PinePhone Game Thread
This week, I went through a side project of seeing just how hard it would be to get Retroarch up and running on Manjaro+Plasma Mobile. Turns out it actually doesn't crash anymore! Huzzah! ...But there is still a lot of work to be done! Big Grin

Issues as of right now:
  • Retroarch did not recognize my Razer Kishi out of the box. YMMV with other controllers, but I was able to make a pull request with my controller's info so that will hopefully be fixed soon.
  • Retroarch is for some reason crippled out of the box on Manjaro/Arch. Retroarch by default tries to store information and config files in a directory that it does not have access to in Manjaro. You have to manually switch the settings to Retroarch's backup location, ~/.config/retroarch/*, then use the Online Updater to replace the missing UI assets. CoreInfo files need to be downloaded manually from here, and imported into Retroarch.
  • The Online Updater for Cores does not have any linux builds for the Pinephone's architecture yet (aarch64/armv8). This may yet be fixed in the future, but for now that means you have to manually download, compile, and import your own cores. This is surprisingly easy, but still a miserable undertaking if you don't have a keyboard plugged in.
  • KDE/Plasma Mobile's hibernation settings don't look for controllers whatsoever, so the phone display will dim then turn off within seconds even though retroarch is running. This is by far the biggest dealbreaker atm.

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In case anyone is itching for more games to try on the Pinephone, Sometime in the last couple weeks, the flathub package for Shattered Pixel Dungeon got fixed and is completely playable! Previously it just wouldn't launch, then a few weeks ago it upgraded to launching but not fitting on the screen, and when I launched it yesterday, I had zero issues trying to play!

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Some game controller reviews of : ===> Pine phone ( and Pro ) Bluetooth compatible controllers ?
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(02-24-2022, 01:38 AM)bcnaz Wrote: Some game controller reviews of :    ===> Pine phone ( and Pro )  Bluetooth compatible controllers  ?

I have a fair amount of controllers(xbox one, ipega, moga, steelseries, too ashamed to actually count them all Tongue ), and all of them share the same pitfalls. The Pinephone will pair with all of them just fine, and they are recognized as Xinput controllers. The big hurdle and a half for controller support on the pinephone/pro is entirely software based; 
  • Outside of emulators, almost no games or apps even recognize controllers.
  • The occasional game will recognize the d-pad, but that's hardly usable. (Sonic Robo Blast can work with enough patience/tinkering)
  • Bluetooth on the Pinephone gets spotty after extended use (haven't tested this one in about a year tho, might have improved)
  • KDE Plasma Mobile uses LibInput to recognize mouse/keyboard/touchscreen inputs. Libinput does not respect gamepads. This means trying to play anything with the gamepad on Manjaro+PlaMo will put the screen to sleep after 30 seconds no matter what. Libinput expects the software(games) to tell Linux to stay awake, which hasn't happened yet.

I personally have a Razer Kishi because I got a good deal on one, and to me it feels like it fits the Pinephone perfectly. It doesn't use bluetooth (thus more reliable connection), but it still hits all the other pitfalls.
I saw some on ebay that look like a ps4 controller, the phone snaps into place in landscape mode at the top of the controller.
any opinions on those ?
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(02-25-2022, 11:23 PM)bcnaz Wrote: I saw some on ebay that look like a ps4 controller, the phone snaps into place in landscape mode at the top of the controller.
any opinions on those ?

I've tried several of them, and while they are perfectly usable, its the little things that made them not my favorite. When you clip the phone into them, they become incredibly top heavy. Held normally, they feel notably heavier because the weight isn't directly between your hands. And (depending on the clip used) anything other than sitting upright will result in the phone clip swinging closed.

If you're really interested in one of those, personally I felt this one was by far the best bang for the buck.

Something like this one feels much more balanced in the hands. The tradeoff for the second one I linked is that you can't really plug the phone in while in use.

Now if you feel like spending extra:
Gamesir X2 and razer kishi physically plug into the controller and have USB-C passthrough for charging, but the trade-off with them (if you can even call it that) is that they rely on the physical connection, so you cannot use them while the phone is farther away (like plugged into a monitor or TV)
I managed to get Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (console mode) compiled and running on the PinePhone. It pairs well with the keyboard. I followed the compiling instructions here: with a couple minor modifications. Before running 'make' as instructed, edit the file, and remove these lines (toward the top of the file):

#ifndef __HAIKU__

musl doesn't support backtrace, and the compilation will fail (at the very end) if you do not remove these lines.

Also, do not run 'make' with the '-j4' argument like the instructions describe. Running parallel jobs will make it compile faster, but will also get your pinephone blisteringly hot... and will cause the battery to drain faster than the charger can keep up.

Assuming you've got all the dependencies installed correctly (don't forget to install the '-dev' versions of packages), you can ignore the "git submodule update --init" command.

It can take quite a long time to compile, so make sure to have the phone plugged in.

[Image: Zq6nkRr.jpeg]
Retroarch is working well in all most every area except for the touch screen controls. Anyone had luck finding out what you need to do to make the touch input work for the overlay touch controls?
You can run some Steam Indie Games and GOG DRM-Free with Box86/64. Here is a guide for setting it up ( This works on both the PinePhone and the PinePhone Pro.

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