PowKiddy V90 Review and Guide

Last updated: 06AUG2022 (see Changelog for details

I wasn’t expecting much from the PowKiddy V90, but I underestimated it. This little clamshell device was everything I was hoping for in a budget handheld. I’m comfortable saying that this is one of the best sub-$40 handheld devices you can buy, and it makes a great gift to friends and loved ones.

One of my favorite aspects of this device is the fact that it just uses a Nokia phone battery, and it’s easy to access and swap. If you’d like to buy a replacement (or upgraded) battery for the device, the ShenMZ or Taeozi models are recommended.

Buy a PowKiddy V90 here

Table of Contents:
Install custom firmware
HYJiNX187's PCSX-ReARMed config library
Notes on Neo Geo BIOS
Updated review and new black edition V90


Install custom firmware

The custom firmware for this device makes a huge improvement to your experience. Install the MiyooCFW 1.3.3 firmware here. Once you have installed the new firmware, there are a few recommended tweaks to increase performance:

Update certain emulators:

  • Download the latest version of snes9x4d (SNES) and place it in the emus/snes9x4d/ folder (replace the one that’s already there).
  • There’s also a release of PocketSNES for this device which you can find here.
  • Download the latest (“PocketGo”) version of Gambatte, (GB/GBC) and place it in the emus/gambatte folder. Make sure it is just named “GAMBATTE”, and replace the one that’s already there.
  • Download the latest “improved” beta version of fceux (NES) and place it in the emus/fceux. Make sure it’s named just “fceux” and replace the one that’s already in there. Note that some have noticed slowdown with this emulator, so you may be better of sticking with the stock version of the app if you are experiencing poor performance.
  • Download and unzip the latest version of pcsx (PS1) and place it in the emus/pcsx_rearmed/ folder (replace the one that’s already there). Here is the source for this file.

Add BIOS files:

  • If you want boot logos for Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance, add the bios files for each emulator. You’ll definitely want to do this for GBA anyway, since it will improve compatibility and performance. Once you have added these files, you will need to turn on the boot logo (“boot to bios”) option in the Gambatte and GPSP emulator settings.
    • gb_bios.bin goes in the .gambatte/bios folder
    • gbc_bios.bin goes in the .gambatte/bios folder
    • gba_bios.bin goes in the emus/gpsp_rumble folder
  • The PCSX ReARMed emulator also needs bios, which is the SCPH1001.BIN file by default. Place it in the emus/pcsx_rearmed/bios folder. For even better performance, check out the PCSX-ReARMed configuration library package below.
  • The neogeo.zip bios must go in the ROMs folder for Neo Geo.


  • Using custom firmware, tap the function button to place the device in suspend mode
  • Using custom firmware, press R1 + START (or hold START for a few seconds) to bring up the safe shutdown menu

HYJiNX187’s PCSX-ReARMed config library

HYJiNX187 has created a handy configuration library package that will boot the top 100 PS1 games as defined by the GameFAQs community, plus another 25 that were requested by users. Installing this package will give you optimal performance for these 100 games, and it will be much improved over the stock (and default CFW) experience. In general, once properly loaded these games will perform much better than you would expect — the vast majority are both playable and enjoyable.

Note that there are some steps involved with setting this up, such as using PBP files and loading several BIOS files, but it’s relatively straightforward—just read the ReadMe file in the package itself.

In order for the configuration to work, you will need to make sure that the file names listed in emus/pcsx_rearmed/.pcsx/cfg match your file names (if you don’t see the .pcsx folder, make sure that hidden files are visible on your PC/Mac). If you are having issues finding the right PBP files to run, you can also run bin/cue files, just be sure to change the name of the .cue file (NOT the .bin file) to the same file name as the ones found in the emus/pcsx_rearmed/.pcsx/cfg folder.

HYJiNX187’s PCSX-ReARMed Config Library v1.1

Note: If your device freezes when launching a PS1 game, (it will display “Launching PS1” and get hung up), you can change the CPU clock speed of that emulator. Hover over the PCSX_REARMED section, press the SELECT button and choose “Edit PS1”. From there, set the CPU clock to 798 by pressing LEFT and RIGHT on the d-pad, then press the START button to save.


RetroArch is available for the V90 and other devices that use the same chipset (Q90, Q20 Mini, and so on). Check out this guide from TriForceX with installation and configuration suggestions.

Notes on Neo Geo BIOS

Discord user xs4all was kind enough to share these findings regarding the Neo Geo BIOS for this system:

GnGeo (Neo Geo Emulator): 
BIOS For those that care or just curious, I managed to figure out the what files should be in the neogeo.zip file that GnGeo needs, keeping the zip file organized:

usa_2slt.bin <= USA Bios
vs-bios.rom <= Japan Bios
sp-s2.sp1 <= Europe Bios

By default GnGeo looks for the Europe Bios, if you want to change the Bios region in GnGeo, do the following:

Text edit the following file: SD CARD\ .gngeo\gngeorc
Depending what country you want to use, add one of the following lines and save:
country usa
country japan

No need for Europe as GnGeo uses Europe as default, for those who want to play NeoGeo games in Japanese, this is very handy.

Because of the limited ram for the BittBoy/PocketGo1 and other variant devices such as PlayGo, v90, etc., any roms that are greater than 40mb zipped will not work. Just sort your NeoGeo roms by size and delete any games greater than 40mb zipped, so pretty much “kof98.zip” is the largest rom size you can play on this device.

Updated review and new black edition V90

The V90 got a nice little facelift in early 2022 with the new black edition. All the features remain the same, other than the new color. Above you will find an updated video that showcases many of the elements of this guide, plus a few other new observations.

If you’re looking for the new theme I showed off in the video, you can find it here. Additionally, here is a quote from the theme developer on how to add box art to the navigation experience:

Make a folder on your microSD card of your box arts with the file name identical to the rom file names (mario 2.nes , mario 2.png), they can’t be bigger than 120 x 160pxls PNGs. Then on your device press select on the nes and press ‘edit nes’, fourth option from the bottom should be box art, navigate to the folder your box arts are in.



– updated fceumm link

– added updated review and instructions on how to add box arts

– added TriForceX’s RetroArch guide

– added SirMuddyhood’s RetroArch tips

– added tip for device freezing at “Launching PS1”

– added wording about potential slowdown in fceux beta app

– added neogeo.zip BIOS file location info
– added Neo Geo BIOS notes from xs4all

– updated HYJiNX187’s PCSX-ReARMed config library to v1.1

– added HYJiNX187’s PCSX-ReARMed config library

– published guide
– added latest version of PS1 emulator

78 thoughts on “PowKiddy V90 Review and Guide

  1. My internet buddy wanted one of these, and I told him about the screen tearing and low performance. ZeePeezy had already made a couple of videos about it so I knew to steer clear since I already had a LDK vertical. “But it’s SO Kawaii!!!” Was the immediate response , and yeah, that’s why you get one. You want the GBA sp without the hefty price? There you go! The colors match your favorite Pokemon? There you go! He loves it, but I’ll stick with the LDK. It’s around the same price and Gameblabla has done some amazing things with it (like a Super Mario 64 port.) Since they use the same battery here’s a tip: the Taeozi BL-5C 1600mAh battery is one of the best I’ve tried. There’s one that promises 2450mAh, but it’s a scam. Peel off the pretty gold label, and you’ll find that it’s a normal Nokia battery. After installing the Miyoo custom firmware you’re definitely going to want a new battery and the Taeozi batteries come in a two-pack so if one croaks on you you’ve got a backup. Hope this helps!


      1. Man, I use to watch your YT channel and appreciate your reviews. Now looking in your site for this guide (I just bought a V90) and seeing your photo in the comments, I realize you are the same Russ from The Domestic Man, where I found many recipes when I started to go paleo few years ago. Internet is a small place.
        Cheers the coincidence of our two interests and congratulations for your good work on both!


      2. Hey Russ, just a quick question. I accidentally deleted the Emulator tab in the menu up top while removing some of my unused emulators. How can I restore that tab? Thanks!


      1. They’re not all like that, china just has some serious quality control issues, most of the time you’ll get a good one but there is also a good chance you could get a faulty one. If you ordered it on a reputable site like amazon, you can return it and order a new one.

        Also it might not be the q90 failing, its most likely the included sd card which is legitimate garbage and will fail immediately, get a SanDisk card.


  2. Thanks a lot for compiling these information !
    Any idea where to find other ported games than those included in the firmwares (I mean compiled ports, not roms) Thx!


  3. I installed the cfw. All the vertical arcade games are horizontal. Is there a way to rotate the screen in fba?


  4. Hey I just wanted to point out that in regards to HYJiNX187’s PCSX-ReARMed config library you all should know that PBP files from Sony / NoPayStation will not work with PCSX_Rearmed.


    This is a huge problem with the docs, please please please update the readme you are sharing in the HYJiNX187’s PCSX-ReARMed Config Library v1.1 ZIP to reflect that official sony PBPsWILL NOT WORK.

    I burnt the better part of a day before someone on the RGH Discord set me straight.


    1. Is it possible to enable the L2/R2 buttons on a V90?
      Online searches seems to indicate that this is not possible on the miyoo CFW 1.3.3


  5. Has anyone else had an issue where, after loading the “MiyooCFW 1.3.3 firmware”?
    I have a 64gig card that now only has about a gig and a half of space and I have not added anything ROM or BIOS file wise.

    Thank you!!


    1. You’ll need a partition manager. Find the largest partition on the SD card and extend it to use all the unallocated space.
      That step should’ve been in the CFw install guide. Hope you get it sorted


  6. Hi I’ve followed this guide but none of my Gameboy games are full screen. Both GAMEBATTLE_SDL and OHBOY have large borders. I tried disabling borders in the menu but it’s still not full screen. Advice


    1. I figured out how to get Gameboy to be full screen by changing scaling. But now I can’t figure out how to get Sega Genesis/Mega Drive full screen.


      1. OK haha sorry for all the messages but I realize it’s not all Sega Genesis games.

        For example when I load up NHL 99 the menu is Fullscreen but when the game starts it’s not.



  7. After you flash the image of the firmware, you need to go back into Partition Wizard, choose the main partition and click extend to maximum. Hopefully this fixes your issue.


  8. Someone know how to change languages for Multilanguage Games? I am from Italy and i can’t see how to do it


    1. It depends on the ROM. You need to make sure you are using the multi language ROM, and then the language option will be unique for that game. There is no setting in the device or firmware to adjust the language within a game.


      1. Some multi languages roms works with the BIOS to determinerà in which languages booting up. It’s just that whenever bios I am using the game does Always use the default english language


  9. So, I finally broke down and bought a V90. I flashed the Miyoo firmware, and now I’m in the process of adding all the appropriate files to get all the games to work (talking about the ports, not emulators). Most of it is pretty straightforward, but I’m running out of ideas to get the Doom Mods section to work. All of them — Army of Darkness Doom II, Batman Doom, Wolfendoom, etc. — crash before Chocolate Doom even launches. The WADs are all there, so I’m not sure what the problem is. Has anyone gotten this to work? Thanks!


  10. Found another broken link: Download the latest “improved” beta version of fceux (NES) and place it in the emus/fceux.


      1. Hi there, is it the ‘improved v2’ one I want? There’s a couple in there and I’m not sure what would be best. Thanks!


  11. Great Performance on:
    There’s also a release of PocketSNES for this device which you can find here.
    But main big problem:
    Can’t save games here. Is there any clue?


  12. Anyone know if v90 (and similar devices) can take advantage of good SD card (class 10 u1/3, like a Sandisk Ultra or Extreme) or is that just pointless, and any cheap SD will do?


    1. As far as I know any card will do. Just be careful with the overly cheap Chinese ones that may be fake. I’ve bought one “64” gb, class 10 that was actually 8gb and corrupted anything that went beyond that size.


      1. Yeah, I’ll stick to branded ones. Like Samsung or Sandisk.
        Never used a device like this before.
        Was just wondering if there’s a point going to SD top models. Or just stick to the basic models.
        F.i. Sandisk has their standard model (like 30-40 mb/s) then Ultra, Extreme, Extreme Pro.
        So read speeds everything from 30 to 200.

        But if the v90 or other (intend to get a bigger one too) just loads entire game to ram. Doesn’t really matter. If they constantly need to read from memory card, maybe it will affect speed?


    1. You have to drop them inside the folder specific to the emulator inside the /rom (lowercase) folder present on the partition named “main”. If it doesn’t show up on your Windows, you have to give it a letter on some partition manager app (like the one mentioned in this guide). You only want to give it a letter, don’t format it or anything in case you have done changes.

      On another note, I wish there was a port of beat2x for this OS.


  13. Hey everyone, I’m having a problem with GBA emulation. For some reason it won’t play every game I try opens superslow and gets stuck. My girlfriend played Pokemon fired red for the first 2 weeks I got the console without any issue, but now for some reason I can’t play gba. Could anyone help me? thanks in advance.


  14. Hi Russ, love the channel and truly appreciate all your work! After going through this guide and combing through Discord, I’ve come across a few things that might be worth adding to make this excellent guide even better.

    1) Retroarch with (at present) 28 cores to try is available to download from the “Miyoo (Pocket Go, PowKiddy Q90/V90, New BittBoy)” section of their Download page. https://www.retroarch.com/?page=platforms

    After extracting the .7z file, do as follows:
    a. Add the \.retroarch folder to the \main directory on your microSD card
    b. Add the \retroarch folder within \emus to \main\emus
    c. Add the 20a-retroarch file within gmenu2x\sections\emulators to main\gmenu2x\sections\emulators
    d. Add any relevant BIOS files to main\.retroarch\system
    e. Launch Retroarch as an emulator from your Emulators section

    2) For improved performance in snes9x4d, download snesadvance.dat and add it to the the main\.snes9x4d-ng folder. https://github.com/m45t3r/snes9x4d/blob/master/snesadvance.dat

    3) Download the latest prerelease version of FAKE-08 for improved PICO-8 performance and greater compatibility. https://github.com/jtothebell/fake-08/releases

    After extracting FAKE-08Bittboy.zip, replace the pico8.elf file in main\emus\pico8 with the file in the archive.

    4) For those who would like an improved 3:2 scaled image in gpSP (rumble), download Consty’s recompiled gpsp_rumble.elf file and replace the existing file in the main\emus\gpsp_rumble folder.

    Channel: https://discord.gg/wurh4WM
    Initial post: https://discord.com/channels/529983248114122762/722753346532016169/821564644514725888
    Latest post: https://discord.com/channels/529983248114122762/722753346532016169/848654463992725551
    Latest file: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/722753346532016169/848654463408799784/gpsp_rumble.elf


  15. Hi. thanks for this. I have got a v90 and its awesome. I am trying to get the custom firmware but most of the tools are for Windows OS and I am using a macbook. Is there a resource for mac users? Thanks!!


  16. Hi Russ,

    If I want to play mp4 video files on the V90 with the custome firmware do you know where to get the movie player? Do you know what folder it should be placed in?


  17. I followed the above guide and I realized that MPLAYER is included. I was not navigating the menus correctly. It works great. Thank you!


  18. Hi, i have this device. Love the clamshell design. Thank you for the information compilation of all these stuff.
    I stumbled upon someone site recently and found that he made some interesting customization on his device, titled “Improving Powkiddy V90’s Portable Experience”. In sum he made retroarch as the only emulator running on the device without gmenu and everything else.
    I thought its promising, but i’ve tried running retroarch on this device, specifically gba core, i feel its performance much worse than the stock emulator on miyoo cfw. I dont know, maybe it just needs some tweaks on the setting for each core?
    Can you take a look at his site here https://jahed.dev/2022/01/25/improving-powkiddy-v90-ux/
    Stay safe and healthy Guys.


  19. Thanks for the updated guide! I’ve owned a V90 for a week now and want to mention that my unit did not come with the removable plastic film that I’ve read about. After taking apart the 6 screws around the screen it just has a hard clear plastic piece with the black bezels. Maybe it’s something new that they’ve done with the unit.

    Also, I installed the updated PocketSNES emulator from this page and it won’t save any savestates or SRAM saves for some reason. Has anyone come up with a fix for this? Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks for the great work Russ!


  20. Hey Russ,

    Thanks for this guide!

    What are BIOS files and where do I find them? I tried following this, but none of my ROMs will play. GB just loads, Atari 2600 just makes a noise. Mine are mostly .7z files.


  21. I bought a black one and have been playing it for a few weeks and think it great for the price. This morning MD disapeared off the Menu. I looked the roms are still there but I cant play them, I cant figure out how to fix this


  22. Is there any updates on L2 & R2 support for the PSX Emulator? Currently you are unable to map those buttons they do not respond. There are other threads saying the same thing.


    1. Oh man I wish they fixed this. I was going to buy me a Miyoo Mini but the price has gone way higher than my budget. I’ll just keep my V90.

      If they could at least make so a combination of keys would be read as the R2/L2 (Like R1+Y or any of the other four buttons, or something like that), if there’s some actual problem accessing these specific buttons, that’d be a good compromise for the time being.


  23. Would anyone be able to share a link or guide to how to use the Commodore 64 Emulator? I’m not sure how to get passed the command prompt and load the game. Also, I noticed the Neo Geo Pocket runs poorly. Anyway to fix this? Thank you.


  24. Thanks for much for the easy guide and information. The only question I have is, is there a way to speed up the GBA emulator for games like Pokemon like other emulators? Would be nice to play it a bit faster but I can’t seem to find any information on this anywhere. Thanks in advance!


  25. Hey Russ, just a quick question. I accidentally deleted the Emulator tab in the menu up top while removing some of my unused emulators. How can I restore that tab? Thanks and more power to your site and channel!


  26. I have followed you guide for the psx configs and got everything setup exactly as outlined here and the miyoo cfw wiki but the games do not auto load the configs. I can check configs after loading a game and it defaults to the global config. Trying to save individual configs also does not override the global config sadly so I can only have one global config. Any tips from anyone on how I can get that working? the performance is decent but would love to take advantage of all the hard work done here.


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