Play games on Raspberry Pi
with the Retropie extended features

Retro gaming on Raspberry Pi with updated Retropie:
add a wide list of PC games to your retro gaming machine

I guess that coming to that page, you are likely to be good at retro gaming, playing games on Raspberry Pi as well as the Retropie. So, let’s move a little bit forward to the main idea of this article – extending your Retropie features to add even more games to your Retropie gaming machine (follow the link if you don’t know what the Retropie is).

Retropie update for Raspberry Pi to play Windows games on

By saying the “extended” I mean that we have brought a new feature to the Retropie app by adding the possibility of ExaGear Desktop emulator to be integrated into Retropie interface.

What’s the profit? With ExaGear Desktop, you’ll be able to play PC games on Raspberry Pi from really old and iconic ones (like Dune 2000 or Doom) to more modern and legendary (like Counter-Strike and Diablo II). To get the list of possible PC games, that we have already tried on Raspbian read this article. If you would like to learn more, read the case of launching games on Odroid – there are much more games that you can try on RPi as well.

It’s worth saying that the best feature of ExaGear on Retropie is that you can now setup and launch your favorite Windows games right from Retropie GUI, which is way more convenient than using ExaGear Desktop separately. You now can avoid all this endless switching between the applications.

In fact, Retropie is usually installed on a separate SD card and being launched directly from it automatically as soon as you insert the SD card into the slot. This causes a great inconvenience to combining the PC gaming and console retrogaming, players used to face. Espescially, if they have already been aware of ExaGear or have ever tried it for the purpose of playing Windows games on RPi. Now, this pain has been cured! You may install ExaGear Desktop directly on Retropie and launch all the games, both PC and console ones, from one place!

How to install ExaGear on Retropie

Let’s assume, that you have already got your Retropie on an SD card up and running. All the manipulations are carried out inside the Retropie interface, so follow all the steps below to install ExaGear Desktop.

1. In Retropie interface press “Ctrl+Alt+F4” to open a terminal. It should look like this:

a Retropie terminal

2. Type “cd /home/pi” and to enter the proper directory

$ cd /home/pi

3. Download a special ExaGear version for Retropie on Raspberry Pi devices

$ wget
Download ExaGear Desktop on Raspberry Pi for Retropie update

4. As soon as the downloading is finished, assign the “x” rights to the file:

$ chmod +x

5. Now, you can easily launch the ExaGear Desktop installer

$ ./

6. As we use ExaGear Trial in this tutorial, there’ll be a pop-up window to input your name and e-mail address and confirm your trial version (NOTE: valid 3 days only!).

Activate ExaGear Trial to update Retropie

7. As the installation process passes by you will see a “Wine configuration” window which will open up automatically. You need to choose the “Graphics” tab there and tick the “Emulate a virtual desktop” in the checkbox. Then press OK.

Configure Wine inside installation ExaGear on Retropie

8. After the script finished working, reboot your device.

$ sudo reboot

For your convenience, we have made a video with the whole process described above. From the beginning till the final reboot. So, watch it now to repeat or practice the tutorial. Note that the video is speeded up a little bit to walk you through the guide really quick and the whole process takes more time in reality.

As I have already mentioned, in this tutorial we are using the ExaGear Desktop Raspbian Trial. It’s valid only for three days since the moment of activation. So, on the expiry date, you won’t be able to access any of your games and will see the pop-up window, saying that you have to purchase the full version of ExaGear to proceed playing.

The purchasing of the full version is available from this page, and after you receive the key by e-mail, follow the guide below, to turn your expired trial into the full version of ExaGear Desktop. Note, that everything you have set up earlier will be saved and you won’t need to re-install anything.

How to activate the full version of ExaGear via Retropie

1. In the main interface go to “File manager”. You’ll see the blue screen with the two fields of the file system folders and files. By default, you should find yourself in the home/pi directory. So, firstly, exit to “home” directory:

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 1

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 2

2. Here, find the media folder:

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 3

3. There should be some USB folder to go to:

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 4

4. As you’ve been supposed to have already purchased the full ExaGear license, the key activation file should be on your USB-drive and can be reachable via the USB directory:

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 5

5. Move to the second section of the file manager and find the folder “lic”, by exiting to the “home” directory and then following the path opt – exagear – lic (just like you’ve done it on the previous step):

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 6

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 7

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 8

6. Copy the key license file into that directory. You can do it simply by pressing F5:

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 9

7. After that follow opt/exagear/bin directory path (you’ll need to exit the “lic” folder and find the “bin” onre within the same “opt/exagear” directory):

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 10

8. And start the “actool” app:

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 11

9. As soon as the process of activation finishes, exit the file manager by printing “exit” word in its command line. After that you’ll be transferred to the Retropie start page again and need to choose ExaGear emulator and then go to Windows – Explorer:

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - step 12

10. If you see the x86 environment interface like that:

Activate the full version of ExaGear software - final step

The installation has been successful and the full version of the ExaGear emulator is working within your Retropie application. So, you can move on to the next step and install x86 games right from the Retropie’s front-end! Or just keep on enjoying the games you’ve already set up during your trial.

Also, for your convenience, we’ve made up a video guide. We recommend to switch on the subtitles to see the extra notes and comments. This video is also speeded up for your convenience and the real duration of the installation takes a bit more time.

How to install and play Windows games on Raspberry Pi

So, you have already got your ExaGear Desktop emulator up and running in Retropie on your Raspberry Pi device. Since that moment you can get access to and play a great variety of Windows PC games on your Raspberry Pi without leaving the Rertropie interface. And this is great!

But how can we get all those games to our device? Of course, we can’t provide you with all the games into the ExaGear Retropie image you have just installed on your Raspbian. But, there is a way to get them on your own and I am going to give you a full description of how to do that.

You already know that for playing games on Retopie (no matter what type of an emulator – NES, N64, PSP, GBA etc.) you need special files called ROMs. Generally, there are two ways of getting these ROMs for your Retropie Raspberry Pi emulator:

  1. Download it from some pirate websites (illegal and not recommended).
  2. Buying official ROMs from the online stores, licensed for that. In our case, you can get Windows PC games from the largest and the most reliable sources – the GOG, especially for old computer games before 2000 and older and Steam for some games you won’t find on GOG (like Counter-Strike or Diablo II).

As far as you have already understood, the very first step will be to visit an online store and buy the ROM you need. If you work directly from Raspberry Pi, so the file should be downloaded to the proper directory by default. If you prefer using some of your Windows device (or Mac), you need to download the ROM into your SD card or to a USB flash-disk as the first step. Then, simply follow this short instruction to transfer the ROM, set it up and launch.

After the game ROM is in the proper directory, follow the steps below to start and play the game from Retropie with ExaGear.

1. Open the Retropie configuration with the list of emulators.

2. Select the ExaGear emulator from this list

3. Go to Windows -> Explorer. You should see the screen like this:

How to launch a PC game via ExaGear on Retropie

4. The “Explorer” automatically leads you to the needed directory where the game files are kept, so you only need to find the proper “exe” file and start it. The setup will start automatically as well and need to follow simple steps offered by the installer to complete the installation.

How to transfer the game files to ExaGear emulator on Retropie

Let’s assume that you don’t have any games “exe” files pre-installed. So, the starting point of this instruction is when you insert your USB flash-drive to Raspberry Pi to start transferring the game files. If you don’t know how to find these game files, you should read our Full Retropie Guide to find the answer.

1. In the Retropie interface, choose the File manager.

2. In the file manager go to start “home” directory (just like we were doing it above with the full ExaGear license activation):

Transferring the exe game files to ExaGear on Retropie - step 1

Transferring the exe game files to ExaGear on Retropie - step 2

2. Here, find the “media” folder and proceed to the “usb” folder in it:

Transferring the exe game files to ExaGear on Retropie - step 3

3. There should be the game exe files for transferring to Retropie ready on your USB-drive. To transfer them, you need to choose the directory “Retropie” inside the “home/pi” – home/pi/Retropie is the path (this time you don’t have to exit the default “home/pi” directory:)

Transferring the exe game files to ExaGear on Retropie - step 4

3. Then, you need to copy the exe files from your USB-drive to the “Retropie” folder chosen. To do that, make sure all the files you want to copy are also chosen in the left column of the file manager. To start copying just push F5:

Transferring the exe game files to ExaGear on Retropie - step 5

4. When the files have been copied, exit the file manager and go to the main interface of the Retropie app. There, you should enter ExaGear emulator.

5. Inside the emulator, go to Windows – Explorer. You should be taken to the x86 environment. Here, you can operate just like you were doing it on Windows. Go to the “home” folder first:

Transferring the exe game files to ExaGear on Retropie - step 6

6. Then, go to home – pi – retropie:

Transferring the exe game files to ExaGear on Retropie - step 7

7. You should find all the exe files there. Choose the game you’d like to install and double-click on it:

Transferring the exe game files to ExaGear on Retropie - step 8

8. Then, just push the “Install” button:

Transferring the exe game files to ExaGear on Retropie - step 9

9. And follow the installation prompts. As soon as it finishes, push the “Launch” button:

Transferring the exe game files to ExaGear on Retropie - step 10

And you’re done! Easy. So, the job was really worth the efforts and you can enjoy your favorite x86 games on Retropie, which you can run via ExaGear emulator.

In addition, we have made a special video guide for you. Note, that this video is speeded up to your convenience, so we advise you to slow it down if you can’t catch up with the algorithm and switch on the subtitles for extra tips and comments.

Final notes

Retropie with ExaGear Desktop is a very cool and convenient thing. You can launch and play PC games from the same place you are playing your favorite console games. This is what a lot of people have been asking us for a long time. Now, this is a reality.

Moreover, always bear it in your mind, that ExaGear supports 3D hardware graphics acceleration which significantly improves the overall performance. As well as games variety that you can install and play from Retropie. For example, the latest experience of ours says that with ExaGear you can enjoy such games as Diablo II, Counter-Strike, Stronghold Crusader, Heroes of Might and Magic 6, etc.

Also, note that with ExaGear Desktop you can run almost any x86 app on any ARM-based device including, but not limited to Raspberry Pi, Odroid, Banana Pi, Beagleboard, Cubox, Jetson, Cubieboard and many others.

Get my ExaGear Desktop

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

  • Slappy McPhee

    So I am assuming that you somehow managed to get an approval to sell a product with RetroPie on it from the devs at RetroPie themselves? I doubt that is a safe assumption.

    • Aramir

      Could be wrong but I don’t think retropie is part of their product, They’re selling an addon to it. Thought they still probably need permission to do so according to what type of license they’re retropie is using.

      • Glenn Lake

        Your right. Eltechs is trying to use the popularity of retropie to sell more licencees. The main problem, unless they have changed there EULA, you must buy a license for each install on raspberry pi.

  • Aramir

    But does that means that you managed to make Opengl driver work with retropie ?

  • Marc-Antoine Pelletier

    I’m assuming Windows Games must be DRM free ? We cannot play for example a game from a platform, say Steam.

    • Aramir

      I managed to install steam (linux version x86), but windows version refuses to install. I also admit I haven’t tried too much to force windows’s version installation

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