- microSD cards
- All Retroarch cores
- Arcade games
- Position of SELECT, START buttons
- Turning off the device
- Quitting a game
- Show the Retroarch menu
- Updating retroarch cores
- Trying different cores/emulators
- Nintendo DS
We have used our expert knowledge to tune the configuration of your PowKiddy 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.
The microSD cards that PowKiddy 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 RetroOz custom firmware, which is itself based on ArkOS. In our testing, RetroOz provided excellent balance between ease of use and performance. We have further refined the configuration of the firmware with settings specific to the RGB10 MAX 2.
Use the Standalone-Rice emulator
Standalone-Rice performs better on this device than the default
Parallel-N64 retroarch core.
To try a different emulator, see Hints -> Trying different cores/emulators in this guide.
Configure the button-mapping for use with Standalone-Rice
Without configuration, this emulator uses an incomplete and uncomfortable mapping for the inputs. We have configured the inputs to match the common layout used for N64 emulation (
L1 used for L-targeting, right analogue-stick directions used for C-inputs).
We have configured PSP games to use the stand-alone
PPSSPP-GO emulator. This runs in widescreen and performance is just good enough for games to be playable.
We have configured settings, such as frame-skipping, to provide the best performance available on this device. The menu used to alter these settings can be shown by using the
SELECT + X hotkey.
You may find that games stutter a few times when playing a new level. This should happen less as you progress through that level, due to caching performed by the emulator.
PSP pushes the limit of what this kind of device can emulate, but our configuration gives you the best available experience.
Set the screen colour to a light green, matching the original GameBoy display
If you would like to try a different colour palette, bring up the Retroarch Quick Menu while in-game (
SELECT + X), then going to
Options -> Internal Palette.
Save the changes by going back up a menu level (press
B) until you see the
Overrides item; then select
Overrides -> Save Current Directory Overrides.
We have set the core used for emulation to
retrorun-wide, in order to enable widescreen gameplay on this device. To try a different emulator, see Hints -> Trying different cores/emulators in this guide.
We have used PAL versions of Dreamcast ROMs, where available. When given the option, please select
50Hz. This allows more Dreamcast games to run at full-speed.
All Retroarch cores
We have configured shaders to improve the display of these retro games on your RGB10 MAX 2’s high-resolution screen.
Set the aspect ratio to
This tells Retroarch’s cores to conform to the shape of each device’s original screen shape, preventing games from appearing squashed.
A number of the installed arcade games were designed for use with a portrait-format screen. These have been properly flipped to use vertical mode. We have also mapped the controls so that you can use the analogue stick and buttons that will be at the bottom of the device as you’re holding it.
Ports are games that have been ported to run natively on your device.
Of particular interest may be
sm64, the native port of Super Mario 64. It should run at a smooth 60fps, due to the fact that it doesn’t require an emulation layer, and can be compared with the version available for Nintendo 64 emulation. It is also considered to be a seminal 3D game.
Tomb Raider port may also prove interesting for the same reasons.
By default, your handheld uses the buttons at the bottom of the device as the
START buttons. You may find it more natural to use the buttons in the corresponding position at the top of the device.
You can change between having
START at the bottom or top of the device by going into the menu at
Firmware Options -> Device and select
RGB10 MAX 2 either
Top. Do not select a device other than the
RGB10 MAX 2.
NOTE: The Nintendo 64 emulator,
Mupen64plus-Rice, is configured always to use the buttons at the top of the device. The bottom
SELECT button is configured as the N64’s reset button.
L3 is the button function (click it) of the left-hand analogue stick;
R3 is the same for the right-hand stick.
|Retroarch quick menu|
|Retroarch quick save|
|Retroarch quick load|
|Retroarch fast forward|
Turning off the device
A short-press of the
POWER button will safely power-down the device.
Using the menu
START, then go down to
Quit, and choose
Hard shutdown or reset
If the device crashes and neither of the previous two methods work, you can perform a hard shutdown by holding the
POWER button. Similarly, you can press the
RESET button to perform a hard reset.
You should use these only as a last resort, as they risk data corruption.
Quitting a game
When using a retroarch core
Most systems are emulated using Retroarch cores.
You can press
SELECT + START on the device, twice in quick succession, to quit a game.
Standalone emulators and Ports
Some systems use stand-alone emulators. These include N64, PSP, Dreamcast, and Nintendo DS. Pressing
SELECT + START once will quit most of these. Most Ports are quit using the same method.
Nintendo DS: The Nintendo DS emulator (Drastic) is quit by using its menu. You can display the menu by pressing
L3. The text is tiny but the last menu option is the one you use to quit.
Your PowKiddy handheld can be put into sleep mode by pressing the two function buttons on the right of the device at the same time (the button labelled
START and the corresponding button at the top). If you press the
POWER button, 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. It will eventually run out of battery and the unsafe shutdown may result in data corruption.
Show the Retroarch menu
RETROARCH from the main menu and then either
retroarch32. These are 64-bit and 32-bit versions of the software, respectively. The available game systems are configured to use the 32-bit or 64-bit depending on which happens to work best for that system.
To bring up the Quick Menu, press
SELECT + X while in-game.
Updating retroarch cores
This requires an internet connection and is, therefore, only possible when Wi-Fi is enabled and connected.
You can update to the latest version of the installed Retroarch cores by going to
Retroarch from the main menu, then selecting
Online Updater -> Update Installed Cores.
We cannot guarantee that the updated cores will run as smoothly as those that come pre-installed. Similarly, they may have improved performance or they may have worse performance. Additionally, this process is likely to upgrade the
fbneo core which will make at least some arcade games incompatible. The process of downgrading troublesome cores is more involved and is beyond the scope of this guide.
After several minutes of sitting idle, your handheld will start playing videos of random installed games. This is the screen-saver. To play the game currently displayed, press
START. To exit the screen-saver, press one of the face buttons.
Trying different cores/emulators
To try a different emulator for a specific game, press
SELECT on the game list screen, then choose
Edit this game’s metadata -> Emulator.
Nintendo DS uses the stand-alone emulator, Drastic.
Games that do not use touch-screen input are the most usable.
Screens and menu
|press selected button on touch-screen|
|touch the screen at stylus location|
|bring up the Drastic menu|
|quit the game immediately|
- This is the Operating System that runs on your PowKiddy 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 the provided games. The Retroarch menu is used to configure its cores.
- A Core is an emulator that has been adapted to work with Retroarch.
- Using an emulator, your device pretends that it’s a different device. For instance, using the PPSSPP emulator, your PowKiddy retro handheld pretends that it’s a PlayStation Portable. It can then run games designed for the PSP. Some devices are more difficult to emulate than others, such as the Nintendo 64 or Sega Dreamcast.