeenix, because everybody knows pixel games aren't so hard on the eyes)
What is it with the internal fps in those shots ? Where these games slow as fuck or is my machine not able to handle PS1 emu O_O

For info
2500k / GTX970 / 8 Go
In those shots the config was GL renderer and crt-easymode

So what do you think about this ?
 
Oct 25, 2017
815
0
Brazil, Unaí/MG
I need some confirmation guys. I am dabbling with Retroarch more seriously than usual, tried some games and scanlines.

https://imgur.com/a/DdYuwes

Would you say that these shots accurately represents the type of results you can get without too much fussing around ? Because while after the fact those shots are not bad, the overall result while playing is relatively ugly. I may be realizing that these games are old and no matter the amount of fancy I throw at them, err, these games are old :-/ (I think more accurately you could say these games are early 3d or 32-bits Squeenix, because everybody knows pixel games aren't so hard on the eyes)
What is it with the internal fps in those shots ? Where these games slow as fuck or is my machine not able to handle PS1 emu O_O

For info
2500k / GTX970 / 8 Go
In those shots the config was GL renderer and crt-easymode

So what do you think about this ?
It's not really an answer to your question, but I really liked the Sonic Mania shadder in the PC version of Final Fantasy VIII. I don't know if someone already converted it to Retroarch.
 
Oct 25, 2017
404
0
I need some confirmation guys. I am dabbling with Retroarch more seriously than usual, tried some games and scanlines.

https://imgur.com/a/DdYuwes

Would you say that these shots accurately represents the type of results you can get without too much fussing around ? Because while after the fact those shots are not bad, the overall result while playing is relatively ugly. I may be realizing that these games are old and no matter the amount of fancy I throw at them, err, these games are old :-/ (I think more accurately you could say these games are early 3d or 32-bits Squeenix, because everybody knows pixel games aren't so hard on the eyes)
What is it with the internal fps in those shots ? Where these games slow as fuck or is my machine not able to handle PS1 emu O_O

For info
2500k / GTX970 / 8 Go
In those shots the config was GL renderer and crt-easymode

So what do you think about this ?
They look pretty much as they did back then, although there's no real substitute for a CRT, the shaders make the games look a bit more authentic, so it's just how they looked. You can try to increase the internal rendering resolution (load a PS1 game, go to the quick menu, Options, Internal GPU Resolution and set it to higher than 1x (native)). This will render all 3D graphics in a higher resolution while the 2D images remain as low res as they were. It's not authentic but it does make the 3D graphics sharper of course, but it can be a dramatic hit on the performance on increased resolutions. You're probably safer to try higher res PS1 graphics with a standalone emulator like ePSXe.

As for the framerate, I believe it's accurate for FFVIII, you can see it here as well - https://youtu.be/pGkZEUEmbSc?t=74

There were certainly PS1 games that went to full 60 FPS but it varied from game to game, and some of them had lower framerate cutscenes to save on space as well.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,098
0
31
Oman
OK seems I got retroarch set up well for PSOne games. I don't have vulkan support so I just set it to hardware.
However anytime I run an ISO I have it gives me a 'consider using async' mentioning CD read speed as slow. How do I fix this?
 
Oct 25, 2017
189
0
OK seems I got retroarch set up well for PSOne games. I don't have vulkan support so I just set it to hardware.
However anytime I run an ISO I have it gives me a 'consider using async' mentioning CD read speed as slow. How do I fix this?
Once a game is running go into the core options and change the "CD Access Method" selection to "precache". This will mean the whole disc image is cached to you RAM before the game starts.

Alternatively turn off those on screen notifications so you don't get nagged!
 
Oct 27, 2017
513
0
It's not really an answer to your question, but I really liked the Sonic Mania shadder in the PC version of Final Fantasy VIII. I don't know if someone already converted it to Retroarch.
Thats a tad bit too sharp for my liking, its a shame that theres no parameters to edit for that shader.

I use an edited version of crt-easymode-halation and change these settings in the parameters for it.....

Sharpness Horizontal 0.80
Sharpness Vertical 0.80
Mask Type 3.00
Mask Strength Min 0.20
Mask Strength Max 0.20
Scanline Strength Min 0.85
Scanline Strength Max 0.75
Scanline Beam Min 0.85
Scanline Beam Max 0.75
Geom Curvature 0.03
Geom Warp 0.03
Geom Corner Size 0.03
Halation 0.05
Diffusion 0.10

obviously this shader is more taxing on the system than the Yupp one
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,704
0
steamcommunity.com
Thats a tad bit too sharp for my liking, its a shame that theres no parameters to edit for that shader.

I use an edited version of crt-easymode-halation and change these settings in the parameters for it.....

Sharpness Horizontal 0.80
Sharpness Vertical 0.80
Mask Type 3.00
Mask Strength Min 0.20
Mask Strength Max 0.20
Scanline Strength Min 0.85
Scanline Strength Max 0.75
Scanline Beam Min 0.85
Scanline Beam Max 0.75
Geom Curvature 0.03
Geom Warp 0.03
Geom Corner Size 0.03
Halation 0.05
Diffusion 0.10

obviously this shader is more taxing on the system than the Yupp one
Sonic Mania has two different shaders. That's the CRT-Sharp version. Try this (CRT-Soft) https://github.com/libretro/glsl-shaders/blob/master/crt/yee64.glslp
 
Oct 27, 2017
513
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Ah my mistake yee54 is the sharp version and yeetron is the soft version, would be nice to have a curved effect to the screen.

I wonder if a RPi device could run yeetron

Regarding the shaders whats the best video driver to now use seeing as directx13 is now supports?

Vulkan
GL
D3D9 - D3D12
???
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,704
0
steamcommunity.com
Is there a good gamma boost shader? I'm trying to match my CRT with Pixellate+Yee64 and everything looks great aside from the color balance. The blues in Sonic 1 are super dull compared to my CRT.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,352
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I can spend hours playing around with filters and shaders. Just curious to what everyone favorite filters are. I really hate the filter that makes 2D games look like smeared paint.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,098
0
31
Oman
I'm using Genesis GX Plus on RetroArch and I'm noticing input lag when using my DS4. I was playing Sonic 3 and then tried it with Kega Fusion and didn't notice any input lag when using the latter.
 
Oct 27, 2017
90
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I'm using Genesis GX Plus on RetroArch and I'm noticing input lag when using my DS4. I was playing Sonic 3 and then tried it with Kega Fusion and didn't notice any input lag when using the latter.
Turning on Hard Sync in video settings would be the first thing to do. Then you could also fiddle with stuff like Run Ahead and Frame Delay in the latency menu that should show up after loading a game in the quick menu. I forget if that menu is only in nightlies right now or not.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,098
0
31
Oman
Turning on Hard Sync in video settings would be the first thing to do. Then you could also fiddle with stuff like Run Ahead and Frame Delay in the latency menu that should show up after loading a game in the quick menu. I forget if that menu is only in nightlies right now or not.
Thanks will try that out.

EDIT: Uh where is Hard Sync option?
 
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Oct 25, 2017
189
0
Has anyone put together a list of the correct number of frames to run ahead for each console?
The number of frames is dependent on the game, not the console. But I am yet to come across a single NES, SNES or Genesis title that doesnt have at least 1 frame of lag, so you are safe to set that as a default value. But really you have to check all inputs for an individual game to get the correct amount.
 
Oct 27, 2017
278
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I really wish there was a bit more clear setup guide that talked about Hard Sync and Frame lag and stuff. I've had mine setup for years, but sometimes that GPU sync stuff never made sense to me
 
Oct 25, 2017
815
0
Brazil, Unaí/MG
Has anyone put together a list of the correct number of frames to run ahead for each console?
1- Pause the game with P;
2 - Press a direction on the Controller/keyboard;
3 - Press the K Key until the character starts his move animation.

The number of times you pressed K is the amount of frames you need to run ahead.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,847
0
Anyone can tell what graphical backend it's best to use on an Intel HD 615?
Vulcan, D3D11 or OpenGL? Which offers the best performance?
 

c0de

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,268
0
So I thought about repurposing my old netbook that served me well in 2011 for my master thesis and thought about using it for emulation. After trying out Lakka and feeling it was quite outdated, I just installed Ubuntu and retroarch from a ppa and I'm in love. Scanning a big library takes a while and I'm still trying to get my sf30 pro working but this all in one approach works amazingly good. Of course PSX is not full speed, not to mention N64 or even Saturn but I'm fine with everything up to 16 bit.
The interface takes a while to get used to, though. I seriously consider buying a nuc only for retroarch.