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Fixing Common Issues with a RetroPie Installation

Hello, and in this article I’m going to cover off some of the common issues encountered with new RetroPie Installations on Raspberry Pi. I will add more to this page as new issues arise, so please keep checking back. If you like what you’re reading why not consider subscribing to my blog or youTube channel, liking and sharing on social media?

Quick Fix Issues

Black Border on Screen

The most common issue is seeing a black border on the screen which can be often missed until you start playing games. Thankfully there are a couple of simple tricks you can use to help resolve the issue.

Black Border Around the Image

First, check your TV settings, using your remote control, go through your TVs Menu until you find a setting for screen size. It may be a simple case of setting the screen aspect ratio to 16:9 or an Auto Setting to On/Off instead.

If that doesn’t work then thankfully there are some settings you can edit on the /boot partition of the SD Card. You can either insert the SD Card into your PC/Mac/Linux machine and edit the config.txt file, use SSH/PuTTY to connect to the IP address of your Raspberry Pi, or hit F4 on your Pi Connected Keyboard to drop down to the command line.

The video below shows you how to edit the file using vi, not the most friendliest of editors, however the command steps are as follows :-

cd /boot
ls -al
ls -al | grep config.txt
sudo vi config.txt

Use the cursor keys or J to move a line down or K to move a line up (If you’re going old school) until you see a line that has the following


you need to uncomment (remove the #), place the cursor over the # and type the following (All Case Sensitive)

r                                         <- replace mode
Space                                     <- Use the Space Key
ESC                                       <- Use the Escape Key
:wq!                                      <- Write and Quit
ls -al | grep -i config.txt               <- Check the file has been
cat config.txt | grep disable_overscan    <- Check the Parameter has
                                             been updated

Yeah, not the friendliest way of doing it is it? You could use leafpad or another editor if you’re editing directly on the Pi. It’s easier just to pop the SD Card out and edit using a text editor on your PC/Mac etc.

Finally, you will need to reboot your Pi for the parameter to take effect. Issue the following command :-

sudo reboot now

You may need to repeat changing your TV settings again, especially if the image is too big for the screen and you’re experiencing cropping of the image on screen.

Analog Joysticks Not Working?

You’ve installed your MAME collection onto the SD Card, fired up RetroPie and yet your games are unresponsive to the thumbsticks on your games controller… The solution is straight forward. when the game is running press (Select + X) on your games controller, if you chose a different hot key then you will need to press that instead of Select to enter the RetroArch menu. Follow the tutorial below to navigate the RetroArch menu to enable Analog sticks.

If you are setting up more than one controller, then you need to repeat the configuration for each BIND x.

Additionally, if you want the configuration to be at the global level (all cores), you need to go to RetroPie configuration and RetroArch and perform the same. Don’t worry, it’s all explained in this handy video below.

ROM Ownership

If you copied your roms direct from your PC/Mac/Linux device, you may find issues with OS Ownership of the roms which means that sometimes roms can’t be accessed or updated accordingly. To solve this you can use the following two methods.

cd ~/RetroPie/roms
sudo chown -R pi:pi *

Alternatively, you can start up the RetroPie Setup script

cd ~/RetroPie-Setup
sudo ./
Go to Configuration/Tools
827 – Reset Rom Dirs

Hit OK, and the directory permissions will be reset automatically for you.

Remove the Launch Menu

When starting a ROM you see the following message: –

You can remove this and display the games artwork if available by going into the RetroPie-Setup script and using Configuration/Tools option

cd ~/RetroPie-Setup
sudo ./
run RetroPie Steup script and choose configuration
Now select runcommand
Option 1 to Disable Launch Menu
Option 2 to Show Game Artwork if Available

Next time you start the game the launch menu will not be shown. To re-enable it, restart the setup script and change the flag.

Thank you for dropping by and I hope you found this article helped you.

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