[How To] Screenscraper

  • Staff
    Global moderator

    If you use the Universal XML Scraper and you are not getting all box textures, screenshots, game descriptions (synopses), or anything else for your rom collection, this tutorial is for you. I will briefly explain some of the features ScreenScraper.fr has and how you can yourself add missing data/media or modify it if necessary. "All roads lead to Rome" - There are other ways to find games, I will just explain one of them!

    1. Enter screenscraper.fr, select your language, subscribe (if you haven't yet) and log in. You can enter IRC and chat for further help.


    1. Lets assume you scraped your PSX games and some data/media for Street Fighter EX2 Plus was missing and you want to add them. Go to GAMES and select the PSX (PlayStation 1) icon.


    1. You will see the gamelist in alphabetical order and to find out which data/media is missing (or not) click on ▼ Infos/medias missing and/or MORE INFOS ▶.


    1. You will get a detailed view showing important information missing.


    1. And a complete list of everything what is missing. (You realized the sad faces?)


    1. Lets select letter S and navigate until we find our game. Hopefully, the game is listed... otherwise, go the IRC and ask (nicely) to add it.

    Found it! http://screenscraper.fr/gameinfos.php?gameid=19530

    1. When you enter the game, you will see all the information related to it. It looks like this. (This screenshot is in french because to capture everything I used a web service and couldn't choose the language)

    For this tutorial we will only talk about the marked spots, but you can make suggestions to add or modify anything you consider appropriate.

    1. Only the release date (A) in France/Europe is on the database. The synopsis in English (B) is missing as well. There is no screenshot (D) either. Lets add the release date for the US, the English description and a (good) screenshot. You can use google to try to find all the missing data/media. I will be using gamesfaq.com data to fill sections A, B and D in this example, but you rarely find everything in one place/source. Look for data in your own language respectively and of course, needless to say, try to find good quality data!
      The source http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/914346-street-fighter-ex2-plus looks like this.

    You have the game description that we need (B) on the left (synopsis), there is an Images tab to look for the missing screenshoot (D) on the top and if you click on the date on the top-right you will find the different release dates for every region (our missing release data in the US (A)!!!). Following that link brings you to a site like this.


    There you can find the US release data that we wanted: 30/12/1999 (in ScreenScraper you need to write the date in the format DD/MM/YYYY)

    Now we can go to the images for the missing screenshot (D).

    If you don't find a good screenshot here, look somewhere else or take one yourself. Follow the instructions (read below the missing media itself) given on ScreenScraper for every media you upload and please, don't forget to give the source.

    1. Back to ScreenScraper, scroll down a bit until you find this.

    Select the type of information you want to enter, write the release date you found before, give your source and click SEND.

    1. Lets do the same with the description.


    1. To upload a screenshot, you do it on the top of the website. You can either choose a local image from your computer or give an url address from the image.


    1. After you submit you propositions and until they are validated, they will be in a moderation queue.


    1. I noticed a mistake with the country of the box texture (E). The country of the image displayed is USA and not Europe. So, lets correct that 😉


    To correct it, you need to scroll all the way down to the comments and (if applicable) use one of the hashtags, depending on the issue. Then hit enter to send it.


    1. Finally, if all the data/media is present on the database and you still don't get your game scraped, I recommend you to take a look at the associated roms (C).

    In this case, there is only one rom associated to this game on the database and if yours doesn't match the CRC or MD5 hash (you find them on the missing.txt file after you scraped a directory), or the filaname is different, it won't get scraped. Go into IRC, ask for help and share your missing.txt file with them, so your roms reach the database.

    That's all! After your contributions have been validated, you will be able to get all the data the next time you scrape that game! ScreenScraper and all of us need your help to have the best possible game database ever! Thanks in advance for your contributions!!!

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