Working with the Right ROM
Only one achievement set is allowed per game per console. This is true in cases of existing official revisions (ex. Rev A), official and unofficial fix patches, and over language versions.
Bonus Sets are an exception to this rule, but are considered an extension to a standard set and follow different rules for what types of achievements are allowed.
Almost every game has multiple ROM versions out there, sometimes dozens. Often there are major differences under the hood to the point where for one game, one ROM will not be compatible with the achievements of another ROM of the same game. Thus, finding the best ROM for achievements is important and should be done carefully.
Region Selection: Where possible choose no-intro
NTSC USArelease ROMs, because 60 FPS is a smoother gaming experience.
PAL Europeanreleases run at 50 FPS, and are to be avoided in most cases.
NTSC Japanreleases also run at 60 FPS , but is only the best choice if the game was a Japan-exclusive release. Needing to resort to a
PAL Europeanrelease game should be a last resort case (Europe-only exclusive), and is typically a very select few unique games from the entire console's library. The PAL/NTSC issue does not apply to GBA emulation, which runs all region versions at the same FPS.
No Mods: Do not use a ROM with a modded/custom launch screen like Mode7 and RisingSun have because it messes up RAM.
No Trainers: Do not use a ROM that includes an integrated cheat feature. These are most often refereed to as after-market
ROM trainers, are not official, and not in any way supported by Retro Achievements.
No-Intro ROMs are the preferred type of ROMs to be linked in the RA database, and should be the ones that you should use to make your set where possible. They filter out bad dumps, hacks, fakes, overdumps, underdumps, etc. and only display the ROMs that are most accurate to the original cartridge. No-Intro ROMs can be identified by the following naming scheme:
Game Name (Region) (Available Languages if Applicable) (Current Revision if Applicable) Example: Diddy Kong Racing (USA) (En,Fr) (Rev A)
GoodTools Game Name (Region) [!], as well as some of the Game Name (Region) (Rom Dumper Group) ROMs from an earlier era might match those in the No-Intro database but it is not guaranteed.
You can verify that your ROM checksum matches the No-Intro database here. Unfortunately some of the RA Emulators don't calculate the checksum correctly (namely NES) so you may need to find your ROM checksum from another source.
English is the Primary language of RetroAchievements. Translation Patches are sometimes applied by developers to non-English titles as the main MD5 for an achievement set where no licenced English version exists. In these cases patching instructions will be provided in the forum thread of that title. Providing an up-to-spec translation patch for an existing title is possibly allowed to make a game more accessible to other native language speakers. You must deep-memory inspect your translation contribution against the core set and submit it for approval before handing it over to the developer of the set for posting in their thread along with the game.
Sometimes translation patches may critically differ from the developer MD5 in memory differences that you may find online. Before linking these patches check with the original developer or do deep memory tests to ensure total compatibility. You can link translation patches you find online to core sets as long as the game's core achievements all function correctly and do not make the game more or less difficult.