“No Gamepads Detected” is a serious issue of the Anbernic RG351P and RG351M, because both handhelds are using the same controller mainboard. I have collected everything I know about these handhelds, and write this guide to help you know how to avoid “No Gamepads Detected” in RG351P and RG351M.
One thing you should be clear: The cause of the issue is internal hardware of both the RG351P and RG351M, so no matter which custom firmware you’re using, you can encounter this bug at some points. If you don’t want to trouble yourself of this issue, you should choose the Anbernic RG351MP instead.
How to avoid “No Gamepads Detected” in Anbernic RG351P/M?
To avoid “No Gamepads Detected” in Anbernic RG351P and RG351M, you should follow these methods:
- Keep battery higher than 35%
- Don’t use sleep function
- Replace the USB controller chip
Keep battery higher than 35%
If your Anbernic RG351P or RG351M is below 35% battery capacity, it happens to have many different issues. This is the hardware fault, so the best way to prevent is don’t let your handheld’s battery too low (in this case, lower than 35%). Even when you experience “No Gamepads Detected”, the first thing I want you to do is fully charge your RG351P or RG351M to 100%.
Don’t use sleep function
If you expect your retro handheld emulators to have good sleep function as official devices made by big companies, like the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch or PlayStation Vita, then you will be disappointed. However, the Anbernic RG351P and RG351M even make things worse, as it can be bricked just by Sleep function.
The problem seems to be the handheld’s USB controller that isn’t disabled when the RG351P/M goes to sleep, thus it causes a kernel error that messes up with the gamepad connection when waking up. One suggestion is only use Sleep function while in EmulationStation or when using RetroArch specifically, but I think it’s best to turn off the handheld completely everytime.
Replace the USB controller chip
If none of these above solutions work for you, perhaps you need to replace the USB controller chip. As I stated above, this is the hardware fault of the RG351P and RG351M alone, so you need to replace the culprit – its USB controller chip. It can (hopefully) prevent all “No Gamepad Detected” in the future, but you need to know soldering. So if you can return your handheld to sellers (for example, buying from my links), I recommend you to do that when you encounter the issue.
Otherwise, if you really want to fix the handheld, you can get this GL825G chip, which is quite cheap to get (especially in bulk).
That’s it, if you have any other questions, please find it in my RG351 tutorial.