Anbernic RG552 Epic Retro Gaming Guide

Anbernic RG552 Epic Retro Gaming Guide

Last updated: 16AUG2022

It’s no secret that the Anbernic RG552 is an expensive device. At its starting retail price of $227, it can be disappointing that it’s not powerful enough to run GameCube or PlayStation 2 at acceptable levels. However, there are some aspects of this device that really shine — namely its screen and overall feel when it comes to d-pad-centric gaming — and so in this guide I’m going to walk you through all the little tweaks and tricks I use to get the most out of this device.

At the end of the day, the Anbernic RG552 is my favorite console for RETRO (i.e. 32-bit and below) gaming, and with these tweaks, I think you might agree.

Buy one here (AliExpress)
or via Anbernic.com
or via Amazon Prime (more expensive but fast shipping)

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AmberELEC Setup and Update Guide

AmberELEC Setup and Update Guide

Last updated: 13JUL2022

AmberELEC is the new custom firmware that replaced 351ELEC for devices such as the Anbernic RG351P, RG351M, RG351V, RG351MP, and RG552. This video and guide will walk you through its setup as well as showcase new features in this release.

AmberELEC webpage
AmberELEC discord server

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Guide: Celeste on Retro Handhelds

Guide: Celeste on Retro Handhelds

Last updated: 31MAY2022

Finally! A port of Celeste is now available on retro handhelds, so you can natively play this little platforming gem.

The installation process is a little trickier than other (PortMaster) solutions, due to the fact that the game requires closed-source libs that cannot be redistributed. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to add them yourself, which we’ll do in this guide. Note that you will also need to be running PortMaster on your device in order to install certain mono files which will allow sound to work properly.

Update (29MAY2022): This guide now works on RK3326 devices as well as the RG503, when running on a compatible firmware like ArkOS, JELOS, and AmberELEC! Below is a list of devices that should be able to run the game. Big thanks to developer JohnnyOnFlame for getting this port up and running; please consider buying him a coffee for his hard work.

Anbernic RG552 (AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG503 (JELOS, ArkOS, TheRA) *when available
Anbernic RG351P (AmberELEC, JELOS, ArkOS wuMMLe fork)
Anbernic RG351M (AmberELEC, JELOS, ArkOS wuMMLe fork)
Anbernic RG351V (ArkOS, TheRA, AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG351MP (ArkOS, TheRA, AmberELEC, JELOS)
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)

For best results, make sure you are running the most recent version of ArkOS, AmberELEC, or JELOS, and the latest version of PortMaster. The Anbernic RG552 will provide the best gaming experience (see notes below).

Note that the “Final” version of ArkOS for the RG351P and RG351M will not support the game due to an outdated SDL2 library. However, wuMMLe’s fork of ArkOS may be updated in the future to support it. In the meantime, I recommend using JELOS or AmberELEC for those two devices instead, since they are in active development.

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Guide: Timespinner on Retro Handhelds (PortMaster)

Guide: Timespinner on Retro Handhelds (PortMaster)

The indie classic game Timespinner has recently been ported to various handheld devices, thanks to community developers and the awesome PortMaster tool. Here are the systems that can run the game as of making this guide:

Anbernic RG351P (ArkOS final, TheRA, AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG351M (ArkOS final, TheRA, AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG351V (ArkOS, TheRA, AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG351MP (ArkOS, TheRA, AmberELEC, JELOS)
Anbernic RG552 (AmberELEC, JELOS)
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)

Setting up this game is similar to other ports such as Shovel Knight, Undertale, and Iconoclasts. Big thanks to developer JohnnyOnFlame for getting this port up and running; please consider buying him a coffee for his hard work.

Note that you will need to have PortMaster installed and updated on your device. Here is my PortMaster guide.

Continue reading “Guide: Timespinner on Retro Handhelds (PortMaster)”

Anbernic RG552 Custom Firmware Guide

Anbernic RG552 Custom Firmware Guide

Several months into its lifecycle, the Anbernic RG552 finally has some great options when it comes to improving the user experience. Let’s take a look at three different firmware options (two on Linux, and one on Android) which will give you better gameplay performance and some nice quality of life upgrades, too.

Buy one here:
AliExpress ($227 before sales)
Amazon Prime ($249 with fast shipping)

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Anbernic RG552 Linux Setup Guide

Anbernic RG552 Linux Setup Guide

Last Updated: 27DEC2021 (see Changelog for details)

The Anbernic RG552 is a unique device in that it can boot into both Linux and Android, giving users a wide variety of use cases. In this guide we’ll go over some of your options when it comes to the Linux operating system, including a pre-configured SD card image that you can download and use directly on your device.

Some caveats:

  • The Linux operating system that ships with the device is a modified version of Batocera v29. Several development teams (including the official Batocera team) are already hard at work on updated firmware that will improve the user experience. This guide is meant to be a stop-gap while we wait for proper updated firmware.
  • This guide will show you how to install a pre-configured SD card image you can simply flash an SD card that has all of the changes baked in.
  • I DO NOT recommend flashing this SD card image over your existing 16GB card that came with the device. Keep that one around for safekeeping; instead, I recommend using a SanDisk Ultra 16GB card because it is more reliable and can be found for under $10.
  • If you don’t want to flash a new SD card image, I will also link to a shell script that will provide most of the tweaks to your existing stock firmware.
  • Once custom firmware is available, I will likely NOT recommend using this guide, since updated firmware will likely improve the user experience as well as emulation performance.
  • This updated image will include optimized hotkeys, auto save/load for most systems, scaling, and aspect ratios, plus the ability to download new themes.
  • Big thanks to developers FGL82 and konsumschaf for help with dialing in the proper settings, and TheGreatCrippler for helping shrink down this image to a manageable size.

For now, I would focus on using the Linux interface for PS1 and below gameplay. The emulators on the Android OS side are much more optimized and will give you better performance across the board. Custom firmware might make Linux more performative in the future, but for now I would use Android for Nintendo DS, Dreamcast, PSP, Nintendo 64, Panasonic 3D0, Atari Jaguar, and Nintendo GameCube.

So without any further delay, let’s jump into it.

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The 9 Handhelds to Consider in 2022

The 9 Handhelds to Consider in 2022

Let’s look at nine retro handheld gaming devices currently on the market or coming within the next few months, and which ones will give you the best value for your money.

Devices featured:
Anbernic RG552
PowKiddy X18S
Retroid Pocket 2+
AYN Odin
GPD XP
LG V60
Steam Deck
PS Vita
Nintendo Switch Lite

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