If you bought a GamePi, there are some one-time setup steps to take care of (like installing the software). This is because the software cannot legally be redistributed commercially.
If you received it as a gift, no need to set anything up! Read on for tips.
Here are some handy pointers from my experience setting up and playing with GamePi.
RetroPie should just work with most USB controllers, including PS3, PS4, and generic computer game controllers connected via USB.
If your GamePi came with a controller, it should just work out of the box.
Connecting multiple controllers will require a simple USB hub, but should be straightforward. A Bluetooth adapter can be added and set up, but it’s a bit beyond the scope of these tips for now.
The official RetroPie Installation Guide has pretty good instructions for controllers.
Game ROM files are stored on the microSD card under
/home/pi/RetroPi/roms/. They are sorted into folders matching the original console.
If you connect a USB Ethernet adapter (or if you have the GamePi Wireless and connect it to your WiFi network), the RetroPie will also show up as a network storage device on the network over SMB and SFTP with a hostname of
To turn GamePie on, just connect it to power. It will start automatically. You can safely disconnect the power from the menu screen to power it down, or add a simple power strip/switched plug for an easier on/off switch.
If you get completely stuck or shut GamePi down from the menu and want to restart, it’s easy: just unplug and replug the power cord (or toggle the switch if one is on the power cord). It will start automatically when power is reconnected.
GamePi consumes very little power when games are not playing, so leaving it powered on for long periods of time is probably fine!
If you’re done playing one game and want to exit, press the Hotkey (the Select button by default) and Start buttons on the controller simultaneously. This will instantly exit to the menu. You can then choose a different game, shut down from the menu, or disconnect the power.
If you find yourself on a blue configuration screen and want to change settings, you may need to connect a keyboard. Disconnect the controller and attach a USB keyboard, or use a USB hub to connect both. You shouldn’t need this for normal usage, but might if you want to set up more advanced settings (like configuring WiFi on a GamePi Wireless).