Introducing Simple30, an Optimized PocketGo S30 Firmware

Last updated: 16FEB2021 (see Changelog for details)

I’m very proud of the PocketGo S30 Add-On Pack that I created last month, but something didn’t sit well with me about it. For starters, it was basically a series of clever workarounds to improve the experience, but it wasn’t perfect or sustainable. Today I’d like to introduce something I’m calling “Simple30”, which is a compilation of many improvements made by the retro handheld community that turns this device into something truly neat.

If you haven’t already, consider buying a PocketGo S30. For $60, it’s an excellent deal.

Table of Contents
First things first
Features
Installation
Required BIOS files
Supported systems
Hotkeys
Notes
Known issues

Changelog

First things first

The honest truth is that I had very little to do with the actual development of Simple30. This project is available thanks to a number of developers whose work enabled me to basically compile and streamline the user experience.

Developer bkacjois was able to create a fully-formed RetroArch 1.9.0 that works on the S30
Steve from Tech Toy Tinker (and RetroArena) added dozens of new emulators and ports to the device
DaMikki developed a safe shutdown mechanism for use with this device

So really I just took their work and put it into one package. I don’t think that Simple30 is the end of this development, either; I think that there are plenty more milestones to come.

Features

When it comes down to it, the goal of Simple30 is to give the user a fully capable device, but with a pick-up-and-play experience.

Simple30 is:

  • Optimized to allow you to play 90 systems and ports altogether, but the flexibility to pare down your system list to as few systems as you’d like (or as many as you’d like).
  • Pre-configured with optimal graphics settings to give you an excellent viewing experience without having to tinker with the settings yourself (but with the freedom to tinker if you’d like).
  • Pre-loaded with all relevant shaders and cheat files for your viewing and gaming pleasure.
  • Pre-configured with hotkeys to allow you to quickly and efficiently navigate your games.
  • Able to use a safe shutdown mechanism that allows you to safely power off your device and preserve your save games and configuration settings.

Installation

I recommend you upgrade the stock SD card in your device to a 128GB or 256GB microSD card, from a reputable brand like SanDisk or Samsung, so that you have a reliable storage option with plenty of space for your game collection. It is also confirmed that 512GB cards also work fine on this device. Here is a link to my recommended cards.

In order for this card to work on your device, you will need to format it to FAT32 file system. Windows can only format cards which are less than 32GB to FAT32, so you will need to use a program called guiformat. For Mac, you can use the Disk Utility program that comes with MacOS to format (“erase”) the card, with MS-DOS (FAT) as the format. In both cases, you can name the card “SIMPLE30”.

Once your card is formatted, download Simple30 here, and unzip the contents and drag them into your FAT32-formatted SD card. That’s it, you’re done. You can now add your game files to their respective folder within the main “roms” folder, and your BIOS files, too (more on that in the next section).

Required BIOS files

The BIOS files now need to be placed in the retroarch/system folder. Here are the necessary BIOS files for the default systems:

DREAMCAST: 
dc/dc_boot.bin
dc/dc_flash.bin

SEGA CD:
bios_CD_E.bin
bios_CD_J.bin
bios_CD_U.bin

FAMICOM DISK SYSTEM:
disksys.rom

GAME BOY (for boot logo):
gb_bios.bin

GAME BOY COLOR (for boot logo):
gbc_bios.bin

GAME BOY ADVANCE:
gba_bios.bin

NEO GEO:
neogeo.zip

PLAYSTATION:
scph1001.bin

TURBOGRAFX-CD:
syscard1.pce
syscard2.pce
syscard3.pce

Supported systems

The Simple30 image, by default, contains about 20 of the most popular classic systems:

Arcade (FinalBurn Neo)
Arcade (MAME 2003-Plus)
Arcade (Neo Geo)
Nintendo Entertainment System
Super NES
Nintendo 64

Game Boy
Game Boy Color
Game Boy Advance
Sega Master System
Sega Genesis
Sega CD
Sega 32X

Sega Dreamcast
Sega Game Gear
Sony PlayStation
Sony PSP
TurboGrafx-16
TurboGrafx-CD

Note that with this new software, Nintendo 64 is now available. But just like Sega Dreamcast and Sony PSP, performance is relatively limited. The other systems play just fine.

If you want to remove any of these systems from your main menu, simply go to the sections/emulators folder on your SD card, and move the respective system launcher file (they’ll be labeled according to the system they support) into the sections/emulators/optional folder; this will make the system disappear from your main menu.

But additionally, there are other emulators and ports that you can play on your device, such as:

CPS1
CPS2
MAME 2010
Neo Geo CD
Famicom Disk System
Famicom
MSU1
Satellaview
Super Famicom
Sufami Turbo
N64DD
N64 (Parallel core)
Virtual Boy
Game & Watch
Super Game Boy
Atomiswave
Naomi
Dreamcast VMU
PSP Minis
Neo Geo Pocket
Neo Geo Pocket Color
Atari Lynx
Wonderswan
Wonderswan Color

ZX Spectrum
TIC-80
MSX Turbo R
MSX
MSX2
Colecovision
Odyssey Videopac
SuperGrafx
SG-1000
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Atari 800
Atari 78
Atari ST
Vectrex
Amiga 500
Amiga CD32
PC98
PC88
Channel F
X86000
Sharp X1
Amstrad CPC

Intellivision
Thomas MO5
Commodore 64
Commodore 128
Commodore PET
Commodore Plus4
Commodore VIC20
Palm OS
2048
EasyRPG
Pokemon Mini
Wolfenstein 3D
Mr. Boom
Uzebox
Cavestory
Quake
Lutro
Rick Dangerous
DOOM
OutRun
Dinothawr

To add these systems to your device, navigate to the sections/emulators/optional/ folder, and move whatever system you would like to play into the sections/emulators folder instead. Note that some of these systems will require additional BIOS files, and the ports will require retail files added to their respective rom folder.

Hotkeys

All of the emulators (except for the standalone PSP emulator) will take advantage of RetroArch’s universal hotkeys system. Here are the hotkeys that you can use while in a game:

RetroArch hotkeys

SELECT + POWER = Quit game and return to main menu
SELECT + START = RetroArch Menu
Hold START (3 seconds) = RetroArch Menu
SELECT + Y = Toggle FPS (frames per second)
SELECT + B = reset game
SELECT + A = pause emulation
SELECT + R1 = save state
SELECT + L1 = load save state
SELECT + L2 = rewind (when enabled)
SELECT + R2 = fast forward (currently no working)
SELECT + RIGHT on d-pad = save state slot +
SELECT + LEFT on d-pad = save state slot -
SELECT + UP on d-pad = volume up
SELECT + DOWN on d-pad = volume down

Notes

Here are some random notes that may help you get the most out of this unique device:

  • If you load your roms onto your SD card and do not see them in the menu, go into the sections/emulators folder on your SD card and find the appropriate launcher file for your system. Open that file with a text editor, and find that last bit of code: (selectorfilter=gdi,cdi) or similar, and add the file extensions of your roms (.iso, .img, and so on).
  • To scrape boxart or videos for your menus, check out this section of my Starter Guide.
  • You can adjust the brightness within RetroArch by going to Settings > Video > Output > Screen Brightness. I find this easier than closing out of the game and adjusting the brightness in the main menu.
  • With the way the system is currently configured, you cannot switch between RetroArch cores in one system. For example, while most Nintendo 64 games play best with the Mupen64Plus N64 emulator, others may play better with the Parallel N64 core. There isn’t a way to set the Parallel N64 core to launch with certain games. Instead, I’ve made a Parallel N64 core section, so that you can launch the same N64 library with that core instead. To set it up, go into the sections/emulators/optional folder on your SD card, and move the file named “07 parallel (n64)” into the sections/emulators folder. Now you will see a Parallel N64 option in your main menu.
  • If you would rather just run RetroArch by default and not deal with the Simple30 menu interface, that is set up as well. Go into the bin/RA launcher folder on your SD card, and move the gmenu2x from from that folder into the bin folder (replace the one that’s already in there, although I would make a backup in case you want to revert back at some point). From now on you will launch directly into RetroArch whenever you boot up the device, and quitting RetroArch will shut down the device.

Known issues

Like any software solution, Simple30 is a work in progress. Here are some of the issues that I have noted:

  • The “Save Content Directory Overrides” function does not work, which means that you cannot save settings specific to one game folder for systems that use the same core. For example, you cannot save Game Gear specific settings because it shares the same core as Master System, Genesis, and Sega CD.
  • Some shaders will rotate the screen when turned on.
  • Fast forward function does not work at this time.
  • Volume and brightness levels are reset when the device is powered off/on.
  • With MAME2003-Plus, some button presses register as multiple buttons. Until a fix is in place, you can do a workaround by swapping out the RetroArch core with MAME2003 (open the sections/emulators/ folder, find the MAME 2003-Plus file, open it with a text editor, and change the core to (params=-v -c retroarch-arcade.cfg -L mame2003_libretro.so).

Changelog

13FEB2021
– Published guide

16FEB2021
– Added note about adding additional file extensions
– Added known issue about MAME 2003-Plus buttons

122 thoughts on “Introducing Simple30, an Optimized PocketGo S30 Firmware

  1. Wonderful, looking forward to checking it out. So glad that ColecoVision is included. Just curious, are the buttons in the PS1 and PSP emulators already mapped per the Playstation control scheme?

    Like

  2. Thank you for your work!

    I’m really happy with these updates, I’ve almost finished earthbound for SNES.

    It’s a great console.

    Like

  3. I have just taken a look at this download page, Russ you should give yourself more credit. I own an S30 because I watched a video of yours that encouraged me purchase one. I developed the safe shutdown because your work on the original Add-on pack inspired me to solve the issue. The simple truth is that the S30 wouldn’t be as good as it is today without all your hard work and effort. Yes many have helped along the way but you put it all together. Thank you Russ ☺️

    Like

    1. It’s due to the file type you are using for your PS1 games. To fix it, go into your SD card and go to the section/emulators folder, and find the PSX file, and open it with a text editor. The bottom line of code will show what file types it’s looking for. Add whatever file type you have for your ROMs, then save the file. They should now show up!

      Like

  4. there is no need format Multi partition for sd card???
    I’m using v1.7 now ,have a 4 partitions in card.

    The new version ,That’s not necessary?
    SD Card Formatter only formal main drive is working?

    Like

    1. I’m sorry for troubling you i”m test a change other SD Card,There was no problem.
      my “sandisk” 32GB micro sd card not working for s30 : (
      my “TRANSCEND” 32GB micro sd card is working for s30 : D

      Like

  5. sorry, not working in now….
    i”m add your files to new microSD cards(32GB,FAT32), but cannot be started….why
    Could you make a included Hidden system partition all on one image.iso files for All users?
    can restore with”Win32DiskImager” tools..

    Like

    1. I’m sorry for troubling you i”m test a change other SD Card,There was no problem.
      my “sandisk” 32GB micro sd card not working for s30 : (
      my “TRANSCEND” 32GB micro sd card is working for s30 : D

      Like

  6. Hi Russ,
    first of, thanks for the great work you’re doing, really awesome!

    I found out that in the current release of Simple30 there is a bug with some MAME games, for example Moon Patrol or Rolling Thunder: Jump and Shoot is mapped to one single key, which makes it impossible to play.

    Could you please fix that in the next release or tell me how to do that myself? Thanks!

    Like

  7. There are little problems with roms visibility. Especially in PSX emulator. I had to delete extension line from the text editor to make it works. Also I’m not sure if emulators are looking into subfolders for roms or just a root. Switching from the stock china firmware takes a little time to figure everything out but you did a great work and it’s much appreciated.

    Like

    1. Hi Czapa, the firmware cannot look in subfolders. That last extension line was added to the PSX code to make sure that .bin files don’t appear and clog up the menu. You can delete that line, especially if you don’t use .bin files. You could also add file extensions to that line to make sure your game files appear.

      Like

  8. Olá… notei que após instalar este novo pacote, o analógico não funciona bem em certos emuladores, já em outros, funciona perfeitamente.
    Vi que em seu vídeo no youtube o analógico funciona bem, será que fiz algo de errado?

    Like

  9. After messing with the console i have discovered some additional things to tweak. For some reason I’m not able to see box arts in PSX emulator, no matter what i tried they are not appearing. All other work just fine. In retroarch.cfg file i found some references to unsued emus/retroarch folder: libretro_directory = “/mnt/extsd/emus/retroarch/cores” and cheat_database_path = “/mnt/extsd/emus/retroarch/cheats”. Also for some reason the start folder in retroarch is refering to: /mnt/extsd/emus/retroarch. No idea why it is forcing emus folder even i changed paths to: /mnt/extsd/retroarch/” everywhere.

    Like

  10. Hey Russ 🙂

    Thanks so much for this replacement firmware, such efficient work in pulling all the strands together in one easy-to-use package.

    I have made two adjustments to the retroarch/retroarch.cfg file which *may* help some people: –

    1. fps_show = “false” (was “true”). This switches off the FPS counter top right, you can always use SELECT+Y to bring it back. I didn’t like it defaulting to on.

    2. input_axis_threshold = “0.200000” was (“0.500000”). Joystick feels more responsive, previously had to move the joystick all the way over to the left to get on-screen movement. Tried the joystick calibration, don’t know if it did anything but it’s resting state was a little to the right.

    Like

  11. Hi There, this is a great work 🙂 so much improvement on this system.
    But i have some problems with gba games. Final Fantasy 6 ( 3 ) is running terrible(stuttering sound and framedrops below 45fps ) on the Pocketgo S30. Why is this so? There are some games like Metroid Zero mission with stuttering sound and frame problems about 55fps
    I have also the new pocket go with lower hardware Power and there it´s running with 60 FPS. On this machine i have installed the ” Rogue firmware 1.0.4) and the emulator is mgba like on the pocketgo s30.
    i have tried some changes to the emulator but it didn´t work.
    Do you plan to improve the mgba core?

    i have tried the firmware from TECHTOYTINKER but it´s also worse with final fantasy 6 ( 3)

    Thank you for your great work

    Like

      1. Thank you for your answer:)
        I turned of the rewind function but it didn´t work.
        The game runs still crappy.

        The interesting thing is, if there are text boxes or written text on the Screen the performance goes down.If there is no text it runs nearly 60fps and i don´t know why.
        Have you tried the game by yourself?
        You will notice the performance problems really quick after starting the game past the title screen.

        Like

  12. up on the analog doesn’t register in retroarch or psx. works everywhere else. I tried to edit it in the control settings but it doesn’t see it when pressed up.

    Like

  13. This is a very nice upgrade so thanks for your hard work.
    After hours of transfering everything to my SDcard, I had to go back to the other version as none of my PSX games show up. I have all the BIOS files recommended, and all put in the right folder, but nothing. I really do like this upgrade, but for now I will use the older version until I can get everything running with no problems.

    Like

    1. “To fix it, go into your SD card and go to the section/emulators folder, and find the PSX file, and open it with a text editor.”
      Delete the bottom line of code that show what file types it’s looking for. Only deleting the whole line worked in my case.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hey thanks! I used simple30 on my pocketgo s30 and since my eyes are trash seriously I cannot tell the difference between 20 and 60fps and my earbuds fix the audio issues I can play N64 games! Can you add a guide so you can do Minecraft for PSP and how to map the controls for N64 too please? Thanks for your time Julian.

    Like

    1. Hi Jay 🙂

      So i downloaded the gpsp core and i put it into SDCARD://retroarch/cores
      i started Retroarch on my PocketgoS30 but if i load the core, retroarch quits.

      i really don´t know how retroarch works i´m new to this.
      is it possibble to set the gpsp emulator as a default emulator for gba games?With an icon like i can do this with the optional emulators?

      So you have the same Problem with ffVI on the mgba core?
      Do you think the problem is the core/emulator and it only can fixed if anybody improves the core/emulator? Or is the PocketgoS30 the problem?

      Like

      1. Hello NeoRage,

        Sorry for the delay in my reply.

        Yes the core goes to SDCARD://retroarch/cores/gpsp_libretro.so
        However a copy of the GBA bios goes to SDCARD://retroarch/system/gba_bios.bin

        For documentation on a core just google the core name eg gpsp_libretro.so or look in https://docs.libretro.com/library/gpsp/

        Next, in the SDCARD://sections//emulators folder do the following :-

        Create a file called “11 gpSP (Game Boy Advance)” stick whatever number you want at the beginning mine is 11.

        Put the following text into the file :-

        title=Game Boy Advance
        #description=GBA Emulator
        #icon=skin:icons/gba.png
        backdrop=skin:wallpapers/gba.png
        exec=/mnt/extsd/bin/retroarch
        volume=1
        wrapper=true
        selectorbrowser=false
        params=-v -c /mnt/extsd/retroarch/retroarch.cfg -L /mnt/extsd/retroarch/cores/gpsp_libretro.so
        selectordir=/mnt/extsd/roms/gba

        Save it and you should have a new GBA option that will use the gpSP core. I would suggest doing that rather than replacing the other, as you can chose which core runs best. Final Fantasy VI will now run at 60FPS on this core.

        If this doesn’t work, please let me know.

        Kind Regards

        DaMikki (Jay)

        Like

  15. Hi. I’m haing another little issue with this on my PocketGo S30.
    When I play the SNES Super Metroid, The default buttons are ‘select and X’ to select and change the items you have collected.
    In game these buttons do nothing (So I can’t select, say the ‘super missiles’.
    On the menu in the control setup, it won’t let me change them to ‘L and R’ which I prefer.
    Do I need to go into RetroArch to assign the buttons ?
    With RetroArch on my PSmini, the buttons are fine.
    Thanks in advance.

    Like

    1. Hey Jay 😀

      wow it works.That´s awesome !!!!
      Thank you very much 🙂

      But do you know what the problem is with mgba?

      Anyway thanks a lot for your help 🙂

      Like

    2. That is because the Select button is setup as a hotkey for RA shortcuts. You will need to create a game options file for the controls for Super Metroid.

      Start up Super Metroid and then press Start + Select to access the RA Quick Menu

      Select Controls

      Select Port 1 Controls

      Scroll to Select Button and press left 3 times until you see “—”

      Scroll to L2 Button (Trigger) or R2 Button (Trigger), whichever you prefer to use, and press right 3 times until you see it say “Select”

      Press B to leave this menu, and then scroll to “Save Game Remap File” and press A on that.

      Press B to leave this menu, and scroll up to and select Resume

      now, your Super Metroid will load this specific control setup each time you use it, and the Select hotkey will still work and the L2 or R2 will be considered the Select button in the game itself.

      Like

  16. I think there may be a problem with the GBA audio. I don’t use any other systems so I can’t speak for any other emulators, but the GBA audio seems to have a lot of crackling when it is playing anything remotely complex. A game like Mario Advance 2 seems fine, but a game like Megaman Zero 3 is unbareable. I have confirmed that the stock firmware’s GBA emulator audio does not have this problem, so I think the retroarch settings are the cause. I have no idea how to fix that.

    Like

      1. Hi GamingStuff,

        I’m sorry Russ has been very busy and I have been helping fix issues and yours got missed by mistake.

        Please re-format your micro SD card to MS-DOS Boot Sector with FAT32 and then unzip simple 30 onto the Micro SD Card.

        Then Add ROM’s and BIOS files etc. Hopefully this will fix the issue.

        Kind Regards

        DaMikki (Jay)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi debug2k,

        Please re-format your micro SD card to MS-DOS Boot Sector with FAT32 and then unzip simple 30 onto the Micro SD Card.

        Then Add ROM’s and BIOS files etc. Hopefully this will fix the issue.

        Kind Regards

        DaMikki (Jay)

        Like

      3. I have the same issue. Jay said “re-format your micro SD card to MS-DOS Boot Sector with FAT32”.
        How do I do this?? Didnt get it.

        Like

    1. Hi Charles A.

      With regards to formatting your SD-CARD that will depend on which operating system your computer is running :-

      If it’s Windows 10 you could use the following downloadable tool :-

      http://ridgecrop.co.uk/guiformat-x64.Exe

      Save it and run the file, select the SD card to format and click start on the bottom of the app.

      If you use a Mac you can follow the following steps :-

      1) Connect the SD card to the Mac OS X computer.
      2) Search for Disk Utility in Launchpad and open it.
      3) Select the Drive and click Erase.
      4) Enter the new name (OPTIONAL).
      5) Select MS-DOS(FAT) for Format.
      6) Select Master Boot Record for Scheme.
      7) Click Erase.

      Once you have a properly formatted card unzip Simple30 and copy the contents to your SD card as per the instructions on this page https://retrogamecorps.com/2021/02/13/introducing-simple30-an-optimized-pocketgo-s30-firmware

      Don’t forget BIOS files and ROMS !

      Kind Regards

      DaMikki (Jay)

      Like

      1. Thanks. But I did it, and informs some error. Cant format. And it’s the MicroSd that came together.
        The thing is that I tested with other cards.. and same issue: “No MicroSd found”.
        Already contacted BittBoy… but still no answer about it.
        VERY FRUSTRATING.

        Like

  17. Russ, so far I’ve had no luck with ColecoVision — I get an MSX load screen and can’t get out of it. With Atari 7800, I get the Atari logo and that’s as far as it goes. 5200, not even a logo, but that system is notoriously hard to emulate so I’m not surprised. And my Naomi bin files show up but don’t load. I believe I have the various BIOs in their proper places. Just wanted to see if anyone else either has the same issue or knows what to do. Many thanks.

    Like

    1. Russ, so far I’ve had no luck with ColecoVision — I get an MSX load screen and can’t get out of it. With Atari 7800, I get the Atari logo and that’s as far as it goes. 5200, not even a logo, but that system is notoriously hard to emulate so I’m not surprised. And my Naomi bin files show up but don’t load. I believe I have the various BIOs in their proper places. Just wanted to see if anyone else either has the same issue or knows what to do. Many thanks.

      Hello Bob,

      Please ensure that you have obtained the bios files needed from http://bluemsx.msxblue.com/download.html

      Select the full version to download.

      And ensure that you have extracted the above files to the SDCARD://retroarch/system/ folder
      and double check you have coleco.rom file in the system folder. Then try the emulator again.

      Let me know how you get on

      Kind Regards

      DaMikki (Jay)

      Like

      1. Thanks, Jay, but it didn’t work for me. I just get the same MSX Blue screen, and I cannot exit from it. I put the Coleco.rom bios in the Retroarch Systems folder. Is it supposed to go somewhere else?

        Like

      2. Hi Bob,

        OK I have Coleco Vision working for me so I will post what I have here :-

        1) I have downloaded this
        http://bluemsx.msxblue.com/rel_download/blueMSXv282full.zip
        and put the Machines & Database folders into the SDCARD://retroarch/system/ folder

        I also copied coleco.rom top the SDCARD://retroarch/system/ folder just in case.

        2) Create a file into SDCARD://sections/emulators/ folder called the following :-

        14 bluemsx (Coleco) <- you can use any number at the beginning

        in that file put the following :-

        title=Coleco
        #description=Coleco Vision Emulator
        icon=skin:icons/generic.png
        backdrop=skin:wallpapers/coleco.png
        exec=/mnt/extsd/bin/retroarch
        volume=1
        selectorbrowser=false
        selectorfilter=.col
        params=-v -c /mnt/extsd/retroarch/config/blueMSX/bluemsx_libretro.cfg -L /mnt/extsd/retroarch/cores/bluemsx_libretro.so
        selectordir=/mnt/extsd/roms/coleco
        wrapper=true

        3) Create the SDCARD://retroarch/config/blueMSX folder to put the configs in.

        4) Copy SDCARD://retroarch/retroarch.cfg to SDCARD://retroarch/config/blueMSX/bluemsx_libretro.cfg

        5) In the SDCARD://retroarch/config/blueMSX/ folder create the following file

        blueMSX.opt

        in that file put the following :-

        bluemsx_auto_rewind_cas = "ON"
        bluemsx_cartmapper = "Auto"
        bluemsx_msxtype = "ColecoVision"
        bluemsx_nospritelimits = "ON"
        bluemsx_overscan = "disabled"
        bluemsx_vdp_synctype = "Auto"
        bluemsx_ym2413_enable = "enabled"

        6) Now put your coleco roms in SDCARD://roms/coleco/ folder make sure they end with .col extension.

        That should be it and Coleco Vision should now work for you.

        Kind Regards

        Damikki (Jay)

        Like

      3. Thanks, but I’m apparently doing something wrong that I can’t figure out.
        Now when I try to load a game, I get a black screen and then it goes back to the menu.
        I’m just going to throw in the towel since I’ve spent way too much time on this.
        I appreciate you trying to help, Jay.
        Best regards.

        Like

    1. Hello Yamac,

      There was no changes to the Simple 30 pack only some notes added which is why there is no download for the 16FEB2021.

      Kine Regards

      DaMikki (Jay)

      Like

  18. Hello NeoRage,

    I am happy to hear it works for you, I will send Russ the same details so that he can add the gpSP core to the SImple30 pack.

    With regards to the issue with mgba, yes I do know what is wrong, mgba is a very accurate GBA core, as it strives to deliver accuracy over speed and for most titles, this is acceptable. However Final Fantasy VI and a few other games use a layering technic to draw special effects on screen. Multiple graphic layers are drawn and blended together. You cannot directly see each layer on screen as the view of the lower layers are obscured by the layers on top but you do see the effect of the clouds rolling over the top of the architecture, as in the opening sequence of Final Fantasy VI. This way of rendering effects looks great but takes more processing power. If the device that is running the mgba core isn’t fast enough the game will slow down. More importantly, if the mgba core isn’t optimised to run on that particular device then you will also get slow down. Some cores / retroarch versions run better on certain types of hardware because they were designed and compiled to run with that hardware in mind. It maybe possible to recompile retroarch or the mgba core source code to be fully optimised to run on the Pocket Go S30 but as far as I am aware, that hasn’t been done yet, as it takes time to tweak and find the best compiler options to use to obtain the best results.

    The gpSP core isn’t quite as accurate in the way that it renders graphics, however it does use some in built shortcuts to render things faster, which is why it manages to keep things running at 60 FPS when the mgba core cannot.

    I hope this explains things for you and again, I am glad you can now play Final Fantasy VI at full speed 🙂

    Kind Regards

    DaMikki (Jay)

    Like

  19. When opening Cave Story from the main menu, it just opens a file browser showing a couple DAT files, a readme.txt and a manual.html. Nothing executable appears to be there. Am I missing something?

    Like

  20. I’m back with another newb question, hope you don’t mind! 🙂

    Is there a trick to getting RPGMaker games running in EasyRPG? My understanding is that it should run RPGMaker 2k and 2k3 games. I downloaded a few to try, but none worked. After opening the EXE, it just dumps me into the EasyRPG gui.

    Most of the RPGMaker games I find have folder structures, as well. Does that have an adverse effect here? As long as the EXE is in the base EasyRPG rom folder?

    Clearly I don’t really have a solid grasp on how the operating systems for these devices function, heh.

    Like

  21. I just noticed that the snes9x2010 core doesn’t play SNES audio correctly. Only the left channel audio is being played and not the right. Even with headphones plugged in, the sound does play through both sides of the headphones, but its just playing the left channel audio. There aren’t any options in in the Quick Menu audio settings in Retroarch to change the audio from stereo to mono. Is there any way to get all the audio to play correctly for SNES? Great job on the firmware btw! I’ve been loving it so far.

    Like

    1. Damn, you are right! Even worse is that appears to be a system wide issue, not just a core issue, as it also does the same thing in mgba core.

      It could be that they don’t have a true stereo or even a proper mono mode on this device, as a proper mono mode at least would combine both left and right channels instead of just give you one channel duplicated into both ears….

      Like

      1. Hi Balathustrius,

        You mentioned that the Pocket GO S30 doesn’t have stereo sound even with headphones. It is more to do with the Retroarch core itself. Some support mono and some don’t. If the do support mono sound it will be listed into the Retroarch core options.

        I hope this is helpful to you.

        Kind regards

        DaMikki (Jay)

        Like

      2. Hi Balathustrius,

        Thank you for your reply, yes you are indeed right but if you use a core that supports mono sound doesn’t that allow sound to be played properly (at least for that core ?)

        Kind Regards

        Jay

        Like

      3. Sorry, can’t help you there as I have no clue where this core audio option you speak of is located. You will need to test that yourself.

        Like

  22. I think they may have updated their firmware. I bought an S30 and received it 2/24/21 and my OEM firmware looks alot like your addon pack.

    However, when I apply Simple30 to my S30, my joystick no longer registers diagonal movements and so I’ve stuck with the OEM firmware.

    My OEM firmware (and Simple30) also come with FinalBurn Neo which I cannot for the life of me get to work with Capcom Play System games. Very frustrating, I purchased it mainly to play CPS games and I’d say 20% of them work. No Street Fighter games, no AVP, not even 1941.

    Like

    1. Chris, I suggest you go with the 1.8 firmware version that Russ created, which may what your device came with. Put the Street Fighter roms in MAME and they should work perfectly (at least mine do). Ditto for 1941. If they don’t work, you may need a different version of the roms. I’m pretty sure mine are from 0.37 set. You also have 2 decent alternatives. The SNES port of SF2 is very good. And the PSP has two excellent CapCom collections which have exact arcade ports of about 16 games each. You may have to remap the 4 main PSP controller buttons — mine were all wrong, but it’s a pretty easy fix. If you need help on that, let me know. After lots of experimenting, I prefer the 1.8 firmware over Simple30 which I find less than simple, even though 1.8 lacks a few systems I like (mainly, ColecoVision, which has the best arcade ports of any 8-bit system), and I really wish there was a history option. But the “right out of the box” experience is great. I like that it remembers the previous brightness and volume settings too.
      I hope this was helpful.

      Like

  23. Hello, I’m having problems with Analog, it keeps changing as options on the screen. I can’t calibrate to change that.

    Like

  24. Hi, im having trouble loading Atari ST games,
    i see the games in the list but nothing happens when i try to load one.

    Like

  25. Hello, guys.
    My Pocketgo s30 arrived today. But I had some issue..and still couldnt enjoy it. Maybe some of you had the same issue.
    It simply doesnt work when I turn it on. Shows the logo..and the a message error “NO MICROSD CARD !!!”. Like that. But the card IS inside. I tested with other 2 cards…and also nothing. So frustrating.
    If anyone know what is this… please let me know.

    Like

  26. Can someone explain to me why it struggles with this Build when I want to play Pokemon Stadium or Pokemon Snap.
    In Pokemon Stadium the Sprites are completly Buged and Pokemon Snap doesn’t even start up.
    Thanks for now!

    Like

    1. Hi Cedric Winkler,

      The Pocket GO S30 is not really powerful enough to run Nintendo 64 games, some run OK but others have slow down and sound issues. Mnay devices even more powerful than the Pocket GO S30 struggle to run Nintendo 64 games.

      Maybe a more optimized emulator for the Pocket GO S30 will be released in the future (I may work on it myself if I can find the time) but until then try using some of the other N64 Retroarch cores to see if you can get any better results.

      Kind regards

      DaMikki (Jay)

      Like

  27. Can’t for the life of me get this to work – I’ve tried formatting the SD card and moving the new files over many different ways but it never gets past the loading screen for the S30 itself when I boot it up with the SD card inserted.

    I even re loaded the original firmware and that worked fine so it doesn’t appear to be an SD card issue.

    Any suggestions?

    Like

      1. Super odd how I managed to get it to work. I did try formatting multiple times with the tool from the guide but it didn’t work after each file install.

        How I managed to get it to work (and it’s working now) is I re installed the original files, simply selected all and deleted and then copy and pasted the new files.

        No clue why it wasn’t working originally, but that did the trick and it’s functional now.

        Like

  28. Great build, but like others my ROMS aren’t show up, and I don’t know where to add the line to have the firmware point to the correct ext. Can someone help? What would this line look like? If I want to get my SNES ROMS to show up what would that line look like in the config file? THANKS!

    Like

    1. It’s in the notes section: If you load your roms onto your SD card and do not see them in the menu, go into the sections/emulators folder on your SD card and find the appropriate launcher file for your system. Open that file with a text editor, and find that last bit of code: (selectorfilter=gdi,cdi) or similar, and add the file extensions of your roms (.iso, .img, and so on). For SNES, there isn’t any selector filter – make sure your games are in smc or sfc format.

      Like

      1. Here’s what that line looks like in my setup: selectordir=/many/extsd/roms/snes/
        I just need to know where in this line I add the extensions. Do I need a forward slash before or after it? Since none of my roms are showing up, I’ll be able to do the same for all of them. I’ve upgraded firmwares before, as I have tons of these handhelds, so I’m not sure why this is giving me so much trouble. Thanks for the help! 😫

        Like

  29. Unfortunately I still can’t get this build to recognize my ROMS! Is someone able to email me a screen shot of what their file looks like so I can just copy it, because clearly I’m doing something wrong! 😫 You can send it to jamietmob@gmail.com! THANKS!

    Like

  30. FINALLY! I figured out what my problem was. I had all of my ROMS organized into need little sub-folders and this build didn’t like that. I’m sure there’s a way to make this work, but it was just easier to dump all of the ROMS into the primary fold and be down with it. Hope this helps someone else. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Hi there trying to play diablo 2 psx but can’t pass press start screen I think it’s because I’m not using a real bios file and just the emulated but… When I go to chose which bios to use it doesn’t show my 1001.bin as a option? Any help

    Like

  32. I was trying to find any information as to where the save files are for game boy advance? I am unable to import any other save file that I have had for instance one I had on my cell phone.

    Like

  33. Two questions about the battery:
    Is it safe to let the battery charge overnight, or is it better to monitor the charging and disconnect as soon as the unit is charged?
    Is it better to let the battery completely discharge before recharging, or is it okay to recharge when the power level is at 50%? (Some batteries lifespan is shortened by doing this.)
    Thanks in advance.

    Like

    1. Hi Bob,

      Ah the age old question, how to look after your battery. In the Pocket GO S30 is a Lithium Polymer battery. This battery is very similar to a Lithium Ion battery and so is cared for in much the same way.

      1) It is best to not allow the battery to discharge below 25 % before charging it.
      2) It is best not to charge the battery to 100 %, several smaller cycles of discharging down to around 40% then recharging to 80% is much better for the battery than full charging and discharging cycles.
      3) Leaving the battery charge overnight will push the battery to 100% charge and doing this counts as a full charge cycle. As mentioned above it is better to do smaller partial charge cycles to prolong battery life.
      4) Lithium Polymer batteries are especially temperature sensitive and do not last long if regularly exposed to high temperature.

      I hope this answers your questions.

      Kind regards

      DaMikki (Jay)

      Like

  34. My Sega CD games are all in *.CHD format. Has anyone had any luck getting these to work? I read that Retroarch SHOULD support these, but the games won’t show up.

    Any assistance or tips would be appreciated!!

    Like

    1. Keith: Try going into your SD card, and the sections/emulators/ folder, and find the Sega CD shortcut file. Open it with a text editor, and on the bottom you’ll see a list of supported file extensions. Just add whatever you’d like: CHD, cue, iso, etc.

      Like

      1. Keith, I’m using the 1.7 firmware that preceded “Simple” and my SegaCD chd files play fine. The file extension is case sensitive, so if your files are CHD instead of chd, they won’t run. If yours are in upper case, either use Steve’s suggestion above to add the upper case suffix to the list, or change the extension on your existing files. I hope that solves your problem.

        Like

  35. I really love everything that you have done here!
    I have two questions though.
    How should I go about trying to run videos on this?
    I have managed to convert my MP4 collection into GBA files but I am looking for a way that has better video/audio quality. I can deal with low resolution but I would like something that can do 60fps without choppy music.
    My second question is: Is there a way to better organize my large GBA collection?
    I used to have them all separated into different folders but on this device, it can’t seem to see or access any folders deeper in the directory than Zkswe存储设备\roms\gba.

    Like

    1. That is outside the scope of this post; sounds like you need to find a forum specific to GBA video conversions.

      Like

      1. I am looking for something better than GBA conversions. And I am hoping this device can run anything that can play videos instead of games. I can handle the conversion side of things but it seems most of the emulators cant run very good videos. I previously tried using PPSSPP to run my videos but it seems that the developer never intended to add that ability nor does he plan on adding it despite the videos working on an actual PSP.

        I was also looking for advice on how to organize large amounts of ROMs due to the fact that you can’t put them in folders.

        Like

      2. I’m just saying no one here will know anything about running GBA videos, which is why I would suggest asking somewhere else about that. Simple30’s focus is on retro gaming, not videos. If you had an issue with playing music on it as well, I would say the same thing.

        Like

  36. Staden, there’s a decent workaround for the subfolders issue. Let’s say you want a separate folder for your GBA Racing games. Go to Sections/Emulators and find the GBA emulator. If you’re using Simple, it’s “11 mgba.” Copy the file and rename it “11.1 mgba.” Open it with notepad and make the following changes. Make the title – Game Boy Advance Racing. In line 4, the backdrop instruction, change “gba.png” to “gbaracing.png.” In the last line, change “selectordir=/mnt/extsd/roms/gba” to “selectordir=/mnt/extsd/roms/gba-racing”
    Save it. Now create a new rom folder called “gba-racing” and put all of your gba racing games in it. Finally, go to skins/default/wallpapers and find gba.png. Make a copy, then open the copy in Paint or another image editor (but Paint is probably easiest). Add text on it “GBA Racing” and save it as “gbaracing.png” so it matches what you put in your new 11.1 mgba file. Your wallpapers file will now have a gba.png and gbaracing.png. You can do this procedure for as many subfolders for a particular emulator you want. You can categorize by content (Mario Games, Fighting Games, etc) or alphabetically or whatever works for you, and you can follow this template to create as many sub-sections as you want. It means scrolling through more section screens when you start, but it’s ultimately better than scrolling through so many game titles in each section. I divided my MAME roms into “Classic” and “Obscure,” and it’s way easier to find a game. Hope this works for you.

    Like

  37. Parabéns pelo trabalho !
    Estou tendo só um probleminha, o som do Gameboy afvance ficou meio ruim e a imagem do super Nintendo ficou com as bordas pretas

    Like

  38. Random thought: Has anyone tried to replace/upgrade the battery in this thing yet? Curious what happens when they die. I assume the expected route to go is just buying a new device.

    Like

  39. Firstly, thanks for this, my device is great now…
    Any chance to implement a favorite rom section on menu?

    Thanks for all.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s