Gaming Beyond RetroPie. Part 2

Enhance your RetroPie console and play PC games on Raspberry Pi

 

Run Windows PC games on Raspberry Pi

Earlier we published a tutorial on how to Enhance your RetroPie console and play PC games on Raspberry Pi. That time we showed you how to run some iconic PC games – Arcanum, Disciples II and Fallout – on Raspberry Pi with Exagear Desktop.

As we promised we tested some more titles. And today we’ll tell you how to run Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri and Caesar 3 on Raspberry Pi 3 with ExaGear Desktop.

RetroPie allows you to turn your Raspberry Pi into a retro-gaming machine. But Exagear Desktop will move your gaming experience far beyond the RetroPie borders by letting you run Linux and Windows PC games on Raspberry Pi.

P.S.: keen gamers will probably also like to know that with ExaGear Desktop you can turn your Raspberry Pi into a TeamSpeak 3 Server

Raspberry Pi test stand configuration

Model

Raspberry Pi 3

Frequency

1200 MHz

Memory

1 GB RAM

Operating System

Raspbian Jessie from March 2016

Software

Eltechs ExaGear Desktop for Raspberry Pi 3 v1.5

ExaGear Desktop installation instruction

First of all we need to install Exagear Desktop on Raspberry Pi.

ExaGear Desktop installation is very straightforward:

1. Put ExaGear Desktop archive with installation packages and ExaGear Desktop license key in the same folder. Open Terminal (command line), move to this folder and unpack the archive using the following command:

$ tar -xvzpf exagear-desktop-rpi3.tar.gz

2. Install and activate ExaGear on your RPi by running install-exagear.sh script in the directory with deb packages and one license key:

$ sudo ./install-exagear.sh

That’s it!

Now you can launch the guest x86 system on your ARM device:

3. Enter the guest x86 system using the following command:

$ exagear
Starting the shell in the guest image /opt/exagear/images/debian-8

You are in x86 environment that can be checked by running the ‘arch’ command:

$ arch
i686

4. It is recommended to update apt-get repositories on the first launch of the guest system:

$ sudo apt-get update

As we are going to launch Windows games, we need to install x86 Wine inside Exagear. This can be done easily:

5. Install Wine:

$ sudo apt-get install wine

6. After installing Wine we recommend to run winecfg:

$ winecfg

and enable the “Emulate a virtual desktop” bar. Otherwise you can face issues when application will try to switch to full-screen mode.

Wine configuration via Winecfg

Now all preparations are finished and you can proceed with installing and running PC games. Below we present some useful examples.

It’s possible to run a different kind of distros and installers, but in some cases you need to do unobvious tricks to make it work. That’s why we recommend to use DRM-free versions of games from the GOG site, as this is the most straightforward  way to launch a game.

More details on Wine for Raspberry Pi here.

Gaming Beyond RetroPie: Heroes of Might and Magic 3

We recommend to download HoMM3 from GOG.

To install HoMM 3 just run the installer with Wine in Terminal (command line) and the graphical interface of the game installer will show up:

$ exagear
$ wine setup_homm3_complete_2.0.0.16.exe

Installing Heroes of Might and Magic 3 on Raspberry Pi

After installation is finished you can run HoMM 3 from your Desktop:

Run Heroes of Might and Magic 3 on Raspberry Pi

Wait a couple of minutes while HoMM 3 is loading, and finally, you will see the start menu.

Now select the map and play Heroes of Might and Magic 3 on Raspberry Pi:

Playing Heroes of Might and Magic 3 on Raspberry Pi

Gaming Beyond RetroPie: Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri

We recommend to download Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri from GOG.

To install Alpha Centauri open Terminal (command line), enter the guest x86 system by running the ‘exagear’ command and run the installer with Wine:

$ exagear
$ wine setup_sid_meiers_alpha_centauri_2.0.2.23.exe

The graphical interface of the game installer will show up and you can proceed with installation. After installation is finished you can run Alpha Centauri directly from Raspbian desktop or from the start menu. You might need to wait until the game is loaded. Then select a faction and start your space colonization:

Run Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri on Raspberry Pi

Gaming Beyond RetroPie: Caesar 3

We recommend to download Caesar 3 from GOG.

To install Caesar 3 on Raspberry Pi, just enter the guest x86 system by entering the ‘exagear’ command and run the installer with Wine:

$ exagear
$ wine setup_caesar3_2.0.0.9.exe

After installation you can run Caesar 3 from Raspbian desktop. The game runs flawlessly:

Run Caesar 3 on Raspberry Pi

Final notes

RetroPie allows you to run old games from different platforms on Raspberry Pi. However, in case of x86 platform you can mainly run DOS games developed 20 years ago. Exagear Desktop can help you to significantly increase the capabilities of your Raspberry Pi-based gaming console by letting you run Linux and Windows PC games (such as Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Caesar 3, listed in this tutorial, and Arcanum, Disciples II, Fallout from the first review).

Don’t limit yourself – enjoy many more of your favorite games with ExaGear Desktop!

Get my ExaGear Desktop

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ExaGear is registered trademark of Elbrus Technologies. Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.