Here’s a quick start guide for the Anbernic RG351P and the Anbernic RG351V that you purchased from Timeless Trinkets PH. Unlike most shops, retrogaming devices purchased from Timeless Trinkets come with optimized game libraries and the best available OS/custom firmware. For both the Anbernic RG351P and RG351V devices, we installed the ArkOS custom firmware, considered to be the best for these devices!
Note that this article will be backdated so that it will not show up in between this blog’s main posts. Also, this article will be a work in progress. As we get more inquiries, we will work it into this guide. For reference, this article was last updated on 2021/12/14.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Important Information
- Quick Recovery Guide
- How to Exit From Games
- How to Access the App Menu
- System Menu Navigation
- Emulator/Game Specific Information
- How to Add/Delete Games
- How to Add Preview Images
- Other Reference Guides
NEVER TURN THE UNIT OFF! ALWAYS DO A SYSTEM SHUT DOWN (LIKE A PC!)
To turn the RG351P and RG351V off:
- Exit the software/game/app you are currently using (instructions below).
- Press Start in the ArkOS environment to bring up the Main Menu.
- Choose Quit (near the bottom) and Press A.
- Select Shutdown System and Press A.
- Choose Yes and Press A on the following prompt.
- Wait for the device to turn off.
BACK UP YOUR MICROSD CARD DATA! These devices come with original SanDisk microSD cards. However, the custom firmware used by these devices are prone to crashing. It is advisable to keep an image of your system SD card for easy restoration.
You may use the following free apps to make backup images of your SD card:
- Balena Etcher – an app with versions for both Windows and Mac. This will allow you to clone your microSD card to another microSD card (requires both to be inserted at the same time).
- Win32 Disk Imager – only available for Windows. This will let you create an image file of your microSD card.
QUICK RECOVERY GUIDE
In case of firmware failure and you don’t have a backup, here’s how you can quickly get your device up and running again. These instructions are specific to Windows.
- Download Win32 Disk Imager. You’ll need this app to install the firmware.
- Do not use Balena Etcher when installing firmware. There are reported issues with this app. It works fine for creating and restoring backups.
- Download/install 7zip to extract the image from the 7z format.
- Download the respective ArkOS here:
- Insert the microSD card that came with your device into your laptop/PC. You may need an SD card reader for this.
- For the RG351V, insert the 16 GB microSD from the TF1 slot.
- The RG351P will only come with one 64 GB microSD.
- Using Win32 Disk Imager, flash the firmware image to the microSD card. This can take 10-15 minutes.
- Once you’re done, you may get an error saying that the disk needs to be reformatted. Ignore it and eject the microSD card.
- Insert the microSD card into your device and power it on. Device will reboot twice as it expands the NTFS partition and converts it to exfat to fill the rest of the micro SD card.
- Device is ready once the Emulationstation menu is displayed.
- For the RG351P, you’ll need to re-add your games. Add the game to their respective folders in the respective folders on the EASYROMS partition.
- The RG351V has a separate microSD card for game. If this was undamaged, you can simply insert this in the TF2 slot. If you have a new microSD card for games, you’ll need to let ArkOS format it before you can add games. Simply insert your new microSD card and boot up the device. This can take 10-15 minutes.
HOW TO EXIT FROM GAMES
- All emulators/systems – Press Select + Start, then press Select + Start again to confirm your exit.
HOW TO ACCESS THE APP MENU
- All emulators/systems – Press Select + X.
RG351P and RG351V SYSTEM MENU NAVIGATION
Up and Down – Moves one game/item up/down in the list of games
Left and Right – In the list of Systems, moves one system left/right
Y button – mark/unmark a game as Favorite.
L1/R1 – Moves one page up/down in the list of games. Moves one page left/right in the list of systems.
B button – cancel a choice/back out of a menu selection.
A button – confirm a choice.
Start button – bring up the ArkOS main menu.
Select button – In the list of systems, this triggers the screensaver. In the list of games, brings up the Options Menu.
EMULATOR/GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION
- Turbografx CD
- Rondo of Blood will not let you skip the opening credits if you don’t have a save game. The game isn’t broken! Your controls will work fine when you get to the title screen.
- L2 will toggle between 6-Button and 2-Button controller configuration. This game will only work with the 2-Button configuration.
- Arcade Systems (M.A.M.E., Arcade, CPS1, CPS2, CPS3, Neo Geo)
- Pressing the Select button simulates inserting a coin. You’ve got unlimited credits for all these arcade games!
HOW TO ADD/DELETE GAMES – RG351P
1. Remove the microSD card from your device and insert it in your laptop/PC via the card reader.
2. When it loads, you should be able to see the following drives via Windows Explorer. Open the EASYROMS drive/partition:
3. You will see the following folders in the EASYROMS partition (double click to enlarge):
4. Double-click on the folder of the gaming system that you want to add new or delete games from.
5. For Playstation games, if your game is of the cue + bin format, you will need to extract them from the zip file. Because of this, we recommend that you save each game’s files into it’s own sub-folder. Some Playstation games consist of multiple game files, so separating them will help you manage your games better. Double click to enlarge the sample below:
6. Please visit the ArkOS developer’s page for more information on specific emulators, such as what file extensions are supported.
HOW TO ADD/DELETE GAMES – RG351V
1. Remove the TF2 microSD card from your device and insert it in your laptop/PC via the card reader.
2. When it loads, open the TF2 drive. You should be able to see the following folders via Windows Explorer:
3. Double-click on the folder of the gaming system that you want to add new or delete games from.
4. For Playstation games, if your game is of the cue + bin format, you will need to extract them from the zip file. Because of this, we recommend that you save each game’s files into it’s own sub-folder. Some Playstation games consist of multiple game files, so separating them will help you manage your games better. Double click to enlarge the sample below:
5. Please visit the ArkOS developer’s page for more information on specific emulators, such as what file extensions are supported.
HOW TO ADD PREVIEW IMAGES
With a wifi connection (and a wifi dongle for the RG351P), you can add preview images to your games easily. Without wifi, it is still possible to add preview images.
- Register for free at https://screenscraper.fr.
- Press Start in the Emulationstation system and select Scraper.
- For the Scrape From option, choose Screenscraper.
- Choose Box 2D for Image Source.
- Enter your Screenscraper.fr credentials in Username and Password.
- Select Scrape Now.
- Choose Only Missing Medias in the Filter option.
- Select Systems, then choose the Select None option at the bottom.
- Go back up the list of Systems and select the ones you want to download preview images for. Note that this process can take a while, so we suggest to perform this for only one system at a time.
- Press B to go back to the previous menu.
- Choose Start and press A to begin.
Note: You can mix and match your Scraper options based on your preference and add elements like logos, screenshots, and so on.
- Choose your desired preview image. You may download box art via Google, or use in-game screenshots.
- Remove the microSD card from your device (TF2 for the RG351V) and insert it in your laptop/PC via the card reader.
- Go to the folder of the game system that you want to add preview images for.
- Inside that folder, you will see a subfolder named “images”. All you need to do is save your preferred preview image in that folder. Make sure that the filename of the preview image matches the filename of the game and append “-image” at the end.
OTHER RG351P and RG351V REFERENCE GUIDES
Instead of retyping information that’s already available elsewhere, let me help you find them instead! Here are some links that can help you with an RG351P and RG351V related concern or question.
- RG351P Starter Guide from Retro Game Corps
- RG351V Starter Guide from Retro Game Corps
- Retro Game Corps Custom Firmware Guide for RG351 devices
- Github Wiki for ArkOS
- Same ArkOS Wiki but directly goes to RG351P FAQs
- Same ArkOS Wiki but directly goes to RG351V FAQs
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already enjoying your new RG351P and/or RG351V from Timeless Trinkets PH! Thank you for being our customer! If you haven’t purchased one but are considering it, don’t hesitate to send us a message at Timeless Trinkets PH!
- Nov. 16, 2021 – Created this guide.
- Dec. 14, 2021 – Added Table of Contents, How to Add/Delete Games and How to Add Preview Images