How to Use RetroArch tvOS Emulator for Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, Sega and Sony Games

In the ever-evolving world of gaming, there’s something special about the classics that keep us coming back for more. The nostalgia, the simplicity, and the sheer joy of revisiting our favorite games from decades past is an experience that never gets old. Thanks to emulation software like RetroArch tvOS for Atari, we can now bring those cherished gaming memories to our modern Apple TV devices, turning our living rooms into a retro gamer’s paradise.

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What is RetroArch?

RetroArch is a revolutionary open-source emulation platform that allows you to run classic games from a wide range of systems on your Apple TV. With its sleek interface and powerful features, RetroArch has become the go-to solution for retro gaming enthusiasts around the world. Whether you’re a fan of the iconic Atari 2600, the beloved Nintendo Entertainment System, or the groundbreaking Sega Genesis, RetroArch has you covered.

Setting Up RetroArch on tvOS

Before we dive into the world of retro gaming, let’s first ensure that your Apple TV is ready to run RetroArch. The process is straightforward, but it does require a few steps:

  • Jailbreak your Apple TV: To install RetroArch on tvOS, you’ll need to jailbreak your Apple TV running tvOS 13.0 or later. This can be done using a tool like checkra1n, which is a popular and reliable jailbreaking solution for Apple devices.
  • Install Cydia: Once your Apple TV is jailbroken, you’ll need to install Cydia, a package manager for jailbroken iOS devices. Cydia will allow you to access and install various tweaks and applications, including RetroArch.
  • Add the RetroArch Repository: In Cydia, navigate to the “Sources” section and add the following repository: This repository contains the latest version of RetroArch and its associated cores (emulators for different systems).
  • Install RetroArch: With the repository added, search for “RetroArch” in Cydia and install the application. Once the installation is complete, you’ll find RetroArch in your Apple TV’s home screen, ready to be launched.

How to Add ROMs and BIOS Files

Now that RetroArch tvOS for Atari is installed, it’s time to populate it with your favorite classic games. This process involves adding ROM files (the game data) and, in some cases, BIOS files (system files required for certain emulators to function correctly).

  • Connect your Apple TV to a computer: To transfer ROM and BIOS files to your Apple TV, you’ll need to connect it to a computer on the same network.
  • Use an SFTP client: Download and install an SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) client on your computer, such as WinSCP for Windows or Cyberduck for macOS. These applications allow you to securely transfer files to and from your Apple TV.
  • Navigate to the RetroArch folders: In your SFTP client, connect to your Apple TV’s IP address and navigate to the following directories:
    1. /var/mobile/Documents/RetroArch/roms: This is where you’ll upload your game ROM files.
    2. /var/mobile/Documents/RetroArch/system: For systems that require BIOS files, this is where you’ll upload them.
  • Upload your files: Drag and drop your ROM and BIOS files into their respective directories on your Apple TV. Make sure to organize your ROMs into separate folders based on the system they belong to (e.g., NES, SNES, Genesis, etc.).

Configuring RetroArch

With your games and BIOS files in place, it’s time to fire up RetroArch and start playing! However, before you dive in, there are a few configuration steps you’ll want to take care of:

  • Launch RetroArch: From your Apple TV’s home screen, open the RetroArch application.
  • Load a game: In the RetroArch menu, navigate to “Main Menu” > “Load Content” and browse to your ROMs folder. Select a game file to load it.
  • Choose a core: The first time you load a game, RetroArch will prompt you to select a “libretro core.” These cores are the emulators that allow RetroArch to run games from different systems. Choose the appropriate core for the system you’re attempting to emulate (e.g., Nestopia for NES games, Genesis Plus GX for Sega Genesis games).
  • Adjust settings: RetroArch offers a wealth of customization options to enhance your gaming experience. From the main menu, you can access settings for video scaling, shaders (visual filters), input mapping (configuring your controller), and much more.

Supported Systems

One of the great strengths of RetroArch tvOS for Atari is its ability to emulate a vast array of classic gaming systems. Here are just a few of the systems supported by RetroArch on tvOS:

Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Jaguar, LynxEmulate the iconic Atari consoles and handhelds.
Commodore Amiga, C64Relive the glory days of Commodore’s 8-bit and 16-bit computers.
Nintendo NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, GameCubeEnjoy classic games from Nintendo’s extensive library.
Sega Master System, Genesis, CD, 32X, Saturn, DreamcastExperience the thrill of Sega’s legendary consoles.
Sony PlayStation, PSPPlay classic PlayStation and PlayStation Portable games.

This list is just a glimpse of the many systems supported by RetroArch. With regular updates and new cores added frequently, the possibilities for retro gaming on your Apple TV are virtually endless.


With RetroArch tvOS for Atari, the world of classic gaming is at your fingertips. Whether you’re a lifelong retro enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of emulation, this powerful software provides a seamless and enjoyable way to experience your favorite games from the golden age of gaming. So grab your controller, fire up RetroArch, and get ready to relive those cherished gaming memories from the comfort of your living room.

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