In the world of Android handhelds, it’s pretty clear that one device stands above the rest — AYN’s Odin 2. It offers a great balance of power, and flexibility, while also being quite comfortable. Seriously, the Odin 2 is my favorite Android retro handheld, with the only close competition coming in the form of pairing a foldable phone with a telescopic controller. 

Since the release of the Odin 2, AYN has released a few software updates to try and squash some bugs and implement new features. However, thanks to the surprising popularity, the community managed to surprise everyone by releasing a few tools to improve the experience. The first two fall in that category, but just for fun, I’m also including two other “apps” that you should check out, even if you just play games on an Android phone or tablet.

Odin Tools

Odin Tools on Odin 2

Odin Tools on Odin 2

If you have an Odin 2, then Odin Tools is the first app you need to install. Although the default software offers quite a few options out of the box, you won’t find everything. Odin Tools fills the gap, and then some, providing a “collection of utilities” that can be used to supercharge your Odin 2. 

Arguably my favorite feature is the ability to trick the software into thinking that I’m using a different button layout than the one that comes by default. Making matters even better is that this can be done quickly thanks to a Quick Settings toggle. Just swipe down to reveal your notifications, tap the corresponding toggle, and be on your way. 

Really, that’s just scratching the surface of what Odin Tools offers. Frankly, there’s so much that we recommend just hitting the button below and trying it out for yourself. Just make sure to back everything up just in case something goes awry. 

Download OdinTools


AmbiOdin on Odin 2

AmbiOdin on Odin 2

Unlike the other three apps on this list, AmbiOdin is the only one that you can download from the Play Store. This means you don’t have to worry about manually loading a new APK file every time an update is rolled out. But more on that later.

AmbiOdin burst onto the scene after the developer showcased an early version of the app. On the Odin 2, you’ll find two LED light strips on either side, along with LED lights surrounding both thumbsticks. There are a few customization options out of the box, but AmbiOdin takes it to the next level. For one, you can easily set different lighting effects without needing to really fiddle with much else. 

However, the app includes the ability to have the various lights color-match whatever it is that you’re playing. It might not seem like that much of a revolution, but since AYN left the functionality out, the community has stepped up and filled the gap. 

Download AmbiOdin


Obtainium on Odin 2

Obtainium on Odin 2

An app that has rapidly made its way to the top of the food chain is Obtainium. I’m not exactly sure where I first found out about Obtainium, but it was probably over at the RH Discord. Anyways, the premise of Obtainium is simple — keep your apps updated directly from the source. Until now, you had to try and remember to head back to the GitHub page to see if an app or emulator needed to be updated. 

This comes in clutch considering there are a lot of apps and emulators that aren’t found on the Play Store. So instead, you can enter the app source URL and Obtainium will automatically download and install the app as soon as a new version is released. Obtainium also offers a few extra options, such as the ability to download “prereleases”, roll back to previous versions, and so much more. It’s really become an invaluable tool in my arsenal and is one of the first apps I install on any Android device. 

Download Obtainium

EmulationStation (ES-DE)

ES-DE on Odin 2

ES-DE on Odin 2

When it comes to actually interacting with your library of games on the Odin 2, there are a bunch of different options. AYN ships its own frontend, but it’s really not all that exciting and doesn’t offer much in the way of customizations. Then, there’s Daijisho which has become a popular alternative in the Android space. But, if you’ve been in the emulation scene for any length of time, you’ve come across EmulationStation at one time or another. Earlier this year, ES-DE made its way to Android for the first time, and it immediately became the frontend for my Odin 2.

There are a bunch of different themes for you to choose from, including some that are available on the likes of GitHub. Basically, ES-DE enhances the retro handheld gaming experience on any supported device, and I couldn’t be happier to see that it finally made its way to Android. 

Something else that gets me excited about using ES-DE on Android is that it’s being actively developed and updated with new features. For instance, version 3.0.2 is currently in development, and there are already more than ten different changes that will be implemented. One such example is the ability to use the Antutu build of Citra MMJ, along with being able to use the standalone Yaba Sanshiro 2 emulator. And while ES-DE no longer officially supports Yuzu, you can manually add it, or any Android app, to the interface. 

Download ES-DE

What Did I Miss?

I know more apps complement and enhance the AYN Odin 2, but these are just a few of my favorites. You might even be surprised to see that I didn’t mention EmuDeck, but that’s a different beast entirely. Sound off in the comments and let us know about your Odin 2 setup and what apps you are using to make the best Android retro handheld even better!

If you don’t already have an Odin 2, you can get one from Amazon or directly from AYN.

What did you think of this article? Let us know in the comments below, and chat with us in our Discord!

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