Review: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2021)

Amazon’s latest Fire TV Stick 4K Max packs an impressive retro gaming value for its $55 MSRP — essentially, it contains 75% of the NVIDIA Shield’s gaming performance at 25% of the cost. In this video we’ll go over setup, customization tips, and emulation performance of this device.

Recommended tools:

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
128GB SanDisk Cruzer USB flash drive
OTG splitter
SN30 Pro controller

Recommended emulators:

RetroArch for arcade, 8-bit, and 16-bit systems
Mupen64Plus FZ for Nintendo 64
Yabasanshiro for Sega Saturn
Redream for Sega Dreamcast
Duckstation for PS1

Recommended RetroArch cores:

Arcade (Neo Geo and fighting games): FinalBurn Neo (with corresponding romset)
Arcade (classic): MAME 2003-Plus (with corresponding romset)
Game Boy: Gambatte
Game Boy Color: Gambatte
Game Boy Advance: mGBA
NES: fceumm
SNES: Snes9x
Genesis: Genesis Plus GX
Sega CD: Genesis Plus GX
Sega 32X: Picodrive
Turbo Grafx-16/CD: Beetle Fast

Other tips:

  • To download and install APKs, go into Apps > Appstore > Utilities and find the Downloader app. Install that app and use it as a browser to navigate to the sites where APKs are hosted, then download them directly onto the Fire Stick and install them from there.
  • Turn on RetroArch Settings > Latency > Run Ahead for 8-bit and 16-bit systems like NES, SNES, and more. Note that some SNES games will have slowdown with run ahead turned on, so you may need to turn that feature off for those games.
  • Turn on RetroArch Settings > Video > Scaling > Integer Scaling for the most balanced pixels. This will cause some black bars around the display, but will reduce pixel distortion.
  • For PPSSPP, enable the Vulkan backend, and set it to 2x resolution and auto frameskip of 1.
  • For the standalone Yabasanshiro emulator, place a copy of Saturn bios in the Internal Storage > Yabause > bios folder for the best compatibility. You will need to go into the Yabasanshiro settings and choose to boot from those bios. To place a copy of the bios into the required folder, you will need to install a file management app from the Fire Stick Appstore.
  • For Mupen64Plus-FZ, you can go in and adjust the graphics profiles for individual games to get the best performance.

14 thoughts on “Review: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2021)

  1. Hey man, nice guide. I need help to get ROMs and all stuff for running in a fire stick tv 4k, do you know a best/secure website to download?

    I see in your videos a tons of folders.


  2. Good guide – thanks for the detailed steps. AU$49 for 4K Max on Black Friday. I am going to try out this. Awaiting the OTG Splitter cable delivery.


  3. You can’t start preparing the USB Flash drive before you get the amazon stick?
    Do it have to have folders created from the Amazon Fire Stick first?


  4. I thank you sir for this. Am not computer savvy but these are great hard copy instructions. If I get stuck, I’ll ask my grandkids to work on it. If not, I’ll hire the local geek squad.


  5. Hellllllp….

    Hey, I’m a big fan of your YouTube channel.
    But I’m having a problem with this video.
    I have paused, replayed, paused, replayed over and over…
    I have followed everything to a T, and even rechecked myself.
    When I load my Core’s section, it constantly is telling me my paths is wrong. I even triple checked myself. Everything looks right, until I load that core again… invalid path. 🤦

    One small hiccup I see at the very beginning of all of this, I plug my memory stick in and the Firestick 4k Max prompts me that it needs to be formatted for the firestick can use it. But I already formatted it in my computer and then loaded everything on it.

    Is this the problem? Should I go ahead and let the firestick 4k max format it, and reload the memory stick in my computer?

    LoL I’ve spent almost 4 hours on this project, and boy, do I have a freaking headache.

    Any help at all??


  6. Can the Batocera Emulator be used with the Amazon Firestick? If so, can you provide some instructions? Thank you.


  7. Great tutorial, just curious on two things though, firstly the box art, what is the correct naming for the files? Should I be removing bits like (Rev 1) from it but keeping the country?

    Also could anyone advise what files I need to put in a bios folder in order to get the following emulators working well?

    Game Boy / Game Boy Color: Gambatte
    Game Boy Advance: mGBA
    NES: fceumm
    SNES: Snes9x
    MD / MS / GG / Sega CD: Genesis Plus GX
    PS1: PCSX ReARMed


  8. Hello trying to get this setup but not sure if I am downloading the correct Bios files. Can anyone give me a link to download the files from. Thanks


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