Anbernic RG35XX’s custom firmware comparison (Garlic vs MinUI, stock…)

After installing several different custom firmware systems for the Anbernic RG35XX, I have a glimpse of their pros and cons, as well as what we would expect from each individual custom firmware. So this is the RG35XX custom firmware comparison, and you can compare each firmware with others, for example Garlic vs MinUI, Garlic vs stock, etc.

TLDR version: If you want to use the best custom firmware for Anbernic RG35XX with an Onion feeling, use Garlic. If you prefer minimalism, try to install MinUI or MuOS. Otherwise, if you want to maximize the performance of the Anbernic RG35XX, you should get Koriki.

RG35XX custom firmware comparison


Garlic OS is the most popular custom firmware for the Anbernic RG35XX, so popular that even Anbernic itself chooses it as the default boot for the RG35XX from now on. Thanks to Black-Seraph, we have a system that inspires largely from the Onion of Miyoo Mini. Copy isn’t bad, instead we have something foolproof, resembling the popular system of a more popular vertical retro handheld emulator, with great support from a lot more people than just one.

Here is my guide on how to install Garlic on RG35XX.

  • Expected to get more future updates
  • Supportive apps
  • More users = more helps
  • Can play NDS system

Thanks to the popularity of Garlic, it receives enough support from developers with lots of RG35XX apps. Its popularity is also the best way to expect future updates for the custom firmware, making it better and more stable. We know that it’s impossible to have a “perfect” custom firmware at start, so things like updates is needed.

And finally, with more users running Garlic, you will get more help from popular communities like Reddit. It’s necessary because almost every influencer, will spend time helping you. I’m so happy because our community is small, but we’re always ready to help each other.

At the moment, Garlic OS can fully play nds in Anbernic RG35XX, making it a much more stable custom firmware in gamers’ eyes.


With support from the manufacturer, Garlic will be an official system for the RG35XX. Meaning this custom firmware is for everyone who wants to experience the Anbernic starter handheld device. From casual gamers who want to turn on the device to play, to people who want to experience new applications or box arts, everyone will be satisfied with the Garlic OS. I should say Garlic is the best custom firmware for the Anbernic RG35XX.


MinUI is my favorite custom firmware for the RG35XX, but due to the complexity of the device, a simple and focused custom firmware like MinUI isn’t really the best. But for me, who is so lazy to tinker with the system, MinUI is exactly what I need to enjoy retro gaming. And I hope that you should to.

Here is my guide on how to install MinUI on RG35XX.

  • Quickly get started with your games
  • Easy to update
  • Can play NDS system

When considering MinUI vs Garlic, actually MinUI isn’t quicker at booting and starting your games. Both systems will automatically resume the last save state, and navigating between games in MinUI is only a plus for people who love minimalism. That’s why unless you are as lazy as me, who don’t need to decorate the device with themes and box arts, the MinUI may be not your cup of tea.

However, it is very simple to update the system when available. Installing it first time, on the other hand, is not simple enough. Still, the ability to play nds in Anbernic RG35XX will be a good news for MinUI users.


At first, you may think MinUI as a great custom firmware for lazy people. However, without support from Anbernic, it is not easy to access MinUI without going out of your comfort zone, and reading some guides. It is more suitable for people who love minimalism but are ready to walk through my guide on MinUI installation on RG35XX. If I don’t write guides and reviews for the Anbernic RG35XX, perhaps there is no incentive for me to try this custom firmware.

Stock OS

Stock OS of Anbernic RG35XX is perhaps one of the best stock systems out there, especially for a starter device like the RG35XX itself. However, it lacks some essential QoL (quality of life) features that once you get acquainted with them, you can’t live without.

If you want stock firmware, you can follow my guideline in RG35XX firmware update. Normally, it will flash your SD card into stock firmware.

  • The very first system to use RG35XX
  • Actually the most stable system

Being the official firmware of the Anbernic RG35XX, the stock firmware is expected to be stable. Actually, in the first days of the Garlic OS, it is so immature that you will sacrifice its features for the stability of the stock OS. However, we can hope that Anbernic will develop both Garlic and stock firmware in the near future.


Not everyone is a tech savvy and I believe that most of us having fun with retro handhelds are capable of spending time experimenting with new custom firmware. That’s why I appreciate that Anbernic includes Garlic in their newest RG35XX stocks. With dual boot, the Anbernic RG35XX can be the best of both worlds.


MuOS is, according to its own founder, a RetroArch only system plain and simple. You can think of it as a low-profile custom firmware like MinUI, which focuses on RetroArch menu only. Adixal, the author of this custom firmware, wants a one-point system meaning there is no other frontend launcher because RGUI is plenty enough and is quite customizable.

Here is my guide on how to install MuOS on RG35XX.

  • Pure RetroArch means anyone very familiar with it from other devices will find it easy to use
  • No expanding partitions in installation process

Using pure RetroArch for the system, MuOS requires less steps in installation. You will find more in my guide of RG35XX MuOS installation, but in short, the OS skips some parts automatically. It would be nice for people who try custom firmware for the first time. There are so many features that you can consider trying it, and more to comes as adixal is very active in RG35XX community.


If you think of Garlic as the flashy custom firmware for everyone, and MinUI as the low-profile UI meant to get you into the game as quickly as possible, then the MuOS is somewhere between. For people who’ve used a lot of retro handheld emulators, they will quickly feel MuOS familiar, thanks to straight RetroArch.

But for people who just want to play games, installing MuOS is a breath of fresh air, and there is not much to distract you later. I also believe that if you start with the RG35XX, you will soon upgrade to better emulators, and RetroArch’s UI is something you should get familiar with.


Batocera has been recently tested on the Anbernic RG35XX, and surprisingly it can help unlock RG35XX GPU. While it is an interesting discovery, the RG35XX doesn’t really take advantage from such improvement. There are still more works to be done to make use of Batocera on this starter retro handheld device, because the RG35XX doesn’t meet the requirements to run Batocera by default.

At the moment, we don’t install Batocera on RG35XX anymore, as Koriki is meant to be an active development from Batocera lite. If you truly want to try Batocera for some reason, you can follow my outdated guide.

  • We can hope a future of using Batocera for every system, including of RG35XX
  • Unlocking GPU can lead to better performance

There are 2 reasons to use Batocera at the moment (at least for me): you can use one USB flash for many systems, and it has a very fancy frontend. If you are going to use your high-end handheld gaming PC as a retro emulator, a Batocera mini USB drive can both help you save your precious storage, as well as gather everything you need in one place. Batocera is getting better by the day, so it would be the most reliable custom firmware for anything related to retro gaming.


Sadly, as the RG35XX is not powerful enough to run Batocera by default, it will be more difficult to try this system on the device. You need to test and overcome errors, because the lite version for RG35XX is nowhere near stable. However, I don’t think this custom firmware isn’t for newbies. If you’re going to try newer devices for better emulators, I recommend you to at least take a look at Batocera. I’m lazy, but a mini Batocera USB saves me a lot of time when changing handhelds, and I must say it fits my personality more than any other custom firmware.


Finally, the official release of Koriki is available. While it doesn’t add much more features because you can actually play nds on Anbernic RG35XX with Garlic and MinUI, Koriki is currently in development for more features, and I believe it will soon be the ‘complete’ RG35XX official firmware.

Here is how to install Koriki on RG35XX. Koriki is a fork of Batocera, with the latest version released in 12 November, while the latest Batocera (or Koriki version 0.8.1) was released in 04 May.

  • Have potential by learning from Garlic
  • Could be as minimal as MinUI
  • Unlocking GPU can lead to better performance
  • No expanding partitions in installation process

As stated in Koriki’s Github page, the custom firmware is largely inspired by the minimalist distribution concept of MinUI, that’s why I am looking forward to using Koriki’s stable version. Moreover, the advantage Koriki has over Garlic is the ‘hidden’ GPU that we found out with Batocera. We all wait for a day we can play a few PlayStation Portable or Nintendo 64 games, right? And Koriki does it better than try to optimize Batocera into lite version.

You also don’t need a third party tool for expanding the partition, because Koriki will automatically do this step in its first boot. It’s another reason to try this custom firmware for newbies, because the expanding process is quite complicated and can lead to unnecessary troubles.


With Koriki being in “stable” state, I recommend the custom firmware for all RG35XX users. However, as stock RG35XX doesn’t come with Koriki by default, if you’re as lazy as me, you will be happy with Garlic OS. You will miss some systems that RG35XX can only play in Koriki, but overall the experience is not as smooth as a more powerful hardware, so don’t worry.

That’s it, if you have any other questions, please find it in my RG35XX tutorial.