The Anbernic RG Arc is such a strange, yet cool device. Resembling a Sega Saturn controller, it is a little disappointing that some of the performance for Saturn isn’t the best. The hopes of a Custom Firmware arriving to fix that besides GammaOS have been slow and some may have given up hope. Fear not though, there is a great new firmware that is in Beta! Introduce Retro Arena.

Retro Arena is available and made through Tinker Tech Toys. Head over to their site to get the most recent version of the custom firmware or the Google Drive located here. As of writing this, Test 7 is the most recent version. It is said Test 8 is coming very soon with the Geolith Emulator for Neo Geo which is praised for its accuracy. There will still be some problems with Nintendo DS and scraping Super Famicom games. These are all just beta tests, but they are still worth it to check out.

How to Get

Installation is easy and will be much the same once released out of Beta. First, download the file and extract it to a location of your choosing. You will receive a folder that is a directory for your games and another that is an image file. First, insert your second SD card that you will be putting games on. Copy the directory over to the SD card and copy your legally backed-up games into the appropriate folders.

Now insert your first SD card into your computer. This card needs to be larger than 16 GB for it to work. Once it is inserted, make sure it is in FAT32 format and use an imaging flash software like Balena Etcher to copy the image file from the file to your SD card.

When this is finished, plug the SD cards back into your device and turn it on. You are now all ready! As of this writing, the only way to enable Wi-Fi is through Retroarch. Find the Retroarch section on your device and open the 32 version. Here, locate the wi-fi section and find the connection you would like to use. After this, you should have wi-fi set up as well! Don’t worry, because once the official release is out the install process will still be the same too.

RG Arc running Retro Arena

Anbernic Arc running Retro Arena


I enjoy the look and simplicity of this CFW. As someone who had the first device of an RG351V with 351ELEC on it, this felt right at home with the implementation of EmulationStation. From the menu, you can download box art for all of your games so it is an enjoyable experience to scroll through your collections. I also enjoy the menu music with some great renditions of The Ramones, Michael Jackson, KoRn, and more.

The dying question on everyone’s mind is, “Does it play Sega Saturn any better than stock?” and from my experience I would say yes! I put a handful of Saturn games on my device to try and it seems to be running them more smoothly than stock. I played a few levels of Nights and Panzer Dragoon and both were very playable.

Will every game work? Not at all. It is an improvement though and makes the experience much, much better in my opinion. If you want a new experience to bring more life into your Anbernic Arc, I highly suggest giving Retro Arena a try yourself. Yes, it is still in Beta, but it is very promising. This is a great Custom Firmware to keep an eye on while it updates completely to being finished.

Purchase your very own Anbernic RG Arc on Amazon for fast shipping or from the Anbernic official store. Joey from Joey’s Retro Handhelds has a great guide on putting Retro Arena on your device here.

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