Emulation With Libretro & Tower Unite

Tower Unite now features Libretro emulation support! Libretro allows for easy integration of emulators!

We have added Libretro into Tower Unite, allowing for emulators to be played within Tower Unite’s Condos!

Please keep in mind that this feature is experimental, but we have taken many steps to make it as accessible and easy to setup as possible! Netplay (networking) is not currently supported.

:information_source: Tower Unite and Libretro do not come with any games. You must provide your own.
You may not discuss or ask where to download roms. Tower Unite does not distribute roms.
However, we do recommend trying out compatible games found on itch.io.

  1. Supported Emulators
  2. How To Install Games
  3. How To Play Games / Consoles
    a. Cartridges
    b. Arcade Cabinets
    c. Handhelds
    d. Touchscreen Support
    e. Lightgun Cabinets
  4. Settings Menu
  5. Controls
  6. Support
    a. Troubleshooting
    b. Automated Features
  7. Future

Supported Emulators

Emulator System Files Supported BIOS Required
FinalBurn Neo Arcade .zip Yes
MAME 2010 Arcade .zip Yes
Flycast (Naomi) Naomi .zip Yes
Flycast Dreamcast .cdi, .cue, .gdi Yes
Genesis Plus GX Sega Genesis / Mega Drive, Master System .zip, .gen, .md, .bin, .smd, .sms No
Genesis Plus GX (CD) Sega/Mega CD, Master System .chd, .cue Yes
PicoDrive Sega 32x .zip .32x No
Mupen 64 Plus N64 .zip, .n64, .v64, .z64, .rom, .ndd No
SNES 9x SNES, Super Famicon .zip, .smc, .sfc No
NEStopia NES, Famicon .zip, .nes, .fds No
Mednafen PSX Playstation 1 .iso, .cue, .m3u Yes
Play! Playstation 2 .iso, .cue No
Yabause Sega Saturn .cue Yes
Opera 3DO .cue, .chd Yes
Stella Atari 2600 .zip, .a26 No
Vice Commodore 64 .zip, .crt No
Virtual Jaguar Atari Jaguar .zip, .jag, .j64 No
Mednafen Super Grafx TurboGrafx / SuperGrafx / TurboGrafx CD .zip, .pce, .chd, .cue No
mGBA GBA .zip, .gba No
Gearboy GB / GB Color .zip, .gb, .gbc No
DeSmume DS .zip, .nds No
Citra 3DS .3ds No
Gearsystem Sega Game Gear .zip, .gg No
PPSSPP Playstation Portable (PSP) .cso, .iso No
Mednafen NGP NeoGeo Pocket .zip, .ngp, .ngc No
Mednafen VB Virtual Boy .zip, .vb No
DOSBox Pure MS-DOS .zip No
TIC-80 TIC-80 .tic No
LowRes NX LowRes NX .nx No

:information_source: BIOS files are Required for Some Emulators!

Certain emulators require BIOS files. You’ll need to install them manually.

  • Go to your Tower Unite Steam folder. To access this, right click on Tower Unite in your Steam Library > Manage > Browse Local Files.
  • Navigate from there to Tower/Libretro/Systems/ and put your BIOS file(s) inside said folder.

You will need to provide your own BIOS files. We cannot assist you with this.

  • Flycast
    • dc_boot.bin
    • To install: In Tower/Libretro/Systems/, create a folder named “dc”, then put dc_boot.bin into it
      • It should look like: Libretro/Systems/dc/dc_boot.bin
    • Misc Instructions: Sega - Dreamcast (flycast) - Libretro Docs

  • Naomi
    • naomi.zip
    • To install: In Tower/Libretro/Systems/, create a folder named “dc”, then put naomi.zip into it
      • It should look like: Libretro/Systems/dc/naomi.zip

  • MAME Final Burn Neo BIOS
    • MAME Final Burn Neo BIOS go into the Arcade folder in your Roms directory, and must be in ZIP format
    • You’ll need BIOS and romsets that are for Final Burn Neo 2022
    • To install: Place in Tower/Libretro/Roms/Arcade/
    • Instructions: Arcade (FinalBurn Neo) - Libretro Docs

  • MAME 2010 (MAME 0.139) BIOS
    • MAME 2010 BIOS go into the Arcade folder in your Roms directory, and must be in ZIP format
    • You’ll need BIOS and romsets that are for MAME 2010 (MAME 0.139)
    • To install: Place in Tower/Libretro/Roms/Arcade/
    • Instructions: Arcade (MAME 2010) - Libretro Docs

How to Install Games

To install games, we’ve set up folders for each emulator core (cores emulate specific game systems).

You can access this folder in two ways:

  • In-game, when you select a game on a Libretro-enabled item, there is a button on the Select Game menu > Open Rom Folder. This will open the rom folder for you.

Advanced: Alternative rom folder access

Right click on Tower Unite in your Steam Library > Manage > Browse Local Files.
Navigate from there to Tower/Libretro/Roms/ and put your own supplied rom files into the proper emulator folder.

Example for Mupen:


:information_source: Rom names should be named the same as their proper game title, so that when other players load the game, they will load the same games. We do strip out as much unneeded info as we can from the rom file names.
ZIPs are supported!
Tower Unite does not distribute ROMs

How To Play / Game Consoles

Once you have placed your game files in the proper places, you can start to play emulators within Tower!

The Consoles are available in the Toy Stop and Arcade ticket stores.

  1. Place down a Libretro enabled item, such as the Partycon console.

  2. Edit the console, and select the game you’d like to play on it or use a Cartridge.

  3. Drag the console near a Media Player. The console will automatically connect to the media player and start emulation!

  4. Use the console to take control of the game.

:video_game: We support full gamepad support right out of the box and all bindings are handled for you!

Game Featured: DUCKSTROMA by AB-UltraNarwhal


You can also use cartridges when playing games on the Libretro consoles.

The Cartridge item is available in the Toy Stop store.

  1. Place down a Cartridge, then edit it and set the game to what you want it to be. This will be saved to the cartridge always.

    • Note: Cartridges will automatically look up the best game artwork (provided by IGDB) and set the canvas URL for you. You can override this with your own custom canvas URL if you’d like.
  2. Throw the Cartridge at a console item and it’ll slot it into the console automatically.

    • You can eject Cartridges by pressing use on them


Arcade Cabinets!

We have created Libretro-enabled Arcade cabinets you can use as well. These Arcade cabinets have support for changing their Marquee, Side Art, Panel Artwork, and Idlescreens.

The Arcade Cabinets are available in the Toy Stop and Arcade ticket stores.

Currently we have:

  • Standing Cabinets (4 styles)
  • Standing Wheel Cabinet
  • Wheel Cabinet
  • Immersive Wheel Cabinet
  • Table Top Cabinet

:information_source: Want to create your own artwork for them? Check out this thread for canvas templates:
Canvas Cabinet Templates: Canvas Template Thread - #26 by macdguy


You can also play games on the go with handhelds. Equip in your hot bar and play within either the Plaza or Condos.

The Handhelds are available in the Toy Stop and Arcade ticket stores.

Touchscreen Support

The dual-screen handhelds support touchscreens and the virtual stylus can be toggled with Space

You can also rotate the handheld sideways with 2 and 3 keys (1 to go back to default rotation), for games that require it.

Lightgun Cabinets

To play lightgun games in Tower, we have lightgun-enabled cabinets available for you.

Lightgun mode supports these emulators: Final Burn Neo, MAME 2010, NEStopia, SNES9x, Genesis Plus GX, Mednafen PSX, Flycast, and Opera

:information_source: Certain games may require you to navigate menus with gamepad before you can play with the lightgun. Toggle between the gamepad and lightgun mode by pressing Space

Settings Menu

Use the settings menu to use Save or Load States, Adjust Volume, or Reset a game.
You can access the settings by holding down Shift or F1 key, or Select/Options button on gamepads.

  • Volume/Brightness Adjust the volume and brightness
  • Save Slot Saves to the default save slot
  • Load Slot Loads from the default save slot
  • Reset Restarts the emulation
  • Joystick Mode Swaps arrow keys from Left Joystick to D-Pad (or vice versa)
  • Keyboard Mode Turns on keyboard input mode (for DOSBox)
  • Game Select Opens the game select menu
  • Shutdown Stops the emulation
  • Leave Leaves the machine, but continues emulation


We support full gamepad support right out of the box and all bindings are handled for you. We recommend using an Xbox Controller.

We also have created key binds automatically for you.

Key Action
Right Shift Select / Insert Coin
Enter Start
Up Arrow D-Pad Up
Down Arrow D-Pad Down
Left Arrow D-Pad Left
Right Arrow D-Pad Right
When using Joystick based emulators
Up Arrow Left Joystick Up
Down Arrow Left Joystick Down
Left Arrow Left Joystick Left
Right Arrow Left Joystick Right
W D-Pad Up
A D-Pad Down
S D-Pad Left
D D-Pad Right
I Right Joystick Up
K Right Joystick Down
J Right Joystick Left
L Right Joystick Right
Left Shift (hold) F1 (hold) Settings
Space Toggle Touchscreen
Space Toggle Lightgun
1 Default Rotation (Dual Screen Handhelds)
2 Rotate Left (Dual Screen Handhelds)
3 Rotate Right (Dual Screen Handhelds)
F1 MAME 2010 Menu, R3
F2 MAME 2010 Test Mode, L3
Reload Open Gamelist (Handhelds)

Note (keyboard only): Joystick is automatically mapped to the arrow keys for certain emulators (such as Mupen 64 and Flycast). Some games use D-Pad for movement, instead of the joystick.

You can toggle between D-Pad and Joystick in the Settings menu by selecting the Joystick Mode option. This option will toggle between D-Pad to arrow keys, or Joystick to arrow keys.

This only applies when using keyboard input. Using a controller will not require this setting.


:warning:We cannot assist you in finding games for these emulators. We also forbid you from discussing places where to find games for these emulators on our Discord or Steam.

We cannot test every possible game. You’ll likely run into issues that no one else has ever experienced. We suggest you take a look at the compatibility pages for the cores on the Libretro documentation.

We recommend trying any games found on itch.io that are compatible with the emulator cores. You can find those here: https://itch.io/games/tag-rom

Troubleshooting / Issues / Notes

Arcades & MAME
  • Our system will prefer the Final Burn Neo core when emulating MAME games. Final Burn Neo is compatible with over 7,000 games. If Final Burn is not supported for that game, it will fall back to MAME 2010 core. MAME 2010 (MAME 0.139) core is compatible with several lightgun/3D-based games.
    • For Final Burn Neo, you’ll need use rom sets that are compatible with Final Burn Neo (November 2022).
    • For MAME 2010, you’ll need to use rom sets that are compatible with MAME 2010 (MAME 0.139).
    • Naomi games will use the Flycast core always.
    • In general, our system knows which core to use and will switch accordingly for you.
DOS Box Requirements
  • Each DOS game needs to be in its own .ZIP file.
  • Many DOS Box games will need you to change key binds, the Escape key can be accessed with the Select button and Left Stick down will open the keyboard.
DeSmume/Citra Touchscreen
  • DeSmume and Citra has simulated touch screen support with the Right Stick (Right Stick down to click).
  • While using dual-screen handhelds, you can enable touchscreen mouse input with Space.
Mednafen PSX - Multi-Disc Support
Play! PS2 Compatibility Limitations
Citra crashes on AMD GPUs

Automated Features

  • PPSSPP: We automatically install the required PPSSPP files directly from Libretro.
  • Mednafen PSX: We automatically create .CUE files for .ISOs, so you don’t have to yourself.
  • Cartridge Art: We automatically look up game info using IGDB to discover the artwork for your game cartridges.


In future updates we plan to have:

  • VR Support
  • Custom Key Binding for Libretro

this is fucking INSANE!!! HOOOORAYYY!!!


So cool!

Any future support for GameCube/Dolphin? Super excited to try this!

EDIT: Just reread, it mentions handhelds, can you also do handheld emulation on a larger screen in condos, or are emulators such as 3DS locked to the handhelds?


THIS IS INSANITY??? from the back of condo i/o to this thats insane

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This is so incredible! Can’t wait to play MKDS in Tower. OH YEAH!

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This is really cool, but how does this work with workshop condos? That would be distributing ROMs.

ROMs are not saved to a workshop condo or distributed. The only thing that is stored is the name of the game. Our system internally searches your local files for a matching game of the same name. So if you had “Super Vampire Man” installed on your local machine, it’ll try to find that ROM for you. This search eliminates as much as it can so it finds the correct match, as well.


Some details on cores I’ve tested:


In the future, is it going to get updated so people can watch you play?


This is a surprise but a welcome one


does this allow multiplayer games?

Bottom of the post says no netplay, so no. At least not yet anyway

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This is incredible, I really cannot overstate how much of a massive W this update is. I have some questions:

  • Are we gonna be able to get light gun game support like with EmuVR in the future?

  • You say VR support is in the future, does that mean we’ll be able to play these emulators in VR? (Especially the handheld, lounging around in the lobby or my condo playing handhelds in VR would be cozy)

  • I know you can’t watch people play or have netplay support now, but will that be a feature in the future?

  • Is additional work underway to get stuff like dolphin_libretro working? Or is that just simply off the table?

  • Will the arcade area in the lobby include some homebrew games to demonstrate this? Might be a good way to stress test netplay if that ever comes in the future.


Wow, this is very unexpected but a welcome surprise nonetheless!
Seeing this has just reminded me of the Arcade API feature, which I hope you guys haven’t forgotten about. I was looking forward to it back when it was being actively worked on.

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oh boy i cant wait to play DOOM in tower unite!

I am currently working on this. There’s a bit of legwork because there are different lightgun devices per game and I want a system that automatically handles this for you.

Yes, that is my goal.

It is something we’re looking into.

Dolphin currently has a bug with their OpenGL implementation on their Libretro core. Eventually they might have a fix, or someone will.

We’re still figuring out what we wanna do with this.



Was the PPSSPP Renamed To the GameStation Global?

PPSSPP is the emulator’s name, it doesn’t have anything to do with the model.


Screen brightness across everything is very bright it seems.
Add nested folder support so i dont need to cheat my mklinks

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