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Anbernic RG405M user guide

What can you expect from your Anbernic RG405M

These handhelds use software emulation in order to be able to play games from so many different consoles. This means that there may sometimes be some minor differences with the way games played on the original console. However, it also mean that you can play thousands of games, from many dozens of console/handheld/home computer, all on the same device. It also means that some enhancements can be enabled. For instance, we’ve enabled PGXP Geometry Correction (to fix the wobbly textures) and double-resolution for the Sony PlayStation.

With some games, you will notice significant stutters on title/loading screens, menus and cinematics. Once you get into the game-play itself, this will no longer be an issue. For some consoles, you may see shader-compilation stuttering during game-play, but this will clear up as you progress through the level. Title/loading screen stutters are particularly noticeable with Nintendo 3DS games, sometimes lasting tens of seconds, but will improve on a second play-through; again, game-play itself does not suffer from this.

Some games will ask you whether you want to use 50Hz or 60Hz. These will be from the higher-end consoles, and we recommend that you choose 50Hz. Running at 50Hz (PAL) is less demanding and there will be fewer stutters.

Higher-end consoles, such as the 3DS, GameCube, and PS2 push the capabilities of this handheld. In order to play your favourite games from these systems, with decent performance, some compromises are made. For instance, God of War and God of War II (PS2) are quite playable on this device. However, to get that performance we have enabled some settings that result in a frame-rate that is not as smooth as the original. On the title screen of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princes, you’ll see that some parts of the 3D models take a second to load in. Again, this is due to our configuration choices that result in great performance during actual game-play.

When playing higher-end consoles, the device will become noticeably warm. The aluminium shell acts as a heatsink, which does a good job of dispersing heat away from the CPU.

The GammaOS version we have installed is GammaOS Lite. This does not include Google Play Store. We’ve chosen this version because it gives better performance. Apps from the Play Store can be installed using Aurora Store on this device.

Start-up message

When booting up, you will see a warning that says “UNLOCK, SKIP VERIFY!!!“. Despite the all-caps, this is the expected behaviour. We must unlock the bootloader in order to install GammaOS.


K-TEC Enhancements

Buy from K-TEC

If your handheld didn’t come with these enhancements, buy from K-TEC in future.

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)

GammaOS

By pre-installing the gold-standard GammaOS custom firmware, we provide the following enhancements:

PERFORMANCE

GammaOS provides high-performance video drivers and three different performance modes (see below).

DAIJISHOU

Daijishou is one of the most popular Android retro-gaming frontends, at the moment, and it’s integrated into GammaOS.

AUTO-SAVE/LOAD

Many of the consoles support the creation of auto-save-states when you quit, and auto-loading of those save-states when you next start the game. This means that you can just quit the app when you’re in the middle of playing, and the game will automatically start from that point the next time you play.

  • Amiga
  • Atari 2600
  • Commodore 64
  • Coleco Vison
  • Amstrad CPC
  • CPSI
  • CPSII
  • CPSIII
  • Famicom Disk System
  • Sega Game Gear
  • Nintendo Game Boy
  • Nintendo Game Boy Advance
  • Nintendo Game Boy Color
  • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
  • Intellivision
  • Atari Lynx
  • Sega Master System
  • MSX
  • SNK Neo Geo
  • NES
  • SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color
  • Sega 32X
  • Sega CD
  • Sega SG-1000
  • SNES
  • NEC SuperGrafx
  • TurboGrafx-16
  • TurboGrafx CD
  • Vectrex
  • Nintendo Virtual Boy
  • WonderSwan
  • WonderSwan Color
  • ZX Spectrum

PERFORMANCE MODES

If you swipe down from the top of the screen (twice), you’ll see a button to select between different performance modes:

  • Power Saving Mode
  • Normal Performance
  • Max Performance Mode

The Power Saving Mode can handle most 2D games and community testing has demonstrated an incredible 20+ hours battery life in that mode. You’ll want to use Max Performance Mode for the higher-powered consoles mentioned previously, but you’ll sacrifice battery life. Normal Performance Mode should be able to handle up to DreamCast and PSP and offers a good compromise between performance and battery life.

K-TEC Configuration

Our guiding principle is that every device we sell should live up to its full potential, right out of the box – see “Why I started K-TEC”.

To that end, we have spent many hours tweaking settings, testing, re-tweaking, re-testing, and so on, until we’re satisfied that we can’t get any more out of the RG405M. The fruits of our labour include:

55 CONSOLES

An RG405M straight from Anbernic has only 25 consoles configured. If you then install GammaOS, that only comes with 8 consoles configured out of the box.

(even more) PERFORMANCE

Without our configuration, Zelda games on the GameCube stutter frustratingly. Hyrule Field in Twilight Princess becomes a slide-show. With our meticulously-optimized configuration, performance is so good that we forget we’re supposed to be be testing the games and start playing them.

ENHANCEMENTS

Where performance allows, we’ve enabled enhancements in the emulators. For instance, we’ve enabled double-resolution for the PSP and PS1.

CONSOLE-LIKE EXPERIENCE

When you finish playing a game, press and hold the BACK button to get back to the front-end. Choose a different game and launch it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s using the same emulator, or a different one, it just works. This has involved the process of getting many emulators to play nicely with each other.

WII CONTROL SCHEMES

The Anbernic RG405M is powerful enough to play some Wii games. The Wii demonstrated incredible innovation when it came to control schemes, many of which we take into account. See the usage tips for more detail.

VERTICAL ARCADE GAMES

Some of the games in the Arcade (MAME) section were designed to be played on a vertical screen. We’ve configured these to be displayed vertically and to use the controls that will then be on the bottom as you’re holding it. Try out 1942 for an example (press START to insert a coin).

DUAL-SCREEN HANDHELDS

For the Nintendo DS and 3DS, we’ve mapped consistent controls for changing the layout:

  • Select layout: L3 (click the left joystick)
  • Swap screens: R3 (click the right joystick)

ZX SPECTRUM CONTROLS

We’ve configured the games to map the RG405M’s inputs to their desired control schemes.

For instance, Skool Daze is a game that uses keyboard input. Fire it up and it works straight away with the RG405M’s buttons.

With RoboCop, choose Kempston when asked and the device’s buttons will work perfectly. See the usage tips below for more detail.


Tips for using the Anbernic RG405M

Android

The Anbernic RG405M is an Android device. Power and sleep work the same as on your phone. Functions such as activating Wi-Fi should also be familiar.

Traversing between consoles, etc.

Use L2/R2 or swipe left and right.

Traversing game lists

Use R2/L2 to jump the next/previous letter.

Quitting a game

Press and hold the BACK button.

ARCADE/CPS/Neo Geo

To “insert coins”, press SELECT.

Famicom Disk System

To PLEASE SET DISK B, use following input sequence:

  • L1
  • L2
  • L1

Wii

Different games will want to use different control schemes. We’ve set up input profiles for control schemes that make sense on this device. To choose one:

  1. Press the BACK button to bring up the menu
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Wii Input
  4. Tap the cog symbol for Wii Remote 1
  5. Tap Profiles
  6. Swipe up to expand the drawer from the bottom of the screen
  7. Tap the icon with the up-arrow for the profile you want to use.
  8. Tap Yes
  9. Press the BACK button a few times to get back to the game.

Nintendo DS/3DS

Use L3 (click the left joystick) to cycle between layouts.

Use R3 (click the right joystick) to swap between screens.

Nintendo 3DS

Your Anbernic RG405M is powerful enough to play some 3DS games at double the native resolution, but some it can only handle at 1x the native resolution. We have set the default as 1x native resolution. If you’d like to see whether your favourite 3DS game will play at double resolution, please follow these instructions:

  1. Press the BACK button to bring up the menu
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Graphics
  4. Tap Internal Resolution
  5. Adjust the slider until it reads 2x
  6. Tap OK
  7. Press the BACK button a few times to get back to the game

Don’t forget to set this back to 1x for games that require it. In our experience the Zelda 3D games play well at 2x resolution, whereas Metroid: Samus Returns requires the 1x setting.

Home Computers

Such as the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, or ZX Spectrum.

On-screen keyboard

Sometimes they will ask you to press a key on the keyboard. On the Amstrad CPC, press SELECT+START to bring up the on-screen-keyboard; for the rest, press SELECT.

Input method

If asked, prefer Kempston for ZX Spectrum, or Joystick for the other Home Computers.


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