How to Play DOS Games on Raspberry Pi using DOSBox – Top Guide

How to Play DOS Games on the Raspberry Pi using DOSBOX

How to Play DOS Games on Raspberry Pi using DOSBox – Top Guide

Soon after the launch in 1981, the MS-DOS became a popular platform for office use as well as playing games. Until the year 1997 came, there were a plethora of DOS games that entered in the user’s PCs. If you still love to play Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Day of the Tentacle, Civilization like DOS games but can’t do that due to the discontinued support from Microsoft, then don’t worry because you can play DOS games on Raspberry Pi too!

Oh, my! What I just said? Well, I said just what I heard, researched, and implemented on my own Raspberry Pi. So today, I will provide a quick & easy guide on How to Play DOS Games on the Raspberry Pi Using DosBox without much effort.   

First, take a look at the things you will need for running DOS on Raspberry Pi & play games on it:

  1. Raspberry Pi board (Pi 3 recommended)
  2. Power supply (5V)
  3. Micro SD Card (4GB minimum)
  4. Retropie (Raspberry Pi Gaming Console)
  5. Raspberry Pi display
  6. HDMI cable
  7. USB mouse and keyboard
  8. USB WiFi adapter/Ethernet cable (optional)
  9. Gaming controller (optional)
  10. Protective case (optional)

How to Play DOS Games on Raspberry Pi

We will take help of one of the most excellent DOS gaming emulators, i.e., the DosBox. First, we install the DosBox on the Raspberry Pi and then see how it will help you to play the DOS games.

I assume that you have made all the necessary connection setup with your Raspberry Pi and also attached the Retropie with the power supply. You can use the Ethernet cord or the wireless adapter dongle if you want to connect your Pi with the internet (It is only needed if you are not using the Raspberry Pi 3).

Let’s go to the steps now.

Step-1: Install the OS

Remember that the DosBox is not an Operating System; it’s just a gaming emulator. So, you need first to install the Raspberry Pi OS on your device. You can use the Win32DiskImager and the Micro SD card to extract the install the OS image downloaded from the official site.

After you install the OS on the SD card, attach it to your Raspberry Pi device and boot it up. If you are using a Pi 2 board, then connect it to the internet using the wireless dongle or the Ethernet adapter and proceed to the next step.

Install the OS

Step-2: Install the DosBox

Here, you will use the Raspberry Pi command terminal to make the installation and configuration of the DosBox on your Pi. But before that, you need to make sure that your Pi is updated.

Open the terminal and enter the commands below:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

Raspberry Pi command terminal

Also, you need to update the Retropie to make it perfectly compatible with the latest version of DosBox. Enter the command lines mentioned below:

cd retropie-setup

sudo ./retropie_setup.sh

retropie_setup

A list will appear on the screen. Choose the number 6 to update the retropie binaries. Then, install DosBox on your Raspberry Pi using the command

sudo apt-get install dosbox

install dosbox

Enter your password if asked and then press ‘Y’ when asked. The installation process will start. Wait until it finishes.

Step-3: Configure the DosBox

After you got the Raspberry Pi DosBox, it is the time to configure it. If you are wondering about how to configure DosBox, then don’t overthink as it is not a complicated process. Create a folder of dos in your local drive. Then you will need to mount the directory in the Dosbox.

mount d d:\dos

Then, You will need to create a directory in your DosBox where the games will be stored.

md d:\dos-games

Dosbox

 

You can do this from the Graphical Interface too. Now make the necessary changes in the configuration file according to your preferences. Enter the command

nano ~/.dosbox/dosbox-0.74.conf

Here, (~) indicates home directory. Check the version number while you are doing this. I had selected the current version of the time when I wrote the guide. Change the mouse sensibility, size of the screen, and other things you want.

Now, to set the button controls, enter the command below after you open the DosBox. You can also finish this process by selecting CTRL + F1 on your keyboard.

dosbox –startmapper

dosbox-startmapper

Remember that the monitor mapping may change from one game to another, so be sure to check and set the controls when you switch between games.

Step-4: Install Dos Games

You installed and configured the DosBox on the Raspberry Pi. Now, it is the time to get some games. Here, I will describe how you can install the ‘Doom’ game on your RPi DosBox. The process is same for all other Dos games that you want to play on your Raspberry Pi.

Doom game on RPi DosBox

There are two methods to do it; using GUI and using Terminal. I will show you both.

Method-1: Using Graphical User Interface

First, open the Raspberry Pi Web Browser on your device, go to dosgamesarchive.com and search for ‘Doom’ in the search bar. Then download the zip file formatted for MS-DOS.

  • Now, on your Raspberry Pi screen, go to the ‘File Manager.’
  • Look for the file named as ‘Doom19s.zip’  (my current version) in the download section
  • Copy that file and paste it into the folder of DOS games
  • Unzip the file and enjoy the gameplay

Method-2: Using Raspberry Pi Terminal

Writing some command lines is also easy when you want to download and install the DOS games for the DOSBox emulator.

  • Open Pi terminal and write mkdir dos-games/doom
  • Now, change the directory. Enter the command below

cd home/pi/dos-games/doom

  • Download & install the game by writing the code

wget http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/doom19s.zip

unzip doom19s.zip

Step-5: Play games on Retropie

If you finished the download & install of the game, but still wonder how to play DOS-games on Retropie, then follow this simple procedure.

Almost all the games have an executable file that named with an extension .exe.

  • Open the Raspberry Pi DosBox
  • Type ‘DIR’ in the DOS prompt and look for the Doom.exe file there
  • Now, exit from the prompt to come back to the Raspberry Pi terminal window
  • Mount the folder of the game in the directory

mount  d home/pi/dos-games/doom

  • Change the drive where you have installed the doom.exe file like below:

D:

  • Type the name of the game you want to run

D:\> doom

This will launch the game, and you should see the game menu on your screen. Enjoy the play!

DOS on Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi terminal and the DOS are the similar command line interfaces. You can create your own gaming console on Raspberry Pi to enjoy playing retro games. But, if you want to play DOS games on your Retropie, then you need to take help from the DosBox and a quick, easy guide like this, especially if you are doing it for the first time.

You can add as many games to your DosBox depending on the capability of the memory of your storage device and your system support.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial throughout and found it helpful to set up and play DOS games on Raspberry Pi using DosBox. Spread your words in the comment section below. Also, let the world know any other quick method to play DOS games that you have in mind or have applied.

Pi rocks!

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