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Jagosaurus
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Android Emulation - What Emus Are You Running?

by Jagosaurus Mon May 29, 2017 10:04 am

Well, I've been meaning to do this for some time & the recent PSP "vs" Android emu thread pushed me over the edge. I officially have Nostalgia.NES & RetroArch running on an Android phone (my backup device).

I have a Bluetooth controller on the way from Amazon that can function standalone or cradle a phone. This one here, by recommendation of Noise:
Beboncool B02 controller. Nice deal for $25.99 shipped.

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I'm likely going to be purchasing a MXQ Adroid TV Box as well so I can enjoy these emulators (and Google Play titles) on the go or on my game room TV. I digress...

What Android retro emulators are you running?

I'll be looking mostly at Atari 7800 through end of 4th gen (Sega CD, PCE CD, etc). 5th gen is a bonus, but I know it's spotty.

Controller support highly preferred. I saw SNES9x supports joypads but is extremely laggy. Nostalgia.NES runs great with a Bluetooth controller per reviews.

I wanted to start a dedicated thread on emulation specifically, but as I mentioned over in the Google games thread: I did get both Nostalgia.NES & RetroArch emulators both running. I started up Dragon Warrior IV to test it... 30 minutes later and 2 level ups later :), I'm very impressed with how sharp it looks on the small screen. Nostalgia runs great & the save state options are clean. Keep in mind I haven't tested a controller yet (will do soon, reportedly handles well). RA is a bit cumbersome as advertised. I did get the FCEU NES core running. I'll lean more on RA if there isn't a good a la carte option available. I think playing these retro games, especially RPGS, in bite size chunks, on the go with save states, will be great for me with 2 kiddos & little spare time.
Last edited by Jagosaurus on Tue May 30, 2017 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Android Emulation - What Emus Are You Running?

by Exhuminator Mon May 29, 2017 11:05 am

Jagosaurus wrote:I think playing these retro games, especially RPGS, in bite size chunks, on the go with save states, will be great for me with 2 kiddos & little spare time.

This is mainly what I use my smartphone for when it comes to emulation. Playing 8/16/32 bit JRPGs/SRPGs in bits and pieces. Touchscreen controls are fine for turn based games, and I've successfully beaten some action-RPGs using touchscreen controls as well. Granted a dedicated bluetooth controller is the primary candidate. But that only makes sense if you're gaming at home or a hotel room, not something you'd likely pull out on a train or subway for various reasons.

Anyway I replied to you in the other thread, but that was before I knew about this thread. If you're looking for emulators for any specific consoles/handhelds let me know I'll tell you what I use.

In general I've found Android emulation to be awesome. Of course the quality of the phone and its Android version may have a lot to do with the results.
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Jagosaurus
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Re: Android Emulation - What Emus Are You Running?

by Jagosaurus Mon May 29, 2017 11:55 am

Yeah, 95% of my gaming is at the house so I'm fine with a dedicated Android device + controller. When I happen to be in the gameroom, I'll eventually be using the Android TV setup with the controller stand alone (no phone "docked").

I'll have to do another search on your previous suggestions and link here. Remember what thread topic it was in?

Any new & notable finds since then?

Here's what I'm most interested in:
7800
SMS
GG
GB/GBC/GBA
Lynx
NES
SNES
Genesis & Sega CD
TG16/PCE & CD

Bonus (realize it won't be perfect):
PS1
N64
Saturn (0% hopeful here)
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Re: Android Emulation - What Emus Are You Running?

by Tanooki Mon May 29, 2017 12:19 pm

In the past I've run NES and SNES9XEX+ on both a Nexus 7 (2nd model) and then on my original Shield tablet I had them but never bothered to put those back, but I did put my entire neo geo library with Neo.EMU on that one.

I can say they all worked just fine between both style of tablet where the overlap applied. I've not had any problems with keeping the arcade twitch factor going with Neo-Geo on the Switch.

I've read up, watched videos, and investigated it and mine due to the Tegra unique setup can handle stuff as high as the Dreamcast and also the Android port of Dolphin to do Gamecube stuff at a proper framerate without problems that aren't just inherent in the emulator due to developmental bugs. In any case of my study or usage I've seen no complaints really about lag, big game busting problems, or controller issues (other than the snes9x earlier stuff you saw.) I've used my steel series free mobile pad with the Shield and it works like a charm.
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Re: Android Emulation - What Emus Are You Running?

by Jagosaurus Mon May 29, 2017 2:34 pm

Good to know Tanooki. I looked into those shield tablets but decided to try this out on a budget first.

It seems SNES with a controller might be a weak spot unless one of the RetroArch cores better supports it.

I'll likely eventually give RA a better try but Nostalgia.NES impressed me with its ease of use. Looks like the best stans alone Genesis emu is $5 which I'll pay if it's head & shoulders above the rest, but I'll try the available RA cores first.
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Re: Android Emulation - What Emus Are You Running?

by Exhuminator Mon May 29, 2017 5:49 pm

Jagosaurus wrote:Here's what I'm most interested in

What I use:

7800 = I don't know.

SMS = Nostalgia.GG Pro
GG = Nostalgia.GG Pro

GB/GBC = My OldBoy!

GBA = My Boy!

Lynx = I don't know.

NES = Nostalgia.NES Pro

SNES = Snes9x EX+

Genesis & Sega CD = MD.emu

TG16/PCE & CD = I don't know.

PS1 = ePSXe (the official Android port)

N64 = I don't know.

Saturn = I don't know.

Everything I said "I don't know" about, doesn't mean there aren't good Android emulators available for those platforms. It just means I personally haven't sought any out yet. Also I'm using the paid versions of any that offer paid versions.
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Re: Android Emulation - What Emus Are You Running?

by Tanooki Mon May 29, 2017 9:36 pm

Jagosaurus wrote:Good to know Tanooki. I looked into those shield tablets but decided to try this out on a budget first.

It seems SNES with a controller might be a weak spot unless one of the RetroArch cores better supports it.

I'll likely eventually give RA a better try but Nostalgia.NES impressed me with its ease of use. Looks like the best stans alone Genesis emu is $5 which I'll pay if it's head & shoulders above the rest, but I'll try the available RA cores first.


Not sure what you want to go in for on a budget, but a new Shield tablet (v2 w/out stylus) is just $200, so I imagine as long as nvidia isn't playing scarcity games with it you probably could slid downwards into the $150-200 range on a used one in nice shape. There are far more expensive android tablets out there, but they don't quite have the same good performance since this one was keyed up specifically for games.
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Re: Android Emulation - What Emus Are You Running?

by Jagosaurus Tue May 30, 2017 11:21 am

@exh,

Thanks for the suggestions good sir. I'll be DLing those you suggested 8) .

@Tanooki,

My initial hardware budget is around $75 to test the waters. I have 2 Android phones and a bluetooth controller I purchased for $26, so that leaves me with ~$50 to spend on an Android TV box. I don't mind spending $3-$8ish on emulators if they are truly the best option. Outside of emu, I'll be picking up a few Google Play titles to test out such as Alice's Mom Rescue. Part of the draw to me is the low cost of entry.

It seems the jump to the Nvidia would only be necessary for the titles specially made for the Tegra K1 chip set (Doom 3, Half Life 2, Conduit 2, etc), some high end Google Play titles (that wouldn't run on my Note 4 or a middle ground Android TV box), and fifth retro gen emu. High end GP games, along with N64 & PS1 emu are only bonus at this point. I have a dedicated emu PC in my gameroom that handles PS1 & N64 just fine so it's hard to justify the $200 tablet at this point. If I absolutely get reeled into the Android gaming and emulation scene, or eventually decide I want N64/PS1 on the go, the Shield is a real possibility. I'm not against it. There are some decent ~$100 tablets/large phones that wold be nice purchases as well, but if I could get a Shield used for only $50 more with better specs, I'd maybe be more interested when/if that time comes.
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Re: Android Emulation - What Emus Are You Running?

by Tanooki Tue May 30, 2017 12:08 pm

$50 is tight alright, not sure. You ok with sideloading the hell out of something? I think you can get an Ouya in that range which is an earlier Tegra3 chip I believe, precursor to that Tegra that started in the shield handheld which is gimpier than the tablet/console.

I recall people buying those, gutting their garbage off it, and then slamming it full of emulators, KODI, XBMC, and other goodies and all in the size of basically of a rubiks cube.


Also piece of advice, whatever you get, loaded directly or side load it, get setup on google play AND amazon too. Under GP they have a really dumb but cool program of free surveys they do maybe once a week and then can be like a dime or a dollar or more, depends. But it's free money for clicking a few radio buttons or check boxes. I've bought quite a few games, apps, emulators for FREE using store credit.

Amazon isn't quite as challenging in that respect, they have a daily freebie. GP does too, but doesn't account it. I use an app called App Sales (looks red/white icon with a % on it) here's their website -- http://www.app-sales.net/ And they list all the paid, discounted, and 24+hour freebies of the day. Emulators I've seen rarely roll through there too.


Also the nvidia, yes the tegra ground up coded stuff can get into that PS3 level of quality being custom made, but overall the device still has such potent hardware within that it really can help across the board depending on what the app involved has as its system requirements. I've noticed quite a few emulators do code for Tegra to take advantage of that added overhead (like the Dolphin port.)
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Re: Android Emulation - What Emus Are You Running?

by Jagosaurus Wed May 31, 2017 3:09 pm

@Tanooki, I'm not against tinkering or an Ouya. I almost bought one on launch. I have completed quite a few soft mod projects recently and would rather stick to a plug and play scenario at the moment as free time is short on my end with the new kiddo & a toddler.

Alright, I've had a few hours of testing time. I have to say, what I'm most impressed with so far is the quality and no noticeable lag when displayed on a TV :shock:. I've had a lot of issues trying to get my aging ATI video card & fairly new laptops to display NES games properly on my HD TV in 4:3 (although it looks fine on laptop screen itself). This method just worked and there were no "rippling" scrolling effects or direct draw errors I often get from several NES emulators. NES emu seems to be the only culprit for me on this. Genesis, TG16, etc all work fine. I had resorted to being tethered to the laptop screen or breaking out the modded oXbox for 8 bit Nintendo. I was surprised to find out Android may be my go to NES emu method moving forward for both on the go and on the big screen.

This is very convenient when traveling because I'll already have my phone with me. The controller is roughly the same size, but lighter, than carrying a 3DS. Once I get to my destination I then have the option to throw on the TV. Pretty slick 8).

Nothing ground breaking here but wanted to share the B02 controller in action. The phone display shown is a Razr Maxx 4.3" and my Note 4 5.7" fits fine also. What do you guys think?

Standalone:
Image

Docked:
Image

To TV in 4:3 1080p via HDMI:
Image
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