chaos

RetroArch Setup Guide

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There is an updated guide on nhl94online.com - Getting Started. Please use the guide there!

 

THIS GUIDE BELOW IS UPDATED AND IS THE SAME AS THE LINK ABOVE. FOLLOW EITHER ONE!

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How to install RetroArch on PC

1. Download RetroArch from nhl94online.com - http://nhl94online.com.  Current version - 1.8.5

Download the installer (32-bit) for your version of Windows. Those who will be playing SNES online are also able to use the Mac version.

 

2.  Extract the folder - Extract the folder and place it where you would like. I recommend the Desktop.

 

 

3. Start RetroArch - The config file that comes in the package is good out-of-the-box for most setups. There may be some changes needed. This will be covered later on. Connect your controller to your PC. It may be recognized out of the box and be pre-configured. You will see a message that says "(Name of controller) configured in Port #0". If so, you can skip Step 4.  If you see "(Name of controller) in Port #0 not configured", please follow Step 4.

 

4. Setup Controller - You can use your controller to navigate the menus. This is a little bit confusing, so I will explain it first. The button layout for the controller is the same as what RetroArch calls a "RetroPad". The RetroPad is similar to an SNES controller, with analog joysticks and 2 sets of shoulder buttons. We DO NOT need to define all of the controller inputs, so you only need to set the ones you will use. Unfortunately, a Genesis controller has a 3 or 6 button layout, and the names of the buttons do not match the buttons on the Genesis controller.

Before you try to set up your controller, there is a good chance it will work out of the box. RetroArch has many preconfigured controller configurations saved. You can test it by using the directional pad and trying to navigate the menu. 

If your controller works, skip this step and go to Step 6. 

It seems all of the RetroUSB products, most other popular Genesis USB adapters, iBuffalo controllers, Xbox 360 and One, and PS4 controllers work out of the box. There are many more too, please post if they work! 

For more info and to look at common controller layouts, you  can look at this - RetroArch Common Controller Button Layouts

Here are the 2 types of Genesis controllers and their assigned button names in RetroArch. The labels in the photos correspond to the Input labels in the program. SNES is easy, as the layout is the same as the RetroPad, and you can just ignore the extra button inputs:

Genesis 3 Button.pngGenesis 6 Button.png

So, to set the buttons, in the Main Menu, go to Settings->Input. The following window will open. I recommend changing the "Menu Toggle Gamepad Combo" to something so you can access the Menu easier during a game if needed.

Menu Toggle Gamepad Combo.png

 Select "Port 1 Binds". If your controller does not have analog sticks, make sure "User 1 Device Type" is set to "RetroPad". If your controller has analog sticks, and you would like to use them, change the "User 1 Device Type" to "RetroPad w/analog". Set your buttons separately, by scrolling down to the button and pressing the Enter key on the keyboard. Then, press the button on the controller to assign it. You only need to set the buttons that are used to play (ignore all the others). 

So, for example, if you have a Genesis USB controller, "User 1 Y button" should be assigned to your controller's A button, "User 1 B button" assigned to the B button, and "User 1 A button" assigned to the C button, "Start button" to Start, and the "D-pad" to the directional pad. Once you are done assigning buttons, the controller can now be used to navigate the menu (I think the button assigned to A makes selections, and the button assigned to B will back out).

User Input.png

 

Go up to "User 1 Save Autoconfig" and select it to save the configuration. Then your controller setup will be saved.

 

5. Load Core and Content (a ROM) - For the first time you play a ROM, you need to load the core, then load content in order to play. A ROM is considered "Content". So back at the Main Menu, select "Load Core...", then select the core to load. After selecting a core, it will list it in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Next, we need to load the ROM. The ROMs used for NHL94 are preloaded in the package you downloaded. Select "Load Content", then select "Start Directory". There, you will see a "Genesis" and "SNES"  directories. Select the one you plan on using to play. Then, select the ROM. The game will load.

To quit the ROM, you need to access the "Quick Menu". The Quick Menu is only available when a ROM is loaded. You can use the button combination that you set before, the F1 key, or go to the top Menu Bar, "Command->Menu Toggle". In the Quick Menu, you can see how you can save or load a state, or Quit the game ("Close Content"). 

You can actually hit the back button (B button on controller) in the Quick Menu to access the Main Menu, a trick which will be used for Netplay.

 

Once the core and the ROM have been loaded once, the combination will show up in "Load Recent" on the Main Menu. Once it is listed there, you never have to load the core and content separately, you can just go to "Load Recent", choose the ROM and everything will load automatically.

 

Quick Menu Game.png

 

 

Troubleshooting

Please see the Troubleshooting post - 

 

 

 

 

 

retroarch.cfg

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RetroArch Configuration

Below are what I recommend for configuration. It removes unneeded things from the menus, and makes the experience a little more enjoyable. These are not necessary, but are helpful.

 

NOTE: I attached a copy of my "retroarch.cfg" file. This contains all the changes made in this section. Please make sure you look at the Netplay post below this, and change your Username. That should be the only item you need to change. Copy this file into the RetroArch folder (C:\RetroArch if you followed the above directions). 

 

File - retroarch.cfg (6/28/2018)

 

 

1. Notification Settings - Go to Main Menu->Settings->Onscreen Display->Onscreen Notifications. I changed the Font Size to 14.0, the original is way to large and takes up a good portion of the screen. 

Onscreen Notifications.png

 

2. Run RetroArch in Background (so you can click outside the window and not pause the emulator) -  Go to Main Menu->Settings->User Interface. Set "Don't run in background" to OFF. I kept "Pause when menu activated" to ON, but you can change this if you'd like as well.

User Interface.png

 

3. Remove some items from Main Menu - This will clean up the Main Menu and remove some items we won't be using. Go to Main Menu->Settings->User Interface->Views and set to "OFF" the items you'd like to remove. I set mine up like so: 

Views.png

 

4. Change Save State to Auto Increment - This is very useful, since you don't have to worry about incrementing save states (there are a TON of slots). Go to Main Menu->Settings->Saving and set "Save State Auto Index" to ON.

Save State Auto Index.png

 

5. Change Options on Quick Menu -  Same as above with the Main Menu. Go to Main Menu->Settings->User Interface->Views->Quick Menu. Set the items you will not be using to OFF. I chose the following:

Quick Menu.png

 

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Netplay Setup

Before attempting Netplay, you need to set some things up.

 

NOTE: If you downloaded the "retroarch.cfg" file in one of the two posts above, and put it into your RetroArch folder, you will only need to do Step 1 here. Network Settings will already be set up for you. 

 

1. Choose a Username -  This name will be used to display when you are hosting a game. Having a name will be easier than giving your IP address to the person you are playing against. Go to Main Menu->Settings->User. Choose "Username" and set it (please use your Discord or Forum Name for this).

User.png

 

2. Set up Netplay settings - These are still a work in progress as we continue testing. Go to Main Menu->Settings->Network. RetroArch Netplay features something called a "relay server". This is similar to server in Kaillera for Gens, or ZBattle in ZSNES. The thing is, there's only one server (well, there's 2 actually), located in New York, NY. @angryjay93 and I played some games using the relay server, with me being in a hotel in Albany, NY, and him in Sacramento, CA. We had very good smooth play, with occasional blips (I'm on Hotel Wi-Fi, what could be worse). I will explain what Netplay in RetroArch does in a different post. For now, use these settings (the input Latency Frames one may change).  Note that on the best possible connection, Gens adds a 2 frame delay, which is what I have set here. This number might need playing around with, and we can actually set the Input Latency Frame Range to a value like 6, and allow RetroArch to choose how many to use depending on the connection.

 

EDIT: I asked the RetroArch Netplay developer on Discord, and he said to leave the "Input Latency Frames" to 0, and the "Input Latency Frames Range" to 0 as well. If your computer cannot handle it, then adjust the "Input Latency Frames" for a game that needs precise inputs (like NHL'94) and use the "Input Latency Frames Range" for games that where the timing isn't critical.

 

Network-New.png

 

 

 

Edited by chaos
Added config message.
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18 hours ago, chaos said:

No Audio while ROM is playing - @angryjay93 and I (on my laptop) had this issue. If you go to Main Menu->Settings->Audio, change the "Audio Driver" to "dsound", restart RetroArch, and try it again. This seemed to fix the issue. This might affect some PCs, though not all.

I had the no audio issue, but the fix is actually here (at least for me):

Main Menu -> Settings -> Driver -> Audio Driver

Edited by aqualizard

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1 hour ago, aqualizard said:

I had the no audio issue, but the fix is actually here (at least for me):

Main Menu -> Settings -> Driver -> Audio Driver

Thanks, fixed!!

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Bumping this, I made a few changes. After speaking with the developer, use Input Latency Frames = 0 and Input Latency Frame Range = 0 for netplay.

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Bump.

The hardest part about the setup is the controller. Well, it looks like some controllers will be identified by RetroArch and will use a preset controller configuration. With this, you won't have to worry about setting up your controller, it will work right out of the box. If yours works out of the box, let me know so we can compile a list.

I know that the RetroUSB adapters, iBuffalo controllers, XBox 360, PS4 are autoconfigured.

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Bump, made some updates. Download Genesis Plus GX and PicoDrive from the Sega section in "Download Cores...". Also, please use the "retroarch.cfg" file I posted in one of the top two posts. This will have everything pretty much set up for you when it comes to program settings. 

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Bump, updated the Retroarch.cfg file to remove a button assigned to Exit.

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But why would I not want a button that instantly closes the emulator even if I'm in the middle of a game?

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19 hours ago, smozoma said:

But why would I not want a button that instantly closes the emulator even if I'm in the middle of a game?

No, by mistake, I had it assigned to a controller button by accident, and left that in the config. I must have changed it back after I uploaded it. You can assign it yourself if you'd like in Input Hot Key Binds. It was causing conflicts depending on what else you assigned that button to. I think it was button 6 on the controller (all controllers are different). Just so happened on Ice's controller, his button 6 was Start, so whenever he hit Start, it would exit the program, even though he assigned the Start button to the Start input. 

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I wrote an updated guide on a new "Getting Started" page on nhl94online.com - Getting Started

Use the guide on the Getting Started page instead of this one. I will leave this up for now, but it is outdated.

 

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Uhh, I think there's something a little off-putting when it comes to the controls. Does that mean we can't use the keyboard like with the older emulators, only USB controllers. That's... gonna be complicated for me if I ever want to jump into the online action again. :( What do I do?

Also, I think the game moves a little fast. That's another thing I want to look into when it comes to doing the actual gameplay.

Edited by SlapShotFiend

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I've found that oftentimes "out of the box" the emulator will bind both your player 1 and player 2 controls to a single controller.  Thus, when you hit a directional button in the opening menu, it moves extremely fast.  Make sure you set your player 2 to something other than you primary controller to avoid this issue.

 

Those wanting help getting their firewall ports forwarded for direct connect(No relay server) to avoid huge lag spikes may contact me on the NHL94 Discord(Trojan)

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3 hours ago, Edge of 94' WI said:

I've found that oftentimes "out of the box" the emulator will bind both your player 1 and player 2 controls to a single controller.  Thus, when you hit a directional button in the opening menu, it moves extremely fast.  Make sure you set your player 2 to something other than you primary controller to avoid this issue.

 

Those wanting help getting their firewall ports forwarded for direct connect(No relay server) to avoid huge lag spikes may contact me on the NHL94 Discord(Trojan)

I think this may depend on what kind of USB adapter/controller you are using. 

 

11 hours ago, SlapShotFiend said:

Uhh, I think there's something a little off-putting when it comes to the controls. Does that mean we can't use the keyboard like with the older emulators, only USB controllers. That's... gonna be complicated for me if I ever want to jump into the online action again. :( What do I do?

Also, I think the game moves a little fast. That's another thing I want to look into when it comes to doing the actual gameplay.

 

You can use the keyboard to play. Instead of mapping buttons to a gamepad, map them to your keyboard.

The game moves fast - I need to know your setup (monitor, Windows version, are you playing fullscreen or not, and a screenshot of the Settings-Video window)

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