Gaming Beyond RetroPie

RetroPie is a very popular software among Raspberry Pi users. It enables players to run various old games on Raspberry Pi devices. For example, if you’d like to play some arcade games (such as Pacman or Galaxy) or our beloved console ones (by Dendy, Sega or Nintendo) you have to use some kind of emulators like MAME or EmulationStation to make it happen. In fact, RetroPie is such a kind of emulators tiered with open-source ported games in one package. But usually, emulators have low performance. And in case of the x86 platform, you can mainly run only very old games. But fortunately, there is a better option.

Exagear Desktop can significantly increase the capabilities of your Raspberry Pi-based gaming console. You can play many more modern Linux and Windows PC games and move your gaming experience far beyond the RetroPie borders.

Today we’ll tell you how to run some iconic PC games — Arcanum, Disciples II and Fallout — on Raspberry Pi with Exagear Desktop.

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 the 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 the application will try to switch to full-screen mode.

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 using DRM-free versions of games from the GOG site, as this is the most straightforward way to launch a game.

So let’s break the RetroPie borders!

Gaming Beyond RetroPie: Arcanum

We recommend downloading Arcanum from GOG.

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

$ exagear
$ wine setup_arcanum_2.0.0.15.exe

After successful installation for better user experience add ‘-doublebuffer -no3d’ options to Arcanum launcher. Right click on Arcanum launcher on your Desktop and select Options:

In an opened window go to Desktop Entry tab and add ‘-doublebuffer -no3d’ options to the end of Command field and then press the OK button:

Now you can run Arcanum from your Desktop. Wait for a couple of minutes while Arcanum is loading, and finally, you will see the start menu of the game.

Select your favorite hero and start playing Arcanum on Raspberry Pi!

Gaming Beyond RetroPie: Disciples II

We recommend downloading Disciples II from GOG.

To install Disciples II open Terminal, enter the guest x86 system by typing the ‘exagear’ command and run the installer with Wine:

$ exagear
$ wine setup_disciples2_gold_2.0.0.7.exe

The graphical interface of the game installer will show up and you can proceed with the installation. After installation is finished you can run Disciples II directly from Raspbian Desktop. Wait until the game is loaded and then you will see the main menu:

Gaming Beyond RetroPie: Fallout

We recommend downloading Fallout from GOG.

To install Fallout on Raspberry Pi just enter the guest x86 system by using the ‘exagear’ command and run the installer with Wine:

$ exagear
$ wine setup_fallout_2.1.0.18.exe

After installation, you can run Fallout from Raspbian Desktop. It’s better to skip the video at the beginning as it is a bit laggy

But the game itself runs flawlessly.

Final notes

Exagear Desktop allows you to run a lot of PC games on your Raspberry Pi. In this post, we only mentioned 3 of them. More games — Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri and Caesar 3 — are waiting for you in Gaming Beyond Retro Pie. Part 2!

We will keep telling you how to run even more of your beloved games on Raspberry Pi. So stay tuned!

Enjoy playing your favorite games with ExaGear Desktop!


The otiginal article is Gaming beyond Retropie