How to add emulator shortcuts in the Games menu

How can I create shortcuts to a Retroarch core in the games menu (For example, MGBA), that also allow you to select a game? I am really having trouble with this and so far I’ve only figured out how to make ONE game load up via shortcut in the main menu. (like Cave Story)

I am sure there’s an eeeaaasssiierr way, but i just moved the menu items around - mostly emulator shortcuts:



Then added the icons - sharing the same naming convention as the emulators:

Looks like this now - on the home screen:

Hope this helps :smiley:

1 Like

I still want to know if it’s possible. I made a bunch of icons specifically for games that I’d like to launch straight in to. @Petrakis, @javelinface do you professional GameShellers know how to do this?

EDIT: Specifically for PCSX for me. I can get it to boot into the emulator, but it wont start the actual game, just gives me a menu

I’m assuming you are wanting a single icon with a picture to load a specific game.

Which version of PCSX are you using? The stock standalone version has some problems with scaling, making fonts extremely jagged. I’ve personally been using the Retroarch PCSX, using a bilinear filter. Gives you a few more options too, seeing as getting different plugins on the standalone are a bit hit and miss.

For the standalone PCSX emulator, use this:

cd home/cpi/apps/emulators/
./pcsx -cdfile /home/cpi/games/PSX/gamename.cue

for the Retroarch PCSX core, use this. (note: change the core location according to where you have it. I am referring to the location I have moved it to in my own custom image. By default they’re in “/home/cpi/apps/” from memory)

retroarch -L /home/cpi/.config/retroarch/cores/ /home/cpi/games/PSX/gamename.cue

Now. Playstation images. They’re actually different “tracks” on a CD image a lot of the time. They will be comprised of say, data, music, movies etc. That’s why a lot of games are a few images. You will need to either have a readily made cue sheet, or generate one yourself. Here’s a link to a generator.

Technically, you can just run one of the image files, and you’ll be able to play the game. It’s just that some games rely on the multiple tracks, so you’ll end up missing some data; albeit still being able to play it.

Once you’ve gotten the cue generated, use this as the file you refer to. Oh and obviously, have the cue and all the associated playstation tracks in the same directory. And don’t change the file names of the tracks. That said, you can change them, and then generate a new cue. Useful for some ripped images that are just called “track1” etc.

Save the scripts above as “”, and place it in your desired directory. Eg, “/home/cpi/launcher/Menu/GameShell/MetalGear/”
The “01” number shows where in the file hierarchy the game will be. The number won’t be visible in the launcher. At the same time, you don’t need to even put a number in front, if you want to just have games sorted alphabetically.
Be careful not to have any overlap of numbers. It’s not generally the end of the world, but could potentially cause problems.
The “GameName” doesn’t have to correlate to your playstation game name. It can be whatever you want. Just make sure you make a note of what it is exactly, so you can refer to it later.
The extension of “.sh” is implying it’s a bash script.

After making the script to run your game, you will need to change the mode. Lets just say we made a shortcut called “” and have placed it in the directory, “/home/cpi/launcher/Menu/GameShell/MetalGear/”

  1. Go into the directory by typing cd /home/cpi/launcher/Menu/GameShell/MetalGear/
  2. Type chmod +x and hit return. This gives it the executable bit and permissions to allow it to run
  3. Test the file by typing export DISPLAY=:0 and hitting return to have your game display on the gameshell, then typing ./ and hit return. It should run. If not, type cat /tmp/x.log to check the log for any errors.

As for a custom icon, if you go into the “/home/cpi/skins/” directory, you can find the directory of the skin you’ve currently got applied. Enter it, and you will see a similar directory structure to your gameshell’s launcher. If you created a new directory, you will also need to reflect this in the skin directory. Eg, since in this example, we created the directory “/home/cpi/launcher/Menu/GameShell/MetalGear/”, we will also need to add this to the skin, ie; “/home/cpi/skins/DEOT/Menu/GameShell/MetalGear/” (my skin name here is DEOT)
Within this directory, you can place png files that correlate to the file name of your game you are wanting to make a shortcut for. Note: You don’t need to provide the number at the beginning.
So for this example, make a PNG, and name it “MGS1.png”, then place it in the directory we just made, ie; “/home/cpi/skins/DEOT/Menu/GameShell/MetalGear/MGS1.png”
Alternative, you can just put the png file in the same directory as the sh shortcut, and have it use the same name. If you’re not using a custom border, palette or dimensions, then this is probably your best bet.

Since you’re making launcher items, they won’t appear in a list form, but instead in scrolling icons from left to right. This means you can have games from multiple systems in the same directory. Keep in mind though, that changing the location of a game, or its file name will break this shortcut.

Hopefully this works for you! Good luck!


Your knowledge of how this system works (EDIT: and your ability to explain and instruct everyone) is mind-boggling! Thank you @javelinface!

I am using the standalone PCSX, for some reason PS1 games in Retroarch have been running insanely slow and stuttering.

I’ll give all this a shot when I get a chance over the weekend!

1 Like

No worries! I’ll try to be active on the weekend to see how you go and respond to any help. Sounds like a lot of people are getting swamped with work right now. Which OS are you using out of interest? Just for the sake of finding out why the retroarch PCSX isn’t working well. Mine is working fine, although I have done a fair bit of tweaking to it, and am using custom kernels etc. Likewise, if I know what OS you’re using, I can better cater the instructions to point to the correct directories etc. Also, let me know which game you’re using; in case there are any other extra things you’ll need to do, ie using a specified BIOS etc.

1 Like

Gave your recommendations a shot and they worked like a charm. I’ll trying your DEOT custom image over the weekend also, so hopefully all goes well

1 Like

Fantastic! Glad the instructions were followable! I do get worried I may not be explaining things clearly a lot!
And thanks for giving my custom image a go! Hopefully it will have a lot of new features and faster performance than what you currently have! :slight_smile:

Sorry guys for the loooooooooong wait but thanks for all your support! I eventually figured out how to get game shortcuts onto Retro Games. I added a shortcut to PokeMini and it works perfectly :slight_smile: