Adding Custom Games to PBDX, Part 2

Let's play some Master System games and more.

Posted by zerojay on 4th May 2020

Adding more Sega console games? Why does this work?

When the Pandora's Box DX was created, it was clear that 3A decided to throw away most of the work they had done for the Pandora's Box 6 and start anew. Instead of creating frankenstein-style combinations of emulators and the main frontend with a chip controlling launching games, they decided to go with something a lot more straightforward and simple. As the operating system is all held on a 1Gb NAND, it means that very few people will be able to tinker and change things, so a lot of the security systems that were in place on the PB6 weren't carried over to the PBDX.

The PBDX uses a lightly modified version of Retroarch with most of the modifications I've seen to this point mainly focused upon allowing the per-coin timer to work with Retroarch. The PBDX launches Retroarch through passing the game name and the libretro core to run it, just as almost any other frontend would launch it.

Something that wasn't taken into account is that the Genesis Plus GX libretro core being used on the PBDX also supports other consoles as well and since .zip is one of the accepted file extensions for the roms_md directory, we're able to take advantage of this to add Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear and Sega SG-1000 games to the PBDX.

How do I add these Sega games to my PBDX?

  1. Extract the ROMs you intend on adding to your PBDX first.
  2. Rename the ROM file to remove all spaces, parentheses, underscores and quotation marks. There may be more special characters that need to be removed. The general rule here is that the simpler the filename characters used, the better. Characters that are safe to use include plus and commas. Example: Sonic The Hedgehog (v1.1) (World).gg ->
  3. Once your ROMs have all odd/bad characters removed from the file name, zip them up individually. The ROM inside must have the same name as the zip file containing it.
  4. Copy your ROM into the roms_md folder on your storage device.


  • "When I try to run the game from the menu, it either does nothing or immediately quits."

Most likely you have some strange character in the file name that needs to be removed from either the ROM file name or the zip file containing it.

  • "Do I absolutely have to zip up the games to make them work?"

For running Sega Master System/Game Gear/SG-1000 games, yes, you must or else the main menu system won't recognize the files and won't add them to the game list at all.

Upcoming Posts on the Blog

  • Fixing 3A's PBDX Errors (Mortal Kombat in particular)
  • Full 3A PBDX Review
  • Pandora's Box DX Community Collection Announcement
  • Pandora's Box 6 Community Collection UPGRADE
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