Batocera Setup Guide

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Batocera is an amazing operating system based on Linux, and it is interesting to play around with. Batocera can be set up in three steps. You need to download the disc image, flash it to a USB drive, and plug it into a computer. You have Batocera, but how do you use it? First, you need to go into the BIOS (UEFI or Legacy, either way) and make sure Secure Boot is off (only for UEFI). Make it so that it boots off of the USB instead of the hard drive or SSD, or in my case, I just use the boot menu to manually do the same since my dad still uses this computer for other things, and I don’t want him to get confused if it boots off of the USB and into Batocera. It will go through a quick partition resize and then it will boot up.

Next you will want to setup Wi-fi and Bluetooth. If you want to use Ethernet and/or wired controllers only, you can skip one or both of these steps. The computer I use doesn’t have Bluetooth, so I use a dongle. Wi-fi is easier to setup. Go to Network Settings, enable Wi-fi, choose the name of your network, and enter the password. You will see a Wi-fi icon in the top right signifying that you are connected. For Bluetooth controllers, make sure it is enabled in the batocera.conf file, go to Controller and Bluetooth Settings, and choose Pair a New Device. Put your controller into pairing mode and it should connect. If it doesn’t, you can join their Discord. The link is on batocera.org. I have issues with this, but I’m working on fixing them and I think the issue is that I have Bluetooth disabled, even though I can still connect manually.

Now you need to send over the files. For Windows, I recommend WinSCP. It’s what I used to use when I did SFTP on Windows. For macOS and Linux, I recommend using the SFTP command line. It’s also available on Windows out of the box if you want to use it. WinSCP is easier to use, and there are other SFTP clients for macOS and Linux if you don’t want to learn the command line. Go to your network settings, and look at the IP address. In WinSCP, choose SFTP, enter in the IP address into the hostname/IP address part, and keep the existing port. Set the user to “root”, and the password to “linux”. For the command line, run “sftp root@<IP address>” and enter “linux”. It will not give feedback for you entering characters. This is normal, and done for security reasons. Send over your ROM’s and BIOS’es to the respective folder inside “roms”. Reload your game lists by going to Game Settings, choosing it, and choosing yes. The ROM’s now show up, provided you put the right format in. If they don’t, there’s probably an issue with your format. There is an _info.txt file in each ROM folder with the correct file formats that you can reference if you need to know what format you need. The same works for BIOS’es, but you will need to reference the documentation at wiki.batocera.org to get where you need to put them. It is a good idea to just get a full pack, since they seem to work better than just a single BIOS file.

Next up, lets run some native games. The easiest way is to use Flatpak. If you own your game on Steam, install Steam, run “batocera-flatpak-update”, open Steam, install the game, run “batocera-steam-update”, and your game will now show up in Batocera. If you just want to play over Remote Play, get Steam Link instead, and run “batocera-flatpak-update”. If you want to play a game available as a Flatpak, install it and run “batocera-flatpak-update”. Remember that after you run an update command that you also have to update your game lists afterwards.

Okay, so now you want to run Windows games. Well, this runs Linux, so there are two options. If you want to use Proton, Install the game with or add the game to Steam, then run “batocera-steam-update”. If you want to use normal Wine, follow the instructions on this page. With Wine, you don’t have to run an update command.

Now you can use Batocera to play games on your TV! You may want to setup Kodi, which is built-in to Batocera. I may make a setup guide on it in the future. Thank’s for reading, and I hope you have fun playing!


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