Browse and play your games

Here is some useful information about how Games works:

Installing Games

Flatpak (recommended)

Games is available as a Flatpak, either as a stable version available through the gnome-apps Flatpak repository, or alternatively as a nightly version from the gnome-nightly-apps repository. The stable version is the recommended way of getting Games. Make sure that your distribution supports Flatpak in order to use these.

You should be able to install Games by simply opening the *.flatpakref file with Software. If this does not work, you can just run one of the following commands to install Games:

Stable version:

flatpak install --from

Nightly version:

flatpak install --from


Alternatively, your software distribution may offer you packages for Games. Here is a list of known supporting distros:

  • Arch Linux: the stable and Git versions are both available from AUR

  • Debian unstable: install the gnome-games-app package

  • openSUSE Tumbleweed: install the gnome-games package

  • Ubuntu 17.04: install the gnome-games-app package

Your games collection

Games tries to present all your games regardless of their origin platform. For non-native games to be launched, other pieces of software are needed; see the Running games section below.

As of 3.22, Games will present you:

  • games you can already find in your applications list, i.e your native desktop games
  • installed Steam games

  • games for several game engines:
  • and games for many retro video game systems:
    • Amiga: *.adf files

    • Atari 2600 and Atari 7800: *.26 and *.78 files

    • Dreamcast: *.dc files

    • Famicom/NES: *.nes files

    • Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance: *.gb, *.gbc and *.gba files

    • GameCube, Wii and WiiWare: *.gc, *.wii and *.wad files

    • Game Gear: *.gg files

    • Mega Drive/Genesis, Super 32X/Sega 32X/Mega-32X and Mega-CD/Sega CD: *.gen, *.32x and *.cue + *.bin files (*.md files need to be renamed to *.gen)

    • Neo Geo and arcade MAME games: *.zip files (not uncompressed)

    • Neo Geo Pocket and NGP Color: *.ngp files

    • Nintendo 64: *.n64 files

    • Nintendo DS: *.nds files

    • PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16 and CD-ROM²/TurboGrafx-CD: *.pce and *.cue + *.bin files

    • PlayStation: *.cue + *.bin files

    • Sega Mark III/Master System: *.sms files

    • Sega Saturn: *.cue + *.bin files

    • SG-1000: *.sg files

    • Super Famicom/Super Nintendo/SNES: *.sfc files

Adding games

In order for Games to discover your games, they have to be located in a searchable place. If your games don't show up, follow these steps:

  • open the GNOME Control Center and click on "Search"
  • click on the "gear" button in the bottom right of the Control Center window
  • setup the places where Games is allowed to search for your games (for example, in a "Games" directory located in your home directory)

Please note that ROM files need to be unzipped for Games to list them, besides MAME ROMs which must be zipped.


Games fetchs your games' cover art from TheGamesDB, an open video game database that anyone can freely contribute to. If you find a missing cover, contributing to TheGamesDB should make it appear in Games.

If your game is represented by a file, you can use the image of your choice as the game's cover by putting it alongside the game's file and by giving it a similar filename, as demonstrated in the screenshots below:

  • attachment:gnome-games-custom-covers-files.png attachment:gnome-games-custom-covers.png

Alternatively, you could name the file cover.* or folder.*.

Running games

Retro games

Games is relying on Libretro cores to make retro games work.

Currently, the Flatpak releases of Games come bundled with functional Libretro cores, hand-picked for their good accuracy, their reasonable system requirements, their free license and their independence from proprietary (and forbidden to share) firmware files. Find out which ones are currently bundled on our design page.

If you don't use the Flatpak version and depending on your software distribution you may need to install Libretro cores separately. Check your distribution for more information.

Firmware configuration

In most of the situations, no external firmware (BIOS) file should be required to play retro games.

Some Libretro cores can or must use an external firmware, they describe them in their Libretro Core Descriptor file. You firmwares files for a specific platform will be looked for in the ~/.config/gnome-games/platforms/PLATFORM/system directory, where PLATFORM is the corresponding platform as defined here. The files must match the ones described by the core's descriptor.


Games using the LÖVE framework require LÖVE to be installed on your machine. As usual, check if your distribution supports LÖVE (the official LÖVE website provides PPAs for Ubuntu).

Gamepad handling

Games currently does not have a user interface to handle the gamepads. Controllers are automatically assigned to players, following this scheme:

  • when a gamepad is plugged in, it is assigned to the first player with no gamepad;
  • when a gamepad is plugged out, the player which had it have no gamepad instead and any other player keep its controller;
  • the keyboard is assigned to the first player with no controller after reassigning the gamepads.

Supported gamepads

The following gamepads have been tested with Games and should work out-of-the-box:

  • Xbox 360 Controller for Windows (Wired)
  • DUALSHOCK 3 (for wireless support, BlueZ needs to be installed on your system)

Mouse peripherals such as the Super NES Mouse (required by games such as Mario Paint) are currently not supported.

Gamepad layouts are provided by the SDL_GameControllerDB project.

Packaging Libretro cores

Games supports only Libretro cores shipping a Libretro Core Descriptor file. The cores and their descriptors are looked for in $(libdir)/libretro directory and in paths defined in the LIBRETRO_PLUGIN_PATH environment variable.

Apps/Games/Documentation (last edited 2017-05-21 09:31:41 by AdrienPlazas)