Last Update: 8/14/2021
The Retroid Pocket 2 is a dual-boot Android 6.0 (at present) handheld Retro Gaming device. It has been stated that sometime in Oct. 2020 the OS will be upgradable to Android 8.1. The unit has Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 built-in, so there is no need to purchase an additional Wi-Fi dongle for this unit.
In terms of emulation, it can emulate a number of systems, most notably: Dreamcast, N64, PSP and Playstation 1. Some games may not play too fluidly on PSP and Dreamcast, may require frame-skip to be even partially playable and there may be minor audio issues. In fact, even Atari 2600 running the Stella core is hit-or-miss within RetroArch so some tuning is definitely in order.
The build quality on this device is quite nice, it doesn’t feel cheap. There are a number of colors and styles to choose from. Internally, they are all identical but choosing the color scheme you prefer may be the most difficult decision. For me it was easy, I went with Wagner’s TechTalk purple.
In my humble opinion, this is a device for those that like to tinker but does have options for those that don’t. For someone who is expecting an easy to use device that will allow you to drop your own games on to the microSD and pick it up and play, it’s a mixed bag. If you don’t mind trying different emulators, tinkering with settings then you may really enjoy this unit. The RetroidOS aims to cater to those that don’t want to tinker, however in doing so really eliminated the possibility of tuning the games/systems (there are no settings for you to adjust). So, it’s either you tinker or not, there is no middle path that I have found – thus far.
However, if you enjoy playing pinball this is a really great device for that. For some of the major virtual pinball games (i.e. Zen Pinball and Pinball Arcade), it immediately takes advantage of the L1/R1 buttons for the flippers and the right stick for the plunger. You also have the added benefit of being able to play a host of emulators on Android with the caveats mentioned above. For more on Virtual Pinball on the Retroid Pocket 2, see this.
Linking to this page: of course, including my friends and fellow YouTuber’s! You’re more than welcome to link to any of the information you find on this page.
How-To link to a specific heading on this page: go to the Table of Contents and click a section to reference from there. Copy the URL in the address-bar and paste in your video description/post/blog. This will direct a user to a specific section below, very easily!
Where to Get it
Currently, there is only one known option for purchasing the Retroid Pocket 2. When new options become available, I’ll add them below (i.e. Amazon, TomTop, etc.)
- Amazon.com – Check the delivery dates before ordering.
- GoRetroid.com – This is where mine was ordered, took about 2 weeks to receive it after shipment notification was sent, ~2 weeks after the order was placed. For the latest delivery dashboard, please see this.
- OS Android 6.0 dual-boot
- CPU: 4x Cortext-A7 (1.5GHz)
- GPU: ARM Mali400-MP2 @500Mhz
- Display: 3.5″ 640×480 IPS
- 1GB LPDDR3 RAM
- Wi-Fi b/g/n & Bluetooth 4.0
- Storage: 8GB EMMC +32GB microSD Card
- 4000mAh (charges in ~2.5 hours)
Now that we have an Android-based device with access to the Play Store, we have several more options for playing virtual pinball games. We’ll run through a few great games/tables, identify which ones work well and some that aren’t well-suited for the Retroid Pocket 2 to hopefully save you a little time in your search. Aside from installing the games themselves, there is virtually no setup required – A very nice experience!
Connect to AtGames Legends Ultimate
If you want to play Zen Pinball (or others) on your AtGames Legends Ultimate (more here, see video at the top of the guide), you don’t need a high-end PC to do it. If you own a Retroid Pocket 2, simply install Zen Pinball, then follow along below:
- Connect a Micro HDMI to HDMI cable from your Retroid Pocket 2 to your ALU, then power on the RP2. Give the device time to boot.
- Press the Channel button on the top panel (near the USB ports on the ALU) to switch to the RP2 display.
- On the ALU, hold down the P2 (player 2) button for 8-10 seconds to turn on Bluetooth.
- On the RP2, go into Settings → Bluetooth and Pair both Control deck-P1 and Control deck-P2.
- Press the B button to back out, you can now use the Joystick to navigate the RP2. Use A to select and B to go back.
- Launch Zen Pinball on the RP2.
- Select and load the table pressing A. Below is a chart of how the buttons are mapped.
|A Button – Launch ball / Select||C Button – Right Flipper|
|Z Button – Left Flipper||X Button – Change View|
|X Button – Change View|
Below are a number of helpful resources I’ve found so far on the Retroid Pocket 2.
- /retroid subreddit – Great place to ask question and find answers.
- Official Retroid Handhelds Wiki – Information provided by the Retroid Pocket 2 Gaming community.
- Retroid (Retro) Handhelds Discord Server – Discord server where you can ask questions in real-time with other users.
- Retroid Facebook Group – After requesting access, you’ll be able to participate in Retroid Handheld discussions.
The following are some general operational tips.
|Adjust brightness||Hold START + Volume Up/Down|
|Volume||Press the Volume + / –|
|Mouse Mode||Press and HOLD the HOME button for about 2 seconds to enable the mouse mode. Repeat to turn it off. When in mouse mode, press the D-Pad LEFT to slow the cursor speed and D-Pad RIGHT to speed it up.|
|Close Background Applications||Press the HOME button. Then, press and hold the Select button for a few seconds. Enter mouse mode (above) and use the left joystick to simulate swiping left-right any open applications. Also, you can click the small “X” in the upper-right of each window and press ‘A’.|
|No option in RetroidOS to show the Framerate.||From what I understand, those receiving new units may actually have this option under their Game Settings. Mine did not, but one user informed me that theirs did. This was in response to the video above where I stated it wasn’t an option.|
The following are a few accessories I’ve used with my Retroid Pocket 2 that you also might find interesting:
- UGREEN Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable – If you want to connect your RP2 to a TV, you may need this cable if yours didn’t come with one.
- Apex Wireless Controller – The controller used in the video above. While it does also support Bluetooth, I used the wireless dongle with the OTG adapter included with the RP2. I wanted to demonstrate the included OTG Adapter and this was a great way to test.
- Lepow 15.6 Inch Full HD 1080P USB Type-C Portable Display – Used this display as a larger portable display for the RP2. If you’re interested in a more detailed review of this monitor, you can check it out here.
- Gigastone 128GB 5-Pack Micro SD Card – I normally recommend Samsung cards but these cards have been working out very well for me. Keep in mind, this link is for a 5-pack, if you don’t need that many select what you need.
- SmartQ C307 USB 3.0 Portable Card Reader for SD, SDHC, SDXC, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, MicroSDXC – If you need an SD card reader, you’ll like this one. I bought two of these and use them for recording video and with various handhelds, including the RP2.
The following contains a series of tips that will help you take better advantage of the Retroid Pocket 2.
Replace microSD with a higher-capacity card
This section will describe a relatively easy method to backup the partition found on the microSD and restore it to the same or larger-capacity microSD card.
Backup the Partition
This section will demonstrate how to make a backup of your Retroid Pocket 2 microSD partition to a file.
- First, you’ll need a larger capacity microSD card. For my testing, I picked up several 128GB Gigastone microSD cards off of Amazon (link to what I used here). I typically use Samsung EVO/SanDisk cards but lately I’ve been trying cheaper alternatives. The link above is for a 5-pack for ~$75 USD where the same in the aforementioned brands would cost more than $100 USD. Totally up to you what you decide to use.
- Download and install DiskGenius (link here).
- Launch DiskGenius and insert the microSD card from your Retroid Pocket 2 into a SD card reader connected to your computer.
- Select the Partition visible under RD: or microSD card that represents your Retroid Pocket 2 microSD (should show around 30GB).
- Click the Backup Partition icon on the top toolbar.
- Click the button to Select Image File.
- Select the directory/folder where you would like the image file to be created, I created a subdirectory called Handhelds and used a filename of RetroidPocket2_ori.pmf. Then, click the Open button.
- Double check that the Source Partition is correct, the image file name is correct and if everything is good, click the Start button to backup the partition.
- Read the prompts, click the OK button on the dialogs.
- Once the backup is complete, click the Complete button and safely eject the microSD from the slot.
- That’s it, the backup file has been created! See the next section to restore the image to a new microSD card.
Restore Partition to a NEW microSD card
This section will describe how to restore your backed-up partition (step above) to a NEW microSD card. Be very careful with this step, data loss can occur if performed incorrectly.
WARNING: Be extremely careful with this tool. Triple check that you have selected the correct Removable Drive in all cases and stay clear from your internal Hard Drive. Failing to pay attention could result in data-loss.
- Make sure that you have available a new microSD card.
- Insert the new microSD card into your computer.
- Make sure that you select the Removable Disk that matches the card you just inserted. Triple check that the correct card is listed, if in doubt stop here.
- Right-click on the Removable Disk under the RD: microSD card and select Restore Partition from Image File.
- Click the Select Image File button and select the image file from your prior backup (section above).
- Select the RetroidPocket2_ori.pmf file (or whatever file you called it) and click the Open button.
- Triple-check that the correct Target Partition is selected make resemble “RD1:Removable Disk…” and make sure the capacity matches that of the microSD card you expect.
- Once everything is correct, click the Start button.
- Read the prompts and click OK on each after reading.
- Once the Restore Process has completed, click the Complete button.
- Now safely eject the microSD card from your computer.
- That’s it, the Restore is complete!
One of the easiest ways of adding your games is to remove the microSD card from the RP2, insert it into an SD Card reader and into your computer. From there, navigate to the \Roms sub folder on the SD card and you’ll find a number of folders that were created for you. You copy the game or rom files into the associated sub folder. For example, Atari 2600 games would go into \Roms\Atari\2600. Nintendo 64 games would be copied into \Roms\N64.
Once all games have been copied, simply remove the microSD from your computer, reinstall into the RP2 and power it on.
The RP2 includes two operating systems, Android and RetroidOS. In Android mode, you can copy your games/roms to the microSD. However, in RetroidOS you won’t have the ability to directly copy your games. However, RetroidOS does include a store where you can download a number of games over WiFi directly from the menu. Many will find this a very convenient way of adding games.
Install the Retroid Pocket app
- Make sure that WiFi has been Setup.
- While in the Android Operating System, move down to the Toobox icon.
- Click the Install Retroid Pocket app .
- The install will complete.
Boot into Retroid Pocket OS
- Select the Retroid app. (if you don’t see it, see the previous step to install it).
- When you see the Reboot to Retroid Pocket System? prompt, select the OK button and press A.
- The device will reboot into Retroid Pocket OS.
Boot into Android
- From within the Retroid Pocket OS, press and Hold the Home button for about 4 seconds.
- Move down to the bottom and select Switch system.
- Press the A button.
- Press A again for the OK (A) prompt.
- The device will reboot into the Android operating system.
There are a number of emulators pre-installed for you in the Android operating system. This section will include more information as I am able to bring it to you. These emulators include:
- ClassicBoy – This emulator may be used to play a number of systems including: PS1, N64, GBA, GB, GBC, NES/FC, SG and NEOGEO.
- Flycast – This stand-alone emulator will allow playing Dreamcast games.
- MAME 4droid – Allows playing many classic Acade games, it emulates over 8000 different romsets.
- Mupen64Plus FZ – A stand-alone emulator for playing Nintendo 64 games.
- N64oid – A stand-alone emulator for playing Nintendo 64 games.
- NeoDroid– A MVS Emulator for Android for playing NeoGEO games. For this to work, the games will need to be copied to the internal memory. To do this, I installed ES File Manager to copy files from my microSD card ( /roms/neogeo ) to the internal storage ( /neodroid/roms ). Be sure to copy the neogeo.zip file as well, this is needed for the game to run (BIOS). Once the files are copied, launch NeoDroid. Go into the Settings icon (top bar), scroll to the bottom, select Set hardware buttons and map the buttons how you want them (the left stick works for the d-pad directions). Now launch your game and play, special thanks to Robin D. for this tip!
- PPSSPP – Emulator which allows playing PSP games.
- RetroArch – There are many cores (emulators) available for RetroArch, some are pre-installed but you can download more.
- ScumVM – Allows playing ScumVM games; these are primarily user-created side-scroll games.
These emulators cost extra, but you may find the added cost worthwhile.
- NEO.emu ($3.99)– A MVS Emulator for Android for playing NeoGEO games. Copy your games to the \roms\neogeo sub folder, also include the neogeo.zip file in the game directory. The neogeo.zip file is the BIOS file which is needed by the emulator to play any games. Go to the Load game option and select /storage/sdcard1/Roms/NeoGeo (assuming that is where you copied the roms/bios). Select a game and play!
In RetroArch, emulators are called cores. There are a number of cores pre-installed and you can download new ones. Below are a few tips to help you get started (more coming):
- On the RP2 the B button is the Select button. The A button is back. Yes, this is a bit confusing. *NOTE: That was the default for my unit, however that may not be the case for everyone. See issue #1 in the Troubleshooting section below, after deleting my retroarch.cfg file, the default button configuration was now A = Select and B = back. You may wish to do this before investing anytime setting up RetroArch.
The following will describe how to change the theme in RetroArch:
- Move the the right twice from the Home screen (right d-pad button until you see Settings).
- Select Drivers -> Menu.
- Move the d-pad up/down button to select a different theme (i.e. ozone, rgui, xmb – xmb is a Playstation-like theme and may have been your default theme).
- After making your new theme selection, go back.
- Scroll down to the Configuration option, toggle the option to Save Configuration on Quit (left/right on d-pad).
- Go Back one level, then press the right d-pad button until you see the Home/Main Menu section.
- Move down to Quit RetroArch and select it.
- Next, re-launch RetroArch. The new theme should be active. To change the theme to something else, repeat the above.
The following are troubleshooting tips that you may encounter when using RetroArch.
|#1 – I was modifying my RetroArch (Black icon) configuration, and something was apparently set wrong. Now every time I try to launch RetroArch it immediately closes. How can I reset the configuration?||1. Press the HOME button.|
2. Open the File Manager application.
3. Enter mouse mode (see General Operation section above), browse to the following sub folder: /Internal storage/Android/data/com.retroarch/files.
4. Hover the mouse pointer over the retoarch.cfg file and press and hold the ‘A’ button for a few seconds. The file will then show 1 SELECTED at the top.
5. Move the mouse cursor to the Trashcan icon and press the A button.
6. Now, re-launch RetroArch and it should launch.
There are a number of frontends available to you. Essentially, a frontend is an application that will make launching one or more emulators from a single interface easier. I have limited experience with the front-ends thus far. What I know is below:
This frontend is included on your RP2 device. You’ll first want to add your games (roms) to the \roms\[emulator sub folder] on the microSD. Then launch DIG. The interface is a bit confusing, you will need to switch between mouse-mode (see above) and d-pad mode during the setup/configuration.
The following are some general troubleshooting tips that you may encounter.
|I was modifying my RetroArch configuration, and something was apparently set wrong. Now every time I try to launch RetroArch it immediately closes. How can I reset the configuration?||See Issue #1 in this section|
|I’m unable to download any games from the Game Market under RetroidOS.||If you setup WiFi under Android, when you reboot into RetroidOS you’ll have to set it up there as well. The WiFi settings from Android do not carry over to RetroidOS. |
To do this, press+HOLD the Home button for a few seconds. Go into Handheld Settings, select Wi-Fi, then connect to Wi-Fi network. Select your SSID/WiFi Name and enter the passcode. Press Y multiple times to go back. You should now be able to access the Game Market.
|RP2 keeps saying “authentication problem” when I try to connect to my wifi.||Perform a manual reset by holding the power button down for about 15 seconds. Once powered back on, retry and see if this corrects the issue.|
First, please don’t ask me or anyone where to get ROMs. We can’t, or shouldn’t answer you. It’s not an appropriate topic for discussion. There are places where you can download legal ROMs for installation to your RP2.
- 2021-08-14 – Added reference/instructions for AtGames Legends Ultimate connectivity.
- 2021-08-05 – Minor updates.
- 2021-07-14 – I was asked to add a micro HDMI to HDMI adapter.
- 2021-06-24 – Updated Retroid (Retro) Handhelds Discord server link.
- 2020-1-17 – Replaced embedded videos with thumbnails for faster page loading.
- 2020-12-2 – Found the RP2 on Amazon, added a link here.
- 2020-10-25 – Added info. for using NeoDroid here.