Sindastra holding the GPi
Sindastra holding the GPi

In my past YouTube videos I took a look at running the GPi Case with the Pi Zero 2 W.

So, how did I do it?

This guide assumes you have a Rasberry Pi Zero W working with the GPi Case, using RetroPie.

Update it all

First thing is, update Raspberry Pi OS:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Then upgrade from Raspberry Pi OS 10 to 11 (buster to bullseye): Check the official documentation on how to do that.

Note that, if doing an update is too much of an effort, you can try to start fresh with a Raspberry Pi OS 11 image, and then manually install RetroPie according to their guide, however I did not test the [manual install].

Instead of going through the manual update, download the image for Raspberry Pi 3 from the [RetroPie weekly images]. It works on the Pi Zero 2 W!

Also check out my videos at the bottom of this page.

Drivers

Now that we’re fully up-to-date, download and install the Retroflag GPi Case [drivers from here].

This is needed because the update did overwrite the previously installed ones.

Edit the config.txt

If you’re doing this through SSH, you will find it under /boot/config.txt

If you’re doing this on your PC through SD card, you’ll find the config.txt in the “boot” partition.

Edit it and comment out the sound part so that this:

dtoverlay=pwm-audio-pi-zero

becomes this:

#dtoverlay=pwm-audio-pi-zero

This is because the GPi Case AUDIO drivers don’t seem to work with the Pi Zero 2 W (but the screen drivers do).

Now we want to fix audio by adding these two lines:

dtoverlay=audremap,pins_18_19
snd_bcm2835.enable_compat_alsa=1

Note that sometimes audio works, sometimes it stops working after reboot. Make sure to hit start to open the settings menu, go to sound, and crank the volume up there. If often sets itself to 0.

Speaking of the start key, let’s fix START and SELECT:

Fixing the keys (START and SELECT)

SSH into the Pi, edit ~/.emulationstation/es_input.cfg like this:

nano ~/.emulationstation/es_input.cfg

Now where you see the keys start and select, replace the ID numbers so that 6 becomes 8, and 7 becomes 9.

Reboot, hit start to open the menu, run the key configuration again so that it will also update the keys for the emulators.

Conclusion

It’s actually quite easy once you know how, the biggest hurdle is upgrading from Raspberry Pi OS 10 to 11…

As for the audio, I have not yet figured out how to make it work across all reboots. Currently it’s more of a gamble.

If you know how to make audio work reliably, let me know in the comments!

Update 2021-12-02

Instead of going through the manual update of RetroPie, download a weekly image for the Pi 3, which works great on the Zero 2 W!

Furthermore, unless you really want RetroPie, I’d recommend using [Recalbox] instead of RetroPie.

Check out my videos below which cover everything from the original troubleshooting, the success, Recalbox and the updated RetroPie method.

Videos

Part 1, Troubleshooting
Part 2, Success
Part 3, Recalbox instead of RetroPie
Part 4, RetroPie updated method