At long last, Anbernic has released a handheld device that is both affordable AND powerful. Here’s how to get started with setting the device up.
There are three main guides I would recommend consulting when setting up the RG505. First is my Android Starter Guide, which will help you set up the device from scratch. To get the most of your classic retro games, then my RetroArch Starter Guide will also help you along the way. Finally, to bring it all together, here is my Daijisho frontend guide.
Because the RG505 does not have the Google Play Store out of the box, your only option to get new apps onto the device will be through sideloading them. When setting up my RG505, here are the apps that I added:
Flycast 2.0 (latest apk release): For Dreamcast, use the pre-installed Redream emulator for the best results, but if you want to try to use upscaled graphics outside of the Flycast RetroArch core, here is the standalone version.
Dolphin MMJR: While development has halted on this build, it generally provides the best mix of accuracy and performance on Android. For best results, use PAL region GameCube ROMs.
Mupen64 Plus FZ: This is a mirror of the Play Store version (free version) made by the author. This should work well with Nintendo 64 emulation using its default settings with a 720p upscale.
AetherSX2 (latest monthly release): AetherSX2 releases a monthly release that is more up-to-date than the pre-installed version on the RG505. For best results, set the “Fast Preset” when first setting up the device, but use a 0% underclock unless you need to activate it for certain games.
Skyline (latest release): This Switch emulator is frequently updated. Be sure to set it to “handheld mode” for best results. Do not expect many games to boot, and even fewer to play at full speed.
Other apps to install
Here are some other apps I used when testing the RG505:
Aurora store: This alternative Play Store will allow you to install games but doesn’t host illegal content like the apps that are pre-installed on the RG505. This is good when installing benchmarking apps like Ampere, Gamepad Tester, or Geekbench. You can also install official apps like the Xbox app or Chrome (Beta) from this resource.
Chiaki: This is a free PlayStation 4 or 5 remote play app that works well with the RG505.