How to Set Up Rom Collection Browser XBMC (Kodi)

This tutorial will be as quick as possible to set up Rom Collection Browser in XBMC (Kodi) to launch all your favorite emulators. I will walk through all the emulators I have installed. I was disappointed a resource wasn’t available when I was putting together my install.

Setup Rom Collection Browser

Here’s a video of my Rom Collection Browser setup that is several months old, but give you an idea.


Set Up Rom Collection Browser in XBMC (Kodi)
Emulator Parameters in Rom Collection Browser
Add Gameplay Videos to Rom Collection Browser
Tips for Your Rom Collection Browser Setup

Steps to Set Up Rom Collection Browser in XBMC (Kodi)

First, I’m not going to show you where to download the emulators nor Roms. Brief research will lead you to the source. I will touch on nuances with each emulator. You’ll need the emulators and roms before you start this tutorial for settin up Rom Collection Browser in XBMC (Kodi). This is set up on a Windows machine.

Enable Rom Collection Browser

  1. Download XBMC if you haven’t already
  2. Install Rom Collection Browser. Settings > Add ons > Get Add Ons > Add Ons > Program Add Ons > Rom Collection Browser
  3. Enable Rom Collection Browser

Your file structure for both emulators and roms is important. You’ll want each emulator, or console, in its own folder and the applicable roms within these folders:

How to Set Up Rom Collection Browser XBMC (Kodi)


The blanket approach to linking your emulators to Rom Collection Browser is immediately following with each platform’s specifics broken out below:

  1. Open Rom Collection Browser and hit “c” for your context menu (or right click)
  2. Choose “add rom collection”
    Add Rom Collection
  3. In most situations, select “scrape game info and artwork online”
  4. Select the applicable console
  5. Map to your emulator, which on Windows machines will be the .exe file in your emulator download. Note, you must have already mapped your file location via file manager.
  6. Map to your applicable roms folder, which is hopefully well organized with all aggregated into one “rom” folder within the emulator’s folder.
  7. Leave default parameters and file masks for now and reference console-specific info below:

Parameters, file masks and other nuances is where this can get painful, but the below settings have worked well for me. Note that you can use the great information available for each console via Advanced Launchers help.

*Note that the above resource is no longer hosted. You can find what’s left of it in the Way Back Machine if interested.

Emulator Parameters in Rom Collection Browser

Below values are entered in the menus found by hitting c to bring up your context menu while in Rom Collection Browser and selecting add or edit rom collection and toggling the applicable platform.


Rom File Mask: *.zip,*.nes

Emulator Params: “%ROM%”

Nuances: None


Rom File Mask: *.zip,*.smc,*.sfc

Emulator Params: -fullscreen -F -D -L libretro-git-snes9x-next-x86_64dll “%ROM%”

^Presuming you’re using the same emulator and haven’t made any changes to names!

* Note that Ferret commented and volunteered the below parameters that worked in his situation:

-fullscreen “%ROM”

Nuances: None

Sega Genesis:

Rom File Mask: *.zip,*.bin,*.cue,*.iso,*.32x,*.smd

Emulator Params: “%ROM%”

Nuances: None

Nintendo 64:

Rom File Mask: *.z64,*.zip,*.n64

Emulator Params: “%ROM%”

Nuances: None


Rom File Mask: *.iso,*.bin,*.cue

Emulator Params: -nogui -loadiso “%ROM%”

*If your Emulator is launching, but not your roms try the below params:

*Alternate Emulator Params: -nogui -loadbin “%ROM%”

Nuances: If you quit this emulator with alt f4 the sound will keep playing. You must use escape

Playstation 2:

Rom File Mask: *.iso,*.bin,*.mdf,*.nrg

Emulator Params: -nogui -loadiso “%ROM%”

Nuances: You must use escape and not alt f4 again


Rom File Mask: *.iso,*.zip,*.elf,*.dol*.wad*.gcm

Emulator Params: /B –exec= “%ROM%”

Nuances: As with all of these, settings at the emulator kick in upon launch; this is extremely important with Dolphin for Gamecube


Rom File Mask: *.cdi,*.gdi

Emulator Params: -config imagereader:defaultimage=”%ROM%”

Nuances: If you want to use controllers, plural, you will need to do a hack, which can be found here.

You’ll also need to edit your NullDC.cfg file found in the same directory as the .exe. Open this with Notepad or other editor and change the below values:

LastImage=C:\Sega Dreamcast\*.cdi

The “LastImage” value being the directory housing your Dreamcast roms.

Game Gear:

Rom File Mask: *.zip,*.bin*.gg

Emulator Params: “%ROM%”

Nuances: Both handheld systems use emulators for primary consoles. Leave the emulator in the folder for Genesis, but reference it for this and separate out the Game Gear roms

Game Boy:

Rom File Mask: *.gba,*.gb*.gbc*.zip

Emulator Params: “%ROM%”

Nuances: Handheld nuance.

Game Boy Advanced:

Rom File Mask: *.gba,*.gb*.gbc*.zip

Emulator Params: “%ROM%”

Nuances: Handheld nuance. The same as Game Boy, but separate out the folders!


Rom File Mask: *.zip

Emulator Params: “%ROM%”

Nuances: MAME will be your most painful. You will need bios files for each console (example, Neo Geo). Make the call not to rename any rom or bios files to save effort. Download a bulk pack of bios files. to quit MAME you will also need to hit escape and then enter to exit MAME.

In your rom collection import settings menu change your “max folder depth” from 99 to 0. This is to avoid XBMC crawling your BIOS files and importing a bunch of junk. Under the launch games settings select “do not extract zip files.” MAME roms stay zipped

Add Gameplay Videos to Rom Collection Browser

  1. Before you add your videos strongly consider following the step in RCB tips for closing and reopening XBMC (Kodi) when your emulator runs to avoid having your video audio loop in the background after your emulator launches.
  2. You will need the videos as they will not be populated through Rom Collection Browser via any database. Grab your videos from YouTube or the excellent source
  3. You can save these movies anywhere, but I recommend adding them in a folder neighboring your game artwork folder so that each console is separate to keep things organized.
  4. If you use EmuMovies desktop client it should scan your rom folder for each console and name the movie files appropriately. If you get these files in a different fashion or if you experience any issues make sure that the movie file has the same name as the rom file minus the extension. Ex:
  5. Now that all the files are on your local machine we will point to them. Open XBMC (Kodi) and Rom Collection Browser. Enter your context menu (right click or “c”) > Edit Rom Collection > Select your Rom collection you have the video files for. You will have to do each individually.
  6. Go to “Import Game Data” > Toggle “Media Type” until you get to “Gameplay” > Set the path to the applicable folder on your machine under “Media Path”
  7. If you do not see “Gameplay” in the previous step then go to “Add Media Path” > “Gameplay (Video)
  8. Media File Mask should read %GAME%.* and this will work as long as your video file names reflect your rom names.
  9. Save ConfigAdd Gameplay Videos To Rom Collection Browser
  10. You’re done, but note that you will only see videos in two views – panel and wide, so don’t start troubleshooting if you’re not seeing them in the wall views.

Tips for Your Rom Collection Browser Setup

  • Set up XBMC to close and reopen when you launch roms via Rom Collection Browser. This is extremely important if you plan to use videos and not static images. It’s also frees up CPU resources for less powerful rigs. Go to Rom Collection Browser – Right click or hit “c” for context menu – “Open Addon Settings” – “Launch Games” – Check “Use VB Script in Solo Mode (Windows Only):
    Open and Close XBMC with Rom Collection Browser

You can customize this setup to no end, but this is the basics for getting your launchers started. Thanks for checking out my post on how to set up Rom Collection Browser in XBMC (Kodi).



58 Responses to How to Set Up Rom Collection Browser XBMC (Kodi)
  1. Jon says:

    Hey, I’m not looking for links or anything, but which emulators did you use? I think the parameters are for specific emulators, right?

  2. Jon says:

    Silly question, but will this tutorial work for setting it up on an android TV box?

    • Trevor Ayers says:

      It will, but all of your file paths will be different. If you can’t locate the file you may try the link in my edit at the top that allows you to add the API key via an add on. You’ll still need to work through some steps to generate the API key.

      • Dave says:

        Where exactly is this link that explains adding api key?
        I am also trying to install this on my M8.

        • Trevor Ayers says:

          I’m not sure I follow. You won’t need an API key to run Rom Collection Browser. All software is saved locally and nothing is conditional on external servers for which you’d need an API key. If you could specify the use I may be able to help, but an API does not need to be generated for what I’ve implemented.

  3. Sean Brown says:

    I’m running the newest version of Kodi (release) and tried to set up a ROM source. When I finish, I keep getting an error. It’s regarding config.xml and an ‘ascii’ codec. I’ve had to install/uninstall multiple times and deleted the folders for rom collection browser out of my AppData/Roaming/Kodi folder to reset my settings. Any ideas?

    • Trevor Ayers says:

      I can’t comment on this yet. The machine I’m running RCB is on 13.2 Gotham. I have another Windows rig of different uses running Kodi. I will migrate some emulators over and see if I can recreate and provide some clarity. My favorite theme does not support Kodi, so I will be waiting to update the install on the machine with this running. You may try moving your RCB files to your desktop, installing it fresh and moving over files piecemeal until you recreate the problem.

    • Kris says:

      Hi I dont know if you’ve solved this problem yet, but I found that it was because I copied the emulator params from an online site like this one, and Kodi was funny about the apostrophes I copied over. I deleted the text and retyped it exactly the same just using the kodi keyboard and that fixed it.

  4. Tyler says:

    I’m attempting to set up Dolphin for GameCube. I’ve successfully loaded my games into Advanced Launcher, but when i attempt to run it, I get an error prompt explaining the Dolphin Usage and switches…I copied your Rom parameters and have even attempted to work with it myself to no avail. Any advice?

  5. Tyler says:

    I tried what you suggested /b /e “%rom%” , but no luck. I also tried, /b “%rom%” and simply “%rom%” . But none of those worked either. Are there any known issues between Helix, Dolphin, and Advanced Launcher? Or do you have any other suggestions?

    Thanks for the fast response btw =)

    • Trevor Ayers says:

      I run 13.2 on my main rig due to theme compatibility. I actually have this configured already for Advanced Launcher, so I can get back to you if it still works in Gotham.

  6. Tyler says:

    I’ve found something that might fix it. I haven’t tested it yet, but it’s the same situation in the same environment.
    “I solved my problemes, i went to drink apero and I came back with a head reset

    In first time i would like to use 2 differents build of dolphin with a different global user

    Before i use that; It doesn’t work

    Use a Shortcut to Use a Specific User Directory for a Specific Build

    Create a shortcut to the Dolphin build you want to use, say on the desktop
    Edit the target field. After the path to dolphin, add -U [Path to user folder]. When complete, the target field should look something like the following:
    X:\Path\To\Dolphin\Build\Dolphin.exe -U X:\Path\To\User

    and now i use that : work perfect

    Make a build use a local user directory, create a text file named “portable” next to the exe of the build. With the extension it should be named “portable.txt”. Dolphin will see the text file and will not check the registry for that build.

    End Quote

    Apparently you have to specify the dolphin emulator and User profile in Helix…I’ll give it a shot and let you know =)

  7. Nick says:

    Thanks for posting and responding to comments. While I setup my ROM browser a while ago, but it was an effort because there was really no official tutorial (still isn’t). I just picked up a nexus player so I’m going to try and get this working on that. Thanks for the refresher course.

  8. Brandon says:

    I cannot get dolphin of n64 games to work. Seriously, nothing freaking works for me. Using 14.1 kodi. Dolphin.

  9. Tom says:

    So are you saying that I cannot just enable the Rcb on kodi and play games right away? Correct me if I’m wrong but ill have to actually? Because I just enabled it on kodi and I’ve been stuck on as soon as I launch Rcb it says “config file found. Do I want to create one?”

    • Trevor Ayers says:

      Yes, you’ll need to configure RCB. Do you have working emulators with roms on your machine? If so, you’ll follow these steps for the configuration of RCB. If not, you’ll need to download the respective emulators or you can try Retroarch, which is an all-in-one emulator.

  10. xPEZINATORx says:

    So, I’ve followed your guide and for the most part it worked. However, what so I do if there are multiple parts to a games (e.g. Final Fantasy 8 for PSOne, has 4 disks\.IMG files)? Also, I’m having a problem getting Project 64 to launch properly. And the final thing, some of my games (mostly N64 and PSOne) won’t return any info or won’t have artwork after scraping, how do I fix this?

    • Trevor Ayers says:

      Glad it’s working out for you; setup can be tedious, so backup!

      For games with multiple discs check out “Disk Indicator” at the below link:

      Does Project 64 launch outside of Kodi? Are you receiving an error? These parameters are still correct.

      If games don’t get indexed I would first try renaming the rom file. Go to the below link and find the EXACT way the game is listed in the database to help the crawlers – once renamed, crawl again:

      If you’re still unsuccessful with the crawlers you can grab the images, name them the rom file and place them in the applicable folder.

  11. Larry says:

    Hey I had previously set up Kodi emulated games on the Rom collection browser with no issues. I went to install the NES games and emulator and from there on, i get this error message:

    unhandled exception occured during execution of RCB: no element found: line 79, column 22. see xbmc.log for details.

    I now get it with SNES games as well.
    Any help will be appreciated!

  12. john says:

    I’m confused by steps 5 and 6. What does “map to” mean and how do I do it. When I click on “Rom Path” how do I find the files on my computer?

  13. Larry says:

    I made a Ames folder and added snes9x emulator and Mario all stars but when I try to add the file via file manager I get a error add on does not have correct structure. Help!

    • Trevor Ayers says:

      Are you saying you’re having issues downloading Rom Collection Browser?
      The install from zip method is different for Kodi and XBMC. If an
      addon’s zip was not updated you would need to use a different method.
      You can get RCB from the official Kodi repo directly from your Fire stick.

  14. Kris says:


    Thanks for the great guide! Just a couple of things I’d like to add that I found out through a lot of trial and error.

    1. In the PSONE setup, its very important you get every single space correct and you cannot copy and paste the text from the web into the form, otherwise you will get heaps of errors and will have to delete your config files and start again.

    2. In the gamecube emulator params, I found that the B must be lower case, and the -exec has turned to /e for the latest version. Mine now looks like this : /b /e=”%ROM%” noting there is no space after the equals symbol.

    3. The wii setup is exactly the same as the gamecube setup, obviously with different folder paths. I found my emulator params, you might have to remove the /b for the wii. Otherwise it works fine.

    4. If everything stuffs up and you cant get back into the RCB, you will have to go to C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\Kodi\userdata\addon_data\ and delete everything in there to start again. It will just ask you to make a new config file for RCB like youre starting it for the first time.

  15. Ferret says:

    I followed these directions for SNES9X and it broke my install of RCB lol. I had to uninstall the addon, then delete the associated file structures. Changed it to -fullscreen “%ROM” and all was golden.

    • Trevor Ayers says:

      Interesting. The parameters above still work for me. Sometimes copying over will bring in invisible characters. I’ve added your parameters to the post in hopes of aiding others.

  16. Spencer says:

    I can’t get any emulator for N64 to work. All other systems are fine using your params. Project64 1.6 opens with an error message saying “Attempt to open file failed”. Works fine on desktop.

  17. Chris89 says:

    I bought a nuci5 and i want to have some games on it so thta lead me to your youtube video. I just have a quenstion. Where did you find all those emulators( i know there are torrent about them, not sure if a game per torrent or a selection of games). Where did you found yours? (Interested in old 90s arcade mario cart,metal slug, and if possible psp selection of stret fighter god of war etc. please respond by email as well. Thx

  18. raw says:

    I really need assistance settings up roms and emulator for my kodi bro..i will donate for your 1on1 help

  19. raw says:

    Really need help installing roms and emulator

  20. Brendan says:

    Quick help please….. Hi so I followed your guide. Last thing I am trying to do is set up the video previews… After I add gameplay, I click on save config, and it does nothing. (I seen in a video, that It goes to a previous screen). So I am guessing it is not saving my changes for some reason because when I backspace out, the videos are not there in any view. Have you came across this before? Hopefully I’m just doing something stupid. Please help! Thanks in advance.

    • Trevor Ayers says:

      I would try the below:

      I would first try and configure in confluence and then hop back to your skin to see if the changes stick
      Try running Kodi in administrator mode (right click run as administrator)and then configure

      If these don’t work, you can either activate your error-log overlay or view your error log to see what’s happening. If all else fails, you can paste the paths in your RCB config file. The path to this file will be in your error log or you can Google it.

  21. Brendan says:

    It worked! Thanks again…. Do you know if there is a way to add roms to the list without artwork? Seems like the only way i can get a game to show up in the list is if it has artwork…. some games i have roms for, dont have any artwork.

  22. Brendan says:

    Quick question….. So when importing a collection, some games come up with an error saying that couldnt find artwork and couldnt import the game… thanks fine with me but Im trying to import an entire rom set and it stops the entire process. It like I literally have to sit and watch it because i have to hit ok in order for the importing to contiue….do you know a way around this where it can just skip over anything I cant import? Thanks again for your help!

    • Trevor Ayers says:

      Swap out MobyGames for GiantBomb. This shot errors for me upon last use. If a crawler doesn’t grab the artwork or info then you can rename the rom file to reflect the database names and re-scrape. Otherwise, you’d have to grab them manually.

  23. Brendan says:

    For some reason, when I’m trying to add a rom collection, some emulators do nothing after I click it and won’t work. For example I cant add colecovision or Nintendo Ds. It just doesn’t nothing when I select it. I have the emulators installed on the device. I am using an android tv box. Any idea? I think I read somewhere that you have to edit some text file to let Kodi run certain systems but I’m not sure?

  24. Kinda suprised Kirby Super Star didn’t make it, but Kirby’s Dreamland 3 did, mostly ’cause KDL3 is barely talked about meanwhile everyone and their mama talk about Super Star (I love both Dreamland 3 and Super Star btw)

    also Super Metroid didn’t make top

  25. Moses Brodin says:

    So, who wants to help me? England, UK, 2002 (give or take), SNES (one assumes), and RPG overworld game (I think). The question is, what game did I use to play? Help me find my memory. I am half thinking of a ‘marketplace’ and half thinking of ‘open fields’, finding monsters along the way — but I was 6 at the time, lest we forget. Not sure if the game was A Link to the Past, Breath of Fire II, Secret of Mana, Soul Blazer, or something else! Anybody know which were known/unknown at that time and place?

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