Batocera Steam Deck Guide

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Last Update: 3/16/2023

Video: Steam Deck Batocera Emulation Setup Guide

Batocera is a popular retro gaming operating system that is available for a number of different devices and platforms. This guide will focus primarily on using Batocera with the Valve Steam Deck. Running Batocera on the Steam Deck is a great solution if you want to keep your Retro Gaming separate from your PC/Steam games. That is, you can setup Batocera exactly how you want it with your games, favorite themes, etc. running exclusively from a microSD card and simply swap between SteamOS or Batocera. I anticipate Batocera to become one of the top platforms for Retro Gaming on the Steam Deck and why this guide was created. The install won’t take up any precious internal SSD storage and only resides on the microSD card within the Steam Deck. If you would like more information on the Steam Deck itself, you’ll find a wealth of information on various other topics and content on the Steam Deck Guide.

In the sections below, the guide is designed to be read top-bottom. However, after installation you can easily skip around to sections of most interest to you. If you’re unfamiliar with Batocera, the Q&A section will answer questions you may have as well as questions I receive once this guide+video has been released. The Installation section will get you up and running as quickly as possible. Additional sections will be added/update as-needed and I welcome your feedback in the video comments on how this guide may be improved.

If you find the guide helpful, please support future content creation by subscribing to our YouTube channel and become part of the WTT community. If you would like to see continuous improvements to this guide, your support helps with future updates and grow the content you find here and is always appreciated! -Jon

How-To link to a specific section on this page: go to the Table of Contents (below) and click a section to reference. Copy the URL from the address-bar of your browser and paste in your video description/post/blog. This will direct a viewer to a specific section in any of the guides you find here.

Q&A

This section will help answer some of the common questions you may have about this guide/Batocera:

  • What is Batocera? Batocera is a Linux operating system that has been designed from the ground up to provide an efficient Retro Gaming experience. It supports over 220 systems/emulators on multiple platforms. This guide will focus on the Steam Deck.
  • What do I need to install Batocera on my Steam Deck? At a minimum, you will need a microSD card, the operating system, bios and games (roms) will all reside on this card. For best performance you’ll want to consider a U3 A2 card. A2 represents the Application Performance Class and a class of 2 will provide better performance over A1 cards. A U3 card provides faster write speeds over that of U1 cards, 30MB/s vs 10MB/s. For Batocera on my Steam Deck, I am currently using a Samsung EVO Select 512GB card. If you will be installing a large number of CD/DVD-based games and prefer a larger capacity than 512GB, the Lexar 1TB microSD is another option I’ve used for SteamOS and Windows 11 on the Steam Deck and has performed very well. Other great brands worth consideration include: Samsung, SanDisk and Gigastone.
  • Do I need a docking station + keyboard connected to the Steam Deck for the initial setup? The answer depends on how you plan to copy your bios/roms (games) to the Steam Deck. If you plan to copy the files to Batocera from an external drive (USB, HDD, SSD) using Batocera’s built-in file manager, then a docking station and an external keyboard will make it much easier. However, if you prefer to copy the files across the network, from another computer, then a docking station isn’t necessary. To learn more about some Docking station options I’ve tested, please see here.
  • Can I update Batocera after the initial install? Yes. However, in doing so while Batocera is in INTERMEDIATE release, be sure to select the beta (not the stable) channel, if you decide to update. I will remove this statement once Batocera 36 is officially released and Steam Deck support is transitioned into Batocera 36 which will use the same image as regular x86_64 devices. See Safely Update Batocera for more.
  • Will the nreal Air Glasses work with Batocera? Yes, they work great. However, If you don’t hear audio through the nreal glasses automatically, press the START button then select SYSTEM SETTINGS, under AUDIO OUTPUT set this value to NREAL_AIR. Now, the audio will play through the glasses.
  • I’ve installed Batocera to a microSD card and created the image just how I want it. Is there a way to make a backup or restore it to a larger microSD card? Yes, you can backup your microSD image and then resize it on the target microSD (must be the same capacity or larger). Here are some instructions on how to do it exactly.

Guides you may also Enjoy

After you install Batocera, check back here for some additional Steam Deck guides that you may also enjoy checking out.

nreal Air Augmented Reality Glasses

Seenreal Air AR Glasses Guide

Guide: nreal Air AR Glasses

The nreal Air Augmented Reality (AR) glasses are an excellent companion for the Steam Deck and work well with Batocera. The glasses project a 130″ virtual display when used with the Steam Deck allowing you to essentially bring a large-screen TV with you, wherever you go!

In this guide (and video), we’ll discuss how to use them with the Steam Deck as well as demonstrate some actual game-play examples. This is something few videos do, mainly because it’s not easy. Batocera Note: If you don’t hear audio through the nreal glasses automatically, press the START button then select SYSTEM SETTINGS, under AUDIO OUTPUT set this value to NREAL_AIR. Now, the audio will play through the glasses.

Resources

Below are various resources and links that you may find helpful related to Batocera.


Accessories

There are far more Steam Deck accessories that may be found here. However, below are the accessories shown in the above video:

  • 10 Slots Micro SD Card Case Holder – this near credit-card sized holder can easily store 10 microSD cards. I picked this up as my microSD card library for the Steam Deck is growing.
  • 512GB Samsung EVO Select MicroSD Card – I’ve purchased a few of these for my Steam Deck for use with a few different operating systems, including Batocera and Windows. For more on installing Windows to a microSD card, please see here.
  • nreal Air AR Glasses – Great way to project your Steam Deck display to a virtual 130″ display within the glasses. A detailed guide and video on the nreal Air glasses may be found here.
  • Official Steam Deck Docking Station – The official docking station by Valve which is available directly from their website. More about the Docking Stations I’ve tested here.
  • Park Sung Dock – Less expensive than the Official Steam Deck dock and is available from Amazon. More about the Docking Stations I’ve tested here.

Installation

In this section, we will install Batocera to a microSD card for use on the Steam Deck. There are a number of ways you can install Batocera to your Steam Deck. Of the main methods we’ll discuss, the first is to use Balena Etcher directly from within SteamOS (Desktop Mode) to burn the Batocera to a new microSD card. The other, is to use a desktop computer. Whichever method you choose below to use won’t matter, the end-result will be the same. You’ll have Batocera running on your Steam Deck!

Before proceeding, make sure you’re using a microSD card similar to that mentioned in the Q&A section here.


Install Batocera from the Steam Deck to a MicroSD card

Video: See how

This section will be useful if you don’t have a secondary computer to install Batocera and instead prefer to use the Steam Deck itself to perform the installation to a microSD card. You may find it easier to connect a Keyboard+mouse for the installation/setup process. You can use the trackpad and buttons to accomplish the same during the initial setup of the card but I personally find it a but clumsy (or perhaps, it’s just me).

Additionally, if you prefer to use a USB keyboard+mouse, Ethernet or have any external drives with games, bios, roms, to install then the Official Steam Deck Dock or Park Sung dock (both described here) will make the process even easier/faster. The Steam Deck only has a single USB-C port at the top of the device, a dock will make multiple connections possible as it can provide HDMI output, additional USB ports, Ethernet, etc. For the purpose of demonstration, I’ll be using the Park Sung dock with power input and USB Keyboard+Mouse.

That said, let’s get started!

  • If you have a microSD already installed in your Steam Deck, eject it and insert the microSD you plan to use with Batocera.
  • On the Steam Deck, enter Desktop Mode.
  • Open the Fire Fox browser from the icon on the taskbar.
  • Visit batocera.org/download and click the download link under the Steam Deck image (i.e. x86_64). The image is around 2.5GB and will take a few minutes to download.
  • Open another tab within the Fire Fox browser and visit www.balena.io/etcher.
  • Click the Download Etcher button.
  • Click the Download link to the right of Etcher for Linux x64 (64-Bit) (AppImage).
  • Once both Etcher and Batocera have downloaded, open the Dolphin File Manager and select the Downloads sub folder.
  • Double-click on the balenaEtcher-1.xx installer. If prompted What do you wish to do with this file? click the Execute button.
  • You may see a dialog that indicates it will start balenaEtcher and If you do not trust this program, click Cancel. Instead, click the > Continue button.
  • The Etcher user interface will now appear. Click the Flash from file button.
  • Select the batocera-x86_64-36-xxx.img.gz image file that we downloaded earlier and click the Open button.
  • Click the Select targe button and click the checkbox to the left of your microSD card. *NOTE: Verify that the card selected matches the size of the microSD card installed in your Steam Deck.
  • Once checked, click the Select 1 button, then click Flash!
  • Depending on the size of your microSD card, you may see a warning stating: You are about to erase an unusually large drive. Are you sure the selected drive is not a storage drive? Verify that you’ve selected the correct microSD card. Then, click the Yes, I’m sure button.
  • If you have previously assigned a super user password, you may be prompted to enter that password. If you have never set a super user password, you can ignore this statement.
  • Batocera will now be written from the image file to the microSD card. This process may take a few minutes, just wait for it to complete.
  • Once complete, you can click the close button on the balenaEtcher window.
  • Shutdown the Steam Deck by clicking the Steam icon in the lower-left of the taskbar, click the Shut Down button and Shut Down again. The Steam Deck will now shut down.
  • Proceed to the next section, Boot Batocera from the microSD card.

Install Batocera from a Computer to a MicroSD card

Video: See how

If you have access to a computer and prefer to install Batocera directly to a microSD from there, you may find this method more convenient. Below are the basic steps:

  • Insert the microSD card into a sleeve or USB card reader and into an available USB port on your computer. If you don’t have an adapter, here’s one that I’ve used for several years and recommend.
  • Visit batocera.org/download and click the download link under the Steam Deck image (i.e. x86_64). The image is around 2.5GB and will take a few minutes to download.
  • Open another tab and visit www.balena.io/etcher.
  • Click the Download Etcher button beside the option ETCHER FOR WINDOWS (X86|X64) (INSTALLER).
  • Launch the balenaEtcher-Setup-1.14.3.exe that you downloaded and follow the prompts to install Etcher.
  • The Etcher user interface will now appear. Click the Flash from file button.
  • Select the batocera-x86_64-36-xxx.img.gz image file that we downloaded earlier and click the Open button.
  • Click the Select targe button and click the checkbox to the left of your microSD card. *NOTE: Verify that the card selected matches the size of the microSD card installed in your Steam Deck.
  • Once checked, click the Select 1 button, then click Flash!
  • Depending on the size of your microSD card, you may see a warning stating: You are about to erase an unusually large drive. Are you sure the selected drive is not a storage drive? Verify that you’ve selected the correct microSD card. Then, click the Yes, I’m sure button.
  • Batocera will now be written from the image file to the microSD card. This process may take a few minutes, just wait for it to complete.
  • Once complete, you can click the close button on the balenaEtcher window.
  • Safely eject the microSD/USB stick from your computer and install the microSD card into your Steam Deck.
  • Proceed to the next section, Boot Batocera from the microSD card.

Boot Batocera from the microSD Card

Video: See how

To boot Batocera from the microSD card, you’ll need to enter the boot menu on the Steam Deck and select the microSD card. Please see below on how to do this:

  • Be sure your Steam Deck is completely powered off.
  • Insert the microSD card containing Batocera into the microSD slot on the bottom of the Steam Deck.
  • Press and HOLD the volume down button and single-press the power button while still holding the volume down button.
  • You’ll then see the Boot Manager menu.
Steam Deck Boot Manager
  • Highlight the option EFI SD/MMC Card (or similar) using the d-pad and press the A button to select it.
  • The microSD card will then be re-sized, you’ll see a blue screen visible briefly.
microSD being resized on first boot
  • Batocera will now continue booting from the microSD card. You’ll then see the screen below once Batocera is up and running.
Batocera Fully Booted

Navigating Batocera

Video: See how

Now that Batocera is installed and running, below are a few usage tips to assist in navigating the system.

  • Enter Main Menu – Press the Start button to enter the main menu. From here, there are a number of options and settings you can change. Of those that may be of key interest:
    • QUIT – Allows you to Restart, Suspend or Shutdown Batocera.
    • SCRAPER – Allows you to scrape artwork and meta data for selected systems.
    • NETWORK SETTINGS – Allows connecting to your WiFi network, this is useful for updating Batocera as well as network file transfers. See here for more.
    • More options – will be discussed later in this guide.
  • Load a Game – Navigate the list of systems using the d-pad or left joystick (move left-right). Once the system is highlighted, press A to select it. Use the d-pad or left joystick to highlight the game and press the A button to load the game.
  • Exit a Game – Press SELECT START at the same exact time to Exit a game.
  • Jump to Location – After selecting the System/Emulator, press the SELECT button. Move down to JUMP TO GAME BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER and use the left/right stick/d-pad to change the letter. Then press A and the list will jump to games starting with the letter entered.
  • Filter Games by Text – After selecting the System/Emulator, press the SELECT button. Move down to FILTER GAMS BY TEXT. Enter some text, i.e. MARIO and press the START button. You’ll now only see games that include Mario in the name.

The following options are available while in-game:

  • Enter RetroArch Menu – Many of the emulators/cores utilize RetroArch. To enter the RetroArch menu press SELECT+A.
  • Change current State – SELECT + DPAD UP/DOWN.
  • Save current State – SELECT + X.
  • Load current State – SELECT + Y.
  • Insert Arcade Credit – In an Arcade game, press SELECT to insert a credit.
  • Start Arcade Game – In an Arcade game, press START to start a 1 player game.
  • Change Shader – SELECT + R2/L2.
  • Screenshot – SELECT + L1.

Quick How-Tos

Below are some helpful How-to procedures that you will want to become familiar with. These how-tos will be referenced in various sections of this guide.

Batocera Connected to a WiFi Network

Connect to WiFi Network

Video: See how

The following describes how to connect Batocera to your WiFi Network.

  • Press the START button (see here if you’re not sure where that is).
  • Move down to NETWORK SETTINGS and press A.
  • At the bottom, if ENABLE WIFI is off, press A on this option to turn it on.
  • Select WIFI SSID (this is your WiFi Name) and highlight your SSSID and press A.
  • Select WIFI KEY to enter your WiFi Password (or key). Use the on-screen keyboard to enter the key. You can use the d-pad, joystick or the touch-screen to enter the password. Once done, press A on the Enter icon (or the Start button).
  • Press the B button to back out of Network settings, you should see WIFI ENABLED and an icon in the upper-right. Press A to clear the dialog.
  • Go back into NETWORK SETTINGS, you should now see the IP ADDRESSS of your Steam Deck running Batocera and an INTERNET STATUS of CONNECTED. If not, double-check that your passphrase was entered correctly and that your WiFi network is available.
  • That concludes this section on connecting to your WiFi network.

Update Batocera

Safely Update Batocera

Video: See how

At the time of this writing, Batocera is in an INTERMEDIATE (or beta) release cycle. This may change at any time. During this time, you’ll want to follow the steps below to update your Batocera installation:

  • Make sure you have already connected Batocera to your WiFi Network before proceeding.
  • Press the Start button (see here if you’re not sure where that is).
  • Select UPDATES & DOWNLOADS.
  • Under SOFTWARE UPDATES UPDATE TYPE, change the UPDATE TYPE to BETA by moving the joystick/d-pad left-right to toggle from STABLE to BETA.
  • Move down to START UPDATE and press A to begin the update process.
  • You’ll be prompted with the current version of Batocera you’re running and ask if you want to update to the latest version. If so, select YES.
  • The latest update for Batocera will be downloaded and applied. You’ll need to restart Batocera to complete the installation.
  • Press the B button to go back, move down to QUIT and select SHUTDOWN SYSTEM. Select YES to confirm.
  • Boot Batocera from the microSD card as described here.

Update GameLists UI

Update Game List

Video: See how

After adding additional games to your Steam Deck, you’ll need to update the Game List for them to become available to play. Here’s how:

  • Press the START button (see here if you’re not sure where that is).
  • Select GAME SETTINGS and press A on UPDATE GAMELISTS.
  • Press A on YES to confirm REALLY UPDATE GAMELISTS?
  • Any newly copied games will now be updated and available within Batocera.

Swap between SteamOS and Batocera

Swapping between SteamOS and Batocera is very easy, to make this process more clear, please see below:

Boot into Batocera

Video: See how

  • Shutdown the Steam Deck
    • Press the Steam button.
    • Select the Power option (bottom of the list).
    • Select SHUTDOWN.
  • Once powered off, insert the microSD card containing Batocera (see here if you haven’t installed Batocera to a microSD yet).
  • Press & HOLD the volume down button and single-press the power button while still holding the volume down button.
  • Select the microSD containing Batocera from the Boot Manager (EFI SD/MMC Card option, or similar).
  • That’s it, Batocera should now begin to boot.

Boot into SteamOS

  • Shutdown Batocera
    • Press the Start button
    • Select Quit / Shutdown
  • Once Batocera shuts down and powers off the Steam Deck, remove the microSD containing Batocera. If you have a microSD formatted for use with the Steam Deck, insert it now.
  • Power on the Steam Deck by pressing the Power button.
  • That’s it!

Connect a Bluetooth Controller

8BitDo N30 Pro controller paired with the Steam Deck
  • Press the START button (see here if you’re not sure where that is).
  • Select CONTROLLER & BLUETOOTH SETTINGS.
  • Select PAIR A BLUETOOTH DEVICE MANUALLY.
  • Make sure your Bluetooth controller is in “Pairing Mode“. How to do this will vary, see the documentation included with your controller.
  • Select the controller from the list of found (i.e. 8BitDo N30 Pro 2 is what I used for this test. That exact controller is no longer available, but looks like this one)
  • After a short delay, the controller should pair with the Steam Deck and can now be used!


Transfer BIOS and ROMs

Video: See how

There are two types files typically needed to play many of the games with an emulator, these are:

  • BIOS File(s) – BIOS Stands for Basic Input/Output System. A BIOS is the firmware used to provide runtime services for a given operating system/console and to perform hardware initialization during the boot process. For example, this is the code within a gaming console that tells it how to be a Playstation, Dreamcast or any other system.
  • ROMs – ROM stands for Read-Only Memory and is the game or program dumped to a file. These may have originated from classic cartridges, floppy discs, cassette, CD/DVD’s, etc. Essentially, it is the game-specific code.

Due to the fact that both BIOS (system firmware or system files) and ROMs (the games themselves) are copyrighted material, I’m unable to provide direct links to any such files. If you’re unsure what I mean, you can read a bit more about my take on the subject here. I can say, that both BIOS and some games can be found organized in archived packs. For example, if you search archive.org for “FULL PACK BIOS BATOCERA V 35” you’ll find a great BIOS pack for Batocera with much of what you’re likely looking for. Using your favorite search engine, you may also be able to find additional bios files you may want by searching “bios archive” or “[game/system] pack archive” or something similar using some of these terms.

Another option, if you are unable to locate bios+rom files, is to purchase a hard drive that already has all the files on the drive. You can then transfer what you want (just the bios+rom files, nothing else) from the hard drive to the Steam Deck. There are a few options mentioned here. I personally tried this approach with the PC4U drive and it worked out well. I’m not recommending this option, just that it is an option.

Once you’ve found what you’re looking for and have downloaded/extracted those files, they are likely on your primary computer and not on your Steam Deck. If that’s the case, below are a few tips to help you copy them to your Steam Deck. I’ll cover two different methods below, copying from a USB connected drive and across the network.


Copy over the Network

Video: See how

Copying files across your WiFi network may not be the fastest option, but certainly will be the easiest if you have a separate computer to use for the transfer process. If the files you want to copy exist on a physical USB Flash Drive, HDD or SSD then the fastest method of copying to the microSD will be to copy from a USB Connected Drive. However, let’s assume that you prefer the quick and easy route here and transfer those files over the network to your Steam Deck running Batocera.

  • Be sure that Batocera has been installed and is currently up and running on your Steam Deck.
  • You will also need Batocera connected to your WiFi Network.
  • From a Windows PC on the same network, right-click on the Windows icon and select Run.
  • Enter \\batocera (or \\[ip address] ) and press ENTER.
  • If you are prompted for a login, the user is root and the password is linux.
  • You will then see a single shared folder, called share.
  • Double clicking on the share folder will reveal a number of additional sub folders. Of the two we will be most interested in, in this guide, is \bios and \roms. For more information on BIOS & ROMs, see here.
  • The roms subfolder will contain the games. Under the roms subfolder, you’ll find a number of additional subfolders organized by the game system/emulator (175 as of the time of this writing).
  • Open a separate instance of File Explorer and navigate to the location where your bios\roms exist.
  • You will copy the game roms (contents) from your PC’s storage device (USB Thumb drive, SSD, HDD, etc.) into the corresponding folders on the Batocera share (i.e. \\batocera\share\roms or \\batocera\share\bios).
  • Once your bios and roms have been copied, Update the Game List for them to be available within the Batocera interface.

Copy from a USB Connected Drive

Video: See how

Batocera on the Steam Deck using a Park Sung docking station

If your bios and games exist on an external USB drive (thumb drive, HDD, SSD, etc.) and you want to copy them directly from this media to the microSD running Batocera on the Steam Deck, you can rather easily. However, it’s important to note that the Steam Deck has only a single USB-C connection on the top of the device. In order to utilize additional USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, etc. you will need a Docking Station for a direct transfer. For a look into a few Docking Station options, please see here. Keep in mind, if this is an additional expense for you, you always have the option to Copy over the Networkif you prefer.

Let’s assume that you have a Dock for your Steam Deck and have connected at least a keyboard+mouse and have the USB-C cable connected to your Steam Deck. The following steps will help with the file transfer process:

  • Connect your USB drive (thumb drive, HDD, SSD, etc.) to an available USB 3.0 port on your dock. USB 3.0 ports will typically be blue/black ports (white is typically a slower USB 2.0 port).
  • Press F1 on the keyboard to open the Batocera file management application.
  • On the left, you’ll see a heading for Places. Under the heading, you should see a drive for SHARE (your Batocera microSD) as well as the connected hard drive.
  • Under SHARE, you’ll see a sub folder for bios and roms. Using the Batocera file manager, you can copy files from your source drive to the Batocera microSD card by selecting the files (i.e. CTL+A), right-click and select copy, then navigate to the destination location and right-click and paste the files into the sub folder.
  • If you prefer to be able to see two different folder locations (panes) at the same time, you can do that also. Here’s how:
    • Select View Dual Pane Mode.
    • On the top-left, you’ll see two folder locations (roms and atari2600 from the screenshot below) and on the right you’ll see two groups of files. To select one or the other, click the small folder icon panes in the upper-left to toggle between the two.
    • I recommend clicking the far-left small tab (roms, in the screenshot below) as the destination location (i.e. SHARE/roms) and the other small tab as the source location of the files you want to copy. You may also select View Detailed List View if you want to make the lists a little easier to navigate (you can do this for both sides by selecting the appropriate right/left pane).
Dual Pane mode for easily copying files between a USB connected drive and the Batocera microSD

Emulator Details

The Batocera team has provided an excellent reference for all the supported emulators within Batocera. For specific questions or details on a given system/emulator, locate the system in questions from the Batocera Systems Wiki and click the link to reveal more details about the emulator, troubleshooting and related detailed documentation.

Batocera Systems Wiki

MAME Aspect Ratio

Video: See how

One of the primary reasons why I was interested in installing Batocera was to play classic arcade games like Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Asteroids, 1943, etc. However, the MAME emulator doesn’t properly configure the aspect ratio out of the box. Below are some steps to help you fix this issue, if you encounter the same.

  • Select MAME from the emulator list.
  • Press and hold the A button for a few seconds until you see a menu appear on the screen.
  • Select ADVANCED GAME OPTIONS.
  • Select GAME ASPECT RATIO and change the value to CORE PROVIDED (towards the bottom).
  • Press B to back out.
  • Now, when you launch a MAME game, the aspect ratio will be set properly!

Check for Missing BIOS Files

Check for Missing BIOS Files

Video: See how

If a game you’re trying to play won’t start normally, it’s likely missing the BIOS files. Batocera has an included utility for checking what emulators are missing BIOS files, below is how to perform that check:

  • Press the Start button (see here if you’re not sure where that is).
  • Select GAME SETTINGS.
  • Scroll towards the bottom under SYSTEM SETTINGS MISSING BIOS CHECK and press A.
  • Use L1/R1 to scroll through the list until you find the emulator you’re attempting to launch. Make note of the missing BIOS file(s) and copy them to the \SHARE\BIOS subfolder (more details here).

Batocera Customization

There are a number of ways you can customize your experience with Batocera. Themes, for example, allow changing the overall user interface with additional artwork, wheel interfaces and more. In addition to themes, you can also change the layout of the game list view and more. See below for details on each.

Themes Download UI. Themes are downloaded/installed in the background

Download New Themes

Video: See how

Downloading new themes is a great way to improve the look and feel of Batocera. Below is how to download / install new theme:

  • Make sure you have already connected Batocera to your WiFi Network before proceeding.
  • Press the Start button (see here if you’re not sure where that is).
  • Select UPDATES & DOWNLOADS.
  • Under DOWNLOADS select THEMES.
  • Scroll through the list of Themes you wish to download, press A and INSTALL to begin the download of the selected theme.
  • Once done, press B a few times to go back.

Apply Theme

Video: See how

Example: ES-THEME-COMICSCRAP

After you’ve downloaded some new themes, below describes how to apply the theme.

  • By default, only one theme is installed, ES_THEME_CARBON. If you haven’t already installed any new themes please see the Download New Themes section.
  • Press the Start button (see here if you’re not sure where that is).
  • Select USER INTERFACE SETTINGS.
  • Select THEME SET.
  • Select the theme you want to apply and press A.
  • Once done, press B a few times to go back.

Change GameList View

Video: See how

Change GameList View

Depending on the selected theme, the list of games may show large images of each game or perhaps a list. See below for how to change the game list view:

  • Select an emulator that contains at least one game in the list.
  • Press the Start button (see here if you’re not sure where that is).
  • Select USER INTERFACE SETTINGS.
  • Select THEME CONFIGURATION.
  • Using the d-pad or left Joystick to change the GAMELIST VIEW style, example:
    • Basic
    • Grid
    • Detailed
    • GameCarousel
    • Boxes
    • Carousel
    • Tiles
    • Icons
    • Automatic
  • After selecting the GAMELIST VIEW STYLE (i.e. DETAILED), press B a few times to return to the game list. Your change will now be reflected when showing the list of games.

Scraper is used to download Game-specific artwork and metadata

Scraper

Video: See how

You can use the Scraper to download artwork and other metadata for an emulator. This will make navigating the list of games a bit nicer and provide a more clear indication of the game available. In the steps below, we’ll cover how to scrape the artwork for a given emulator.

  • Navigate Batocera to the emulator you want to scrape.
  • Press the Start button (see here if you’re not sure where that is).
  • Select SCRAPER from the list.
  • Moving the d-pad/joystick left to right, you can change the SOURCE for the artwork on the SCRAPE FROM option. Examples: SCREENSCRAPER, THEGAMESDB, HFSDB, ARCADEDB, etc. NOTE: For additional features and more downloads, some of the sources allow creating an account which is typically free.
  • Under SCRAPER SETTINGS, you can adjust the IMAGE SOURCE, BOX SOURCE, LOGO SOURCE and any additional SCRAPE FOR options you prefer.
  • Under FILTERS GAMES TO SCRAPE FOR you can select GAMES MISSING ANY MEDIA, GAMES MISSING ALL MEDIA or ALL.
  • You can IGNORE RECENTLY SCRAPED GAMES as well, this is handy if you need to resume scraping a large list of games.
  • Within SYSTEMS INCLUDED, you can place a checkbox beside any systems you want to scrape. There are buttons on the bottom to SELECT ALL or SELECT NONE, if you want to quickly set several.
  • Once all options have been set, select the SCRAPE NOW button. Scraping will now begin.
  • Scraping artwork / data for a large list of games may take awhile. Be sure to keep the Steam Deck powered on, perhaps plug the power cable into the device, etc. while the scraper is running.
  • That concludes this section on the Scraper!


Batocera Platforms

This guide is not the first time Batocera has been covered here at Wagner’s TechTalk. It has been used in the past on other hardware. If you’re interested in seeing some related, yet prior content, please see the links below

  • Batocera on the Raspberry Pi 4 (or 400) – One of my first experiences with Batocera was running it on a Raspberry Pi 4. Since that time, I’ve been impressed with how well it performs and try to test it on those devices that are capable of running it.
  • Running Batocera on an OLD PC – In this video and guide, we install Batocera to a Dell D620 manufactured in 2006 and run a surprising number of games rather well.
  • ODROID-Go Super Guide – Running Recalbox, EmuElec & Batocera on the ODROID-Go Super. Spoiler: Guess which of the 3 ran the best? Yes, Batocera.

Troubleshooting

  • Problem I have isn’t listed below, now what? Answer: You can ask/search any additional questions on the Batocera Discord, or Batocera Forums. You’ll find far more answers to issues/questions in those areas. See below for the most common issues that others have mentioned in the video comments.
  • How do I Save/Load Game States? Answer: See the Navigating Batocera section for details.
  • Where can I find the BIOS and ROM files? I can’t provide links, please don’t ask. However, read this section carefully for recommendations. Pay particular attention to quoted sections.
  • I’m trying to play a game and it states there are missing files and won’t start, how can I fix this? Make sure that you have the correct BIOS files copied for the emulator you’re trying to run. See this section on how to check for missing BIOS files.
  • The Aspect Ratio for MAME games isn’t correct, how do I fix this? Answer. See the MAME Aspect Ratio section.
  • After updating Batocera, using an UPDATE TYPE of Beta, when I reboot all I get is a black screen. What can I do? This is a known issue that has only affected about 3 individuals and the developers are working on a solution. If you’re interested in helping resolve this issue, please join the Batocera Discord and let them know that you’ve encountered the problem and interested in helping debug it. They are very eager to talk with you and to resolve the problem.

Change Log

  • 2023-03-16 – Minor edits.
  • 2023-02-12 – Added additional Q&A based on feedback.
  • 2023-02-11 – Video companion added to the guide. Added “See How” links to jump to the location in the video that discusses sections in this guide.
  • 2023-01-21 – 2023-02-11 – Initial Guide development.