Getting Started

Transferring Bios

While we recommend sourcing your own rom files, the simplest way to have a fully functioning handheld is to copy the bios files from the stock OS. You can find these bios files by plugging your stock SD card into your computer (probably with a USB adapter) and looking in the GAMES partition for the bios folder. After you’ve installed AmberELEC, you can simply drop these files into AmberELEC’s bios folder.

Please note that if you’re using an RG351V, the bios files go on the same SD card that you store your roms on. This means if you use two SD cards, the bios files should go on SD2.

For more information on transferring files (including BIOS files), please see Transferring files to/from your RG Device.

Enable Wifi

Wifi opens up a lot of features on AmberELEC. With wifi, you can install packages and themes, use RetroAchievements, and even play with others online. The RG351P requires an external Wifi adapter, as it doesn’t have a wireless card built in.

To enable Wifi, press Start to access the Main Menu, and then go into Network Settings. In that menu, toggle Enable Wifi to on, and enter your wifi network and password into Wifi SSID and Wifi Key.

Update Themes

Once you’ve enabled wifi, you can install themes to your device by pressing Start to access the Main Menu, go to Updates & Downloads, then Themes, and select the theme you’d like to download.

To change your theme, press Start to access the Main Menu, go to UI Settings, and then under Theme Set select the theme that you’d like to use.


Scraping allows you to download preview images and videos of games, as well as manuals and sometimes even game maps.

To scrape games, you need a wireless connection, and you’ll also need an account on ScreenScraper. Once you have an account, press Start to access the Main Menu, then go to Scrape. Enter your username and password in the Username and Password fields. Using the checkboxes, select which resources you want to get when scraping. Preview images are downloaded automatically, and so are the game’s metadata (title, release date, developer, etc). That metadata is very useful, since you can set up Dynamic Game Collections using it.

Game Options

AmberELEC has a bunch of emulator settings that can be set directly from EmulationStation. They can be set for entire systems, or for single games. While AmberELEC tries to have good default settings, how games look is always a matter of personal preference, so it’s good to experiment and learn what works for you.

Per System

There are two ways to set per system settings. The easier one is to go into the system you want to change the settings for, pressing Select to access the View Options Menu, and then choosing Advanced Game Options. You can also press Start to access the Main Menu, go to Game Settings, and then to Per System Advanced Configuration

Per Game

To set up the settings for a game, hover over the game and press X to access the Game Options, and select Advanced Game Options.


You can change shaders in the game options. While there are many to choose from, some of them can cause pretty bad slowdowns. Some popular shaders you might want to try include Interpolation/Pixellate.glslp and Interpolation/Sharp-Bilinear-2X-Prescale.glslp.

Bezels and Overlays

AmberELEC now supports using Bezels directly from the ES menu. For more informations please see How to use Bezels.

Game Collections

Game Collections allow you to organize your games into custom categories that are easy to browse and sort through. AmberELEC has extensive support for game collections, including a number of Automatic Game Collections that already exist for all sorts of useful filters, including individual arcade boards like the popular Capcom CPS boards. Since Automatic Collections are based on game metadata, you must scrape your games in order for them to work properly.

Playing Games

When you start up a rom, you’ll usually be playing that rom using RetroArch. RetroArch is a program that combines a lot of emulators into a single interface. Under RetroArch, each emulator is called a “core”.

Once you get into RetroArch, there are a few hotkey combinations that you should know about. The most important is pressing SELECT + START twice to exit the game (this hotkey is nearly universal, even in standalone emulators and games). The other really important hotkey is SELECT + X, which is used to open the RetroArch Quick Menu. You can find the other hotkeys listed in the RetroArch Hotkeys.


There are two main ways to save your game. The first is to use normal in-game saves. In-game saves function the same way they would have in the original game.

The second way to save is to use save states. You can save and load your state in the RetroArch Quick Menu. There are also hotkeys for saving and loading state. You can save your state by pressing SELECT + R1, and load your save state by pressing SELECT + L1.

Changing Controls

You can change your controls in the RetroArch Quick Menu. Scroll down and select Controls, and then change your controls under Port 1 Controls. If you want to save your control changes, you can save them for the current game by choosing Save Game Remap File, or for the current system by choosing Save Core Remap File.


While using EmulationStation (the main menu) or a RetroArch emulator, you can put the system to sleep by pressing and releasing the power button. You can wake the console by pressing the power button again. Please be aware that if you sleep while using standalone emulators or ports, your gamepad may stop working upon waking. This is due to a hardware issue, and you’ll probably have to restart your console if this happens.