What's new in the RetroPie 4.5 update?

On July 3rd, RetroPie announced the 4.5 update. On the 4th, a composite video issue was discovered. On the 30th, an official fix was implemented in the form of RetroPie 4.5.1. 

While the development process for this version has had a rocky start, there are many things to look forward to in this update, including new games, new and updated emulators, and improved controller support.

Updating Your RetroPie

Warning: If you are running any version of Raspbian other than Stretch, you should not update. 

RetroPie 4.5 now supports Raspberry Pi 3 A+, at the cost of support for the Raspbian Jessie OS. Buster is also not yet officially supported, though the next RetroPie version should support it.

Though most gamers and programmers already know this, always remember to back up your files before performing updates, just in case.

How to Update

With that out of the way, there are two methods for updating your RetroPie setup.

  1. Using the EmulationStation Setup Script
  2. Exporting your files and installing a fresh image

The setup script can be accessed from the RetroPie menu in emulationstation, or from the terminal with “sudo ~/RetroPie-Setup/retropie_setup.sh“. All you need to do now is select “Update All Installed Packages”.

For the second version, simply copy your important files over to a flash drive and install the new image. You can read the official updating guide and download the image.

RetroPie 4.5 New Features

This version updates plenty of emulators, including: 

  • RetroArch v1.7.6
  • Amiberry v2.25
  • Jzinty’s 20181225 release
  • atari800 v4.0.0
  • Mupen64plus
  • Fuse v1.5.7
  • ZEsarUX v7
  • advmame v3.9
  • Dosbox SVN r4194
  • reicast
  • CGenius v 2.3.1

Many libretro cores have updated, along with the lr-flycast, lr-ppsspp, and lr-fbneo projects. Emulationstation has been updated to v2.8.4 with many new themes and Kodi has been updated to the Leia (18) release. 

Regarding external hardware, improvements have been made to joystick control in the runcommand launch menu, Dualshock 3 controller support, and Bluetooth pairing.

RetroPie Games

Along with the big-ticket items, this new version also brings experimental modules including an NVIDIA GameStream client, a Steam Link client for Raspberry Pi 3, new emulators, and many new multiplayer games. 

New emulators are included for Dreamcast, Pokémon Mini, Sinclair ZX81, and NEC PC-8801 games. The new games included are splitwolf, mysticmine, superflappybirds, bombermaaan, and jumpnbump. Alongside these experimental modules is an improved and partially completed Libretro core to replace the current core in the future.

You can find a complete dev log here.

Video Issue and Future Pi 4 Support

One day after releasing the RetroPie 4.5 version, it was discovered that the updated kernel from Raspbian Buster broke Pis’ composite video output. 

Shortly after release, the fix was to manually downgrade the kernel, but now the new 4.5.1 update can fix that through RetroPie-Setup’s “Update System Packages” option. If you only use HDMI, this should not be an issue, though.

Though there are some unofficial RetroPie images with functioning emulators for the Raspberry Pi 4, RetroPie does not officially support the Pi 4, yet. 

Raspberry Pi 4

The Raspberry Pi 4 released on June 24th, 2019. Image courtesy of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

RetroPie is currently working on a working Pi 4 image, but a release date was not specified.

Check out these projects for ideas and techniques for setting up your RetroPie:

Eduardo Pecina
Polyglot Programming Pianist :P