I've put together this handy guide that will show you how to use the internal save feature (similar to using a consoles onboard storage to save games) as well as how to save your game using RetroPi's save states function.
The way that it works essentially is every single emulator and every single game underneath every emulator within RetroArch has its own saved game file location. Those locations are known as saved states which can choose to snapshot at any point during our time playing a game.
For example, if we’re halfway through level one of a game we can save state at that point and it will save it to a numbered slot starting from 0 and going all the way up to what ever you can make it to. There’s no limit on how many saves you can have and then at any point after that point we can hit any hot key or a combination of keys on our controller that will revert us instantly back to that point in time. Alongside of that you can also have typical saved game data as you would imagine that you would have in any of the older retro games. There was some on the console storage for those sort of saved games and when you beat the boss or something you’d be able to revert when you totalled a new console the next time to that start point. So those parts are a bit more far and few between but the saved states is the absolute best way to do it, the best way to manage it so lets jump in to how we can do that.
I’m just going to use Super Mario Brothers today, we’ve got a copy of that one here and we’ve got the ROM installed on the RetroArch again. Take a look at setting up your controller because you’ll need the controller to be mapped correctly and the only other thing you’ll need is yourself!
So grab your RetroArch controller out and don’t do what I’ve just done - we’ll use the controller of now. So go into our game and I’m just going to demonstrate this really quickly. So we’re going to do Super Mario Brothers - alright…. so, we’ll just make sure we’ve got this all correctly - so select left and right are our two main buttons for saving and loading state so I’ve just died so we’ll do this again :-) So, for example I’m going to go and jump on top of that guy - get a mushroom, jump up here - so when I’m standing here if I save to state, down the bottom of the screen we’ll see a little error message. Save to start with select and right bumper and as you can see my hands are here doing that, so select and right bumpers is that again and if you look at the time stamp not he screen you’ll notice that as well. So, bottom left saved to slot zero. Now if I run my merry self down here and I use the other key which was select and left bumper - so we can see that, look what happened on the screen when we did that. So I instantly revert back to that point in time. So that is the quick and easy way of doing it.
Alright - so I can hear you guys saying - what if I had multiple saved states? How do I manage my multiple saved states? and all that sort of stuff and that is really easy as well. What you can do is just press the hot key, select and directional pads on the d pad and you’ll get the same status message in the bottom left and corner of the screen and it will say save slot changed to number one or number two or whatever. We can just do that really quickly, go into the right - so I’m now in save slot 1, 2, 3, 4, alright so now, I’m now referencing save slot 4 and If I wanted to go and load my saved game I can’t - so I’m not able to load because there’s no save in that state. So, what we can do is we’ll run over here and we’ll save a new game - so a new saved state here.Now if I run back this way and jump up here and load that one - boom - or, if I want I can go back to my original one which was in saved slot zero and now if I press load I will be back there.
I hope that really clears up saved games and saved slots. You can copy your saved game in files from the RetroArch settings menu. We’ve got a nice tutorial over on the website which is very in depth and it goes through how to use ssh so you can remote into your RetroPie and just grab the files you need, it shows you where those files are, it also shows you a bit more behind the scenes of where you’re saving your files which might be very interesting to some viewers so definitely go and check it out and we’ll put that in the links below.
Thanks very much for watching guys, have a great day :-)