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
PPSSPP for Sony PSP
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
PS1: PCSX ReARMed

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.

One thought 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.

    Like

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