Anbernic RG35XX Setup Guide

This model has been discontinued, and cannot be purchased anymore.

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What is GarlicOS?

So this post will be an install of GarlicOS as an operating system. Why Garlic? Well, it’s the most feature complete operating system for the RG35XX as of right now, and better than the stock operating system. The Recents feature, which shows you an image of your last save state alone is worth it.

Now before we start, I have to make a few assumptions here, or well, asks. The first is that you’re going to need your own SD cards. The SD cards that come with these devices are not good quality and prone to failure. I mean, the one that came with mine is literally called 64. You know, that reliable SD card maker, 64. Move over SanDisk. 

You’ll also know the ROM SD card is not recommended to be purchased as well as they aren’t good ROM files, on top of being low quality SD cards. So let’s avoid that now and get two quality SD cards – one for the operating system, and one for ROMs. You can see my recommendations above.

Alternatively, you can do a single SD card for everything, in which case I’d suggest the 128GB above.

You’ll also need a good SD card reader, which is another point of failure. Use the link above for an SD card reader.

I’m going to repeat this, because 99.99% of all errors people get during this process is due to a bad SD card or bad SD card reader. Avoid that now – just do it, the headache isn’t worth it.

ROMs & BIOS Preparation

The last thing you need is your ROM and BIOS library. If you just want a big list of games and then you can curate them yourself if you’d like, “ tiny best set go” has a good collection and a way for you to get setup with a ton to play (hint: Google the phrases in quotes). Read the instructions and grab the version that matches your SD card size and the artwork if you want. If you do grab the artwork this way, skip my box art tutorial later. The folders in the zip are all setup to work with GarlicOS already, so you can just drag and drop and off you go when we get to that step. Just in case, here’s a link to what your folder names should be for what GarlicOS needs them to be.

Okay, so you have one or two SD cards, a SD card reader and a ROM and BIOS library ready to go, let’s continue.

Software needed

There’s a few software items you need to download.

If you don’t have 7-Zip already, you’ll need it – head to the link here, download and install it.

You’ll also need a tool to flash the image file to the SD card, so download Rufus as well – link here

For seeing the SD card after flashing, you’ll need MiniTool Partition Wizard, link here.

Install GarlicOS

Alright, we’re ready, let’s jump right in.

Head to Black Seraph’s patreon page, link here, and scroll down until you see two files – RG35XX MicroSDCardImage.7z.001 and 002. Click to download both of them and make sure you save them both in the same location. To avoid headaches, select them both and then extract using right click > 7-Zip > Extract here and you should end up with two files: a readme and a garlic.img file. 

Now open Rufus, and you want to flash the garlic.img we just extracted to the SD card – so connect your SD card reader and SD card now. If you’re doing the two SD card method like I am, flash the operating system SD card, so the 16GB or 32GB one. Make sure the device is your SD card and not a hard drive or anything else. Click start, and it’ll warn you about deleting the SD card, allow it and go spend time with your loved ones. It’ll be a while. From here on out, ignore any warnings you get about formatting partitions or formatting the SD card. Whenever you connect the SD card back into the PC, you’re going to see them, a bunch, do not format. Close Rufus.

Open up the MiniToolPartitionWizard, and check the bottom left side, you want to find the one where your SD card is. Storage space is a dead giveaway usually. You’ll see several partitions, and one of them is labeled FAT32. Right click and assign a drive letter, if it wasn’t already assigned – mine was. Once that’s done, open up file explorer, go to whatever drive you assigned, and you should see three folders now: BIOS, ROMS, and CFW. 

Both Methods

For both methods, cut and paste all three folders off the SD card and put it somewhere else for now. I’ll be putting them in a subfolder in my Downloads folder for now. 

For both methods, jump back into MiniToolPartitionWizard, and right click on the FAT32 partition and delete. Then, make a new partition as large as it allows, as FAT32 and name it ROMS if you’re doing the single SD card method, or just unnamed if you’re doing the two SD card method. 

Single Card Method Only

For the single SD card method, once that’s done, move the three folders you backed up onto that SD card. CFW, BIOS and Roms. 

Two Card Method Only

If you’re doing the two SD card method, move the CFW folder onto that SD card and safely eject the SD card, and now pop your second SD card in, the 64GB or 128GB one that you’ll be using for ROMs. Open up MiniToolPartitionWizard, and format the SD card as FAT32. Give it a letter as well. Lastly, grab those BIOS and ROMS folders that we moved, cut and paste them into this SD card.

Both Methods

Now for both methods, we need to add BIOS files. The BIOS files would be in the zip file we downloaded earlier (…) Copy and paste your BIOS files into the BIOS folder on the SD card. BIOS files are a requirement for some systems, so just get this out of the way now. 

Lastly, we can move over your ROMs. Head to the Roms folder on the SD card, and you’ll see the folders for each system. Since we set this up ahead of time, just copy and paste your folders from the zip file earlier (…) and they should overwrite. If you’re using your own rom set, there are restrictions on file types and whether zipped files work for certain emulators, so check the link here to see a full list of emulators and what does and doesn’t work. 

Box Art

Okay let’s move onto how to get BoxArt. Before I start, romhacks would have to be done manually and not really part of the upcoming process, so just keep that in mind. 

Head to Click download at the top and pick your operating system. Extract the 7z file using 7-zip. Open the folder and click SkraperUI.exe. 

Let’s get an account, click signup. Now at the top of the website, click Register. Fill in your information and register. Head back to Skraper, and now click validate with those details, then next. It’ll download some resources, this one took a while, come back in a bit.

Okay, now let’s put your Rom or SD2 card into your device if you did the two card method and for everyone else, your single SD card. 

Select Recalbox, then click the folder to select your Roms folder on your SD card and check to include non-recalbox folders. Click next again. On the left you’re going to see all the consoles it found based on folder names. It does miss a few, like PS1 and Super Nintendo, so I’ll show you how to add what’s missing manually and it’ll be up to you to check. I’ll do PS1 to show you the steps. Click the Plus sign under all the platforms, scroll to the console image and select the PS1 logo. Now, head to it on the side, click it and go to the games & front end tab on the right. Update the games/rom folder to where your PS1 games are. You’ll have to repeat this for any missing platforms. 

Scroll back up to All Systems, then click game list and select no backup, create new or overwrite existing. Now head to the media tab and this is where we select what media we want. Change the media type to user provided mix. Special thanks to EBZero for this next part. Head to the EBZero github link and decide what mix you want, Full Height, 3 images or Full Screen Mix. If you want Full Height or 3 Images, click download zip after hovering over the green code button at the top and follow EBZero’s instructions on the page. I’ll show you how to do Full Screen Mix, which is what I want.

Head to the Full Screen Mix Instructions at the very bottom and there’s a link that will take us to another repo, special thanks to Timault for this one. He has two options, one without a border and one with. Click download zip from the green code button at the top on that repo and then extract it. Head back to Skraper, select the page icon and then choose the the xml file you want, I’ll be doing Black Gradient Shadow Border myself. Select the output folder and change it to %ROMROOTFOLDER%\Imgs and make sure cleanup output folder is selected. Leave the rest default and click play. 

This will take a while, come back in a bit. When it’s done, go to your file explorer and do a search in that SD card for “gamelist”. Delete any XML files you find. Now, if you’re doing the two SD card method, eject the SD card and pop in your operating system card, for single card method keep the SD card in that we’ve been using. Head to the SD card in file explorer, CFW then skin folder and open settings.json in Notepad. Change text-alignment to “left” and change text-margin to 32 (no quotes). Save and close. 

And we’re all done and setup! If you’re doing the single SD card method, put your SD card into the first slot, TF1, which is the one closest to the reset button. If you’re doing the two SD card method, put your operating system SD card into that first slot, and your ROM SD card into the second slot, TF2. 

Now turn on the device.

Let’s get into some tweaks you should do.

Keep Aspect Ratio On

This first one is personal preference, but I really hate stretching and not having the proper aspect ratio despite black bars. There’s two ways to do this, you can do an entire override for everything and open RetroArch, Settings, Video, Scaling, and select Keep Aspect Ratio. Head back to the main menu, Configuration and click Save Current Configuration. Now, open a PS1 game, head to the same spot and turn off keep aspect ratio then head to Overrides and Save Core Override. 

Alternatively, you can change the aspect ratio per platform by doing that same core override step for any platform. Just open a game in any platform, and do those same steps. So you have options here on what you want to do.

Real Time Clock

Pokemon fans are going to want the real time clock enabled, so press start in the main GarlicOS menu, and adjust the time to whatever time you want and press start. Done.


You’re also probably curious what the hotkeys are for GarlicOS and a super easy way to check is to push and hold your menu button in game. It’ll show you all the available hotkeys. 


Pushing select on the GarlicOS main screen will activate this feature, and it might be obvious, but plus is an overclock, two pluses is a larger overclock, minus is a small underclock and two minuses is a larger underclock. You can leave it as two pluses all the time, it will only use the power when it needs it.


Lastly, how do you turn this thing off? Well, a single power button press saves your state and shuts down the system. To turn it back on, push and hold on the power button until the green LED at the top shows. The LED is also the only way to tell if you are low on battery, it’ll be red when it’s in the last third of charge, meaning charge to avoid losing progress. 

How to update GarlicOS

Next let’s cover how to update GarlicOS. This will reset any changes you’ve made to RetroArch settings, so keep that in mind if you changed aspect ratio like I did. 

This time, when you go to Black Seraph’s post, you want to grab the other files, labeled CopyPasteOnTopOfStock 001 and 002. Select both when downloaded, and extract like we did before.

Now, find your misc partition. An easy way is to open MiniToolPartitionWizard and look for the smallest partition and give it a letter if it doesn’t have one. Look inside, and if you see two folders called dtbs and modules, as well as a file called ulimage and a bunch of other files – that’s the right one. Then you want to grab the misc folder from what we extracted and copy/paste the contents of that into this partition, overwriting existing files. If you get an error about not enough space, delete the ulmage file on your SD card and now you should be fine to cut and paste your files again.

Next, do the same thing with the CFW folder. For the single SD card method, this folder is on the largest partition, that’s FAT32, assigned to H for me. For the two SD card method, it’s on the operating system card, so slot 1. 

Lastly, do the same thing with the ROMS folder, as it’ll create new directories for any new systems the operating system supports. So for the two SD card method, insert your ROM SD card, the slot 2 SD card. 

Now just jump into some games and have fun. For normal usage, that’s all you need to do and that was the main point of the guide. Get you up and running and now the world is your oyster.

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