Hacking GBA Emulation on the PS Vita

Olat

Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
7
Trophies
0
Age
31
XP
83
Country
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Hello guys!

I'm trying to emulate GBA on my PS Vita PCH-2000 and I'm having some trouble with it.
I was hoping you could help me with tips and trick of your own, but please let me know if this is not the right place to ask.

I am using Retroarch and the VBA Next core for GBA emulation. All games work, but I do experience massive frame drops quite often in games such as Dragonball Z Advance or Yoshi's Island.

Using the gpsp kai emulator for Adrenaline, I get a stable framerate in these games, but I'd like to be able to emulate GBA inside Retroarch since I like having all my games in one interface and I also have many savegames under VBA Next that are not compatible with other emulators.

I keep seeing everyone talking about how great VBA Next is for PS Vita Retroarch, but I can't seem to replicate that performance.

Is there anything I can do to achieve stable framerate for GBA games in Retroarch?

I tried overclocking, but the performance remains the same.

Please let me know if I can provide any further information.



Thank you!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Idrolitina

Rahkeesh

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
2,093
Trophies
1
Age
40
XP
2,632
Country
United States
Newest retroarch has gPSP for vita built into it and the dynarec for that was finally fixed. Compatible games run smooth as butter, where "compatible" usually means 2D or mode-7, it fails with most "true" 3D games, but there's still a lot of the library that works great.

For gPSP retroarch you need the gba bios named GBA_BIOS.BIN and put in the "system" directory of Retroarch (usually ux0:data/retroarch/system)
 

spriteice

Well-Known Member
Newcomer
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
62
Trophies
0
XP
647
Country
Australia
Newest retroarch has gPSP for vita built into it and the dynarec for that was finally fixed. Compatible games run smooth as butter, where "compatible" usually means 2D or mode-7, it fails with most "true" 3D games, but there's still a lot of the library that works great.

For gPSP retroarch you need the gba bios named GBA_BIOS.BIN and put in the "system" directory of Retroarch (usually ux0:data/retroarch/system)

I usually stick to the standalone mGBA app for accuracy, eve if it is slower in some parts of games. The gPSP core does work fast but randomly resets sometimes which is not what you want when playing larger games and you havent saved in a while.
 

Rahkeesh

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
2,093
Trophies
1
Age
40
XP
2,632
Country
United States
I usually stick to the standalone mGBA app for accuracy, eve if it is slower in some parts of games. The gPSP core does work fast but randomly resets sometimes which is not what you want when playing larger games and you havent saved in a while.

What you aren't save state-ing every 5 seconds? :D

I have seen it crash on me like this once. It is something to watch but if you crave that smooth speed I'd deal with the occasional save state for longer sessions. That said MGBA is a lot more pleasant with overclocking than without.
 

Olat

Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
7
Trophies
0
Age
31
XP
83
Country
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Thank you all for helping! :yaypsp:

I never used gpsp since it always caused Retroarch to crash for me.
Thanks to advice @Rahkeesh , I got it working and performance is WAY better than in VBA Next, had no crashes or any audio stuttering so far.
Also, when you mentioned save stateing every 5 seconds, is there perhaps an autosave feature in Retroarch?
 
Last edited by Olat,
  • Like
Reactions: Idrolitina and IRHP

IRHP

Well-Known Member
Newcomer
Joined
Apr 24, 2016
Messages
65
Trophies
0
Age
36
XP
323
Country
United States
Thank you all for helping! :yaypsp:

I never used gpsp since it always caused Retroarch to crash for me.
Thanks to advice @Rahkeesh , I got it working and performance is WAY better than in VBA Next, had no crashes or any audio stuttering so far.
Also, when you mentioned save stateing every 5 seconds, is there perhaps an autosave feature in Retroarch?

I was wondering something similar, if there's a way to set a button for saving/loading states without needing to enter the menu every time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Idrolitina

ahmedfayek

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
1
Trophies
0
Age
25
XP
82
Country
Egypt
I would advice you to use psvshell and overclock your ps vita to the max this is the only overclocking plugin that worked for me with vba next. I didn't like the sound quality on gpsp kai so I changed to vba next I finished Pokémon fire red and tried super mario world 2, golden sun, mothers 3 all of them ran at full speed only when my ps vita had a low battery there was a drop in performance
 
Last edited by ahmedfayek,

Andorin

Well-Known Member
Newcomer
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
82
Trophies
0
Age
27
XP
357
Country
France
Hi mate.
Personnaly, I used a lot to play GBA on my PSP and hoped so hard that the PSVITA would be as perfect as the PSP.
So, when I bought my vita, I continued to play GBA games through Adrenaline.

Then, I discovered mGba and I completely left playing Gba roms through Adrenaline. MGBA is very nice, all the games I need run almost perfectly without any setting changes.
 

AllanFF

Well-Known Member
Newcomer
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
45
Trophies
0
Age
46
XP
359
Country
Brazil
On SNES emulation, I choose the analog sticks as Save and Load States.

On GBA emulation, I'll probably continue with this.
 

Hicip1956

Active Member
Newcomer
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Messages
30
Trophies
0
XP
123
Country
United States
This is my personal experience with all gba emulators on the vita for more advanced fire emblem or pokemon romhacks like unbound or clover:

Gpsp on vhbl has rtc, but heavier hacks like unbound and clover barly make it padt the title screen.

Tempgba is a bit better for romhacks, but still pretty slow.

Gpsp through retroarch is only slightly faster than standalone psp, which is not good for romhacks.

Vba next has the best sound and speed for romhacks, but rtc doesn't work. (mostly a problem for pokemon hacks)

Mgba has working rtc, sound and speed is better than psp and retroach's gpsp, but worse than vbanext. (My vita rarely gets hot using this one compared to vba next)

Gpsp standalone Chinese build is too inconsistent. Sometimes better than mgba, sometimes worse. ( I used a build from November though)

All in all, gba emulation on vita is cursed
 
  • Like
Reactions: Idrolitina

ThatGoodOtakuGuy

Active Member
Newcomer
Joined
Oct 28, 2019
Messages
31
Trophies
0
Age
26
XP
147
Country
Philippines
Played castlevania what are you talking about frameskips dafuq is wrong with you people, Am I seeing the same thing you are seeing
 

Idrolitina

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
108
Trophies
0
XP
321
Country
Japan
@Olat with DBZA the vita might struggle only if not overclocked. Yoshi Island is less performance impacting so that is weird. Have you checked your settings as many suggested? Majority of the games run with no problem for me in a way or another (retroarch or gpsp kai).

@Hicip1956 is totally right. I also have the same results about the performance of romhacks he mentioned. Gpsp and VBA on RA have fps throttle that made the roms not playable. Gpsp Kai in adrenaline same. MGBA throttles of one 1-2 frames at worst which is the best result I got. VBA next gives me also problems launching roms I dumped myself (mainly in Japanese which should not matter to the extent of my knowledge) so I did expect problems with romhacks. It is also worth mention that MGBA has no cheats, fast forward and rewind that for many people makes it a no-go. In Japan emulation is about the last ones mainly from what I have seen.

I also overclocked the Vita but did not get much better results. Sadly I agree that gba emulation for demanding titles is somewhat cursed on Vita which is crazy thinking how promising it was on PSP. Anyhow things move fast. Let's hope for some good news in the near future :yaypsp:!
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    Psionic Roshambo @ Psionic Roshambo: Lol