How to Setup Retroarch Dreamcast Emulation

In this guide, you will find out how to Set up Retroarch Dreamcast Emulation. You have to follow the step-by-step instructions below to do so.

Dreamcast Games Installation

1- The Dreamcast games can be in a couple of different formats; there is the full game rip GDI format, CDI format, or you can compress your GDI files into chud format. If you do this, the games will take less than 1.1 GBs of space. They will become compressed and will acquire less space.

2- For Multi-disc games for these games, you need to create an M3U file in that game folder, and then the game will show up as a single entry within Retroarch and can easily swap disks between them.

3- For creating an M3U file, first create a text file in the game folder; the file’s name should be the game’s name. At the same time, you also have to include the file extension. If you can’t see file extensions, go to show, and for the extended list, make sure file name extensions are check marked.

Open the file you just created and then copy the file links, which means copying the name of both of the files’ names and their extensions and paste them into the text file. If your games are in CDI format, copy the CDI format, and if they’re in GDI, you need to copy the GDI file. Once you have all the disk names copied in the text file, save that text file and rename the extension from .txt to .m3u. You have to do the same process for all the Dreamcast games.

4- Create a games folder in the Retroarch folder and paste all the games into this folder.
5- Now download the BIOS File of Dreamcast. Once the file is downloaded, you have to paste this file into the Retroarch folder. Rename this file to DC_boot.bin and then paste this into the Retroarch system folder. Open the Retroarch folder, go into the system folder, create a Dc folder here, and then paste the bios file.

Retroarch Settings

1- Now boot up Retroarch, and once the main menu is open, go into the online updater and select the core downloader. Scroll up or down to find the Sega section, select Sega Dreamcast/Naomi(Flycast), and click on it to download this.

2- Afterwards, go back to the main menu and select Load content to load up the Dreamcast content. After selecting this, you must go to the directory location where all your Dreamcast games are installed. Then select the game and the core, and the game will start.

3- To create a game playlist, go to the main menu, click on the Show desktop menu, or press F5 on your keyboard. Once the desktop menu is open, you’ll see the content browser on the left side of the screen, then right-click on it, select the new playlist, and the playlist’s name should be Sega-Dreamcast. Then press Enter. On the left side, a new playlist will be created.

4- On the right side, right-click and select Add folder. Then go to the location where your games are installed, select the games folder and click on the Select folder button at the bottom.
5- Set the Core to Fly cast, set the Database to Sega Dreamcast, and then click OK. Now all your games will be added to the playlist.

6- Once your playlist is made, go back to the Retroarch on the main menu and click on the Restart Retroarch button. It will help you show your game’s playlist on the left side.

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

Controller Setup

Go to the control setup option, select Port 1 controls here and see what your controls are mapped to for your Dreamcast controllers. You can customize any of your controls for any game.

Core Options

1- After that, go back to the Core option. The first option is the bios selection you added during the initial setup, which is what is selected here.
If you don’t have a Dreamcast bios file, there is a built-in high-level emulation bios file, but its compatibility could be better than the official one, so you need to download the BIOS file first.

2- Then go to the system tab; the first option is the 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, then you can force the use of a high-level emulation bios file.
3- The next option is to boot directly into the Dreamcast bios file, so if you want to boot into the Dreamcast bios, the one inside your Retroarch system folder, you can enable this option.

Video Settings

4- After that, go back to the Video tab and select the internal resolution; you have to set this according to your monitor’s native resolution.
5- The next option is cable type, which is set to the normal composite cable by default, which works in most cases. Some games will only work if you set this to RGB or VGA.
6- Then go to Broadcast standard, and set this between NTSC and pal. You need to keep the screen orientation on Horizontal.

7- The next option is Alpha sorting, which is set to per triangle by default and will be your most compatible and accurate option. If you have a faster CPU, you can set this to per pixel, which will be more accurate and solve the layering issues, or if you have a slower computer, you can set it to per strip.

8- The next option is the Accumulation pixel buffer size, which is set to 512 megabytes by Default. Set the maximum transparent layers to 32. With a powerful computer, you can increase this to get better accuracy.
9- After that, set the Enable RTT to ON, and keep the Mipmapping, fog effects, and Volume modifier to ON. Set the anisotropic filtering to 4, but if you want to smooth out your textures more from the different angles, you can increase it up to 16. Keep the Texture filtering option on Default.
The next option is delay frame swapping. If you are on a faster computer, enabling this option could help with some flickering videos.

10- The next option is to detect frame rate changes, so this could be useful for games with locked frame rates around the 30 or 20 FPS mark, but if your game has an unlocked frame rate, then you need to set this to OFF.
11- Go to Power VR 2 post-processing filter and set this to ON as it makes it a bit more accurate to an original Dreamcast video output. After that, keep the texture upscaling(xBRZ) on OFF.
12- The last option is native depth interpolation, so if you are using an AMD GPU turn this option ON, it could also be useful for Intel-integrated GPUs. If you’re on Nvidia, then turn this OFF.

13- Afterwards, go back and set the Performance to Threaded Rendering. If you are on a low-end CPU, set this to auto-frame skip.

14- Then go back, select Inner frame blending and turn it. It is the ghosting effect of old CRTs, which is more suitable for Dreamcast emulation.
15- Select the controller hacks, as this is required for using things like Robotron 2048. If you want to use a single controller for both thumbsticks, you can swap the ports depending on whether your game needs to be on the right or left port for the controllers or turn it off by default.

16- Now select digital joystick sensitivity as it is set to Auto by default, and it will work for most cases. But you can adjust the sensitivity according to your game base.

17- Next, select the Analog joystick sensitivity, and set it to Linear. You can also set it to a quadratic test, as it depends on the game basis. You have to check which one responds better for your particular gaming.

18- Then select Analog joystick dead zones, and you must adjust this dead zone according to your particular controller.

19- Finally, select Visual Memory Unit; the first option will be per game vmus. The recommendation is to turn this option ON for at least a vmu A1 so that you never have to worry about running out of safe space. But you can still share saves between different memory cards for different games with the other three ports.
You can also display your VMU on-screen. You can choose the screen position and the size to make this one at least 2x, so it’s displayable on the screen. Then you can choose the colours as well as the opacity, so right now, it is not transparent. You need to set it to less than 100 to make this transparent.

20- 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. That’s the only way to apply to the settings for a specific game.


Shaders are extensive, and you could get a fun look for 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.