We're not banning Retroarch. @emulator users
5 years ago


Maybe some people heard some news about Duck Tales 2 runs yesterday being removed because someone was using a frontend (emulator) known as Retroarch.

The original post can be found here:


The thing is, Retroarch itself does nothing as it's just a frontend people can use like MAME to have access to multiple emulators ("cores") without having to download all the standalone variants individually. It's basically a frontend where if you want to use the same program to emulate Game Boy games and then play PS1 right after, you can. As I posted in the original thread, by Garadas, who even tested himself, there's no difference timing-wise between using FCEUX (as a core, via Retroarch) and FCEUX through another emulator that offers it as a core (like Bizhawk) or just simply using FCEUX as a standalone emulator. Provided all the cores reference the same release version, timing will always be the same between all versions.

In other words, if you download Retroarch, don't touch any settings, and load the same core, you'll have the exact same experience again as downloading FCEUX as a standalone emulator (provided again the versions are the same). The problem isn't with Retroach emulation per se, but the fact what you can do with Retroarch externally as a program by itself. Retroarch AS A FRONTEND has lots of different options and settings you can mess with to eliminate/reduce things like lag in-game by adding extra sprites, changing the frame rate and such across the various cores it supports.

Banning Retroarch as some kind of universal solution is nonsensical because the only way you could "cheat" with Retroarch is if by default you change those various settings within the program to begin with. The only way someone would be able to discernibly tell a difference between someone using FCEUX as a core via Retroarch and FCEUX by itself as a standalone emulator, is literally if they start to cheat (or alter those various settings) and lag inconsistencies arise like they did in Duck Tales 2 that can't be replicated on a real console / even between other emulators. There's literally no other way to tell someone is using FCEUX via Retroarch or just FCEUX by itself.

So, from this point forward the moderators accepting emulator runs on this board will check for things like in-game lag where it's known to lag to ensure no one is messing with any frontend program that can change those settings to minimize or reduce it, instead of senselessly banning something with no knowledge behind how it actually functions as a whole. My advice to other moderators on other boards is to treat this recent revelation on a game by game basis as well.

On a personal note: I used to use Retroarch to run TMNT2 sometimes before I had an original setup. Now, I have a real brick console, RetroUSB AVS and sometimes back then used Retroarch anyway (with the same FCEUX core) to run TMNT2. My only reasoning was the brick controller sucked, I have man hands and TMNT2 bothered them until I got used to it switching over to a real setup. In TMNT2, lag frames that existed on fat brick console, which also existed on AVS, also existed on Retroarch (via FCEUX). There's no way lag frames "accidentally" disappear with Retroarch unless you're intentionally altering those settings to make them disappear to begin with.

Feel free to post any thoughts or questions.

Edited by the author 5 years ago
Zimond likes this

If i May add something: default settings on retroarch are perfectly fine with ANY core. So it doesn't provide any advantage at all. The post Dave Linked contains every comparison i made,and one of them was Indeed with default retroarch. The russian runner did some heavy tweaks to gain those specific results. We banned It because It was easier than forcing the mods to notice any single lag reduction etc..but the emulator itself has nothing wrong if You Just leave It as Is. I also was told that many other boards had already banned It (mtpo for example) and many are fine as long as it's set on default. So it's up to the single communities.

Zimond likes this

I posted it more so mainly to educate if anything. There's always an influx of thoughts, hysteria and reactions on Twitter after something "big" happens within the retro community. I saw various moderators post claiming all "Retroarch runs would be rejected" and encouraged others to use OpenEMU using the exact same cores instead. Using OpenEMU (with FCEUX core) would be literally exactly the same as using Retroarch with the same cores. I saw two random Tweets from people within this community wondering whether or not they could continue running Batman because they happened to use Retroarch prior to that cheater cheating, among other stuff.

Amazingly, not a lot of people seemed to be aware of Retroarch before this.

As I posted in your thread, it's not like it's some over-glorified secret cheating machine. It's just a frontend like MAME and supports many different emulators. If you do want to run something on emulator, I'd ironically even encourage Retroarch over the standalones. The GUI is a bit of a jerk to figure out, but in terms of save states among other things, it has all kinds of options which are much better than the standalone clients generally offer. Hopefully this post helped educate. That's all.

Edited by the author 5 years ago
garadas21 likes this
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