Guide: PortMaster on Retro Handheld Devices

Last updated: 22SEP2021

PortMaster is a new tool developed by ChristianHaitian (ArkOS developer) and a few other community members, which allows you to easily install various ports on Ubuntu-based operating systems running on the RK3326 chipset, such as ArkOS and The Retro Arena (TheRA). Compatibility with the RetroOZ firmware is in the works, as well as for 351ELEC. PortMaster support currently includes the following devices:

Anbernic RG351P (ArkOS final)
Anbernic RG351M (ArkOS final)
Anbernic RG351V (ArkOS)
PowKiddy RGB10 (ArkOS)
GameForce Chi (ArkOS)
RK2020 (ArkOS)
ODROID Go Advance (ArkOS)
ODROID Go Super (The RetroArena, RetroOZ)
PowKiddy RGB10 Max (The Retro Arena, RetroOZ)

So in this guide I’ll walk you through how to use this simple tool to get some of your favorite ports up and running on your device. Note that your device will need to be connected to the Internet for this to work!

Supported ports

As of making this guide, the following ports are available in PortMaster. For the latest list, check out this page.

2048
AM2R
Blood
Blues Brothers
C-Dogs
Cave Story (Evo)
Cave Story
Commander Genius
DevilutionX
Dinothawr
Duke Nukem 3D
Freedom Planet
Heart of Darkness
Hydra Castle Labyrinth
Maldita Castilla
Moonlight
Mr. Boom
OpenJazz

OpenJazz
OpenTyrian
Prehistorik 2
RAWGL
Redneck Rampage
Redneck Rampage Rides Again
Rocks N Diamonds
SDLPoP (Prince of Persia)
Shovel Knight
Sonic 1
Sonic 2
Sonic CD
SorR (Streets of Rage Remake)
Spelunky
Super Mario War
Tomb Raider 1
Undertale
VVVVV
World War II GI

Installation

If using ArkOS on currently supported devices (Anbernic RG351V, GameForce Chi, PowKiddy RGB10, RK2020, OGA), you can simply update your version of ArkOS via the online update tool within the OPTIONS menu. You will find PortMaster in the OPTIONS > TOOLS section. If you are using The Retro Arena, you will find PortMaster in the TOOLS section (provided you are using the latest builds).

If using ArkOS Final on the RG351P or RG351M, or RetroOZ on the ODROID GO Super or RGB10 Max, PortMaster is easy to manually install:

  • Head over to this page and download these three files: PortMaster.sh, oga_controls, and version. Insert your SD card into your PC, then in the ROMS/tools folder, create a folder named PortMaster and add those three files.
  • For ArkOS Final and TheRA, go into the OPTIONS section, then TOOLS, and you should find PortMaster there.
  • For RetroOZ, press START then navigate to UI Settings > Visible Systems and make sure that TOOLS is checked, then you can find the TOOLS menu in the main menu, and PortMaster will be inside.

When booting up PortMaster, you will be prompted to update the app. I would do this every so often, as new Ports will be added to the list (or updated). If you are running an updated version of PortMaster, just select “No” when prompted to update to see the full list of available ports.

If you don’t want to bother with PortMaster and would like to manually install each port, head over to this page, find the zip you want, download and unzip and place the contents into your ROMS/ports folder.

Note that The Retro Arena and RetroOZ firmwares still has some limited functionality, so some ports (like Freedom Planet) are not yet working.

Note that for 351ELEC users, it is possible to get these ports working on that firmware. It will require you to update the files paths within the .sh file to point to the 351ELEC directories. For example, here is the .sh file to get Freedom Planet working on 351ELEC. Thanks to Discord user Gibz for the tip!

Adding game assets

Many of these ports (such as Cave Story, Maldita Castilla, and Spelunky) will simply work as soon as you install them. Others will require additional licensed data files in order to boot. For those games, check out the comprehensive ArkOS wiki page regarding Ports information.

Updating ports

Some of these port packages may get updated over time, and PortMaster is future-proof in that regard. Simply update PortMaster to its latest version (you’ll be prompted when first booting the app up), and then reinstall the port onto your device. In most cases, it will not overwrite the licensed game data files you already added, or your save games, unless there was an update to the port backend that impacted previous saves (which should be relatively rare).

Contributing to PortMaster

If you are interested in contributing a port to the platform, here is more information from the ArkOS Wiki page.


Changelog

22SEP2021
– added 351ELEC installation instructions

21SEP2021
– published guide

One thought on “Guide: PortMaster on Retro Handheld Devices

  1. Thanks for the guide! Freedom Planet doesn’t seem to work for me, it loads for a minute and kicks me back to EmulationStation. And will you be adding the usual game logo, screenshot, and video for Freedom Planet?

    Like

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