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How to play PlayStation 1 games in Retroarch on Linux

Retroarch can emulate many game consoles, including the original PlayStation. If you’re looking to enjoy PS1 games in Retroarch on your Linux PC, look no further than this tutorial. In it, we go over in detail how to set up and emulate PS1 games in Retroarch on Linux!

Note: Addictivetips in no way encourages or condones the illegal downloading or distribution of ROM files for RetroArch. If you want to play Sony PlayStation 1 games with RetroArch, please use your own game ROM files you’ve backed up to your PC, legally.

Installing Retroarch on Linux

Retroarch needs to be installed on your Linux PC before attempting to use it to play PlayStation 1 games. To start the installation process, open up a terminal window and enter the command-line instructions down below to get everything working.

In this section of the guide, we’ll briefly go over how to install Retroarch on Linux. However, if you need more in-depth instructions, feel free to follow our guide on how to get Retroarch working on Linux.


sudo apt install retroarch


sudo apt-get install retroarch

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S retroarch


sudo dnf install retroarch


sudo zypper install retroarch


There’s a way to get Retroarch working on Flatpak. To start the process of installing Retroarch, you must set up the Flatpak runtime. To install the Flatpak runtime, install the “flatpak” package. Alternatively, if you do not know how to get it going,  follow our guide on the subject.

Once the Flatpak runtime is ready to go, enter the two commands below to get Retroarch via Flatpak.

flatpak remote-add --user --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

flatpak install --user flathub org.libretro.RetroArch

Setting up the PlayStation Retroarch core

Retroarch, on its own, cannot emulate any video games at all. The reason for this is that Retroarch works based on libretro emulation cores. These cores add emulation functionality for various consoles. So, for example, if you want to play Nintendo 64, you must install the N64 core, etc. If you want to enjoy PlayStation 1 games on your Linux PC via Retroarch, you need to get a PS1 core installed.

Installing libretro cores in Retroarch on Linux is pretty easy, as it can be done directly through Retroarch itself, rather than using external websites or terminal command-line interfaces. To set up the libretro core for PS1, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Open up Retroarch by launching it via the app menu on the Linux desktop. Then, look for the Retroarch menu. Can’t find it? It’s the icon with the Retroarch logo.

Step 2: Once inside the Retroarch menu, there are many different options to choose from. Locate the “Load Core” option, and select it with the mouse or press Enter with the keyboard to confirm.

Step 3: In the “Load Core” menu, scroll to the bottom of the list of options to choose from. At the bottom, find the “Download a Core” option, and select it. The “Download a Core” area is where you can download various libretro cores.

Step 4: Look through the list of available libretro cores to choose from, locate “Sony – PlayStation (PCSX ReARMed)”, and press the Enter key or click on it with the mouse to download the core to your Linux PC.

Generally speaking, Sony – PlayStation (PCSX ReARMed) is the best core to play PlayStation 1 games in Retroarch. However, feel free to download any of the other Sony PlayStation libretro cores on the list.

When the download process is complete, Retroarch will set up the core for use with emulation.

Playing PlayStation 1 games in Retroarch

To play a PlayStation 1 game with Retroarch, add your favorite PS1 ROM to the system. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Find the “Scan Directory” area of Retroarch and use it to scan for your PS1 ROM(s). Keep in mind that Retroarch may not detect 100% of your ROM files, so ensure that the ROM files are named correctly.

Step 2: Once the scanning is complete, you will see a PlayStation controller icon appear in Retroarch. Head over to the PS1 controller icon using the Left/Right arrow keys or the mouse. Select the controller icon using the Enter key or by clicking with the mouse.

Step 3: After accessing the PS1 area in Retroarch, you will see your list of ROM files added to Retroarch. Using the arrow keys or mouse, select the game you wish to play.

Once the game is selected, a sub-menu will appear. This submenu has a few options to choose from. Click on “Set Core Association.”

Step 4: In the “Set Core Association” area, look for “Sony – PlayStation (PCSX ReARMed)” and select it. By selecting “Sony – PlayStation (PCSX ReARMed),” Retroarch will know always to load the ROM file with this core.

Step 5: Locate the “Run” button and click on it with the mouse or select it with Enter. Clicking on “Run” will start up the game.

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