Unable to configure joystick, buttons or sound using Sonicon reloaded Retropie SD card

Hi, I have just built my Picade and decided to use the above SD card as it was supposed to be pre-configured and required you to just insert it etc.
I find that I am unable to use the joystick, buttons or have any sound - I am assuming that this is down to this not having the X HAT drivers etc. (i’m new to the world of Raspberry Pi so please bear with me).
These are not selectable from the input select menu after hooking up a mouse and keyboard to try and get some response on the menus.
I do not seem to be able to ‘break out’ of the software to enter the Terminal (F4 does nothing) and I have no clue what if anything I can do - any ideas anyone please?
I know I can add a usb game pad but that defeats the whole point of having the Picade to start with.
I know the Pi4 is working correctly as I have used the SD card which came with it (containing the OS etc.) and did install the Picade X HAT on that so I have got sound and the small about of built in games work with the joystick etc.
Sorry if this is a bit of a ramble, just getting very confused!

It’s 100% down to that setup not having the XHAT drivers installed alongside it. There’s no guarantee even that installing them over the top of whatever else is in that package will work because you can’t know what else might have been changed from a stock install of retropie, but it’s worth a try. My main concern would be that it might not automatically prompt you to configure the controls on boot after the installation, so you’d need to hook up a gamepad or keyboard to open the control bind menu.

Is that preconfigured card using emulationstation? F4 to quit out to the terminal is specifically an emulationstation command, so you’d need to check whatever documentation you have for it and see if it’s even using the right front end before you know if F4 would work or not.

If it is definitely using emulationstation and F4 isn’t working, one potential workaround would be to connect the pi to your home network (via Ethernet since you won’t have been able to configure Wi-Fi without a keyboard presumably) and then connecting to it from a computer via ssh. You may have to put the micro sd card into a computer and add a blank file named ‘ssh’ to the root folder (without the ‘s, and make sure it has no file extension) in order to enable the ssh connection.

You can use powershell from windows or download a dedicated ssh client, probably best to just give this a Google. The IP address will be whatever your network assigns to the pi, port is 22, username is pi and password is raspberry. You may have to refer to any documentation you have for that card here too as they may have changed the default login details.

You can close emulation station from the ssh terminal by using this exact command as written:

kill $(pidof emulationstation)

Then you can run the script from the Picade setup instructions to install the relevant drivers etc to get the controls up and running. To reboot afterwards just type sudo reboot.

Wow thanks for such a detailed answer!
I do not think it uses Emulation Station as I have another SD card with the Retropie image as I have just burnt this and it looks and loads completely differently.
After hooking a keyboard up and a pair of earbuds into the audio jack, I managed to configure the key bindings just for the keyboard. I noticed that the sound is awful on most games I tried slow and distorted along with quite bad slowdown generally.
I’m pretty sure that this is down to the emulation rather than the system not being powerful enough here.
I have not managed to put any ROMS onto my other SD card with the new Retropie to try this out as of yet.

As near as I can tell the X Hat software is only needed for the i2s sound, and the power button shutdown function. The joystick and buttons are wired to GPIO pins on the Hat / Pi.

The controls are mapped as a virtual keyboard, so need the XHAT software installed to actually function - the raw GPIO input generated doesn’t mean anything to emulationstation without the XHAT software to make that intermediate connection.

If you’ve got retropie burnt to another sd card and you can get it to boot and then install the drivers, you should be able to follow the instructions here to copy over whatever roms you want:

If it’s a pi 4 then you should be pretty comfortable emulating anything up to and including the n64/psx/dreamcast with minimal slowdown, it definitely shouldn’t be struggling with anything older than that.

Yes my clean image of Retropie with the Picade X HAT software works a treat and I can configure the joystick and buttons, did have problems with the sound being stuck on 100% but I have sorted that out.
I will look at the article about the ROMS. as it seems best to take one from the preconfigured sd card and try it on the fresh Retropie.

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Glad to hear you got it working!

OK, my bad, apologies for getting it wrong. 😒

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This question just goes to show my newness of the wonderful world of Pi!
If I use the file sharing method to copy over ROMS can I also use this to take ROMS off the pre-configured sd card, then save them to my PC and then copy them over onto my SD card containing the new Retropie image etc? It has been many years since I needed to use ROMS / Mame and I am struggling to locate any which is why I took the pre-configured sd card as a good option.

Happens to the best of us, nothing to apologise over :)

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Yes, if you boot the pi with the sd card you bought and connect it to your network you’d be able to FTP in and download roms from it to your computer, then swap the sd cards, reboot and upload them to the clean retropie one.

If you don’t want to/can’t use FTP then the only other way to really get at them would be to mount the sd card in a Linux environment so it you can read the partition where the roms are stored.

Managed to obtain a bit more info on the pre-configured SD card, it uses Batocera so I assume that is why it looks very different from Emulation Station. Now to see if there is a way to drop to the terminal as I will need to turn on SSH I would have thought to enable the file sharing - oh don’t you just love this!

You should be able to enable ssh with the instructions I posted before, because that bit is pi specific rather than tied into retropie or emulationstation

Just make a new text file called ssh then remove the file extension, copy it onto the root of the sd card from your pc then boot the pi from it and it’ll be turned on :)

I downloaded WinSCP and luckily enough I was able to connect to the Pi and see the contents of the Sd card so ssh must have been on already.
I have copied all of the Mame roms which were all zip files to my laptop. Now to copy them to my fresh Retropie SD card. Fingers crossed it will work!

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Success to two test ROMS I transferred now show up on Retropie and work a treat with no sound issues or slowdown at all. Thanks for you help all!

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