Raspberry Pi

How to configure controller on RetroPie

Raspberry Pi device is an excellent gadget that will be quite efficient in terms of playing different retro games. Once you have managed to install a RetroPie emulator on Raspberry Pi, you will then utilize the Raspberry Pi as a gaming console to play thousands of games on it. However, to enjoy the RetroPie features, you will absolutely require game controllers so that it will allow you to play games with your buddies. However, to achieve that you will need to configure the controller before utilizing it for playing games on RetroPie.

If you need guidance, this tutorial will help you out to configure controllers on RetroPie.

How to configure controller on RetroPie

In order to use RetroPie as a gaming platform, you will need to configure your controller that will help you in playing different games with ease and you will need to look at the following steps in order to do it at perfection.

Step 1: The choice of using a controller for every game is different and the Raspberry Pi has an excellent advantage that it supports multiple controllers and you won’t experience any compatibility issues. However, if you want to purchase a good gaming controller, then you should first need to purchase a good controller for your device on the Amazon website through the following link.

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Step 2: After successfully installing the RetroPie emulator on your SD card, you will need to insert the SD card into your device by first turning on the Raspberry Pi device.

On the first boot screen, you will see a Welcome message and a confirmation that your controller is connected with your Raspberry Pi device.

Step 3: Now, you will need to follow the onscreen instruction that is to hold a button of your controller until you see your controller name right below the “Press F4 ” text line.

Step 4: In the next window screen, you will need to press each key one by one and you will need to be careful in doing that operation as this will be crucial on how you control your RetroPie with the controller.

Follow the gamepad option and choose to press the key which is ideal for the selected option. Once you have properly configured all the controller keys, you are now good to follow the next step by choosing the “OK” option from the “A” button to accept the changes.

There it is now you are ready to install and play your favorite classical video games with the help of a game controller.

Below is the key layout of the Xbox360 controller which is connected with our Raspberry Pi device. In case you have other controllers, you can visit the official RetroPie website to check for their keys.

How to manually configure your controller on RetroPie

If you haven’t configured your controller properly at the initial boot option or you have bought a new controller and now you want to configure it so that it will help you to play games on RetroPie easily then you can do that while going into the RetroPie configuration option.

You will find RetroPie configuration in the main menu and once you locate it you will then need to perform the following steps to configure your game controller.

Step 1: On the RetroPie screen, press the select button from your controller to enter into the RetroPie menu.

Step 2: On the first screen, you will need to go on the “Advanced Configuration” option by pressing the “Enter” button.

Step 3: In the next step, you will need to select the option “Manually edit global configs”.

Step 4: Now after doing the above step, you will be able to see your connected gamepad configuration which is shown in the image below. In our case, it is an XBox 360 controller and that’s why we will have to select it as our controller option.

Step 5: As soon as it is selected, you will see the configuration of XBox 360 will open on the screen and this is the stage where you will need to configure the controller setting according to your choice.

You will need to ensure that you must have a proper understanding of the gamepad and for guidance, you can refer to the RetroPie website for help.

You can also change the configuration setting of your controller according to your game by going into the first step and choosing the first option and then setting your controller according to your game. Once the controller configuration is completed, you are good to go and start playing your games on RetroPie.


The Controller plays a critical role in letting your game experience go beyond your imagination and once you have installed RetroPie on your Raspberry Pi device it would be necessary to configure the controller properly. The above guide will be beneficial in configuring the controller on your Raspberry Pi device so that you will be able to play different games on RetroPie emulator and enjoy the worthy experience offered by the emulator for the games lovers.

About the author

Awais Khan

I'm an Engineer and an academic researcher by profession. My interest for Raspberry Pi, embedded systems and blogging has brought me here to share my knowledge with others.