Where to Find and Download RetroPie ROMs (Free and Legally)

Let’s play!

Ash (359)

Jan 11, 2021

10 minutes

RetroPie has been installed on your Raspberry Pi. You have a controller in your hands and it is plugged into your TV. There are no games you can play.

RetroPie: How to Install (and Use) RetroPie!

We have everything you need to legally get your hands on free games. This guide contains everything you need in order to download ROMs (game file) for most of the RetroPie consoles.

After you have something to play with, make sure to check out our guide on adding ROMs to RetroPie.

 RetroPie: How to add ROMs using a USB Drive.

Raspberry Pi

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Table of Contents

Jump to the next step

  1. Types of ROMs

  2. List of public domain ROMs

  3. Homebrew ROMs: List

These are my interests

 

RetroPie

h/retropie * 39 guides

 

Raspberry Pi

h/pi = 250 guides

 

Gaming

h/gaming * 242 Guides

RetroPie series

1

Types of ROMs

There are many file types and formats available for RetroPie Roms. They can vary from one console to another, and they may fall under different legal jurisdictions. The most popular types of ROMs are copyrighted and abandonware, public domain, homebrew, and public domain.

Copyrighted

Existing businesses and individuals can licence ROMs. Many countries consider downloading these ROMs a crime. Some countries allow citizens the right to keep a backup copy of any games or titles that they own. Before you pursue any of these titles, it is a good idea to read the applicable laws.

You can also find ROMs in RetroPie’s ROMs packs on any torrent site. However, it is best to not download copyrighted titles.

Abandonware

Includes content that is not in the legal “grey zone”. Copyright owners or businesses are not available or do not want to licence their copyrights.

Public domain

Legally, ROMs can be downloaded by the public. These ROMs are available for personal use.

Homebrew

Individuals or small groups can create ROMs. These ROMs are often created by individuals or small teams, and were made long after the console’s prime. Little Sound DJ, for example, was created in 2001 to allow musicians to create chiptune music with original GameBoys. (For more examples of current GameBoy tech, see our official list of GameBoy Mods. It’s important to keep in mind that homebrew does not necessarily mean that it is legal or free to download.

The Ultimate Original Game Boy Modding GuideGame Boys have it all. Let’s make them even more awesome!

This guide will only include public domain and homebrew material that is free from copyright restrictions. After you’re done, check out the other Raspberry Pi projects!

Raspberry Pi Projects Find amazing Raspberry Pi projects for every skill level!

2

List of public domain ROMs

This list contains a selection of ROMs that are available in public domain. While we have highlighted the major consoles, more information can be found at the website sources.

Sources: MAME, Zophar

 

Console ROMs
Arcade / MAME Available ROMs
Gameboy / Gameboy Colour Available ROMs
NES Available ROMs
Dreamcast Available ROMs
Genesis Available ROMs
SNES Available ROMs

 

Our list of the top video games each year includes links to older arcade ROMs.

This list was not without its challenges!

3

Homebrew ROMs: List

These ROMs are free to download and can be used for homebrew. The table lists major consoles, though more can be found on the website.

Sources: PDRoms

 

Console ROMs
Arcade / MAME Available ROMs
Gameboy / Gameboy Colour Available ROMs
NES Available ROMs
Dreamcast Available ROMs
Genesis Available ROMs
SNES Available ROMs

 

RetroPie

 

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