Knowledge for the World

Play RetroPie online: How to use Netplay for online multiplayer action

Just like old times! Except with the Internet.
  • by Ash (21)
  • 15 minutes

Playing a game alone is great, but finding someone else to share the adventure with is just as rewarding! In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to play online multiplayer with your RetroPie setup.

Thankfully, RetroPie comes pre-loaded with an asset called Netplay. Learning how to configure Netplay is the trick to mastering online multiplayer sessions. However, like many other Raspberry Pi tools, it comes with it's fair share of specific requirements. If you want everything to work right, it's important to follow this guide to a T.

1

Both parties need to use matching versions of RetroArch to start an online multiplayer session. Be sure the host player and each client are using up to date versions of RetroArch. Visit our guide here on how to update RetroPie.

In addition to matching RetroArch versions, each player needs to run the same emulator and rom. Talk it over and make sure everyone is using the same software.

2

One of the players will need to be designated host. This player is responsible for hosting the online session. They will need to provide network details to the other players so they can join the game.

The remaining players are referred to as clients.

3

Open Netplay settings

Open the RetroPie configuration menu. You should see an option titled "retroarch netplay". Select it to open the Netplay settings screen.

4

Host instructions: Netplay configuration

From the Netplay settings menu, choose "Set Mode, (H)ost or (C)lient" and set it to Host.

Take note of your IP address and open port. This information will need to be shared with the client players.

You can also use this screen to define a custom nickname for your Raspberry Pi to use with Netplay.

Save your changes using "Save configuration".

Note: Make sure the port number used in this step is open on your router for TCP and UDP.

5

Client instructions: Netplay configuration

From the Netplay settings menu, choose "Set Mode, (H)ost or (C)lient" and set it to Client.

Open the "Set port" selection. Enter the port number shared by the host.

Choose the option titled "Set host IP address". Enter the IP address provided by the host player

You can also use this screen to define a custom nickname for your Raspberry Pi to use with Netplay.

Save your changes using “Save configuration”.

6

Launch the rom using Netplay

The rom will need to be launched using Netplay. While your game is booting, press a button to open the rom configuration settings. Choose the option titled "Launch with netplay enabled".

7

Congratulations! If everything worked, you and your friends should be ready for some fun multiplayer sessions.

Test out the settings by trying to launch a common game with Netplay enabled.

8

If something isn't working properly, review this guide and double check that each step was followed precisely. The most common issues are caused by:

  • Mismatched software versions (retroarch/emulator/rom)
  • An invalid IP address
  • An invalid port number
  • A port that has not been opened on the router
  • A ROM that was not launched using Netplay
  • A failed internet connection

Still having issues? Post below or check out the RetroPie wiki.