RetroArch and Emulators on PS Vita

retroarch logo

RetroArch is a cross-platform collection of emulators that focuses on backwards compatibility and performance. RetroArch is also chock-full of features such as save states, cheats, netplay, rewinding, a music player and more. Press [L] + [R] + [Start] + [Select] during gameplay to open the Quick Menu; here you can access options such as save sates and screenshots.

Required Downloads

PlayStation Vita with Custom Firmware

Wi-Fi or USB Connection

  •  You will need a Wi-Fi or USB connection to transfer the install files via FTP or USB with VitaShell

SD2Vita Adapter (Recommended)icon-amazon

Installing RetroArch

  1. On your PS Vita, launch VitaShell and press the [Select] button to activate FTP or USB modevitashell vita ftp ip address
  2. On your PC file browser, go to ux0: and create a folder called vpk if it doesn’t already existvita ux0 vpk folder
  3. Copy RetroArch.vpk to the ux0:/vpk/ folder on your PS Vitavita vpk folder ftp
  4. When the transfer is complete, press [Circle] on your PS Vita to close FTP/USB mode
  5. In VitaShell, go to ux0: -> /vpk/ then highlight RetroArch.vpk
  6. Press [Cross] to install it and confirm the extended permissions promptps vita vitashell install vpk
  7. After the installation, press [Select] to activate FTP/USB mode
  8. Go to ux0: -> /data/ -> /retroarch/
  9. Extract the contents of the RetroArch theme files .zip into the /retroarch/ folderretroarch theme files copy
  10. Close VitaShell and launch the new RetroArch bubble from your LiveArea
Congratulations, you’ve installed RetroArch. You can now emulate a variety of older systems on your PS Vita, continue to the next steps for instructions on how to organize your ROM files.

Setting Up RetroArch

  1. Create a folder called roms in the ux0: directory folder
  2. Create folders inside the roms folder for each of the systems you wish to emulate (e.g. gba, snes, sega).vita retroarch roms folder
  3. Launch RetroArch, scroll right to [Scan Directory] and press [Circle]retroarch scan directory
  4. Go to ux0: -> /roms/ and select [Scan This Directory]retroarch scan directory
  5. After all your ROMs have been added, you’ll be able to find them in the RetroArch XMB menuretroarch games category xmb
  6. Just select your ROM -> [Run] and choose the core (emulator) you wish to use

Recommended Cores:

  • Game Boy Advance – VBA Next
  • SNES – Snes9x 2010
  • Sega – Genesis Plus GX
Your save files and save states can be found in ux0: -> /data/ -> /retroarch/vita retroarch save files states location

Setting Up Cheats

RetroArch features a built-in cheat engine to create cheats by editing numerical values in the game’s memory. There is also a large database of preset game-specific cheat codes that can be downloaded in the app.

  1. In the RetroArch menu, go to the first tab [Main Menu] and scroll down to [Online Updater] -> [Update Cheats]
  2. Wait for the file to be downloaded and extractedretroarch update cheats
  3. Once the cheats have been installed, run your game and press [L] +[R] + [Start] + [Select] to access the Quick Menu
  4. Scroll down to [Cheats] -> [Load Cheat File]retroarch cheats
  5. Select the game system then select your game from the listretroarch cheats games
  6. Press [L] + [R] +[Start] + [Select] during gameplay to access the Quick Menu to toggle the cheats on/offretroarch action replay cheats

Gaming and Emulation on PS Vita


  • Adrenaline unlocks the built in PSP emulator for flawless PSP and PSX gameplay and is also compatible with PSP homebrew


  • With Moonlight, you can play Windows games and emulators that would not otherwise be possible on the PS Vita system via Remote Play

DownloadEnabler (Autoplugin)

  • Download roms directly to your PS Vita using the DownloadEnabler plugin by TheOfficialFlow installed via Autoplugin


  • Use your PS Vita as a controller for the PC version of Retroarch using the VitaStickUno plugin


  • If you’d like to use PS Vita cheat codes or even create your own with the cheat engine then the VitaCheat plugin is your answer


  • The CWCheat plugin features huge collection of Action Replay codes for PSP and PSX titles in Adrenaline