RetroPie enables gamers to play thousands of vintage video games on their Raspberry Pi. However, some users have the frustrating experience of seeing a black border around everything. This leaves many people wondering why their games don’t display correctly.
Black borders in RetroPie are caused by overscan, and the problem is solved by changing the settings in the config.txt file.
If you’ve never had to change the settings in RetroPie’s config.txt file, it can be a bit intimidating. I’ll walk you through it step by step so you can enjoy all your favorite games using RetroPie.
How to remove black borders in RetroPie
We’ll start with solving the problem of black borders around the entire screen in RetroPie the easy way. The easy way is to just put your microSD card in your computer and edit the config.txt file with a text editor such as Notepad++. If you’re feeling fancy and ambitious, I’ll show you the more advanced way to do it using the command terminal.
Method 1: Fix RetroPie Overscan the easy way – Put the microSD card in your computer
Pro tip: Many of the settings in RetroPie are saved in a simple .txt file. In order to edit them, you’ll need a .txt file editor. I recommend NotePad++ for Windows.
1. Shut down your RetroPie system, remove the microSD card, and put the microSD card in your computer. Close out of any error messages from your computer.
2. Locate the config.txt file in the root (main) folder an open it. As recommended earlier, you’ll need a .txt file editor. I recommend NotePad++ for Windows users. There are other free .txt editors available for other operating systems.
3. After you open the config.txt file, scroll down to the line of text that reads:
4. Delete the hashtag/pound sign/ number sign at the beginning of that specific line of text. The new text should read:
Pro tip: For future reference, uncommenting is the term for deleting the the hashtag/pound sign/number sign in a .txt file. If the text has a hashtag in front of it, that means the instruction is commented.
5. Save your file by going to file > save. That’s pretty much it. Put your microSD card back in your Raspberry Pi and boot it up!
Method 2: Fix RetroPie Overscan Using a USB Keyboard
This one is a bit more involved as it requires a little knowledge of command line code. However, it’s really not that hard.
1. Let your RetroPie system completely boot up. Plug in a USB keyboard and press F4. This will bring you to the command terminal.
2. Type in the following command exactly as you see it:
sudo nano /boot/config.txt
3. Press Enter.
4. Scroll down to where you see the line that reads as follows:
5. Use the directional keys on you keyboard until your curser is under the pound sign/hashtag/number sign on the #disable_overscan=1 text. Press Delete. After deleting the #, the entire line of text will turn grey.
Pro tip: For future reference, uncommening is the term for deleting the the hashtag/pound sign/number sign in a .txt file. If the text has a hashtag in front of it, that means the instruction is commented.
6. You’ll need to save your progress. Press Ctrl+X.
7. Press Y.
8. Press Enter.
9. Type the following text into the command terminal:
10. Press Enter.
That’s pretty much it. After the Raspberry Pi reboots, your image will take up the entire screen.
I’m in the process of writing a series of blog posts helping people with their RetroPie and MiSTer FPGA systems. Be sure to check out my website. I’m sure you’ll find something helpful!