Recently, Apple has made a slight adjustment to its policy on game emulation, which has led to the addition of various emulator apps on the iOS App Store. One of the latest additions to this collection is RetroArch, a frontend app that provides access to over 75 system emulators, including variants for Nintendo consoles.

Features of RetroArch

Developed by Daniel De Matteis, RetroArch is not an emulator itself but rather serves as a platform for uploading individual emulator ‘cores’. This unique approach allows for the inclusion of a wide range of systems, making it a versatile option for gamers looking to experience retro games on their iOS devices.

Supported Systems

At the time of writing, RetroArch offers support for popular systems such as NES, SNES, GB, GBA, DS, and even lesser-known consoles like the Virtual Boy. Additionally, the app includes cores for Sega consoles, NEC PC Engine, PlayStation, PSP, and more, making it a comprehensive solution for retro gaming enthusiasts.

While RetroArch supports a wide variety of systems, there are limitations to the types of emulators that can be utilized. For example, more powerful emulators like Dolphin for Wii/GameCube emulation are not currently available on the app due to restrictions on JIT compilation. This means that certain high-end gaming experiences may not be accessible through RetroArch at this time.

In order to run RetroArch on iOS devices, users must have iOS 14.2 or later installed on their devices. The app is currently available for free on iPhone, iPad, and tvOS, with a macOS version in the works for the future. Additionally, RetroArch can also be found on the Google Play Store and Steam, providing a cross-platform gaming experience for users.

RetroArch has emerged as a powerful tool for game emulation on iOS devices, offering a wide range of system emulators for retro gaming enthusiasts. While there are certain limitations to the types of emulators that can be used through the app, its versatility and ease of use make it a valuable addition to the iOS gaming community. As more developers continue to explore the possibilities of game emulation on the platform, RetroArch stands out as a promising example of innovation in the field.


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