RetroPie – Swap A and B EmulationStation Buttons

Symptom

When binding your controls SNES-style (ie. B-A, Y-X instead of A-B, X-Y) your EmulationStation A & B button bindings don’t match up.

Cause

Thank Nintendo for their love of backwards controller lettering. πŸ˜‰

Solution

There are two options to address the disparity between Nintendo emulator and EmulationStation bindings. You can either bind A-B, X-Y and re-map the controls in your emulators, or map them B-A, Y-X and enable EmulationStation’s A-B swap setting (I prefer this method, it seems to work the best.)

Here’s how to enable A-B swap from a booted RetroPie system:

  1. Select theΒ RetroPie section on the ROM select screen.
  2. Select RetroPie Setup
  3. Select Configuration / tools
  4. Select EmulationStation
  5. Set Swap A/B Buttons in ES to “Swapped
  6. Back out of menus and exit the setup
  7. When back in EmulationStation, press Start on your controller
  8. Select Configure Input, run through the setup process again, binding your controller in the B-A, Y-X fashion. See this article for a graphic of how the preferred binds look.
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