Play Retro Games With Retroarch On Your Firestick

Table of Contents

In this article, we explain how you can install RetroArch on your firestick so that you can play all the old retro games using just your amazon firestick.

But first, let us explain what Retroarch is.

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What Is Retroarch

Retroarch is a great app that is made for many different devices as well as the amazon firestick and amazon fire tv. With RetroArch it allows you to play all the classic retro games from the ’70s, ’80s, 90′s even into the 2000s.

Some of the classic games you can play are:

  • Mario 64
  • Sonic
  • Goldeneye
  • Zelda
  • and hundreds more

So RetroArch is what you call an emulator which the app can mimic all the classic game consoles such as the Nintendo 64, Snes, Sega Mega Drive, Gameboy, Playstation, Xbox, Atari, and many more old retro consoles.

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Does Retroarch Work With Any Firestick

Yes, Retroarch will work with any amazon firestick whether you have a second-generation firestick or even a third-generation firestick or later models. So this works on a 4K firestick too and also any Fire TV or Fire Cube.

The app will also work fine on laptops, PC, Android Smartphones, and Android Boxes.

See How You Can Record Using Just Your Amazon Firestick.

How To Prepare The Firestick For Retroarch

Make sure to allow apps from unknown sources

Ok, what you will need to do is make sure you have “allow apps from unknown sources” turned ON so to do this follow the below.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Choose Device
  3. Go into My Fire TV
  4. Open Developer Options
  5. Then change Apps From Unknow Source to ON

The above will allow you to add Retroarch to your firestick with it being a third-party app. Once you have finished this guide you can turn off allow apps from unknown sources if you wish.

Install The App Called Downloader

This app will allow you to easily download Retroarch from our website right to your firestick making things much easier for you.

The first step you need to do is go to Find on your amazon firestick homepage then down to search and press ok

selecting find

selecting search

Now start to type the word “Downloader” using your amazon firestick remote and you will see the word “Downloader” appear, go down and click on it.

searching for downloader

You will now need to press ok on the orange downloader icon and choose Get and then open.

finding the downloader icon

Once you have opened the Downloader app you will need to make sure on the left-hand side you have Home selected then type in this web address below carefully.


Once you have typed the above in the same you can click on Go which will start downloading the RetroArch app.

typing in the url link for retroarch

You will not be met with a pop-up box just choose Install and wait 20 seconds for it to install then choose Open and make sure to choose ok to grant access to “Read External Storage” when you see the message.

If you see a message asking to Allow Retroarch to access photos, media and files just choose Allow.

See how to quickly install iptv core on your firestick to test drive this cool iptv player app.

Connect A Bluetooth Controller

You will need a Bluetooth controller to be able to play the games which you can get here from Amazon or you can also use a Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, or an Xbox One controller to play the retro games with.

What you need to do to pair your Bluetooth controller to the firestick is follow the below.

  1. Go to Settings on the firestick home screen
  2. Then choose Controllers and Bluetooth Devices
  3. Now choose Game Controllers
  4. Then Add New Game Controller

Now the firestick will look for your Bluetooth controller so make sure you put the Bluetooth controller in pairing mode for it to pair up to the firestick once you have seen it to choose on the tv screen.

Another bonus with connecting your Bluetooth controller to the firestick is you can also control the firestick as if the controller was an amazon firestick remote which makes things easier as well.

Please note: If you want to get really go retro you can get the actual controllers from your favorite old retro games console but a Bluetooth version like this one but all other Bluetooth controllers will work too.

How To Set Up RetoArch On A Firestick

Now that you have RetroArch installed on your firestick you will need to know how to get the Roms (Games) and how to set up Retroarch so you can play all the classic retro games.

Add Emulator Cores

Once you are inside RetroArch you will need to install what is called cores (emulators) to do this choose Load core

choose load core

What will happen now is the app will see you are using a firestick remote unless you have already connected your Bluetooth controller if not the firestick remote will be slightly mapped different just while you use the RetroArch app.

So to get into load core you will need to press the back button on the firestick remote which will now act as an OK button.

Now click on Download a Core using the back button on the firestick remote

Choose download a core

The cores are the actual emulators meaning the old retro consoles you want to activate on the firestick.

For example, for this guide, we will go with the Sega Megadrive (or Sega Genesis for our USA fans)

You can select as many console emulators as you like just make sure you press the back key on the remote on the emulators you want to install unless you have a Bluetooth controller connected.

Sega Genesis selection
green hashtag next to emulator

The core or emulators will download and install very fast and you will see a green hashtag next to every console emulator you have chosen to install.

Please note: You will see many of the same emulator names but they will be built by different developers so if a game doesn’t work you can choose another developer’s version of the same emulator.

Ok, now you have some emulators installed it’s time to start to load the Roms (Retro Games) onto the firestick.

How To Install A File Manager On Your Firestick

In this next step, you will install a file manager called ES File Explorer this will allow you to send Roms (games) from your laptop, PC, Macbook to your amazon firestick wirelessly.

You will need to press the home button on your firestick remote to return to the main home screen then go to Find and Search.

selecting search

Now type in the word ES File Explorer and then click on the name.

ES File Explorer search

You will see the ES file explorer icon so click on it

es file explorer icon

Then choose Get and once installed choose Open.

How To Send Files To Your Firestick Using ES File Explorer

Once you have opened the file manager you will need to go down on the left-hand menu to Network then View on PC.

Now go across with your firestick remote go across and down to the blue bar that says Turn On and click it ON

IP address on view my pc es file explorer

Now you will see something like the screen above with your IP address being different so write this IP address down the one that starts with ftp://192.168………

Now what you will need to do is if using a Windows PC you will need to use an FTP program called Winscp which you can download below


If you are using a Macbook or iMac we recommend using Filezilla as you won’t be able to download Winscp so you can download FileZilla from the below link for your apple device


Logging into the firestick with the FTP program

We will be covering only windows in this guide on how to use WinSCP to add games to the firestick but the process is near enough the same if you are using a MacBook.

Ok, you will need to open Winscp, and once it’s open enter just the numbers from what is displayed on the firestick or what you wrote down so it would be something like 192.168.??.?? in the part that says Hostname.

Remember to put the port number in where it says “port number“. Your port number is the bit after the slash “/” in the IP you wrote down or what is displayed on the TV screen. Normally the port is always 3721.

In the section above it, called File protocol you will need to change this from SFTP to FTP.

Now leave both the username and password empty and tick the box that says anonymous login.

winscp login for retroarch app

So once you have finished you should have something that looks like the above we have entered our own IP address from our firestick but yours should look similar

Now click on login and you will see the folders inside your firestick.

Once you see all the folders you will need to go in the folder called Retro Arch and then right-click on any white space inside Retroarch and choose New then go across to Directory and create a new directory and name it exactly roms.

make a new directory in winscp for retroarch roms
making a rom folder for retroarch

Now all you need to do is once you download the games you simply drag them and drop them into the roms folder you just made but wait I hear you saying “where the hell do I download the games??

Well, we have the perfect website where you can download all the best classic games (ROMs) and more.

Where To Get Roms (Games) For RetroArch

The best place we have found to get free ROMs of all the classic games you might remember is RomsGames you can click the below and it will take you to their website

Roms Games

Once you go on the website you can use the left column to choose a console you would like the game from remember you must also have the console (emulator activated on the firestick)

Romsgames console list

For this example, we will choose Nintendo 64 as this console rocks and for the game, we will choose Super Mario 64 as this game was great and the first 3D game to ever come out. (See you learn something new every day)

What Is Rom Hustler?

super mario 64 download

Once you have chosen your game you will see a big green button that says Save Game simply press on it and it will start to download any game you have chosen.

save game on roms games

The game will be downloaded as a Zip folder this is fine DO NOT unzip the game as you will simply go into your downloads folder where the games you want are on your PC and simply drag and drop the zip folder into the “roms” folder on the WinSCP application you have open so it will then look like this image below

added games from romgames to firestick

Ok, Ok, Ok, we are nearing the end of this guide so congratulations on getting this far you now just need to know how to play the game on your RetroArch app on the firestick.

So once you have loaded all the games in the “roms” folder you can close your laptop and focus just on the firestick now.

How To Play Games In Retorach On The Firestick

So now the final section is how to load up the roms inside RetroArch so you can bring back your childhood or show your children the real deal games.

So on your firestick press the home button to go home then go into your app folder and go to Retroarch.

Now choose the second option down called Load Content you will see this below

Inside load content retro arch

Now go into /storage/emulated/0/RetroArch

Then into the folder called roms you created earlier and then simply select the game you want to play but remember to load many emulators (cores/consoles) from the beginning of this article so the game will load.

Once you have selected your game choose Load Archive and Voila!!! the game will start playing.

That’s it that’s the end of the guide we hope this helped you set up your firestick to play old retro games and consoles using Retroarch on your firestick.

Please note: Always make sure you go inside ES file explorer and check the memory left on the firestick as you don’t want to put too many games on just add a few games at a time.

To see how much memory your firestick has left you will need to open ES file explorer then go to Local then go to Home and you will see it say internal storage just make sure to keep it ideally under 95%

es file explorer internal storage

Here are some FAQ questions we got asked

My Game won’t Load?

Make sure you have the emulator (consoles) installed for whatever console the game was made for. You can do this in the Load Core section.

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