This is a guide to help install the RetroArch emulator. It is biased towards emulating the Atari Lynx for the Windows operating system.

Resources for Retroarch

  • LibRetro: programmer API for creating emulator. Used to create the RetroArch emulator.
  • Downloads: location for stable and latest builds of RetroArch

Steps to install RetroArch


  1. Pick your appropriate operating system from the stable downloads location.
    For Windows pick either win-x86 for the 32-bit version or win-x86_64 for the 64-bit version.
  2. Download the archive (.zip) files for Cores and RetroArch
  3. Unpack the file RetroArch to a folder of your choice, e.g. C:\Program Files\RetroArch. This will be the base folder
  4. Unpack the Cores zip file to the cores subfolder under the base folder.
  5. Copy the lynxboot.img boot ROM image to the system subfolder under the base folder.

Running RetroArch first time

  1. Start RetroArch.exe.
  2. An error message might show:


    If so, download and install the DirectX Web Installer, which will install DirectX 9.0c runtime components required for RetroArch.


  3. RetroArch shows the menu.


  4. Select Core with the arrow keys and press X.
  5. Select Lynx (Handy) and press X. This returns you to the main menu.
  6. Select Load Content (handy) and press X again.
  7. Navigate to your roms directory and select the appropriate Handy ROM file (a .lnx file). Start it by pressing X.



The nightly builds are also available at the Downloads section.

  1. Download the latest_RetroArch_full.7z.
  2. Unpack the files in the archive to the folder of your choice, e.g. C:\Program Files\RetroArch\Nightly. This will be the base folder again.
  3. Download the cores you want to use. The core for the Atari Lynx is
    Alternatively you can skip this step and use the Core Update feature later.
  4. Extract the cores and place them in the cores subfolder of your base folder.

Running Nightly build for first time

  1. Double-click retroarch.exe. The welcome screen is shown:
  2. Press X to accept. Select Core Selection from the menu and choose Lynx (Handy) from the list. Press X.
    Alternatively you can select Core Updater and pick the cores from there.
  3. Go to Settings, Path Settings, Browser Directory and set it to your ROM directory by selecting subfolders, pressing X and finally selecting Use this directory. Back out to the main menu with Z. 
  4. Pick Load Content from the list. Select the ROM you want to use. Press X.


  • Only zip files are shown in the Load Content menu
    Make sure you have selected the Lynx (Handy) core from the Core Selection menu. The bottom line on the main menu should say the version number and the core that is loaded, such as 1.1 – Lynx (Handy).
  • There is nothing shown in the Load Content menu
    You might have forgotten to set the Browser Directory from Settings, Path Settings.
  • Lynx games start immediately or not at all. No boot screen is shown
    The lynxboot.img file is not in the system subfolder. This makes the games be booted in a different way. Some of the games (like Joust) will not even start properly. You can verify this under Core Information, where it should read (not status: missing, optional)
  • Framerate of Lynx games is too high (500+ fps)
    Probably a bug in the nightly build. I encountered this when I downloaded the build from 5th of April 2015. Might be fixed by the time you read this.

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