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How to add Retro Games to your PLEX Media Server

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This guide will show you how to easily enable additional emulators for Plex Arcade as well as how to add your own ROMs to your library. To learn more about the new Plex Arcade add-on service for Plex Media Server, check out this blog post! By default, Plex Arcade comes loaded with Emulator Cores for Arcade, Atari 2600, and Atari 7800 as well as several pre-installed ROMs for these systems. However, to fully unlock the potential of this service and customize your gaming library and experience, I highly recommend you follow these easy steps to add some additional game support!

Sign up for Plex Arcade

Before we begin, you need to subscribe to the Plex Arcade service. This service costs $4.99 a month or $2.99 for Plex Pass subscribers. Additionally, new users can sign up for a free 30-day trial to test out the service. To sign up for Plex Arcade, go to this link. You will need a Plex account and a Parsec account. If you do not already have a free Parsec account to link to, you will be prompted to sign up.

Install your Emulator Cores

If you want to be able to play more games besides the default Arcade and Atari emulators, you will need to install your own Emulator cores for the desired game systems. While this can be a confusing process when manually installing them, it is super simple when you use an automated installer. Core Manager is a free cross-platform tool tool to manage your emulation cores for Plex Arcade. Core Manager downloads, unpacks, and updates the xml mappings for you so you can stay in the game!

Once you have Core manager installed, it is as easy as clicking on which emulators you want to install. Core manager will then take care of the rest. This software also keeps these files updated.

Organize your ROMs

If you already have a Plex Media Server library with folders for your movies, TV shows, photos, or music, this step will be simple. Just like you have organized your existing content, you will do the same thing for your games (ROMs). Create a separate folder in your media storage location, either on your hard drive, external storage, or network-attached storage, for each emulator and place your ROM files inside each folder. It’s up to you to compile your own collection of content for your library.

Boot up your Plex Media Server and add a new library. Choose Games as the library type and enter a name for your game library, I chose “Retro Games.” Next, point Plex to your media storage folder where you have placed all of the ROMs. Plex will then analyze the files and organize your games!

Power Up your Games!

Before you use each emulator for the first time, Plex will need to initialize the emulator core. As long as you installed a compatible emulator through the Core manager tool, you should be good to go! Enjoy your games!

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