Explore gaming on the Lakka console


Games with many levels sometimes seem impossible to complete; your character constantly takes the path to digital nirvana. This problem obviously bothered the makers of Lakka, who therefore implemented some features to keep the game fun. Suppose you have decided to work your way through the levels in Zelda II – The Adventure of Link (Figure 3) but find you are not making much progress. In this case, press F2 to save the current game state. If a mishap occurs in the game, you can press F4 to return to the last saved state without losing a life.

Figure 3: The character Zelda is constantly under attack in The Adventure of Link.

Even more convenience is provided by the Rewind function, enabled in the context menu of the respective game, which removes the need to save the game. You can get there by pressing the RGUI button on the gamepad, usually located between Start and Select and imprinted with the manufacturer's logo. Then go to Rewind | Rewind Enable to turn on this feature for the game. If your character meets an untimely end, press R on the keyboard repeatedly until you end up in a safe scene again.

Older games like Formula 1 (Figure 4), Sonic the Hedgehog (Figure 5), or The Legend of Zelda (Figure 6) look quite pixelated, especially on larger monitors; they were originally programmed to be displayed on a TV. This circumstance can be mitigated by switching to Shader Options | Load Shader Preset in the context menu of the corresponding game and choosing a shader. For example, xsoft/4xsoft smoothes the pixels, and other shaders make the game look sharper.

Figure 4: The Formula 1 arcade game looks pretty pixelated. Test the different shaders to optimize the display on a large monitor.
Figure 5: If you were a teenager in the 1990s, you will know Sonic the Hedgehog very well. Thanks to Lakka, the game can be run on the Raspberry Pi.
Figure 6: The very first version of Zelda, The Legend of Zelda, has quite a low resolution. Here, too, shaders help to improve the rendering.


Lakka can be operated for the most part from the graphical user interface, so that part, at least, is quite intuitive. It is also ready for use after the first boot, which is not the case for many home-built consoles. Because games can be saved, Lakka is all the more desirable. Additionally, features like shaders keep the game fun longer. Especially with the advanced settings, you can get even more out of Lakka, although it is not mandatory. All told, the distribution is well worth the effort for retro gamers who want to get started right away without tinkering.

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