Daijisho Setup Guide

What is Daijisho?

For those that have only seen the name and have no idea what it is, Daijisho is a front end launcher for all your favorite retro games on Android. This means, you tell Daijisho what folders your games are in, what emulators you have installed, and it’ll connect them to so that you can launch them right from Daijisho with cool themes, artwork, videos and more. Think of it like the interface you see when you boot up a Switch, PS5 or Xbox – same idea. We’re going to set this all up, I’ll show you some cool settings and tricks you can do and hopefully make your life easier for using Daijisho.

One thing that I do want to point out, especially if you’re coming from using Linux handhelds with EmulationStation and others. Daijisho doesn’t actually change the settings in any emulators, so any changes we make in Daijisho, doesn’t affect them. They’re separate instances and Daijisho is only a frontend with pretty pictures and easy navigation to get to all your games. Moving on. 

Preparation

Just ahead of all that, if you’re going to be following along, I suggest having your emulators already installed and some games somewhere on your device. You can always do that part later if you want, but those would be the two things I’d say you need before starting this guide. If you’re stuck on where do you get ROMS to play, check out my Retro ROMs Beginner’s Guide here

Let’s jump in. The first thing you’ll need to do is head to the Google Play Store, and search for Daijisho by TapiocaFox and install it.

Open it when it’s done downloading and just wait for the loading screen to finish and you’ll be greeted with a screen that says welcome and a button to download platforms. All that means, is Daijisho wants us to tell it what platforms we want it to show, so what we have games for.

Let’s click download platforms, and now we have a long list of platforms. 

To make this super simple, I’m just going to choose two for now, as I want to show you how to get back here after to add more or remove them. But feel free to select as many as you want and then click Import. I chose Game Boy Advance and Super Nintendo, and you can see here that we get a nifty looking background graphic, it says GBA and SNES at the bottom and we get some new buttons to work with. If I were to add even more platforms, you’d see them all at the bottom, so GBA, GB, GBC, SNES, and so on. But let’s start with GBA. So, we’ve told Daijisho that we have GBA games, now let’s tell it where. Click Paths and then the add more button, and navigate to the folder that has your GBA ROMS inside. I would suggest that whatever folder you choose, that you don’t have your ROMS in a subfolder and that the ROMS are just there right in the folder you pick. Click sync after you’ve picked your folder and now Daijisho will scrape your ROMS to get artwork, videos and all of that fun stuff. 

Back on the main platform page, let’s talk about the other options here. The RANDOM button will choose a random game in that platform for you to play. But let’s head to the Library button. and this will be where you can see all your games, with artwork, other media and data.

On the right, you can see some buttons, you can click Play, Add Favorite, Detail will bring up more information about the game, Grid view will make the list a grid instead, and Edit item is if you want to change the title. 

This is also the area where you can help Daijisho scrape artwork if it can’t find it. You might have to play around with some of your game titles to get Daijisho to find the right game, or you can turn on aggressive scraping. But sometimes, it just won’t find it and in that case, you can add your own media if you’d like. 

Let’s click Detail. A video of the game likely started playing in the background, and you can scroll down and see some details about the game and even Retro Achievement information if we were logged in. Let’s back out to the main platform menu.

Why your games don’t load

There’s one major thing I want to point out now, as it’s 99% of the issues I see with Daijisho and usually what screws people up. Most people, at this point, will just go launch a game, and you’ll get an error usually about killing package processes, which we’ll fix in a bit, but click confirm, and now you get a black screen. What in the world, what is this, why is this happening.

Well, we told Daijisho what platform we have, we told it where those games are, but we didn’t tell it what emulator to use to play them. So Daijisho was just like, I don’t know, let me pick a random one. Let’s fix that, and let me be really clear here – you have to do this for every single platform you add. Do not skip this part. On the main platform page, click the pencil icon, and now we can edit information about the platform.

But what we want is to scroll down to Player Settings and you can see under default player, Daijisho picked a random core for RetroArch for GBA games, not the one I have installed.

So if we click the little arrow, we get a full list of any platforms you have installed in Daijisho that you can scroll through. So I have only GBA and SNES right now, so I only see GBA and SNES emulators and cores, but if you had added a bunch of platforms at the start, you will see them all. Ignore the number at the start, you want to find the platform, so GBA, then the emulator, so in my case, I know I have RetroArch 64 installed, so head to that section and now I know for GBA games, I’m using the mGBA core, so I’ll choose that. Now, if you’re confused at this part as to what emulator and core to choose for what platform, that’ll be your choice and why I suggested to have everything setup ahead of time before starting this process as that’s outside the scope of this particular guide, but this guide should help you out. Now click save.

Let’s head back to a game and now let’s try loading it. Confirm the process killing. And look, the game works and loads perfectly. So just keep all of this in mind, if your game isn’t loading or loading to a black screen from Daijisho, 9 times out of 10, you have the wrong core or emulator selected. 

Let’s get back to Daijisho and now let’s check out some other things. Head to the Settings tab, and since Daijisho is a frontend and something that you want to boot into when starting a device, you can access Android’s settings from here as well as Daijisho’s settings. Right now, we want Daijisho’s, so head to Library. You can see here, we have the option to Download platforms, which is where you can add more platforms if you’d like. You can click Sync entirely to sync your entire library to get artwork, details and all of that if you added any new ROMS or platforms.  Clear items that no longer exist. Remove some items. You can read the descriptions to see if it’s things you want, but let’s go to the settings I care about. The first, is I want to Clear all disjointed items on sync – basically telling Daijisho that hey, if I delete a game in a folder, remove it from your list. Aggressive scraping is something I’d only enable if you’re having trouble getting artwork for some games, that maybe Daijisho can’t find. We want to Disable players warnings, which was that warning we kept getting about killing processes – don’t worry, doesn’t hurt anything, just enable this, trust me. I like having the sync icon show at the top, so I’m going to click that, for a quick way to sync my library and I leave the rest alone. 

Head to the Appearance section, and now let’s fix this white mode as it’s hurting my eyes, click Dark theme and enable Dark and you can enable Pure Dark theme too if you want. But here at the top, there’s a wallpaper pack, and this is basically like themes. Remember the wallpaper that shows for GBA and SNES? Well, there’s community made wallpapers for all Daijisho systems, so you can scroll through and pick one. There isn’t a good way to see this in Daijisho, but here’s a website where you can compare all of them and choose the theme you want to use. Either way, it’s as easy as selecting one of them, click Download pack, confirm to replace existing and if you head to your platforms now, you’ll see some new cool wallpapers.

Back to Appearance, I don’t really touch anything else in this section, but feel free to scroll through and see if you want anything different. Back out and head to Navigation now, and you can customize what you want your home page to be – which I usually leave as Widgets personally. I don’t really touch any of the other settings here. Head to Video and sounds. So remember earlier, I said that Daijisho will scrape media and it will also include a video, which we saw on the details page. Now for me, I don’t really care for videos, so I’m going to disable that and the sounds.

Back out and we head to Retro Achievements. If you have Retro Achievements, log in, or if you don’t, head to retroachievements.org to learn more. It’s achievements for retro games, it’s awesome. I’ll show why this matters in a bit. And the last setting we want to look at is backup and restore, which will backup your settings or restore them and it uses Google Drive to do so. I usually enable this, but up to you.

Let’s head back to the Platforms tab, and I’m going to head to Detail again, and it may take some time to update on your end, I’m using the power of time travel here, but we can now see Retro Achievements information here. It shows how many you’ve completed, the percentage, and even a rating of them. 

Okay, now let’s talk about the Widgets tab as this is usually where I spend most of my time. Widgets are basically shortcuts to different games and other things in Daijisho, kind of like collections. So let’s start easy with the the Retro Achievements one. Click New widget top right, then Retro Achievements and now we have a cool widget that we can click into. You’ll see a list of games you’ve earned retro achievements in and you can even click into them to see more about specific achievements. 

Lets try some more. This time click Activity, and you can see a few options for activity Widgets. I want Continue play, which will let me quickly continue the last game I was playing. Head back, I also want Items played in the period grid, which shows me recent games played. For any new Widgets I add, I can push and hold on them to move them or remove them. And so, you can add whatever Widgets you want, random game one is cool, but I also like to add pin and play to pin my favorite games to play right here. Customize however you like. 

The last thing I want to show is the Apps tab. If we head there, you can see all your installed apps in Android, and you can launch anything from here. Remember, this is a frontend so you can use Daijisho as your home app to do anything in Android from and I’ll show you how we set it as a home app in a minute. But here, we can customize this further. If this is a gaming only device, click on all apps to the right to filter to only games or back to all apps. If you push and hold on an icon, you can also flag it as a game, to show up in that filter. Otherwise you can sort by alphabetical, reverse and recent. Customize this as much as you like, you have options. 

And now as promised, if you’re like me, and you installed Daijisho on a dedicated gaming handheld, you would want the device to boot right into Daijisho from startup and also to get back to Daijisho after any games or apps. So let’s head to Settings, System Settings and now this will be different for all Android devices, but you want to head to Apps, or Applications or something along those lines. In there, you should see something like Default Apps, and if you go into that, you should see Home app. If you click that, you can now change your home app to Daijisho, and you’re done.

That’s really all there is to Daijisho and all I can teach you.

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