Arcade Guide

Introduction

Arcade emulators can be split in 2 categories:

  • Multi-Arcade-Machine Emulators

  • Single-Arcade-Board Emulators

There are a huge variety of Arcade Machines, this is why Arcade Emulation is complex.

In this guide, we will focus on 2 families of emulators, and give you the main keys to understand Arcade Emulation, we will group the Emulators in the 2 families described above.

Multi Machine Emulators

There are two families of multi-system arcade emulators available: FinalBurn and MAME.

These emulators are available in multiple versions to allow users to best match a core/emulator with their games.

Available Multi-Machine Arcade emulators in Retrobat

Emulator/coreROMs folderROM set version

libretro: mame (current)

\roms\mame

0.263

libretro: mame2016

\roms\mame

0.174

libretro: mame2014

\roms\mame

0.159

libretro: mame2010

\roms\mame

0.139

Libretro: mame2003_plus

\roms\mame

0.78plus

Libretro: mame2003

\roms\mame

0.78

Libretro: mame2000

\roms\mame

0.37b5

mame (standalone)

\roms\mame

0.261

Libretro: fbneo

\roms\fbneo

latest MAME romset

Libretro: fbalpha

\roms\fbneo

0.2.97.44

Libretro: fbalpha2012

\roms\fbneo

0.2.97.29

FBNEO

\roms\fbneo

latest MAME romset

MAME is the usual emulator used for common Arcade games (the likes of Pac-Man, Asteroids, etc.)

FBNeo is specialized in Fighting Games and Beat-them-up.

Single Board Emulators

Arcade Machine(s)ROMs folderEmulator

FMV LaserDisc Arcade Games

\roms\daphne

HYPSEUS DAPHNE

ATOMISWAVE

\roms\atomiswave

FLYCAST Demul

GAELCO

\roms\gaelco

Demul

SEGA MODEL 2

\roms\model2

m2emulator

SEGA MODEL 3

\roms\model3

Supermodel

SEGA NAOMI

\roms\naomi

FLYCAST Demul

SEGA NAOMI 2

\roms\naomi2

FLYCAST Demul

HIKARU

\roms\hikaru

Demul

TRIFORCE

\roms\triforce

DOLPHIN-TRIFORCE

CHIHIRO

\roms\chihiro

CXBX-RELOADED

PC-BASED ARCADE

\roms\teknoparrot

TEKNOPARROT

ZINC

\roms\zinc

ZINC PSXMame

ROMs

Terminology

  • ROM, ROM set, and romset: Arcade games are packaged as zip files, most of which are composed of more than one individual 'ROM' file. That is why some resources refer to an individual arcade game as a ROM while other resources refer to an individual game as a ROM set or romset.

  • ROM version or romset version: Each version of an arcade emulator must be used with ROMs that have the same exact version number. For example, MAME 0.37b5 ROMs are required by the MAME 2000 emulator, but will not work correctly with the MAME 2010 emulator, which requires MAME 0.139 ROMs.

ROM set types

Arcade ROMs can be formatted four ways:

  • Full Non-merged: All romsets can be used standalone because each zip contains all the files needed to run that game, including any ROMs from 'parent' ROM sets and BIOS sets.

  • Non-merged ROM: All romsets can be used standalone because each zip contains all the files needed to run that game, including any files from 'parent romsets'. The only exceptions are games which use BIOS ROMs, which are formatted as 'Split' and must be kept in the same folder as the game romset which uses it.

  • Split: Some romsets that are considered clones, translations, or bootlegs also require a "parent" romset to run. In some cases the parent is not the most popular or best working version of the game, however. For example, in a Split set pacman.zip (a clone), will not work without puckman.zip (its parent).

  • Merged: Clones are merged into the parent romset zip, meaning that more than one game is stored per file.

Merged rom sets are not supported, as only the main game will be seen in RetroBat and launched by Mame core.

We recommend the use of Non-merged rom sets.

Do not rename the zipped ROM files. Scrapers will recognize the games with the .zip filename and match them with the right game.

Additional files

Samples

Some games need extra samples files to work, they should be placed in the following folders:

  • For fbneo: \bios\fbneo\samples

  • For mame2003: \bios\mame2003\samples

  • For mame2003plus: \bios\mame2003-plus\samples

  • For mame2010: \bios\mame2010\samples

  • For the current mame and standalone mame: \bios\mame\samples

CHD or IMG files

Some arcade games can use extra files (originally these were physically stored on a disc) called CHD (sometimes IMG).

The CHD folder must be placed in the rom folder and must have the same name as the game's ZIP file.

For example, for kinst.zip the game will be looking for kinst\kinst.chd.

Credits

A big chunk of information from this page has been sourced from libretro documentation:

https://docs.libretro.com/guides/arcade-getting-started/

Last updated

Copyright The RetroBat Team 2019-2024