Getting started with Reicast

The official forum for the Reicast emulator project.

Moderator: Reicast Staff

User avatar
Reicast Team
Reicast Team
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:11 pm
Location: The World
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Getting started with Reicast

Post by skmp » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:20 pm


You will need the Dreamcast BIOS files (dc_boot.bin and dc_flash.bin) to run Reicast. It is illegal for us to provide these files as they are copyrighted by Sega. You can dump these files from your Dreamcast, Google can point you to many tutorials regarding this procedure.

BIOS Setup

Connect your phone to a computer, and in your phones internal memory, create a folder named "reicast". Inside this folder create a folder named "data". Inside the data folder, put dc_boot.bin and dc_flash.bin.

Start reicast, open the menu on the left and select paths. Use the Browse button to configure the "System Path", and make it point to the "reicast" folder you created.

Some devices do not support writing to external storage. It would be a good idea to place the aforementioned folders on the internal memory of your device in order to avoid possible issues.

How to set the time

If you want the BIOS to stop asking you to set the time on each launch you can follow these steps.
  • Launch the bios and enter the date/time - make sure it is 5 minutes before your current local time
  • Quit the bios (close the emulator)
  • Boot the bios again - you should now see the time to be your correct local time!
How to Save

You need to format the memory card before being able to save. Here's how to do it:
  • Launch the bios and go to the memory card (vmu) screen
  • Select the memory cards you want and do a complete erase (format) on them
  • Quit the bios (close the emulator). You should be able to save from now on

Reicast does not come with games, you need to provide game images (roms) yourself. Reicast supports the following formats: gdi, chdv4, cdi. Gdi or chd are the best formats to use, cdi images often have issues. As with the bios, please use Google for further instructions on how to dump your games.


Configuration menu

You can access it by touching the reicast logo on the top left side of the screen or pressing left on the D-pad/analog stick of your gamepad.
  • The "Browser" option sends you back to the reicast game browser.
  • The "Settings" screen allows you to enable the following settings:
Unstable optimizations (off by default): This enables some optimizations that are not properly implemented yet. The unfinished parts are hacked together until their implementation is finished. This makes the optimizations unstable.
Turning this option ON makes things faster, but also makes the emulator more unstable.

Limit FPS (on by default): This enables the internal frame limiter.
Turning this ON makes reicast stop from running too fast.

Use mipmaps (on by default): This enables emulation of MIPMAPS. This is meant to be always ON and not have a configuration option. Unfortunately some driver bugs for PowerVR SGX produce GFX artifacts when this is used. Thus, the need for this option.
Disabling the option if your device has a PowerVR SGX and textures appear messed up will (most likely) fix the errors.

Widescreen mode (off by default): This is a hack that makes the system output graphics on the whole screen. Some games actually work fine with it, while others show artifacts.
This should be normally OFF. If a game actually works fine with it set ON, then you might want to use it.

Frameskip value (0 by default): This makes reicast skip processing and rendering some frames, in hopes of running a bit faster.
Set this option to 0 unless reicast runs really slow. In that case, you might want to increase it a bit.
  • The "Paths" screen allows you to tell reicast where the folder with your BIOS files and where the folder with your game files are placed.
Note: When selecting where you BIOS files are, do not select the "data" folder. Select the folder that has the "data" folder inside it!
For example, if the path is "/mnt/sdcard/dc/data/" then you need to choose the "dc" folder.
  • The "Input" screen allows you to select and assign the controllers you want to use with reicast.
Note that while some controllers are supported by reicast, some others are not. Be sure to let us know if your controller is supported!
If your device has a microphone you can enable one microphone device to be "plugged in" to the second port of the first controller!
  • The "About" screen just shows some information regarding reicast.
In-game menu

This can be accessed by pressing back, menu, select on your device

Top level of icons

VMU LCD screen: This shows you the output of the LCD on the first VMU device on controller 1. Tap it to relocate it from the menu to stay on the top right of the screen! Tap that to put it back.
Up arrow: closes menu
VMU swap: swaps VMU 1 and 2
Toggle right analog stick function. Either Y axis controls L/R triggers or the four directions control the face buttons.
Open runtime settings
Open debug settings
Close emulator

Runtime Settings

Up arrow: go back to top level of the menu
Toggle widescreen
Reduce frameskip
Increase frameskip
Toggle Limit FPS setting
Mute sound
Close menu

Debug Settings

Kill texture cache
Print stats
Close menu

On-Screen Buttons

If you are updating from r5 to r6 there are new images for the on-screen buttons, but you will need to delete /dc/data/buttons.png to see them!
(aka: drk||Raziel, drk, Stefanos Kornilios Mitsis Poiitidis. Yes, I have four names, get over it)

Nothing is, but thinking makes it so