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Frequently Asked Questionslink

What is is a zero profit community who collaborate and compete to earn custom-made achievements in classic games through emulation. Achievements are made by and for the community. We provide various custom-built emulators for you to use which will detect when you have completed various challenges. Once logged in, the emulators will post the achievements you've completed back to the site, so you can check and compare your progress to your friends.

Here's an example of RAGens, playing Streets of Rage 2. You will see two leaderboard attempt counters (bottom-right), one achievement popping and finally the Achievement Overlay (press ESC):


What is HARDCORE mode?link

If you want to have a one-to-one replication of how you used to play retro games in the distant past, then HARDCORE mode is what you are looking for. This feature restricts the player from ever loading save states (creating them is allowed for practice/ticket purposes when not playing on HARDCORE), using cheats, and any speed-altering features like rewinding, slow-motion, and advancing the game one frame at a time by using the emulator's built-in functions. Note that the only exception to altering speed is fast-forward which IS allowed. Basically, you are playing the game without the game-altering enhancements emulators come with.

While you will still be able to get achievements in Softcore, playing on HARDCORE mode is the only way to earn a Mastery for a game, displaying your skill- and prowess to your fellow retro achievers and competitors by showing up on the game's page as a master of the game, as well as on the main leaderboard. Playing on HARDCORE will also allow you to set times, scores or participate in miscellaneous challenges on game-specific leaderboards.

Note: If you want to play with the HARDCORE mode disabled (also known as "Softcore"), expect to have some issues. Read in this link Why you shouldn't use the load state feature.

Which emulator do I need to use?link

The official emulators are all Windows-based. For other operating systems you can use RetroArch. More information below:

Official emulatorslink

Please download the emulator of your choice from the download page, log in using your username and password (yeah, you need to create an account first), then load a ROM and play!

What is the Achievement Overlay and how do I access it?link

The Achievement Overlay is a built-in RetroAchievements screen that shows the achievements you can earn and their descriptions of what is required, which achievements you have earned, your achievement score, details on high score leaderboard scores, and more.

Normally, to access it, this will be set up on ESC keyboard key, or the pause function in the game. In most emulators, a game must be active for it to be functional.

Some of the emulators should already be setup assigning a controller button to view the achievement overlay. Generally ESC on the keyboard should activate it, but if you want to assign it to a controller, here are some tricks for some of the official emulators:

  • For RAVBA, go to Tools ⇒ Key Shortcuts ⇒ Emulation, select "Pause", set "shortcut key" to a button and click "Assign"

  • For RASNES, go to Input ⇒ Customize Hotkeys and change Pause/Overlay on page 1.

  • For RANES, Config ⇒ Map Hotkeys and change Pause to a button (Note: this can crash the emulator, do it without a rom loaded for better chances).

RetroArch emulatorslink

For non-Windows operating systems you need to use RetroArch.

Currently you can earn achievements via RetroArch on the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Android (yes! you can earn achievements on-the-go with your Android phone!)
  • PlayStation Vita (needs to be hacked with HENkaku)
  • PlayStation 3
  • Playstation 4
  • Wii U
  • Nintendo 3DS
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Raspberry Pi (recommended systems: RetroPie, lakka and RecalBox)

Full list of Retroarch supported platforms is in this link.

You can get RetroArch on the following links:

Once you installed and did the initial configuration, follow this guide to setup Achievements:

Which RetroArch core should I use?link

Keep in mind that not every RetroArch core is compatible with RetroAchievements. Check this list to see which one to choose.

How can I see the badge when I earn an achievement on RetroArch?link

This feature was implemented in RetroArch 1.7.7 (May/2019), however there are some platforms where it still doesn't work. You just need to assure the Menu Widget option enabled (and it's usually enabled by default).

What are the white points?link

White points, known as Retro Ratio points, are secondary points based on how hard an achievement is, however this feature is not very accurate currently. Explained here in detail.

My welcome email has gone missing!link

Unfortunately sometimes the welcome email has been known to go missing. If this happens, please log in with your username/password you registered with, then visit your settings page. At the top you'll find the option to resend your registration email.

Why can't I see my new profile picture?link

Press Ctrl + F5 (on most browsers). Sometimes after you've changed your profile picture (also known as avatar or user pic) and you need to refresh your browser cache; in most browsers Ctrl + F5 is the quickest way to do it.

Where can I find ROMs?link

Not here. It is illegal to host or distribute copyrighted ROMs. However we have a page about Free Games where you can find some really cool homebrews.

Why is my game not loading up achievements?link


  1. It doesn't have achievements.
  2. You have the incorrect rom.

A good practice is to check the official game's forum topic. If you still don't have an answer check this page here for more details: My game is not loading achievements.

Why do I get a message that some achievements are unsupported?link

RetroArch Unsupported

RALibretro Unsupported

This message informs the user that some achievements cannot be activated either because their version of RetroArch and/or the core being used does not support some newer logic features, or because required areas of the RAM are not exposed for achievement processing.

In most cases updating to the lastest version of RetroArch will correct the problem, alternately updating or using a different supported core will resolve the problem.

RetroArch/RALibretro doesn't launch my arcade game. What should I do?link

First things first: be sure you're using the correct RetroArch core. Check here which core you should use to get the RetroAchievements feature for arcade games.

Second thing: Arcade ROMs are more complicated than console ROMs. There are a few concepts and terminology you need to understand and then it will start to make sense. Here is a good text on this matter: Demystifying MAME ROMs.

Pro tip: use your favorite websearch engine and look for a "reference set" (using ROMs randomly obtained from different sources is a "trial and error" method and will most likely lead you to a lot of frustration).

Will RetroAchievements support this or that console?link

Short answer: Yes, it will.

Long answer: The only correct answer to this question is "Whenever someone with the skills and desire to code support, does just that." - Everyone here is a volunteer so additional support and features happen when they happen. In many cases support for a console is dictated by the emulator(core) developer and is outside of Retroachievement's control.

For more information on specific consoles you can check here: System X When?

How do I request an achievement set?link

On each game's page there is a link to "Request Set".

Request Set Link

Clicking this will add your name to the list of users who have requested a set for the game. Clicking again will withdraw the request. To see other users who have requested the set, click on the "Set Requestors for this game" link in the "More Info" section at bottom of the game page.

Set Requests for Game

User Game Requests

The total number of requests are tallied and displayed on the Most Requested Sets page which can also be sorted by console. If and when a set is created the user request will be automatically returned to use for another game.

The number of requests available to a user is determined as follows:

  • 1 for every year you've had your account
  • 1 for reaching 1250, 2500, 5k, 7500, 10k
  • 1 for every 5k from 10k-100k
  • 1 for every 10k thereafter
  • *Softcore points will count requests up to 10k points for a total of 5

Note: All achievement developers are volunteers, requesting a set gives no guarantee that achievements will be made. The purpose of the request feature is to give developers visibility to what players want most. You might also consider making achievement suggestions on a game's forum page to help get a set off the ground.

What do I do when the achievement isn't working right?link

When problems with achievements occur, either where the achievement wasn't awarded to you or it was awarded at the wrong time, there are solutions to get the problems fixed and for proper credit to be given to you! First you'll want to report the broken achievement. (This is an excellent way to contribute to the betterment of the community!) It creates a ticket report for the achievement developers who will then review the problem and look for a solution.

If the achievement wasn't awarded, you can request a manual-unlock. You'll need to report the broken achievement and provide proof of completion.

How do I report a broken achievement?link

There are two ways to report broken achievements. In the emulator title bar go to RetroAchievementsReport Broken Achievements:

  1. For Official RetroAchevement emulators only:

how to report.

  1. For RetroArch users you can submit the report directly via website. On every achievement's page you'll see a link saying Report an issue for this achievement, like in the image below:


If you use the Official RetroAchevement emulators you can also report problems from the website achievement page, but it is preferred that you use the method built into the emulators.

What details I have to add to a broken achievement report?link

You have to add those information in order for a developer to recognise an issue:

  • Type of issue (doesn't trigger or triggers at the wrong time)
  • Emulator you were using (and core if using RALib/Retroarch)
  • RA hash (checksum) to recognise a version of the game

What details should I add to a broken achievement report?link

If possible, in the broken achievement report Comment paste a link to a screenshot or video (even better) of where the problem occurred. It's recommended to post screenshots on imgur and videos on YouTube.

Also add details like:

  • when it was/wasn't awarded;
  • what game mode (HARDCORE/softcore);
  • what difficulty level or other settings you've selected;
  • how long you were playing;
  • when you most recently died or continued;
  • what you think the problem might be or any details you think could be helpful.

This is necessary so the achievement developers know where the problem is.

What is an RA hash?link

RA hash is an unique string of 32 hexadecimal numbers, to distinguish different games and versions of them, all of them have one.

How do I check the RA hash of the game I'm playing?link

  • For Retroarch - Quick Menu ⇒ Information, then at the bottom there is "RetroAchievements Hash" which is, in fact an RA hash
  • For Standalones/RaLibretro - RetroAchievement tab at the top ⇒ Get ROM Checksum, and it shows the RA hash

How can I get credit for an achievement I earned but wasn't awarded?link

In short how to request a manual unlocklink

In detail how to request a manual unlocklink

  1. Open a ticket describing with details the problem you had with the achievement. (How do I report a broken achievement?)
    1. If the achievement wasn't registered on the site due to a network problem, you don't need to open a ticket.
  2. Get a proof/evidence that you completed the achievement. Acceptable proofs:
    1. Screenshots that show that one is playing in HARDCORE and have completed the achievement.
    2. Video of such (even better) (perfect example of ideal proof provided by gr1nya).
    3. Examples of achievements you've earned that prove you've earned this achievement. Example: You got the achievement for 10k points but the one for 5k points wasn't awarded to you.
  3. If you're on our discord server, send a message on the #manual-unlock channel tagging the @manual-unlock role; if you're not on Discord, send a private message message to the RAdmin user. Your message must have:
    1. The link to the ticket url. You can find the ticket here:
    2. What mode you were playing (HARDCORE/softcore)
    3. Link to your qualified proof of completion. Include proof that the achievement was earned in HARDCORE, if you were playing in HARDCORE.

Previous request examples:

Note: Manual unlocks are intended for players with proof of earning achievements that did not trigger on site due to a bug or network issue.

They are not indented for, and will not be awarded to players who have played the game prior to a set being available, or on an another inherently unsupported platform (original hardware for example).

What if I got an achievement I didn't earn?link

Same with not getting it when you should in most cases you'll want to create a ticket report, leaving an explanation of what went wrong. You'll also want to reset these achievements from your earn history so you can get the satisfaction of truly earning them.

How do I reset achievements?link

There are three ways to do this:

  • On the achievement page:

  • On the game page (when you want or need to reset all earns in a game):

  • Near the bottom of your user settings page:

Am I the only one with an issue?link

If an achievement doesn't work correctly for you, there is a very good chance it doesn't work for other people. You can check in the achievement's page and look for where it says 'The achievement has 'X' open tickets':


If the game has tickets, click on the 'open tickets' link. There will be a list to show any reports of broken achievements. You can comment on these to add helpful details or say you have a problem with this achievement too.

What's considered cheating (for HARDCORE)? What if I find evidence of a cheater?link

Users are required to earn their achievements fairly and legitimately.

In general, a player must unlock achievements:

  1. using the latest release version of an approved supported emulator;
  2. inside of a game by in-game actions;
  3. by their own control;
  4. without outside-modifying game files or game code;
  5. without using another player’s save file, and;
  6. without using outside cheat programs.

If this is not clear enough and you need an in-depth ruleset to understand what is cheating, check the Global Leaderboard and Achievement Hunting Rules.

We live by an honor code most of all. If you find an evidence of a cheater, send the evidence to RAdmin or email to

I want to make achievements!link

Good to hear! The best place to start is here: Getting Started as an Achievement Developer. Once you're familiar with the Memory Inspector and the other Achievements related dialogs, you can go to other Developer Docs.

Please don't hesitate to ask if you need help, don't struggle! The most important thing is to make sure you're enjoying whatever it is you're doing. If you're not having fun, don't do it. But if you get frustrated and want to persist, just drop a message on the forums or in Discord server and someone will get back to you shortly.

How do I reset my password? (If I don't remember my password)link

Right Here:

On Site, front page, while not logged in:

reset password

Will I have any privilege if I become a patron?link

On the website you'll have a badge to mean "I helped fund RA!". On the discord server you'll have access to a dedicated channel. Although we are all immensely grateful for the contributions of the patrons, there is no other bonus besides those ones.

Thanks to the Patreon contributions the RetroAchievements project can pay for a decent server to run the website, run the discord bot and also have periodic backups (to recover data in the event of a disaster), and all this with an ad-free experience. The whole community owe a big thank you to the patrons.

Is RetroAchievements profiting off of emulation?link

No. RetroAchievements is a community of devoted fans who want to pay tribute to their favorite games by creating and playing achievements! While we do accept donations through Patreon all of the money donated is given to fund server expenses and keeping the website completely ad-free. All programmers, achievement creators and staff members give their time the betterment of the community at their own expense.

I was using the site and it crashed (403 error), what happened?link

It happened because you typed one of following words on the site:

  • select
  • union
  • update
  • delete
  • insert
  • table
  • from
  • ascii
  • hex
  • unhex
  • drop

and also some special characters like "%" will cause it

This is because the site lacks a proper framework, so in order to make the database safe the protection was added, removing ability to type those words. This issue is temporary and will be resolved when the site gets a proper framework later at some point.

The best work around is to copy the text into clipboard before posting it, to ensure that you won't lose anything if it breaks.


Last 10 changes on this page:

  • [2023-01-11 22:48] pingus: Change outdated cores list link from libretro to RADocs.
  • [2022-09-09 12:37] Nepiki: Updated Hardcore paragraph regarding leaderboards to account for scores/miscellaneous challenges
  • [2022-09-08 16:30] Nepiki: Changed the marketing for Hardcore mode.
  • [2022-08-13 13:09] Searo: Update set request points after softcore update
  • [2021-04-29 07:49] Keltron3030: Added clarification on console support and a link to "System X When?" page.
  • [2021-04-04 08:15] meleu: breakline before starting a list
  • [2021-03-31 12:05] televandalist: Gave "How do I reset achievements" its own section. Replaced the old gif (it showed resetting softcore + hardcore individually D:) with images of all three locations achievements can be reset at.
  • [2021-02-19 22:35] Keltron3030: Fixed grammar in manual-unlock and added a note on manual-unlock eligibility.
  • [2021-01-25 05:46] meleu: RA hash
  • [2021-01-25 05:46] meleu: RA hash