Retroarch Core Installation Guide

Retroarch cores can easily be added to the Elemenity OS, to enable the system to emulate additional systems. This guide explains how to do it.

Once a core is completely installed, you will be able to select your game backups through the menu, and it will start playing through the appropriate emulator.

Elemenity does not condone piracy. Emulation should only be used to play backups of games you already own. Wherever possible, it is best to support the original developers of games and consoles.

Intro to Retroarch Cores

(If you’ve done this before, you can jump to the summary at the bottom)

Retroarch uses a plugin system, which allows support for extra systems to be added afterwards. These plugins are refered to as cores. For Elemenity OS, and other Linux based systems, these cores are files that end with

First you will need to find a compatible Retroarch core. Elemenity OS runs on 64 bit ARM computers. You can either build the core from source yourself, or find someone who has already built it.

Most good emulator cores are licensed for non-commercial use only, so they cannot be bundled with our system. But we’ve made it easy for you to add cores to the device on your own.

Installing the core

Installing a core involves two steps: copying the core, and setting up a handler.

Cores should be copied to the handlers/ folder on the device.

Creating a handler

Update: We now have a tool that can generate handler scripts for you. You can find this tool here. If you want to add a handler manually, you can follow the steps below.

Handlers are scripts which tell Elemenity OS how to run a given filetype. These are files in the handlers directory, each named for a given filetype.

Lets suppose you want to add a core which is used to run files with the .game extension. The core is called You would need to copy the ra_example file from the handlers file, and copy it to a file named “game” in the same folder.

Then, open the file with a simple text editor, like notepad,textedit, or gedit.

You will need to change one line in this file, to tell it which core to use.

Should be changed to

And thats it!


  1. Copy the core into the handlers/ folder
  2. Copy handlers/ra_example to handlers/FILE_EXT (aka ‘game’ in the example)
  3. Edit handlers/FILE_EXT with a plain text editor, changing core_libretro to your new core filename ( in our example.

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