Retropie vs Recalbox vs Lakka

Which DIY Retro Gaming Emulation Distribution is the best suited for me?

When you’re building your own Retro Gaming Emulation Box, at one point you have to choose which Distribution to use.

Over the course of a few years I’ve used almost every DIY Retro Gaming Emulation Distribution and learned about their advantages and also disadvantages.

In this post I briefly compare in keywords the 3 most used an known Distributions :


Every system offers almost the same features, like :

  • boot from SD Card
  • easy way to add roms via network
  • browse games per system
  • save and load game states
  • enable cheats


So here’s a short breakdown of my experience per Distribution:


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And the Winner is …


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Overall I personally think that Lakka is the best system, there is no configuration file to edit and overall look’n feel is persistent for all emulated systems. It’s by far the most user-friendly system to use.

For me, having a device that runs any game of the golden 8/16Bit Era (NES; Master System, SNES, Mega Drive, Neo Geo) is sufficient. But if you need more “exotic” systems or features (like Nvidia’s exclusive Streaming from a PC) then Recalbox is the better choice.


What are your experiences with these systems? If there is something I’m missing (like a new challenger), please let me know in the comments below.

    • Heitor Carvalho Passos on March 10, 2017 at 7:28 pm


    Nice post! Lakka is awesome. Using for at least 6 months.

    1. HiScoreBob


      Thank you! Lakka is very easy to use, and works out-of-the-box. That’s why it’s still my favourite.

    • Red on March 22, 2017 at 9:45 am


    Hi there! Does Lakka comes with a media center like Recalbox? I’m hesitating between those two 🙂

    1. HiScoreBob


      Hi, I’m sorry but Lakka has no built-in Media Center. It’s focused on playing Games.

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