Setting up Pegasus on a Retroid Pocket 2

Although early in development, Pegasus Frontend is one of the fastest, most capable and flexible frontends you can install on a Retroid Pocket 2. It's also one of the hardest one to set up, requiring you to manually scrape for metadata files and setting up configuration files.

This guide should help you set it up. You'll need the following things:

* A Retroid Pocket 2. A Pocket 1 might work as well, but I haven't tested on that yet.

What's Pegasus?

Pegasus Frontend is what the name implies - a frontend. It's an alternative interface for your device, replacing the usual Android homescreen with apps with a screen with media-rich game information. It makes the Retroid Pocket 2 feel like a more consumer-friendly device.

You can download Pegasus from here. You'll need to sideload it onto your device, by putting it into a folder and running it from a file explorer like Mix.

Setting up your folders

Before you set up Pegasus, you'll need to make sure your roms are properly organized. They should be split into separate folders for each system, which can either be housed in the external or internal storage of your device.

External storage is treated like a separate medium, like a USB drive attached to a computer, while internal storage is considered part of the Retroid Pocket 2's storage space. You can format a microSD to be either from Android's settings menu.

Both have their up- and downsides, which boils down to the following:

Scraping for media and metadata

Once you've organized rom folders, it's time to look for metadata information and media files. The metadata file contains the titles associated with the file names, along with some additional information like descriptions, developer names for specific themes. The media files help make it all look prettier, by adding things like screenshots, boxarts or even videos to the frontend, if a theme supports those.

While you could collect files and make hand-made metadata files, that would be a ton of work if you even have a moderately big rom collection. So we're going to be using specific software to collect all we need. Depending on your operating system, follow one of the following guides:

Windows/Linux: Skraper

On Windows and Linux we'll be using Skraper to collect our files. You can download the latest version over here. You'll also need to create an account on the website Screenscraper.

Boot up Skraper on your computer and follow the wizard to point it towards your Rom folders on either your connected SD card or the folder you'll be moving on the Retroid Pocket 2 later.

When asked what system to use, pick 'Generic Emulation'. It should detect which system is in which folder, but be sure to check the bar on the left to make sure every folder is associated with the right console. Next, we'll be going through the tabs on the right to set some things up.

  1. Media: Select the type of media files you want to use. This will usually depend on the type of theme you'll be using. For example, the switchOS theme requires two media files: a 'Wheel' and a 'Screenshot', both found under 'Images'.
  2. Also Media: Be sure to select 'Resize width to' and fill in at least 640. The lower this number is, the smaller your image files will be and the less strain they'll put on your machines. 640 means the image can fill up the entirely of the Retroid Pocket 2 screen. If you have a theme that shows images on only a portion of the screen, you can fill in a lower value like 160. Also hit the checkmark 'keep aspect ratio'.
  3. Yet again, Media: At 'Output folder', make sure the defaults stay the same. It should say %ROMROOTFOLDER%\media\, followed by the specific file type for each piece of media. This ensures images are saved within the rom folder, inside of a new folder called 'media'.
  4. Miscellaneous: At the section 'Regions (in order of priority', change the order to 'us,wor,eu,jp,ss'. This prevents Japanese media from showing up.

Be sure to use the default output folder, and resize where possible for the smoothest experience.

Hit the play button in the bottom right and make some coffee - depending on the size of your rom collection, this can take a while. 

macOS: Skyscraper

Skraper isn't available on macOS, but Skyscraper is a powerful scraping alternative you can use from the command line. I haven't had first hand experience with it myself, so I'll refer to the Github page of the developer for information on how to install and use it.

With Skyscraper, you do get the option of creating a metadata file that's already configured for Pegasus, which makes further steps a tiny bit easier.

Have more specific knowledge regarding Skyscraper? Feel free to reach out and help us make this bit of the guide more comprehensive!

Creating your metadata files

Pegasus requires a tiny file called metadata.pegasus.txt in each rom folder. This file tells the front-end what games are in said folder and what emulator should be used to boot them once a player selects one.

We'll be using these files by using a tool called the Pegasus config generator. Select the emulators you have installed on your system and click on the big blue button titled 'Download as separate files'. You'll get a zip file with several metadata files that you'll need to place in your respective rom folders.

Next, we need to make sure your game information is in this same file. If you've used Skyscraper, this should be easy: just open the generated text file and paste it below the file you've downloaded. Repeat this for each platform.

Windows and Linux users need to open the .dat file generated by Skraper and paste the text into the left field of the Frontend file format converter.

Select 'Logiqx DAT' in the top left. Copy the new text on the right-hand side excluding the first few lines with general console information (those are already in the files we downloaded), making sure you only grab the bits with game information. Paste this at the bottom of your metadata.pegasus.txt file. You'll need to do this for each separate platform in your collection.

Note: Make sure the collection name in the metadata file matches your theme. A lot of Pegasus skins use the collection name to show platform specific images, meaning your name needs to be the same as the asset files. Browse through your theme folder, look at what everything's called and make sure your metadata files use similar names for your rom platforms. Want to make things even sleeker? you can add a line starting with 'shortname' to refer to the file name, while using 'Collection' to write out the full platform name.

For a list with more usable parameters in the metadata file, check out the official Pegasus documentation.

Example for MyBoy!

collection: Game Boy Advanced
shortname: gba
extensions: cgb, gb, bin, gbc, agb, sgb, gba, gbz, dmg
launch: am start --user 0
  -a android.intent.action.VIEW
  -n com.fastemulator.gba/.EmulatorActivity
  -d "file://{file.path}"

game: F-Zero : GP Legend
file: F-Zero - GP Legend (Europe) (En,Fr,De,Es,It).zip

developer: Nintendo
publisher: Nintendo
  The year is A.D. 2201, and you are about to enter (...)
release: 2004-01-01
players: 1

game: Mario Kart : Super Circuit
file: Mario Kart - Super Circuit (USA).zip
developer: Nintendo
publisher: Nintendo
  All your favourite kart-racing characters are back (...)  
release: 2001-01-01
players: 1

Pointing Pegasus towards your roms

At this point every rom folder should have a file called metadata.pegasus.txt, along with a media folder with images or videos for each game. All we need to do now is point Pegasus towards these games, so they can start filling up the frontend.

If you're using internal storage, it's time to move your rom folders onto your machine. Users on external storage can pop the sdcard into the machine.

Boot up Pegasus, press start and hit 'Settings'. Select 'Set game directories' and use the interface to find and select each metadata file. If you're using external storage, you'll need to navigate over to /mnt/mount_rw/ to find your card.

Adding your themes

Once all of your games have shown up into Pegasus, it's time to set up a theme. Luckily, this is a lot simpler than all of the above steps. Simply go into your internal storage, enter the pegasus-frontend folder and create a new folder called 'themes'. You can paste any theme's folder in here, which should show up in the app's settings after a quick restart by exiting. Do make sure each theme has it's own, separate folder.

Here's a few of our favorites:

switchOS - Makes your device look like a Nintendo Switch. Recently got an update to make it scale nicely with the Retroid Pocket 2 screen size. Valsou also made a fork of this theme, which has the option to list favorites, recently played games and your entire library.

Pegasus RP2 Grid is a tweaked version of the default grid layout, with font sizes and images better suited to the smaller RP2 screen. It also features several cool extras, like color options to match your handheld and a built-in settings menu to tweak the theme to your liking.

gameOS - Pretty heavy theme, and it tends to glitch and crash if you have Android apps turned on as a source. But it's also nicely designed and has a ton of cool features. gameOS RP2 Edition is a tweaked version of the above theme, with slightly bigger images and buttons to fit better on the lower resolution screen.

RetroidStation - The creator of Pegasus ported the EmulationStation 2 theme to work on Pegasus. This is a tweaked version to look better on the lower resolution screen.

RetroidFlix - Another theme made by Pegasus' creator, tweaked to fit the Retroid Pocket 2 display. This one makes your interface look like Netflix.

Pegasus Grid Micro - A smaller version of the default theme, fitting the Retroid Pocket 2 screen.

Setting Pegasus as the default launcher

If you close Pegasus for the first time using the home button, you should get a prompt to make it your default device launcher. If you messed up or this didn't happen, go to Settings > Home and select 'Pegasus'.

This guide wouldn't have existed without the help of a lot of people, so I'd like to thank Mátyás Mustoha for making this program and a lot of the linked tools, Seth Powell for several of the cool themes out there, Nobaddy for helping figure out a lot of stuff for his own guide. Thanks as well to djrodtc for resizing themes to fit on the smaller screen. And of course to the entire Retroid community mod team for helping proofread and tweak this guide.