Teach me how to add emulators/roms

When I ordered the gameshell I wasnt expecting it to be this hard to add emulators and roms. Can anyone please teach me (like im in the 3rd grade) on how to add emulators and roms for ps1, snes,
gba, etc… I dont know anything about coding so you can see how this is hard for a simpleton like myself. :grin:


I know the feeling. I am trying to learn too.

I am going through the above link right now, trying to make it work. What would be better, if someone would just make an image we could download with all of the emulators, the gameshell is capable of using, and then we just add the roms.

I’d really like that.

Look at this one too. Helps when trying to copy the cores. Too much typing otherwise.


I suggest using winscp for file transfer, has been working great for me


With Winscp you basically just have to drag and drop roms into their emulators. From what i understand the coding comes in when making shortcuts to the main menu. Im still new to gameshell so i could be wrong.

Here’s basically a crash course of what you need to know to just add games.(If command prompt intimidates you)

Download WinSCP or similar program, this program will make it possible to manipulate files as if they were in the file explorer in windows. (Be sure to check custom download and set the view mode to file explorer

  • Once the program is open, you’ll need to type in the “cpi@192.XXX.XX.X” in the host name. This is located on the gameshell in the tinycloud app on the main screen
  • Type the password “cpi” and hit login
  • Browse to /home/cpi/games/(name of emulator you’re placing the rom in)
  • Drag and drop the rom from your windows files to the right-hand side of the WinSCP screen. The rom will upload to the device.
  • You can then either reload UI, or enter the emulator and press ‘x’ to scan the dir and populate the rom you just loaded.

Hey there, sorry I’m late to the party but allow me to try and help. So what you’re asking for with a list is already available. What are referred to as “cores” in retroarch are actually all the emulators/programs which are available for download. By clicking download core you install that emulator onto your system. However, the names aren’t always 100% intuitive as to what they are. One thing that really helped me was this which towards the bottom is a list of cores with the emulator they represent:

After you have the core you’ll need to transfer whichever roms you want to add onto your gameshell in a directory of your choice and then if you want to have a nice menu item just follow the guide above.

So, tldr 3 step version

  1. Download core you wish to use (use wiki to find one related to what you want)
  2. Transfer ROMS to gameshell
  3. Follow guide above for adding an icon if you want (or you can just run the core from retroarch)

Well, adding emulators is the easy part. You add emulators through retroarch (they call them cores). So all you need to do is select “download core” through retro arch and as long as you have a wifi connection it will install it for you. You might find this wiki helpful, towards the bottom is a list of cores and which system they are associated with:

So far as the roms, you’ll need to find some way to copy them over to your gameshell.

The most straightforward and least technical way to do this would be to remove the SD card and plug it into your computer and simply copy the files over.

However, the easier way to do this would be to copy the files directly using a command

If you use linux or mac there is a command called scp you can use from a terminal window (if your on a mac you can access it by clicking go->utilities at the top of your screen) which should look something like this:

scp -r /path/to/folder/to/upload cpi@ip.add.re.ss:/path/to/file/on/gameshell

If you use windows it gets a bit trickier because windows doesn’t have a command like scp by default. There is an application called PuTTY Which also has a command called pscp you can add to windows but the installation is a bit technical. (edit) You may also want to look at winscp which has been suggested in a few comments below. I’ve never used this personally so I’m not sure how technical it is but if your try it and it doesn’t help you, look at the method below as a backup.

An easier solution is to first zip up your rom directory into a .zip file and upload it onto the internet somewhere. Make sure that when you type in http://www.path/to/your/file.zip that a download starts. Next, log into your gameshell while it’s running. There is an icon on the menu which says www which will display your gameshell’s IP address, the username, and the password.

On your PC, open a powershell window which if you’ve never done this before, search “powershell” in the Windows menu search bar. Once the window is open type in:

ssh cpi@ip.add.re.ss

where ip.add.re.ss is the address shown on your gameshell. If done correctly you will be prompted for a password, enter the password shown on your gameshell. Once you’re in your gameshell, go to the place you want to put your roms by using

cd folder_name
to go into folders and
cd ..
to go out of a folder.
then use the following command to download your roms:
wget http://www.path/to/your/file.zip

and then use

unzip yourfile.zip

To unzip the file. At this point you should be able to use retroarch to run your roms by selecting “run core” and then navigating to wherever you put your roms. If you want a menu shortcut so you don’t have to select “run core” every time you want to play, just follow the guide above. Hopefully this is at least somewhat helpful and I realize to someone who’s new to all this it can be intimidating, but hang in there as a lot of this stuff gets easier once you’ve done it a few times.

Uploading to the internet and pulling it back down to the gameshell seems a whole lot more complicated than just plugging in a USB cable to a Windows computer and copying the ROMs over.

I’ve read a bit and worked on my gameshell quite abit since I have received it. The retrostone in comparison was easier to set up with the games I play, but there is some satisfaction gained learning how to get the gameshell going.

I’ve added custom icons and changed names of links and made the nes, SNES, gba, Atari 2600 and 7800 work.

Still working on mame, neogeo and Genesis. Some of my mame games are working, None of the neo geo is working. None of the Genesis games are working. My psx games are working, better if I use the emulator that came with it, but if I try to run it through retroarch, it’s slow.

Not a complaint post, just replying. This is a indeed a tinkerers toy and I am a tinkerer. Eventually, I’ll get it like I want it and back it up and call it done.

WinSCP was a great suggestion, simple and easy to use. Thank you! :grin:

1 Like

how do you get the roms file on your computer?

You could get some Roms, searching for them on the internet. People have dumped the files and made them downloadable. You’ll need to download them from the internet. If all things go according to plan, they will be on your computer. Then you can transfer them to your gameshell.

Otherwise, if you own cartridges and the original consoles they run on, you will need a “game backup” device. I had an MT-2 for my snes (which sat in the cartridge slot) and a CD64 plus for my N64 (which sat underneath)
I would legitimately own all of my games, and use the backup device to apply IPS patches, allowing me to translate Japanese games into English. Got to play some amazing Japanese snes RPGs at full speed with the correct sound emulation etc, on real hardware.

These days, I’m not sure how many people still use them. I personally do, but not as often as I used to.


These are mad cool!!!