As Recalbox users, you know how good it is to feel the nostalgia when playing again the games that rocked our childhood.
Playing with a PS4 controller on the living room OLED TV already allows us to find and share this pleasure of retro gaming.
However, some of us have an insatiable thirst that forces us to go further and further in the search for an experience as close as possible to the original.
In this never-ending search, the display, or image of the game is probably the most important point.
And what could be closer to the original than playing on the CRT screens of the time?
Recalbox is able to reproduce the exact resolution and frequencies of most consoles and arcade games of the time, on your CRT TV.
Get a VGA666 and a SCART cable, a Pi2Scart or an RGBPi.
Once the device is connected to your Rasbperry Pi 4 and to the TV, a single line of configuration in
recalbox.conf is enough to activate the Recalbox CRT mode:
# For vga666 system.crt=vga666 # For pi2scart system.crt=pi2scart # For rgbpi system.crt=rgbpi
You can also use the "Advanced configuration" menu in Emulationstation.
That's all, after restarting your Recalbox, the system is configured to send the image directly to your TV.
system.crt=vga666 # Image shift to the left (negative) or right (positive) system.crt.horizontal_offset=-50 # Offset the image up (negative) or down (positive) system.crt.horizontal_offset=-2
The default configuration of the display modes per system and per arcade game can be found in the folder
modes.txtlists the display modes that can be used
system.txtdefines for each system the mode to use
arcade_games.txtdefines for each arcade game the mode to use
To override or replace these configurations, you just have to create the corresponding files in the
These overload files should only contain the modes, systems or games you want to overload or add.
┣ 📁 recalbox
┃ ┣ 📁 system
┃ ┃ ┣ 📁 configs
┃ ┃ ┣ 📁 crt
┃ ┃ ┃ ┣ 🗒 arcade_games.txt (read only)
┃ ┃ ┃ ┣ 🗒 modes.txt (read only)
┃ ┃ ┃ ┣ 🗒 systems.txt (read only)
┃ ┣ 📁 share
┃ ┃ ┣ 📁 system
┃ ┃ ┃ ┣ 📁 configs
┃ ┃ ┃ ┃ ┣ 📁 crt
┃ ┃ ┃ ┃ ┃ ┣ 🗒 arcade_games.txt
┃ ┃ ┃ ┃ ┃ ┣ 🗒 modes.txt
┃ ┃ ┃ ┃ ┃ ┣ 🗒 systems.txt
modes.txt file contains one mode per line, with its identifier, in the following format:
snes:nes:ntsc:firstname.lastname@example.org,1920 1 80 184 312 224 1 9 3 24 0 0 0 60 0 39001717 1,60.0988
Here the MODE_ID is
snes:nes:ntsc:email@example.com and the MODE is
1920 1 80 184 312 224 1 9 3 24 0 0 0 60 0 39001717 1
systems.txt file allows for each system, to configure a display mode by region, and to select the size of the display area:
This line lets Recalbox know that the Super Nintendo (
snes), when loading an NTSC (non-European) game, will use the display mode identified by
The next two zeros let Recalbox set the best value for the height and width of the image.
arcade_games.txt file allows to select the display mode for each arcade game, depending on the core (or emulator) on which it will be launched. It also allows to change the size of the display area:
The GAME_ID is the name of the game files, without the
The CORE_ID is the name of the core used by Recalbox.
This line lets Recalbox know that the game
dino.zip, launched on RetroArch with the core
fbneo, will use the
The overload allows you to add or replace modes, systems or arcade games.
All overloads are new files, located in
Each of the overload modes, systems or games is added to the base configuration, or replaces it if the id already exists.
Let's say I want to change the display mode of
Cadillac and Dinosaurs on arcade, and change it to 224 lines at 60Hz.
In the modes.txt file, there is a mode corresponding to 224 lines at 60Hz. It has MODE_ID
So I will create the file
/recalbox/share/system/configs/crt/arcade_games.txt and put a single line in it:
The VIEWPORT_WIDTH and VIEWPORT_HEIGHT allow you to resize the displayed image. They do not change the display mode of the screen.
You may want to add specific settings for systems or arcade games.
Let's set the screen width of Metal Slug 3 to 1800 pixels in
/recalbox/share/system/configs/crt/arcade_games.txt once and for all
Metal Slug 3 and you can see that the screen width has decreased.