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Anbernic RG280V user guide


We have used our expert knowledge to tune the configuration of your Anbernic handheld. If you discover other tips or configurations that enhance your experience, please use the contact form to let us know. Here’s a list of the changes we’ve made.

microSD cards

The microSD cards that Anbernic usually supplies with its handhelds are unbranded and we are not satisfied with their reliability. Therefore, we ship these devices with brand-name microSD cards.

We are so confident about the quality of these cards that we provide a lifetime guarantee.

It’s important to make a backup

Even with the lifetime guarantee we give our microSD cards, it is still recommended that you backup your card(s) as soon as you receive your device. See How to backup your retro handheld’s microSD card(s)


We have replaced the stock firmware with the Adam custom firmware. In our testing, Adam provided excellent balance between ease of use and performance. We have further refined the configuration of the firmware with settings specific to the RG280V.


Powering on the device

A short press of the RESET button will power on the device. A long press of the POWER button also works.

Turning off the device

Press START, then A.

Hard shutdown or reset

If the device crashes and neither of the previous two methods work, a hard shutdown can be performed by holding down the POWER button. Similarly, a hard reset can be performed by pressing the RESET button. These should only be used as a last resort as they risk data corruption.


Your Anbernic device is a handheld computer and, as such, should be powered down in a safe manner. Otherwise, there is a risk of data corruption.

Navigate between system types

The systems that this device emulates have been grouped into sections (Arcade, Console, etc.). Press B until you reach the top level, then UP/DOWN and A to choose the section.

Navigate through a game list

To speed up the process of scrolling through a game list, use LEFT and RIGHT to move a page at a time.

You can also use B + LEFT/RIGHT to jump to the next/previous letter in the list.

Favourites and Favourites Mode

You can add a game to your Favourites by pressing X.

You can then toggle Favourites Mode by pressing Y. Favourites Mode shows only the games in your Favourites list. Press X to remove a game from the list.

On-screen keyboard (for home computer systems)

Games made for home computer systems sometimes need keyboard input to select an option or continue to the next screen. Your handheld is able to show an on-screen keyboard:

BBC MicroR1
Commodore 64SELECT

If a game asks for an input method, we recommend that you choose Joystick. For Spectrum games, choose Kempston, if available.

BBC Micro

BBC Micro games may complain that a keyboard mapping file is not present. Press B to continue. The games should work fine with the defaults. You can configure keyboard mapping by bringing up the menu with L1 and selecting Configure game buttons.

To quit a BBC Micro game, press L1 to bring up the menu and select Quit.

Famicom Disk System (FDS)

Famicom Disk System games often require you to change discs. Use the following input sequence to do so:

  1. R1 to eject the current disc
  2. L1 to select side B
  3. R1 to load side B

Single game mode (this is clever)

The Adam firmware supports a mode that will boot straight into a game when you power on the device, and then powers down the device as soon you quit the game.

Enable single game mode

In the game list:

  1. press SELECT on your chosen game
  2. use the D-PAD to enable Autostart
  3. press B to exit that menu

Your chosen game will now start. When you quit the game, your RG280V will automatically power off.

Disable single game mode

When you quit your chosen game, press X before the device powers down. Autostart has now been disabled.


SleepPOWER + Y
Add favouriteX when in game list
Remove favouriteX when in favourites list
Retroarch quick saveSELECT + R1
Retroarch quick loadSELECT + L1
Retroarch fast forward (toggle)SELECT + Y
Favourites mode (toggle)Y

See https://k-tec.uk/adam_cheatsheet/ for more.

Quitting a game

For most systems, press SELECT + START. Sometimes this brings up a menu. Choose Exit or Quit.

On other systems, press the POWER button. Again, this may bring up a menu.

If neither of those methods work, press POWER + SELECT to force a game to close.


Your Anbernic handheld can be put into sleep mode by pressing POWER + Y. If you press the power button again, the device will quickly return to the state it was in before entering sleep mode.

This mode drains the battery at a very slow rate. However, we don’t recommend leaving your device in sleep mode for days at a time because it will eventually run out of battery and the unsafe shutdown may result in data corruption.

Battery level

The battery level is represented by a line of dots in the top-right of the game selection screen.

Show the Retroarch menu

Press the POWER button when playing a game that uses a Retroarch core. You can adjust many settings here, but the Adam image has done a good job of optimizing these for you.

Trying different cores/emulators

To try a different emulator, press SELECT on the game selection screen, then change the Emulator setting (LEFT/RIGHT on the D-PAD).


This is the Operating System that runs on your Anbernic retro handheld device. It’s a version of Linux that’s been streamlined to run emulators most efficiently.
Retroarch provides most of the cores/emulators that run games. The Retroarch menu is used to configure its cores.
A Core is an emulator that has been adapted to work with Retroarch.
An emulator allows your device to pretend that it’s a different device. For instance, the PCSX4ALL emulator enables your Anbernic retro handheld to pretend that it’s a PlayStation and run games designed for the PS1.

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