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Anbernic RG503 PSP Compatibility Guide

Written by thegaminggeek

June 24, 2022

The Anbernic RG503 is the first in a new line of successors to Anbernic’s previous RG351 line of retrogaming devices. Boasting a more powerful chip, the RG503 also has a gorgeous 4.95″ screen that makes it perfect for playing PlayStation Portable games. PSP games are difficult to emulate though, so not all of them will run well on the RG503. Interested in getting an Anbernic RG503 but only if it can play your favorite PSP game? Read on!

 

Gadget Guides - RG503 PSP

 

Before We Get Started

This post will contain a list of PSP games that I tested personally on my Anbernic RG503. I’ll also mention how well it runs, and what general settings to change. I will continue to make changes to this list as I get the chance to play more PSP games.

My Anbernic RG503 runs using the latest version of ArkOS (download it here). ArkOS does upgrades over OTA/wifi so it’s pretty easy to update to the latest version. For the emulator, I’m using the Standalone PPSSPP. This is on version 1.12.3 as of this writing. If you’re using a different cfw like JELOS or TheRA, you might get close but different results.

As of the last update, there are 52 games on this list total.

 

Basic Settings

When tweaking the settings in PPSSPP on the Anbernic RG503, I realized that I was only changing a handful of them. The rest didn’t result in noticeable changes, or were already giving better performance on their defaults. So let me talk about the settings that I play around with and what they do.

  • Mode – You can choose between Buffered rendering and Skip buffer effects. The first option ensures that PPSSPP will emulate your game with complete graphics effects. The second option will strip off some of the special effects. Choosing the second option can improve performance, but may make the game you’re playing look ugly. Some games become unplayable because the missing graphics are actually essential to the gameplay. Because of this, I try to stick to using Buffered rendering when I can.
  • Frame skipping and Auto frameskip – Sometimes, the game’s visuals will run too slow, making the audio choppy as it tries to sync with the graphics. Frame skipping eliminates a number of frames, making the visuals flow faster. At the most, I’ll try Frame skipping at 1 and Auto frameskip enabled if a game isn’t running well.
  • Force Max FPS – I only recently played around with this. I have it set to Auto by default, but it helps to play around with it for games that don’t run well. I usually test this from 30 to 60 and just see which one helps the game I’m playing.
  • Rendering Resolution – This setting makes PSP games look better on the RG503. I have it set to 2x PSP by default, but if a game isn’t running well, I’ll try it at 1x PSP. The only drawback is, some games will look quite pixellated.

 

Now, on to the lists!

 

Group 1 – Buffered Rendering, 2X Resolution, No frame skipping

The settings above will result in an experience that’s even better than the real thing. Choosing Buffered Rendering will preserve all the graphical effects, and disabling frame skipping will prevent the game from looking/feeling choppy. What makes these games better on the Anbernic RG503 is the resolution enhancement. At 2X of the original PSP’s resolution, these games look a lot smoother on this device.

Not all of the games on this list will perform perfectly. Some will have some minor stuttering issues (I’ve added notes on which ones have this) but nothing too long or too frequent to impact my enjoyment of the game.

  • Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai Another Road
  • Knights in the Nightmare
  • Lunar Silver Star Harmony
  • Metal Slug XX
  • Persona
  • Persona 3 Portable
  • Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology

 

Group 2 – Buffered Rendering, 2X Resolution, Auto frameskip at 1

These games still run well on the Anbernic RG503 but I’m separating them from Group 2 because some people can detect the effect of setting frameskip to 1.

  • Ape Escape On the Loose
  • Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines (occasional minor stuttering)
  • Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles (click to view!)
  • Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII (has minor stuttering during some cutscenes or transitions)
  • Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (set Force Max FPS to 60)
  • Daxter
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy
  • Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (has occasional stutters)
  • Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce
  • Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
  • Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley
  • Jeanne D’arc
  • Justice League Heroes
  • Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X
  • Mortal Kombat Unchained
  • Persona 2: Innocent Sin
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (occasional stuttering)
  • SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny (click to view!) (a few stutters during some moves)
  • Spider-Man 2 (click to view!)
  • Tekken 6 (click to view!) (set Emulated CPU at 0 and Force Max FPS to 50)
  • Tenchu: Shadow Assassins
  • The 3rd Birthday
  • Virtua Tennis 3 (click to view) (some stuttering in non-gameplay scenes)

 

Group 3 – 1X Resolution

These games still play well on the RG503 but you can’t use the resolution enhancement feature as it’ll slow these games down. As such, these games can look a bit pixelated – like when you play them on a PS Vita. Still very playable though.

  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (buffered rendering, auto frameskip at 1)
  • Jax and Daxter: The Lost Frontier (skip buffer effects, frameskip at 1, still has occasional framerate drops)

 

Group 4 – Playable but Noticeable Performance Issues

These games still run well enough to play, but their issues will depend on your tolerance level. Someone like me might enjoy them enough (kind of like playing a game on a low end PC) but others may not, so I’m putting them in their own group.

  • Armored Core 3 Portable (decent performance but has dim lighting that turns bright randomly)
  • Burnout Legends (auto frameskip 1, playable but you can feel the skipping)
  • Crash of the Titans (game speed occasionally drops to 80%)
  • Guilty Gear Judgment (good performance at auto frameskip 1 but loses sound in 1-3 of Story Mode)
  • Iron Man (game speed varies from 70% to 100% even at skip buffer effects and frameskip of 2)
  • Iron Man 2: The Video Game (click to view!) (dips to 70% in larger levels)
  • Metal Gear Acid (click to view!) (auto frameskip 2, still has occasional stuttering)
  • Metal Gear Acid 2 (skip buffered rendering, stutters just before attacking)
  • Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters (buffered rendering, auto frameskip at 1, below 100% gamespeed)
  • Spider-Man: Friend or Foe – runs at about 22 FPS
  • Spider-Man: Web of Shadows – (skip buffered rendering) stutters in some areas, you’ll need to apply frameskips
  • X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (click to view!) (game speed varies from 70% to 100%)

 

Group 5 – Runs but Unplayable

These games have issues that are so bad, the experience simply isn’t enjoyable. Don’t bother even trying these games out.

  • Burnout Dominator – too many framerate drops, especially on busy tracks
  • Crash Tag Team Racing – framerate dips in larger maps and during racing
  • Secret Agent Clank – constant framerate dips, choppy gameplay
  • Spider-Man 3 – framerate is too low
  • Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror – has graphical glitches even at the lowest setting
  • Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together – need to keep flipping between buffered rendering and skip buffer effects
  • Tomb Raider: Anniversary – game speed at 70% even at high frame skips

 

Final Words

I’ll be adding to this list as I’m able to test them. If you have a game in mind that you’d like me to test, comment below and I’ll move them up the queue. Hopefully, this will be helpful to anyone who has an RG503 or is interested in getting one!

 

Version history

  • 20220624 – Published the list with the first 17 PSP games that I tested.
  • 20220626 – Added 5 more games to the list
  • 20220629 – Added video links for Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man 2.
  • 20220704 – Added video link for X-Men Legends II and 7 more games to the list.
  • 20220706 – Added video link for Tekken 6 and 4 more games to the list.
  • 20220708 – Added video link for Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles and added 6 more games to the list.
  • 20220712 – Added video link for SoulCaliber: Broken Destiny and added 3 more games.
  • 20220717 – Added video links for Metal Gear Acid and Virtua Tennis 3. Also added more games to the list.

6 Comments

  1. Simon

    Guilty Gear Judgment is well worth a look 👌🏻

    Reply
    • thegaminggeek

      Thank you for the suggestion! I’ll add that to the current batch of PSP games to test!

      Reply
  2. Nick

    Thank you for the guide. It was been helpful. Can you check out Burnout or Final Fantasy 4?

    Reply
    • thegaminggeek

      Thank you for the suggestions! They’ll definitely next in line for testing!

      Reply
  3. Choom

    Can you check out the Metal Gear Ac!d games? I had a hard time with them

    Reply
    • thegaminggeek

      Thank you for dropping by! I’m actually in the middle of trying out Metal Gear Acid 1, and for some reason the opening cutscene isn’t playing correctly. Gameplay is great though. I’ll update the list for both as soon as I’m done with them.

      Reply

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