“I’m tired of Flashing the 35XX Plus with Garlic OS Grandpa”

“Well That’s too damn bad!”

Prepared by Joe

Yield to the Underdogs!

35XX batocera garlic handheld

Behold, My Children

Howdy, y’all, this is Moss with Retro Game Crops and I have an a-maiz-ing (or corny) article fresh from the fields of content farming. Today I’m talking about a couple of humble retro handhelds that punch beyond their weight class and provide some incremental updates to a couple of tired form factors: The RG35XX Plus and H. Here at the farm, we appreciate all beasts of burden, including our field-sowing tanks like the Steam Deck all the way down to our trusty dirt-slapping tools like… well the 35XX Plus and H.

There’s a certain magic behind these simple “old reliable” devices that stand the test of age. Where they provide ‘just enough’ power to get your simple retro titles going without having to bang your head against the wall when SNES is stuttering for some reason. For the RG35XX Plus and H, we have more than enough headroom to get through all of your childhood angst up to PS1.

35XX handheld

“We Love You Geekbuying” – We (2024)

These devices were provided to the Retro Handhelds team by Geekbuying! See the links below to get your hands on some quality handhelds from their store.

Lets RP.

Alright, you have about $70 and a will to live, so you buy a 35XX Plus so you can, against Nintendo’s wishes, enjoy Nintendo games. Your pituitary gland is tickled. You receive your emulation device boot it up and be greeted with an OS reminiscent of an MP3 player from 2005. You press right. It goes *BLOOP*….

You navigate to a game and turn it on. It’s blurry, the sound is crackling, and when you press B to make Mario jump, the audio lags. You roll for intuition. 4, failure. You’re suddenly aware that you bought a cheap piece of plastic and contemplate what you’re doing with your life. You roll into a fetal position on your bed and mope. You soon contract dysentery. 


Phone bleeps. This article just dropped. Hope arrives in the form of community-made custom firmware! You jump with joy! Roll for dexterity. Critical failure. You trip on a bug.

Community: Coming Together Against Anbernic’s Hubris

Anbernic, your buttons are top-tier and the closest thing to Corpo device quality nearly every time, but your software sucks and has terribly named ROM sets. 

Wee-woo-wee-woo what’s up guys its your boy Suss with Retro Game Cops. I’m sure you painstakingly dumped all 7,000 of your original carts to build a fantastic and totally legal ROM collection, so I’d advise saving a couple of bucks by avoiding their SD cards and building your own library on the device. Hope this helps, Suss out.

For real though, let’s face it guys, these companies are usually small as hell in the grand scheme and trying to make consumer electronics as cheaply as possible, so of course they’re skimping out. I just kind of wish it wasn’t the… ya know… entire emulation experience.  Anyways, Cheers to our GitHub heroes for making our purchases, and our life choices, valid. That’s enough meandering, I would like to talk about MinUI, GarlicOS, and Batocera Lite for the 35XX line and why YOU should…. Go with your gut (patience)

Okay, let’s make a deal here. Yes, I understand my opening paragraphs are way too long and silly, So I will cut you a deal. I will give you a TLDR as the headline, But you have to promise to read the rest of the paragraph. Since you’ve gone this far you have already consented. God bless.

I Don’t Like MinUI (But Damn is it Pretty)

35XX handheld

This Took Me 2 Hours to Install. You can find MinUI Here: (Sauce)

I wanted to love MinUI on the 35XX H/Plus, but there are too many issues (both personal and practical) that would suggest waiting. First and foremostly-est, the Setup process. Our boy Jalaminal made a great setup guide so that any idiot can work through this… process. Now I’m not just any idiot, but I’ve managed to corrupt not 1, but two Anbernic stock SD cards in this process. This isn’t MinUIs fault, but really just another reason to just start from scratch and use a more reliable SD card.

The intent for MinUI (and Garlic) is to sit on top of the existing OS and make the experience… bearable and dare I say enjoyable. So I ended up digging up a blank image for the 35XX Plus stock software, flashing it to my favorite 32 GB SD card I had lying in front of me, loaded MinUI on it, and (after 5 attempts) installed MinUI. This might not be a typical person’s experience with the software, but I’ve read around and it seems this is a common issue. Eh, Whatever. 

35XX handheld

Only the Essentials

But Despite All I have to Say About It…

I’m a single SD car kind of guy, so I loaded up my essential ROM set and went into playing with MinUI. For this, I loaded it to my 35XX Plus for that minimal, utilitarian experience that Vladamir Lennon dreamed of, except executed successfully. And that’s what I got!  I can feel the next-to-nothing OS in my fingers and my stress levels come down to a level bearable enough to listen to the thoughts screaming in my head.

They’re saying “Get a better hobby” haha. Yeah, so the response rate is near 1:1 with button presses and the lists were nice and neatly presented. Jumping into a game is quick and easy, as well as jumping into a menu with a saved state presented as the background as well as jumping as Mario in the game and I’m jumping with excitement. 

I Still Don’t Really Like It.

So we have emulator options, saving, loading, and Exit (wow) which is all any beginner would really need for this kind of console. But yeah… *Puts on sunglasses, trench coat, chain wallet, and fedora without shaving my neck* I am no beginner.

35XX handheld

Okay But This Overlay Though

Now I’m not sure if this is due to me being spoiled from Retroarch/Batocera-esque ROM curation, but the lack of a “ROM Search” option puzzles me. Additionally, I am the kind of ass that likes configuring Retroarch myself with all the fun tweaks and settings that gets my jollies off like ‘audio latency’ or ‘internal run ahead’ as well as turning on/off various scaling options. This doesn’t do that. TW: Opinions. I don’t really like MinUI in its current state. Alright Next!

Batocera Lite Makes Me Happy And I Would Marry Off My First Born Daughter to it

35XX batocera handheld

This Has Me Batty. You can Find Batocera for the 35XX Plus/H Here: Sauce

I think the excitement around this one can be explained simply by anyone’s experience with these Linux handhelds. EmulationStation is just better. It’s used on EmuDeck, regularly sold back to you by Anbernic, and empowers the front end of just about every budget Linux handheld out there. Batocera, ArkOS, and JELOS All work in this way and honestly are effectively the same thing at first glance (@ me in the comments I dare you).

35XX batocera handheld

Hmm. Seems familiar

Batocera for the 35XX H/plus is no different. It also has native analog stick support which MinUI does not… So yeah I flopped the image into Balena Etcher and stuck it in a 64 GB SD card. And that’s it. Took me 4 minutes. I chucked my ROMs on there with ease and once again enjoyed one SD card supremacy. Seriously these things only really play 2D titles and PlayStation 1, Why do you guys use both slots? Who am I talking to? Who is this for?

35XX batocera handheld

I Love Functions That Are Buried in Menus

Just a couple of benefits of Batocera here: dual analog stick function, configurable RetroArch and multiple choices for emulators, a variety of pre-baked themes, internet access (The fact that this is a plus is a sin), and all the other McGuffins you can expect from a tried and true and competent operating system.

Negatives don’t really need their own paragraph, Just whatever’s typical of these operating systems. System level configuration isn’t that intuitive and sum functions are buried a bit. Definitely not for a minimalist. Which I am not. But there’s no shortage of setup guides on the internets to get this on your 35XX Plus/H. Next!

Garlic OS scares me (Skippable)

35XX garlic handheld

This is NOT an RG35XX +/H. You can find Garlic OS Here: (Sauce)

I will be honest, I cannot get this operating system going on the Plus or H. I did all the steps multiple times, but could never get it to install or even power on with the console. And like a real man instead of asking for help I just gave up and assumed it was stupid. Have no fear, I have a 35XX that someone more intelligent and handsome installed on already.

That being said, Garlic on the 35XX vs Plus is a totally different ball game, still being in beta for the Plus. So I will reserve my full opinion on Garlic OS when it gets a fuller release. But it doesn’t have a ROM search function, so 4/10: Makes my breath smell.

TW Warning: Opinions

When it comes to software, it can definitely make or break the $70 nugget you purchased with your wife’s credit card. The differences between these are pretty significant, given the process you’ll have to go through to get the operating system on there and set it up after installation and THEN check to make sure it’s actually worth it. This is 100% the Case with the 35XX series, and it doesn’t get easier knowing most of the CFW out right now for it is in beta. My opinions are my own and not very good, but they are mine. 

I would highly recommend starting from scratch. I know, Joe bad, boooooo, skill issue. But seriously, the amount of things that can go wrong for no reason on stock SD cards, to me, isn’t worth the headache. Spend $12, get a 64GB Samsung SD card, and get flashing (the software, please stay indoors.). Do this, and you’ll be happier in the long run. I believe in you. I lo-

Batocera is already the most feature-complete OS for the system and can be as complicated as you want it, whether you’re tweaking or just want to stomp on some……. Goombas as fast as possible, it’ll do that. It also has a search function. HOLY INNOVATION. 


The 35XX Plus and H will go down in history as a couple of the handhelds of all time, and I think RH has over 5 articles pertaining to them so there somehow isn’t a shortage of things to talk about with them. I’ve already run out, but a big thanks to Geekbuying for providing the units I used to play with some handmade, gourmet software. Love you guys like a cousin I saw at a family reunion once. 

Purchase either the RG35XX Plus or RG35XXH from Geekbuying (see below for coupons)! Thanks to them again for providing RH with some quality doo-dads.

Make sure to use these coupon codes to save some $$$:
35XX Plus:
NNNRGPLUS (64GB + 128GB TF Card)

35XX H:
NNNUSRGHP (64GB + 128GB TF Card)

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