Where to download retropie ROMs ?

Classic story, you bought a Raspberry Pi because you have seen a video in which they explain that you can emulate a lot of games, you install Retropie, and it’s sad but … no game on it 🙂

So, where to download roms for Retropie on Raspberry Pi?
Many websites list the game’s ROMs, and of course, it’s possible to find Torrent, but pay attention to the legal part in all cases

Today we will see:
– What is RetroPie
– How to install Retropie (quickly)
– Where to download the ROMs for RetroPie
– How to install these ROMs on RetroPie

What is RetroPie?

RetroPie is a program that allows you to run old video games on your Raspberry Pi.
Available in full distribution or as an overlay of Raspbian, it is quite simple to set up

Purchasing one or more controllers and an SD card large enough might be an excellent choice to play comfortably

Once your Retropie installed, with the necessary equipment, you will only need to find ROMs to add new games to your emulator
And this is precisely the purpose of this post


How to install RetroPie?

I will not go into the installation details, because there are good posts on the official website that do this very well, but I will give you some tracks anyway
And I think you wouldn’t look for roms if you hadn’t already installed Retropie 🙂

On Raspbian

It is possible to install Retropie on Raspbian without losing the rest of your Raspbian installation
For this, I advise you to follow this tutorial from the official website
And then come back to this page for downloading and installing ROMs

On a new SD Card

Alternatively, if you only want to use Retropie on your SD card, images are available here
They allow you to create a new SD card that will start directly on Retropie, ideal for arcade kiosks

Once the image downloaded, create an SD card, as usual, to start on this map
From a Linux / Mac you can use the following command for instance:

sudo dd bs=4M if=/home/pi/retropie.img of=/dev/mmcblk1

Just change  the image path and the sd card mount point to make it fit your environment

You can find your SD card’s name with the following command:

sudo fdisk -l

Your drives will be something like /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, … and the SD card would be something else (like /dev/mmcXXX)

If you don’t want to lose your time with complex commands, you can also find pre-loaded SD cards here (link to the paragraph in this post)

Where to download Retropie ROMs?

What is a ROM?

ROM stands for Read-Only Memory
Generally, a ROM is a computer file, which contains data from an old support
In our case, it’s often a copy of the cartridges of an old game console, which allows playing the game thanks to an emulator (RetroPie or other)


The video game is a vast market, which is very protected regarding copyrights
So playing a licensed video game if you haven’t bought it’s completely illegal and punishable by law

We are talking here about ancient games, which have sometimes been abandoned by their publishers
But that does not change the fact that they are protected, and it’s illegal to use them anyway

So try to be very careful about the ROMs you find on the Internet
Being available on a website doesn’t mean that it is free of rights

To avoid any problems prefer free games if possible
We can not, in any case, be held responsible for the actions you undertake following the reading of this article, this is your responsibility

Free and legal ROMs

Let’s go to the game now!

If you don’t want to take any risks, there’s a very famous website that lists free games, usable on RetroPie
It’s called MAMEDev, and the URL is: http://www.mamedev.org/roms/

You will find the most classic games in the history of video games (breakage, parachutes, pong, …)
Just choose a game and click Download to download the corresponding ROM

Other websites

Regarding ROM directory on the internet, there’s a lot of websites where you can find just about any game from your childhood

I have gathered a top 5 websites that I recommend:

  1. Rom Hustler: http://romhustler.net/
  2. Roms Mania: https://romsmania.com/
  3. Free ROMs: https://www.freeroms.com/
  4. Cool ROM: http://coolrom.com/
  5. Coleco Vision Addict: http://cvaddict.com/list.php

These websites host thousands of ROMs each.
You will inevitably find your happiness

However, remember what I told you sooner about copyright 😉

Torrent …

I have to talk about one last place where you can find your ROMs for Retropie: Torrent

Torrent is a very bright protocol, convenient, but unfortunately known for the wrong reasons
And in the case of video games that couldn’t be worst, with a total lack of respect for copyrights

So yes, it is possible to find rare ROMs on Bittorent or other, but I strongly advise you not to do it

Pre-loaded SD card

Or maybe the easiest way is to buy directly a pre-loaded SD card with everything installed and all games you need on it

You could find this on Amazon, for example:

How to install a new ROM on RetroPie?

Now that you’ve got your ROMs let’s see how to transfer them on Retropie

Expand partition

If you are planning to collect a package of ROMs, especially the new ones, keep in mind that you will need a lot of space

The problem is that by default Retropie (when installed as a distribution), creates a partition with the size it needs, regardless of the size of your SD card
It would be a shame to have only 2GB available on a 64GB card 🙂

Therefore, it will be necessary to extend the partition to the maximum capacity, by following these steps:

  1. Go to Retropie Configuration
  2. Choose Raspi Config
  3. Choose “Expand Filesystem” (first option)
  4. Confirm your choice
  5. Wait for the partition to expand
  6. Then click Finish and reboot your Raspberry Pi

After the reboot, the partition will use the whole size of your SD card

Transfer files

USB drive :

You can use a USB drive to copy ROM files to your Raspberry Pi

  1. Format a USB drive to a FAT32 file system
  2. Create a folder named “retropie”
  3. Plug it once in the Raspberry and wait for 30 seconds
  4. Plug it again in your computer and copy the ROM files in the “retropie/roms” folder
  5. Wait until USB end blinking
  6. The files were copied, restart Retropie to refresh the list


You can also use SCP to transfer files from your computer to RetroPie
I already made a post about this, so if you need help about transferring files to your Raspberry Pi, I recommend to check this post

To enable SSH on RetroPie, go to configuration, then raspi-config
Then choose Interface Options, then SSH, then yes
Validate and quit

Then transfer your files to the folder ~/RetroPie/roms/CONSOLE
Replace CONSOLE by the name of the console (SNES, …)

Restart Retropie, and it’s done


After going through all these steps, you will now be able to play your favorite game 🙂

Most of the time, adding a new ROM is seen instantly by Retropie, so you have to go to the games list and find your new ROM to play

Good game!


And now you know everything!
You’ve learned the basics about Retropie, how to download ROMs for playing new games, and how to transfer them to your Raspberry easily

You have to enjoy your new game console 🙂

download retropie roms
List of sites you can use to download ROMs easily


    • RaspberryTips Post authorReply

      And thanks for the link. It looks new, but rather well done

  1. Joe Reply

    If I already bought a Console and preloaded SD Card, if I wanted to buy another SD card that contains more games, are they simply eject the old and put in the new and it works?
    Or do I need to follow certain steps for this new card to be added??

    • RaspberryTips Post authorReply

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks for your question

      You can just replace the old SD card by the new

      • mricha6 Reply

        I too bought a console with a preloaded SD card. Can I simply add more games to the SD card? Do I need to do anything special?

        Thank you

        • RaspberryTips Post authorReply


          Yes, if it’s a Retropie SD Card, you can add new games on it, the same way I explain in this post 🙂

  2. Ratko Reply

    Nice tutorial, worked well for me and was able to play all the classics from CapCom.

    Also, Gamulator is another cool website to find ROM downloads without viruses and boring ads.

  3. Jimm Reply

    Great tutorial to get up and running fast with RetroPie. One thing you might have overlooked: Since you are installing this on a Pi with *internet access already*, before you run the emulator you can go download the ROMs directly from the aforementioned websites, unpack if necessary, and move them into their appropriate folders. No swapping of SD cards, no plugging in USB sticks, no SFTP necessary – unless your Pi is dedicated to RetroPie and set to autostart, then SFTP would be the simplest. 🙂

  4. chapmx Reply

    Hi is it also possible to install a finished image of Retropie full of consoles and games on raspbian ? Thanks in advance

    • Patrick Fromaget Post authorReply


      I don’t know if you can find this (except on the SD card links I give in the article)
      Maybe I should think about building one someday

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