How to Setup CDi Emulation In Retroarch

This guide will let you how to Setup CDi Emulation in Retroarch.


First, install the PC version of Retroarch, whether a Standalone or Steam version. The Steam version best places the internal files with the standalone version.

Download Bios Files

1- First, Source the CDi Emulation bios file; otherwise, games will not launch. Download this from Google Chrome.

2- There are three zip folders that you need to acquire. The first one is CDI, 2nd is CDI mono 1 and the last one is CDI mono2.

3- Inside each zip file, there is another selection of sub-ROM folders that you will need to source to create these zip files so make sure that your zip files include the following ROM folder.

4- In CDI you need the CDI 200ROM, and CDI 22ob.rom ZX, and .7206, and then in CDI mono 1 you’ve got essentially most of the same files but another extra 7201 files, and then for CDI mono 2 there are a couple of other files.

5- Once you have your CDI bios files sourced, then the proper Zips, add them to our Retroarch system folders. For this, open the Retroarch folder and find the system folder.

6- Make a new folder and name it same_CDI, now open this folder and inside make another new folder and name it Bios and then drag your three zip folders into the BIOS folder.

7- Now, Source some CDI games, and the CDI games are in CD format. If you have a large physical collection of CDI games, you can actually use the PC version of Retroarch or Google to get the games.

8- CDI Games are in .binq format and you can convert them into chud format to save on disk space.

9- Once you have got the games, add them to the games folder in the Retroarch folder.

Retroarch Settings

1- First, boot up the Retroarch and once the main menu is open, go into the online updater and select the core downloader. Then scroll down and find the Philips CDi(Same CDi) section, you have to download this.

2- After that, go back and then click on Load content, then go to the directory where your games are stored. Then choose the game and the core to load up.

3- Now if you want to create a game playlist then go to the main menu and click on the show desktop menu or press F5 on your keyboard.

4- Once the desktop menu is open, you’ll find the content browser on the left side of the screen. Right-click on it, select the new playlist, and the name of the playlist should be Philips – CDi. Then press Enter and a new playlist will be created on the left side.

5- Now on the right side, right-click, then select add folder and go to the location where your games are installed. Select the games folder and click on the select folder button at the bottom right side of the screen.

6- Set the core to Same CDi and set the Database to MAME and then click on OK. Now all your games will be added to the playlist.


The best thing about the desktop menu is it will show you if your Bios File is being detected properly so if you don’t have a Bios file this will appear in red if your Bios file is being detected it will appear in green.

7- Once your playlist is made then go back to the Retroarch on the main menu you have to click on the Restart Retroarch button as this will help you in showing your game’s playlist on the left side.

8- Now if you want to play a game, select the game from the game’s playlist that you just added and click on the Run button at the top on the next page.

Core Options

1- After that, go back to the Core option and the first option will be the bios selection that you added during the initial setup, so that is what is selected here.

If you don’t have a CDi bios file, there is a built-in high-level emulation bios file, but the compatibility with it is not as good as the official one. It is why you have to download the BIOS file first.

2- Go to the system tab and the first option will be region. Select it to your default region and the next option will be the language, you need to set it according to your native language. The next option is to use the Hle BIOS file, if you have an actual bios file present, you can force the use of a high-level emulation bios file.  

3- The next option is to boot directly into the bios file so if you want to boot into the CDi bios the one inside your Retroarch system folder you can enable this option.

4- If there are some options you want to set for some specific games but not for others games, then go up to Manage Core Options and save them as a Game options file. It’s the only way to apply to the settings for a specific game.


Shaders are very extensive, and you could get a really fun look for all of your games based on any shaders you selected. Open the Shaders tab and turn ON the Video Shader. You have to make sure you downloaded them from the core updater.