Question Emulators running on switch hardware. Pros/Cons of running on horizon vs Lakka vs Android

Discussion in 'Switch - Emulation, Homebrew & Software Projects' started by Heavens7thCloud, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. Heavens7thCloud
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    Heavens7thCloud Member

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    Aug 18, 2019
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    Hello All. I'm looking to setup a complete, on the go capable, emulation station on my switch. I currently have most systems ps1 and prior running through horizon with retroarch. I am interested in running Gamecube, dreamcast, ds, and saturn as well and started looking into other options. Ideally:
    • I'm completely fine with booting to a different memory card for emulation, and other card(s) for homebrew, etc.
    • I'd like to be in retroarch as much as possible as i am a big fan of retroachievements and my understanding is they are only available on retroarch.
    • Emulation doesn't have to be perfect but playable.
    • I'd love to be able to have a nice looking front end. Something like launchbox, arc, possibly others. Something like this.
    Right now i'm leaning towards Android but i have no idea if I can setup a one stop shop with emulators that work and are aesthetically pleasing or if this is a pipe dream. Has anyone put the time into a setup like this? Are there any alternatives i'm not aware of? I've considered Lakka but it seems like i have to use the retroarch UI and if I understand correctly it has to be played in handheld mode.
     
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  2. Rahkeesh

    Rahkeesh GBAtemp Maniac

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    The only real option for DS right now is Drastic under Android. So that's a foregone conclusion there.

    While Android is the only alternate OS that fully supports docked and handheld, a major flaw is that the joycon sticks are only read as 8-directional rather than full analog. You can get real analog readings from a pro controller or x-input device.
     
  3. Heavens7thCloud
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    Heavens7thCloud Member

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    When it comes down to it I'd rather have the ability to play docked or handheld than full analog. I am comfortable using a pro controller if I end up emulating anything that I need/want full analog on.

    After searching the internet I haven't found any shining examples of what i'm specifically looking for so i'm going to move forward with Android and attempt to play around with LaunchBox, Arc, and base RetroArch. I find it hard to believe that no one has set up their switch as a one stop emulation shop but perhaps i'm too specific with my front end desires, or perhaps i am not good at googling.
     
  4. Gamerjin

    Gamerjin GBAtemp Fan

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    i disagree with you being too specific, its more that there is no perfect emulation station setup for any console, heck im still try for perfect emualtion on N64, PSX, and GC, which for now im settling for PC....
     
  5. Heavens7thCloud
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    Heavens7thCloud Member

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    This is a good point. That being said i'm aware of the limitations of emulating certain systems. I'm just surprised that i have yet to see any videos/write ups/discussions about emulation on the Switch with non retroarch frontends. Maybe its because android support is relatively new and lakka (to the best of my knowledge) just supports retroarch and nothing flashier (arc, launchbox, emulation station, etc)
     
  6. Silent_Gunner

    Silent_Gunner Mad Dog of Rambling and Insanity

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    I don't know if much has changed since Android was ported to the Switch, but the joy-con functionality not being complete, in addition to the lack of sleep mode last I heard (this is a BIG deal breaker in my eyes), not to mention my personal endgame where emulation is concerned being ported and still developed for on the Switch (DC/NAOMI/Atomiswave via the Flycast core on Horizon), are all reasons why I haven't personally bothered with the homebrew solution myself.
     
  7. Rahkeesh

    Rahkeesh GBAtemp Maniac

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    Setting up your android frontend is going to be exactly the same as on any other tablet. There's nothing really switch-specific to know about it.

    There's also been very little public movement on updating switchroot since its release, which puts a damper on enthusiasm.
     
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  8. Heavens7thCloud
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    Heavens7thCloud Member

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    Do you have another solution you are using? I'm excited to have a one stop shop with my switch and emulating my games (ds, saturn, game cube, dreamcast) and these are things that I can't get out of Lakka or retroarch with Horizon. Add in that android lets me do other fun things (remote play ps4, steam link) and have a much more robust front end I think i'll give it a try.

    The lack of sleep mode is pretty horrible but i'll just turn it off/on until its hopefully fixed. Also, i'll use a pro controller until there is a solution to the joy-con issues. Hopefully more people start using it and it gets more support. Or, hopefully other cores get ported to retroarch in either lakka or horizon and performance increases.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    I assumed that the android port on switch was generally the same as other devices but wanted to check and make sure that others hadn't jumped in with both feet and ran into a game stopping issue. I myself have already come across a few issues that i'll have to figure out.
    • Unless i'm reading install instructions wrong it looks like you have to pick a memory card file that is equal to or smaller than your SD card. However, the largest one i see listed is 128GB. While that is certainly better than nothing it means I won't have access to the other 250is GB on my 400GB card.
    • It looks as if i can't simply remove my SD card and drag and drop files onto it. I have to either download everything through the android os on my switch or I have to set up ftpd and the last time i messed with that it was very slow.
    All in all it sounds like the limitations are few and the positives are many so i'll at least give it a shot. Hopefully others do as well and it leads to more support/development.
     
  9. HappehLemons

    HappehLemons Member

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    On release, and I don't believe much as changed,( although Android on switch works) it's a buggy clunky experience which is why you don't see more people heavily using it.
     
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  10. azoreseuropa

    azoreseuropa GBAtemp Guru

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    I hope that they are still working on switch to improvement greatly. We shall wait and see but we also should thanks them for their hard work to bring it to us. Thats worthy.
     
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  11. Rahkeesh

    Rahkeesh GBAtemp Maniac

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    They do seem to be working on later versions on android, which means no updates are being offered for the current Oreo.
     
  12. Josshy0125

    Josshy0125 GBAtemp Fan

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    Lakka performance > any other thing (Linux, android, etc.), WITH the exception of DS - android wins that front. I recommend Lakka.
     
  13. Silent_Gunner

    Silent_Gunner Mad Dog of Rambling and Insanity

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    *screams in basic, taken for granted features missing*
     
  14. Josshy0125

    Josshy0125 GBAtemp Fan

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    ... what?
     
  15. Silent_Gunner

    Silent_Gunner Mad Dog of Rambling and Insanity

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    Last I checked, Lakka still does not support:

    *The dock, or much of anything using the USB-C port.
    *Sleep Mode, something every homebrew solution not using Horizon is missing unless if Android via Switchroot supports it?
    *No wireless controller support, so fuck local multiplayer. Bluetooth is also not working atm.

    These are the three main issues I got with Lakka atm. I know they figured out how to output audio and have updated some things, but otherwise, it's still kind of behind the stuff made for Horizon atm. Not to mention, from what I remember, PS1 performance is worse in Lakka than it is in Horizon, which lately got Flycast and "better" Sega Saturn emulation has been teased, though we'll see how that turns out. If it can run everything exclusive to Lakka before it gets everything above fixed without issues (*cries in MVC2's performance on HorizonArch*), this guy ain't going to care too much unless if maybe Dolphin can run some GC exclusives at full speed?
     
  16. Josshy0125

    Josshy0125 GBAtemp Fan

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    Uh so? We're I'm talking about game compatibility. PS1 performance is far better in lakka than Horizon. Are you thinking of retroarch from months and months ago? Because PS1 on Lakka has been solid for the longest time.

    Also, please stop saying "cries in"... it's realy making me cringe... the best option right now, at this time, for game compat, overall, is Lakka. Especially when it comes to GCN/DC, etc, let alone all the "lesser" ones.
     
  17. Heavens7thCloud
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    Heavens7thCloud Member

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    I can't really handle the lack of doc support in Lakka. This is the main drawback for me.
    I chose to push forward with Android and am now running retroarch and some stand alone emulators via Launchbox on my Switch!!! i'm fine tuning each emulator and still playing around with Android before I fully commit to this solution but so far it is the best overall "One stop emulation solution" on my switch.
     
  18. Silent_Gunner

    Silent_Gunner Mad Dog of Rambling and Insanity

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    I know what I saw and experienced, and frankly, it's cringeworthy that you're trying to sell me something that doesn't even have the basics down at the moment. Sure, I understand for the dev it's more important to get the technical problems resolved, but now that performance, according to you, DESTROYS HorizonArch, I should switch to something I can't even use on my TV where I do most of my gaming on these days? Not to mention, if I seriously wanted to use a non-gaming PC solution for playing DC/NAOMI/Atomiswave games, I'd still use my ODroid XU4 for couch multiplayer since that runs all of the DC games I'd want to play, if not at full speed, then closer to it and with less graphical glitches than what SC1 had last I remember trying it with HorizonArch, which runs a lot of games at full speed, but it still needs some more work before I'd say it replaces my XU4 outright!

    My point is, the closest you'll be getting to a "complete" emulation solution on the Switch atm is running L4T-Ubuntu, which is far more difficult for some as opposed to running Android and the like, and even that lacks sleep mode support!
     
  19. Josshy0125

    Josshy0125 GBAtemp Fan

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    Not trying to sell, just giving facts. Stop bringing in other factors. I'm not trying to "sell" you on anything. The discussion isn't even about docked/undocked so stop with that. I'm just telling you from a performance standpoint. God, you're annoying.

    Seriously, it's like you're taking what I say and are coming up with an entirely different poiint. Stop making outside points, and either accept the facts or don't. Your choice as to what you decide to use, I'm just giving you the facts. Stop being so fucking obnoxious, stop the ego, stop reading into motives that arent there, and stop bringing in outside 'arguments'... I stated ONE. THING. Its performance beats the rest. That's. IT. Jesus you're obnoxious.
     
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