New to Picade, looking for guidance


Picade newbie here. Looking at the PIcade Cabinet as a father/son (11 YO) project and this one seemed to be the simplest/cheapest.

The building of the kit seems straightforward. But I didn’t see any walkthroughs of how to get the Raspberry Pi set up and connected to the Picade.

Have an engineering background and not afraid of flashing f/w, dealing w/ an IDE, reading schematics, etc. But it’s been a while since I played w/ the Arduino boards (back before Raspberry was a term) and not sure what needs to get loaded and how.

This is a first project for my son so I’d prefer to have easy to follow stuff so he can take the lead and not get too frustrated.

  1. From my quick search, it does look like we can use the Raspberry Pi 3, correct?
  2. Once I have an RPi board, what do I need to load (aside from ROMs) to have it work with Picade?

I found something like this:

But I’m not entirely sure how I’d configure it for the Picade controller.

I’m more than happy to read any/all links you can provide that will show us how to get started. Then I can curate the simplest/easiest ones for him to follow. Thanks in advance!


We’ve got plenty of Picade enthusiasts here who will help you to the nth degree :D

But for the time being, yes you’d use a Raspberry Pi 3, and the distribution most people use is RetroPie. You’ll need an SD card for that- it can either be big to fit your ROMs, or small with the ROMs stored on a USB memory stick (so you can remove it and load them easily).

Grab the version of RetroPie for the Pi 2/3:

Use Etcher to copy the RetroPie image to your SD card:

And see here for details on copying ROMs:

RetroPie/EmulationStation gives you a config menu to setup the Picade controls upon first boot. It should be pretty straight forward, although some people have trouble in MAME- that’s beyond my level of expertise though, I don’t get enough time to play :(


There is one important thing to do after installing retropie if you´re using the standard screen shipped with the picade. As mentioned here you have to edit the /boot/config.txt file and uncomment the line hdmi_force_hotplug=1. If you forget this the screen will stay black and might cause hours of frustrating search for what went wrong … . Have fun with the picade.


Thanks seeberc. That would be an easy and mind-numbingly frustrating thing to debug.