Getting the Games onto your Pi

Now that you have RetroPie, RecalBox, PiPLAY or Lakka loaded onto your Raspberry Pi, you’ll need to get some games on there to start playing.

Since RetroPie and RecalBox are based around EmulationStation the methods for transferring files to your Raspberry Pi are pretty much the same. PiPLAY doesn’t use EmulationStation but is similar and we can use WinSCP for transfer of roms. Lakka is simple enough you can either use Network Browse or WinSCP.

We’ll run through the easiest methods here in detail.

  • Transfer via USB Stick: (RetroPie only)
    • Insert a USB stick into your PC and format it as FAT32. Once it has been formatted, create a folder named retropie.
    • Once the folder is created, remove the USB stick from your PC. Make sure your Raspberry Pi is up and running with RetroPie and then plug the USB Stick into one of the USB ports on the Raspberry Pi.
    • You should notice the lights on your Raspberry Pi start to flicker – this is EmulationStation creating the file structure on your USB stick. Let it do its job for about 30 seconds or until the lights stop flashing the remove the USB Stick from the Raspberry Pi.
    • Now plug the USB Stick back into your PC and if you browse it you will see under the retropie folder then Roms folder there are now folders for each of the systems supported.
    • You can now simply drag and drop your game rom files into the respective folder for that system.
      • If you are unsure of what file types your file should be you can look at this link to determine the correct type – File Types
    • Once all your files have copied over, you can now remove the USB Stick from your PC again and plug back into your Raspberry Pi.
    • Again, you will see the lights flicker on your Raspberry Pi, but this time the game files you just copied onto your USB Stick are being transferred over to your Raspberry Pi. Depending on how many files and what size you transferred it could take several minutes. Just wait until the Raspberry Pi lights stop flickering and you can remove the USB Stick.
    • All done, you should now reboot your Raspberry Pi to see all your new games. The systems which you copied files into now should show up in the menu. If not, check the filetypes again for that system against the files you copied across.


  • Transfer via Network Browse: (RetroPie, RecalBox and Lakka only)
    • This one needs you to have local network access (either wired or wireless) on your Raspberry Pi. Once you have your Raspberry Pi on your local network proceed.
    • From a Windows explorer window go down to the Network drop down and click to show all available network resources.
    • You should see either a RETROPIE, RECALBOX or LAKKA network resource listed – click on it to select it.
    • In the main window pane you should now see some folders which are on either your RETROPIE, RECALBOX or LAKKA setup.
    • Double click on the Roms folder to select and open it
    • Now you will see all the individual systems folders for all the systems supported by your RetroPie or RecalBox installation. Lakka is a little different in that there are no system folders under roms. You can copy roms over under any folder name you want – Lakka will scan it later.
    • Simply drag and drop the game ROM files from your PC into these individual folders.
      • If you are unsure of what filetypes your files should be you can look at this link (it is for RetroPie but is the same for RecalBox) to determine the correct type – File Types
    • Once all your files have been copied across you will need to reboot your raspberry Pi for it to fully recognise them.
    • After reboot, you should now notice that any of the systems you coped files into should show up in the main menu. If not, you need to double check the filetype supported by that system and make sure the files you copied over are the correct filetype.
    • Done – now get playing some games.


  • Transfer via WinSCP 
    • First you need to download and install the freeware utility WinSCP from here –
    • This one also needs you to have local network access (either wired or wireless) on your Raspberry Pi. Once you have your Raspberry Pi on your local network proceed – make note of your Raspberry Pi’s IP Address.
    • Once installed, fire up WinSCP from the desktop icon.
    • From the WinSCP login window, make sure the File Protocol is set to SCP.
    • Under Hostname, enter the IP Address or the Host name (set to retropie by default for RetroPie,  recalbox for RecalBox installations and lakka for Lakka installations) for your Raspberry Pi. Please be aware that for PiPlay you will have to enter the IP Address – which can be seen up in the top right of the PiPlay main screen when loaded.

For the login details use

  • RetropPie: username: pi  password: raspberry
  • RecalBox: username: root  password: recalboxroot
  • PiPLAY: username: pi  password: raspberry
  • Lakka: username: root  password: root
  • WinSCP1
  • When you have all the details put in, click the Login button.
  • If this is the first time you are connecting via WinSCP you will get a warning window about security keys. Just click Yes to add the Raspberry Pi to your list of trusted hosts.
  • winSCP2
  • You should now be connected. You will get a window similar to the following. It shows your PC files on the left pane and the Raspberry Pi’s files on the right.
  • WinSCP3
  • If you are using RetroPie double Click on the RetroPie folder on the right then double click on Roms. You will see all the emulation system folders listed. You can now browse locally on the left for your game files, then drag and drop them into the corresponding system folders on the right.
  • If you are using RecalBox  you will start in the /recalbox/share/system folder. Double click either the up arrow on the right pane or the Up One Folder button to go up a level to /recalbox/share. From here you can go into the roms folder and you will now see all the emulated system folders. You can now browse your local system on the left then drag and drop the game files across.
  • If you are using PiPlay you will start in the /home/pi folder. Double click on pimame then double click on roms and you will now see a list of system folders into which you can drag and drop your game / rom files.
  • If you are using Lakka you will start in the storage folder. You should see a roms folder – double click on it to select and enter it. There will be no system folders under roms – this is normal. You can copy folders across with any name – Lakka will scan these later and organise your games.
  • Make sure if you are dragging folders across that your local folder is named exactly the same as the folder on either RetroPie, RecalBox or PiPlay.
  • Again – make sure the files you are copying across are of the correct file type for the emulated system. You can check this from the following link –
  • That’s it – files copied so you just need to reboot your Raspberry Pi for it to recognise the new games.