Welcome to, the community portal for the Retrode

The Retrode 2 in good company

Welcome to! On this website, we will collect all things useful and fun around the Retrode, the world’s bestest USB adapter for vintage video games. Expect the following and more to show up in the near future:

  • User Stories. We have a growing team of editors who will take care of user-provided content. Do you have a retro-gaming project that you want to share? Tutorials, other useful bits of information? We’ll do our best to feature them on this website. Just drop a line to, and make sure to include as much information as possible. If you have pictures and/or a video, don’t forget to include them!
  • Documentation Repository. We keep on extending our collection of documentation about the Retrode, including troubleshooting hints, how-tos and lots of useful information about your Retrode.
  • Community Forum. Once again, [lulemurfan] built us a nice forum. Meet your fellow Retrode enthusiasts in here!
  • Development Blog / General Announcements. As always, we will blog about the latest news and behind-the-scenes stuff.

If you have never heard of the Retrode, or are interested in buying one, make sure to check out the new product site, retrode.COM!

Note: As of December 2011, some information provided on this website still refers to the original Retrode and may no longer be valid for the current model. Please give us some time to get everything up to date.

The USB part of the Retrode firmware is based on the LUFA library by Dean Camera (license). Thanks Dean for this fine piece of code!

New firmware beta3!

Dear Retrode Friends,

User Wannado has been doing some really great work on the firmware recently. After a long development hiatus, we are happy to offer you a new beta version that we hope will improve your Retrode experience in several ways (cartridge detection, etc.).

v0.18d beta 3 (2015-11-15)
- Changes by Wannado:
-- Major changes in the file system implementation to
simplify future development.
-- Streamlined initialization sequence.
-- Fixed "[forceSystem] GG" config setting not being
- Fixed the condition for SMS SRAM detection. Thanks to
user "R W" for contributing this fix.
Note that the whole SMS SRAM feature is still untested.

v0.18d beta 2 (2014-01-22)
- Fixed writing of GB saves larger than 8 kbytes.

Find it for download on the firmware page.

Retrode is back!

The Retrode is available again! Our friends at DragonBox have started manufacturing the device under our license. Check their web site for updates.

Retrode user develops NES plug-in

This just in: Regular contributor Wannado, over at the Retrode forums, just announced that he has been able to read NES cartridges through his self-built plug-in. We’re looking into ways for you to get your own NES plug-ins too, and to factor his firmware modifications into the next update.

That's all, folks!

As of Summer 2013, we have stopped producing the Retrode and its accessories. If you want one, get one while our stock lasts – we still have a bunch of everything but no new ones will be made. Why? Because by “we” I really mean “I”, and I have taken on a full-time faculty position that is every bit as time-consuming as it is rewarding on a personal and professional level.
Of course, we’ll continue to provide user support through the usual channels, and the developer team will keep improving the features through occasional firmware updates.

Business folks – if you want to produce your own Retrodes (starts making sense at about 1000 units per batch), please write me with a brief resume of your experience in hardware manufacturing.

Thanks to all customers and contributors for your support!
Matthias Hullin


Simply put, Retrode fan [crazy2001] has been hard at work to bring support for the V.Smile series of learning consoles

(V.Smile, V.Smile Motion and V.Smile Baby) to the Retrode.

Wiring and notes about this plugin are available HERE

vsmile_front vsmile_back vsmile-kl

OUYA + Retrode + N64 plug-in = success!

This just in from our old friend Hunter Davis: a video demoing the Retrode with N64 plug-in on an OUYA running Mupen64 with minimum adjustments to the factory configuration. Read his blog post with detailed steps here… It seems that Mupen64’s sound is still a bit shaky, but experience tells us we can expect some massive performance improvements among available emulators very soon. Fun fun fun!

World’s Smallest Multi-Cartridge Console

Quite a while back, I set out to squeeze a Raspberry Pi into my Retrode, aiming to combine both into what I believe is the "World’s Smallest Multi-Cartridge Console"… (feel free to convince me otherwise)

Lots of things happened in the meantime, so it was only last week that I finally managed to wrap everything up. And, you know what? Assuming you are kind enough to ignore my non-existent Linux chops, everything worked out quite nicely. I will provide the exact wiring of the USB connection as soon as I find the time for it (which, as you know all too well by now, doesn’t mean that it is ever going to happen ;))

On the software side, I prepared an SD card with RetroPie/Emulation Station as detailed in this excellent tutorial. Note that I used my other, still intact RasPi for this task, since the hacked one lacks the ethernet connection and hence cannot connect to package managers etc. Once I had plugged the SD card over into my FrankenPi, I found the configuration files for RetroArch (for SNES emulation) and DGEN (for Mega Drive emulation) and filled in the controller axes and buttons as the retroarch-joyconfig tool told me to. I also had to remove some controller bindings that caused RetroArch to save and retrieve freeze states on button presses. As for SRAM (savegames) RetroArch apparently looks for an SRM file in the same directory as the ROM file (ideal for our purpose); DGEN expects a weird and undocumented completely extensionless file in ~/.dgen/ram or so (I’m writing this up from memory; will have to check). My current proof-of-concept solution is based on an udev rule that watches for Retrode connection activity, and a bash script containing an endless loop that watches out for news from udev, mounts the Retrode, does some SRAM-file copying if needed, and starts up either the SNES or Sega emulator.

Needless to say, the software side is no different if you connect the Retrode to a Raspberry Pi as an external device. However, I am convinced that anyone with the slightest bit of Linux knowledge will easily do a much better job at tying everything together.

And now, here is the video: