Best way to import games into Lutris

Hello! :wave: I’m new to Lutris, trying to wrap my head around it. I have tried it a few times now, because people talk about how great it is, but whenever I try to use it, I immediately run into problems, so I was hoping to get some input from the community on how to use Lutris in a better way.

I have a large existing game collection across various platforms. I built a RetroPie and for most game systems it “just works” when you point it at folders full of game files. I was hoping Lutris would be similar with its runners, allowing to easily add games en masse from these various systems, linked to the appropriate runners. But whenever I point Lutris at a folder, it says there are no games found. When I try to add an individual ROM file, it scans it for a checksum, looks online, and then says the checksum is not found. So I haven’t had any luck adding games using Lutris’s obvious front-facing mechanisms.

So I’m wondering: are there for example command line tools people have made to add games en masse by scanning e.g. ROM headers to extract the titles, and look up the artwork etc. on other sites besides, like RetroPie / EmulationStation does? If not, why not? My impression is that Lutris is trying to make a catalog of “all games ever” but that it’s woefully incomplete, unsurprisingly, since that is a hugely daunting task even when crowd-sourced.

I feel like I’m missing something fundamental. But reading through and GitHub - lutris/docs and this forum, I wasn’t able to find much information about how to set up Lutris with large game collections. And the Lutris sub-Reddit, which comes up a lot on search results, has been deleted unfortunately. Did that content get rescued to anywhere else? It seems like a shame to lose it.

Thanks for any and all opinions and advice! :sunny:

Hi! Been using Lutris a while now and I do find it quite a nice aggregator; I have imported games from GOG, Steam, and a few ROMs here and there. I also had no issues with the GOG and Steam library plugins, but as far as ROM catalogues / mass imports go I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help – I’ve been importing things one at a time.

@SilasOfBorg Thanks for the reply!

That’s OK—I would also be interested in hearing about the procedure you use for one-off ROM-based game imports:

  • Do you add it manually with “Add a locally installed game?” And then picking the ROM file on the “Game options” tab? In my experience, this works, but you have to type the “Name” and “Release year” manually, and then there is no artwork, unfortunately.
  • Do you find the game on and add it to your library via the web browser, and then configure it to point to the local ROM file? This way there is artwork with linked ID (is that right?), but not all games are listed on

I have not had any luck with the “Import a ROM” option, because I think the TOSEC database is not comprehensive enough. There are other DAT file options though which could improve the situation (e.g. No-Intro, OpenGood), were Lutris to add support for them. I might look into doing that, if someone else hasn’t already tackled it; I’ll start a new topic about it some day.

I am not sure I can fully address all of your questions though I will let you know how I avoided these frustrations you mentioned.

First up, in relation to runners Lutris leaves the choice entirely up to you. When a game does not work it is a process of trial and error to find a runner which works.

I install all my games manually through the, “Add a locally installed game” option. Please note you can also install a game from scratch via this option, just point Lutris to the install executable, run it once and then change the pointer to the “play game” executable.

As regards artwork/icons I just proceed as if Lutris does not have a database. I run a Plex server and face the same issue so unless the artwork pops up straight away I just google the icon and save it and copy it locally into Lutris.

For older games I store them as normal files and keep an altered game exe file that does not require the disk to be inserted.

I install the games individually whenever I want to play a particular game so it’s never a big job for me to convert everything at once.

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