Can Raspberry Pi Be Used For Gaming? | Best Raspberry Pi For Gaming?

Since its inception, Raspberry Pi has been a point of interest for a wide domain of enthusiasts.

Because here is the thing. 

For years people have been working on computers that offered a closed ecosystem of running expert developed apps.

Or on smartphones who cut down the freedom for custom operation even further.

It was all fun and games in the beginning, but here is the fundamental fact about our minds.

They get bored.

I mean yeah, it’s cool to live in a castle with protective walls where all your needs are taken care of.

But you must have a Saiyan level of ignorance to be able to ignore the

calling of vast skies and fertile greens.

No, I am not trying to create a Disney story, where you are Rapunzel.

But I hope you get the point.

True to its name, Raspberry Pi was just the right kind of dessert that every hungry tech-head desired for.

It was small, it was potent, it was fast, it had the capacity to take inputs from the external world (GPIO), and last but not the least, it ran on LINUX.

And yeah, I mean it about the LINUX. If you are new to tech or aren’t that tech-savvy, maybe it doesn’t mean a lot.

But ask a real tech-head.

A Linux device that can interact with the external world, via sensors, serial communication, and protocols like I2C.

COWABUNGA!

While Raspberry Pi was able to capture the interest of DIY tech-heads.

There was one group of individuals who were eyeing this piece of technology with some hope, which soon dissolved like a mirage on a hot summer day.

Yup, the same group of individuals are rarely satisfied by anything. 

The very same people who till they don’t have some RGB in every single hardware on their PC don’t even call in a PC.

Yup, I am talking about gamers. 😛

I am sorry, guys I am just pulling your leg, I love gamers. I am one for crying out loud.

Raspberry Pi as a gaming prospect, is a topic that I feel isn’t discussed as much as it should be.

This is important so that people have a perspective on Raspberry Pi as to what it can and can’t be used for.

In this article, let’s discuss some very frequently asked questions revolving around Raspberry Pi and gaming.

Questions like is Raspberry Pi good for gaming, can you really game on it, and with the updated versions coming out is Raspberry Pi powerful enough for gaming, and stuff like that.

So, without any further ado let’s get into it.

First things first then, can raspberry pi be used for gaming?

It depends on what you consider as gaming. Under no circumstances will your Raspberry Pi be able to run high-end games with extreme graphics? However, if you are looking to emulate retro games that have humble demands, you can put Raspberry Pi to really good use.

So, you see your Raspberry Pi isn’t going to be a one on one replacement to your gaming PC.

Because most of the current titles are very flamboyant in demanding PC resources.

And developers know this, they understand this simple principle very well that if they create something that addresses the demands of the gaming community, the community will throw all the resources that the game demands to have a good experience.

You know, I really wish to create an article discussing the collective mental patterns or consciousness, if you will, of the gaming community.

Because I am a little concerned about how this whole gaming thing is affecting our minds at large.

But let’s keep that for a later post.

Subscribe to the blog so that I can reach out to you as soon as I release the aforementioned post.

And do me a favor, just open these posts in a new tab so that you have something related to read after you have read this post.

It will make your understanding more comprehensive and insightful.

Okay, onwards.

Is Raspberry Pi Powerful Enough For Gaming?

You can definitely game on Raspberry Pi. But you can’t choose what you can game on it. You see Raspberry Pi isn’t as modular or potent as your general gaming PC. So, it cannot run extreme high-end graphical games but it sure can run a big library of games of the past, that aren’t so resource hungry.

If you look at it, Raspberry Pi is nothing but a scaled-down compute unit.

And because it is a compute unit, it does have the capacity to run applications and games.

The only thing it doesn’t have the computing or graphical processing power which you have come to expect from your everyday PC.

Therefore, while it can run retro games, python games, browser games, and games developed for Raspberry Pin exclusively fairly well, you cannot anyway expect it to execute high-end graphic titles of the modern-day on it.

Purely for the simple fact that it isn’t designed for it.

But for the games that it can indeed run, I assure you, there is some serious fun you can have with it if you are willing.

Add to that, the current version of Raspberry Pi also comes in an 8 GB RAM variant making it even more appealing for hobbyists to test its operational borders.

More memory is not the only thing that is new in Raspberry Pi 4.

The newer model is two to four times faster than all the previous models, supports USB 3, Gigabit Ethernet, and dual video output with resolutions up to 4K.

The GPU has got some serious boost too. The earlier 3B+ model sported Broadcom Videocore IV that had a core clock speed of 400 MHZ.

The newer models have Broadcom Videocore VI that is set to operate at 500 MHz.

Now the capacity to be able to play classic arcade games has always been a forte of Raspberry pi.

With the upgraded hardware, the gaming experience should enhance further and it should be able to emulate more demanding games like GoldenEye007.

What Games Can You Play On A Raspberry Pi?

Now that we know with due respect to the inherent limitations of Raspberry Pi, that we can indeed game on Raspberry Pi.

It’s time to understand what domain of games can you really run on your Raspberry Pi.

And no, you aren’t limited to just Raspberry Pi exclusive games or Linux titles only, if you are ready to tinker around you can actually enjoy a huge domain of games on your Raspberry Pi.

Retro Games UsingRetroPie, RecalBox, and Lakka

Probably the most popular deployment that I am sure most of you are aware of is retro gaming using Raspberry Pi.

While you can go the route of installing individual emulators depending upon the platform, installing a retro gaming suite is often the best move.

With this, you will get the support for most emulators including MAME that you can use for arcade machine emulation.

Once you have installed either of the three (RetroPie, Recalbox, or Lakka) on your Raspberry Pi, all that is left is to copy your retro gaming ROM of choice onto the disk and let the games begin.

Games Developed Exclusively For Raspberry Pi

With so much development happening around Raspberry Pi, in terms of hardware, accessories, and software, it was only a matter of time before exclusive games were developed for the pi.

One of the top ones is Minecraft PE, which happens to come preinstalled with the most popular choice of Raspberry Pi OS, Raspbian.

It’s worth noting here that any game that is natively developed for Pi is usually created using Python.

Here is a great site that you can browse to look for games developed using python.

Games That Can Be Installed On Raspberry Pi

There have been many games over time that have been republished as open source.

This has resulted in porting of many of these games to suit different platforms.

While in most cases this means that the games are ported to run for Linux but with only x86 supports, but this also infers ARM compatibility.

And thus, the chances that these games can run on Raspberry Pi are always there.

For example, games such as Doom, Quake III, Jedi Knight, Jedi Outcast are known to be modified in order to be compatible with Raspberry Pi.

All you need to do once you download them is installing them and getting lost into the familiar nostalgic world.

Raspberry Pi Gameplay Using DOSBox

Another very scarcely used way I have to say to play games on a Raspberry Pi is using DOSBox.

You can install most old-school PC games on DOSBox the software itself can be very easily installed on your Pi.

DOSBox is nothing but an MS-DOS OS emulator. For a handful of people who don’t know it, MS-DOS was an operating system that preceded Windows. 

It laid out the groundwork for the release of successful operating systems like Windows 98.

MS-DOS was included within all Windows 95 and 98 installations.

Streaming Games To Pi Using Parsec

I am pretty sure this is going to come as a surprise to you but you can stream games from Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms to Raspberry Pi.

This is going to be even more appealing given the fact that the new raspberry pi supports 4K display resolution and is capable of driving two displays.

Now of course for this to work you will need a powerful PC doing all the heavy work, but you can very easily set up a simple stream using Parsec from your PC to your raspberry pi.

The capacity to be able to stream any game titles from your PC to Pi makes your Raspberry Pi streaming arrangement a good alternative to Steam Link.

Other Cool Things That You Can Do With Raspberry Pi

Okay, so gaming is one thing but what are the other areas of application can you subject your raspberry pi to?

I need to bring your attention once again to the very purpose why raspberry pi was created.

It was created with the intent to act as a low-cost compute unit on which you can code, learn the core mechanisms of how a computer operates, and something that brings together the versatility of a PC and the capability of interacting with the outside environment.

That is why you will see the eyes of geeks light up when you ask them what all things can you do with a Raspberry Pi.

You see Raspberry Pi in the very way it is created screams freedom.

And with the advanced hardware, it is getting with every iteration, the range of deployment can be anywhere from using it as a secondary PC, using it for gaming to something that logs data from sensors and uploads it to a private server.

That is why if you have even a slight bit of inclination towards computers and practical electronics, I highly recommend you get a Raspberry Pi for yourselves.

So, the sky is really the limit here.

Every day I hear about something creative that someone created using Raspberry Pi.

Here are some articles, that will get you started with using raspberry pi.

While the uses of Raspberry Pi are numerous, here are some cool things that you can do with your Raspberry Pi which will give you a good idea of the range of uses you can subject the Raspberry Pi to.

These are of course just a few applications that I have picked from the huge domain of things you can do with a Pi.

All the listed uses are a good mix from which you can choose from depending on whether you are a beginner or an expert.

Do let me know, if you have created something cool with raspberry pi or are looking to build something, Maybe I could be of some help. Subscribe to get in touch with me. 😊

Best Raspberry Pi For Gaming?

Now I am fairly sure you have a comprehensive understanding of the different things you can do with Raspberry Pi.

If you have made up your mind that gaming is the primary task you wish to subject your Pi to.

Given the inherent limitations of a Raspberry Pi, in the gaming department, what is the best Raspberry Pi should you buy to run the games that Pi can indeed run.

The best Raspberry Pi that you can get for emulation is surprise, surprise the Raspberry Pi 4 of course.

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 8GB Starter Kit - 8GB RAM
  • Includes Raspberry Pi 4 8GB Model B with 1.5GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU (8GB RAM)
  • 32GB Samsung EVO+ Micro SD Card (Class 10) Pre-loaded with NOOBS, USB MicroSD Card Reader
  • CanaKit Premium High-Gloss Raspberry Pi 4 Case with Integrated Fan Mount, CanaKit Low Noise Bearing System Fan
  • CanaKit 3.5A USB-C Raspberry Pi 4 Power Supply with Noise Filter, Set of Heat Sinks, Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable - 6 foot (Supports up to 4K 60p)
  • CanaKit USB-C PiSwitch (On/Off Power Switch for Raspberry Pi 4)

It’s faster, has fancy display options, and sports more and faster RAM compared to all the previous models.

The next best thing is the previously successful model which is the Raspberry Pi 3B+.

However, here is why if you can choose the Raspberry Pi 4.

Comparing with 3B+, Rpi 4 has improved SoC, and the option to choose a higher plus faster memory model (8 GB).

But truth be told the additional RAM won’t play a huge role if you are prioritizing emulation from your Pi.

This is because gaming or emulation is primarily a CPU-intensive task (and GPU intensive too to a certain degree).

One big up on Rpi 4 is the capacity to drive dual 4K monitors via micro HDMI ports which pretty much gives it the required edge to be chosen as a better choice for gaming or emulation.

FAQs

I hope I was able to put forth useful and wholesome insights that should help you understand the prospect of gaming on a Raspberry Pi better.

That being said I understand there is still going to be a lot of room for queries, doubts, discussions, and feedback.

And therefore, let me leave you with a few more frequently asked questions that I think should quench your thirst for knowledge on the topic even further.

Not just that if you have any other queries, do leave them in the comments section below.

If the question seems a popular one, I will include it in the questionnaire below.

Can You Play PC Games On Raspberry Pi?

You can stream PC games on raspberry pi using parsec. With the new raspberry pi featuring dual 4K HDMI ports, it can be very enticing. However, the CPU and GPU aren’t potent enough yet to provide an endearing gaming experience, the kind you expect from a gaming PC.

Can You Play PUBG On Raspberry Pi?

You may be able to if you are willing to invest your time into it but I don’t think it will be all that fruitful. You can definitely stream PUBG to Raspberry Pi if you want. So even if the Pi’s potency in terms of hardware is increasing, it still isn’t enough to give a seamless experience in intense fast-paced graphical games.

Is It Worth Getting A Raspberry Pi?

I would say considering the wide domain of uses you can subject a Pi to ranging from playing retro games to building your own server to logging sensor data, I would say getting a raspberry pi at the small price of 35$ is definitely worth it and more.

The only question that you need to ask yourselves is do you love practical electronics, computers or are willing to learn about them.

If the answer is yes. GET IT NOW!

I hope this article on can raspberry pi be used for gaming was interesting and valuable enough for your time.

I also hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Please reach out to me if you have anything to add or ask by subscribing below.

Take great care of yourselves and I will see you in the next one.

Bbye!

Digital Marketer. Electronics Engineer.

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