How to Play PS1 Games on RetroArch

Using emulators to play games from different consoles on a PC is kind of the new normal now. If you look at it, it’s quite good as you get to play games from multiple platforms and enjoy the nostalgia sometimes.

Interestingly, you can play PS1 games on RetroArch too. With that said, welcome to the dedicated guide to play PS1 games on RetroArch.

What is RetroArch?

Now you might be thinking of RetroArch as some emulator, right? Well, you are part right. It is a little more than that. RetroArch is a hub of emulators, game engines, video games, media players, and other applications. So you basically get all of the above things in a single unified interface. Also, it is open-source and cross-platform which means free to use and multiple device compatibility.

Using RetroArch, you can emulate a variety of systems and these RetroArch emulators are called “cores”. Using the RetroArch PS1 Core, Beetle PSX, you can play your childhood game from the PS1.

How to Play PS1 Games on RetroArch

Prerequisites

  • A good quality gamepad. Ideally, it should be a PS3 gamepad for the immersive experience or you can also use the Xbox One pad. If you are going to use another gaming pad, just make sure that it has XInput driver/wrapper enabled.
  • A Windows PC with good specifications and running on Windows 10 latest version.
  • PS1 Game files. The file should be in BIN/CUE format. If you do not have files in this format, I have provided the method below to generate CUE files. Make sure you follow it.
  • The PS1 BIOS file should be placed in the System folder of RetroArch. The file depends on the global region of the game you want to play.

You can actually download these files from the internet. But they are illegal to download so I can’t really provide you the links. But here are some common PS1 BIOS files:

  • scph5500 (NTSC – Japan)
  • scph5501 (NTSC – US)
  • scph5502 – (PAL – Europe)
  • scph5552 (PAL – Europe)

Note: The PS1 BIOS file names are case-sensitive and always use “.bin” as a suffix for these files.

How to Find the System Folder of Retroarch

As mentioned earlier, you have to place the PS1 BIOS file in the System folder. Here is how to find it:

Open RetroArch

Go to the following path: Settings -> Directory -> System/BIOS

how to play ps1 games on retroarch

You shall now see the location where RetroArch scans for the BIOS files.

Tweaking Some Settings for the Best Experience

To get the best PS1 playing experience, you might want to tweak some settings. Here is what you should do:

  • Launch RetroArch.
  • Open Settings and click on Input.
  • Select Menu Toggle Gamepad Combo under Hotkeys.
  • Use L3+R3 as your Shortcut.

how to play ps1 games on retroarch

Installing the Emulation Core

Now we are in the real process. Given that you have placed the BIOS file in the System folder and set up the gamepad. Here is what you need to do:

Creating CUE Files for PSX Games

This is something you need to understand. While ripping a PS1 game, just make sure that you do it in BIN or BIN/CUE format. The BIN file stores game data and RetroArch searches for the CUE file while scanning for games.

Now, if for any reason you do not have a CUE file accompanying your game’s BIN file, you will have to create a CUE file for it. You have to create a CUE file with the same name as the game and save it with the “.cue” suffix. Also, you have to save the file in the same folder as the main image file. Luckily, there is an Online Tool for this purpose.

  • All you have to do is click on this link and open the tool.
  • Now simply drag and drop the IMG or BIN file of the game for which you want to generate the CUE file.
  • The tool will generate the text for the CUE file.
  • Copy this text and paste it into Notepad.
  • Finally, save it with the exact same file name as the game’s main image file, and save it in the same folder as the main image file.

Doing this is important as RetroArch will search for the games with CUE files and only then it will add them to your Library.

Installing Beetle PSX

Step 1: Launch RetroArch

Step 2: Click on Main Menu.

Step 3: Now click on Load Core and then click on Download a Core.

Step 4: Navigate down and select the PlayStation (Beetle PSX HW). It is ideal to download the HW version only. Select and install it.

retroarch PS1

Step 5: Once installed successfully, go to the Main Menu again and click on Load Core.

Step 6: Find and select PlayStation (Beetle PSX HW).

ps1 bios

Launching PS1 Games

So this is the moment where we begin the process to play PS1 games on RetroArch. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Open RetroArch.

Step 2: Go to the Main Menu, scroll down and then click on Import Content.

Step 3: From the options on the right, click on Scan Directory.

ps1 bios

Step 4: No go to the directory where you have stored your PS1 games and then click on “<Scan This Directory>”.

Step 5: Let this process complete. Once it’s done, go back to the main menu.

Step 6: Scroll down and you will see a new section for your PS1 games.

That’s it! Now you can simply launch and play games from this here itself.

Conclusion

So that was all about how to play PS1 Games on RetroArch. The process is quite simple and straightforward if you have the game file and BIOS file handy.

Although I can't link the BIOS file here due to legal reasons. But you can still find them easily on the internet. Just make sure you paste the BIOS file in the System folder of RetroArch. Along with that, make sure that you save the game files in the correct format (BIN/CUE).

If you follow all the steps correctly, you can easily play PS1 Games on RetroArch. In case of any difficulty, feel free to reach out to us.

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