How to add my own control overlay (android)?

Hello friends,

Untill now i’ve been using a rooted android phone, with access to root folder and permissions and i could manually copy+paste overlays and cores as needed. I’m soon getting a new smartphone and, in the case of being unable to root it, how could i add my own overlays (and maybe some particular core versions that are not online)? Can i create myself a Retroarch .apk with everything in it? Is is possible? Other options?

Thank you!!

Much easier than that: just go to settings > directory and change the overlay directory to a new directory somewhere writeable by both the user and RetroArch (the user-accessible RetroArch directories on the internal storage are a good spot).

Then, go to the online updater and update the overlays. It will populate the new location with all of the default overlays and you can add your own in there, too.

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Wow! That easy?:hugs:

True for cores as well?

No, cores are tougher due to Google’s “security” measures. They always need to live in the /data/data/com.retroarch/cores directory, but you can sideload them without root by placing the *.so library in your RetroArch/downloads directory and then go to load core > install a core and it will pick up any libs in that dir and copy them to the right location.

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That’s simply fantastic. Never imagined it would be so easy without root. I’m pretty sure it used to be tougher some 5 years ago :grinning:

Soon as i get the new device, i’ll get right on it!

Thanks man!

Yes, it was much harder (impossible, actually, thanks to more security changes) until fairly recently. We can thank @radius for adding the core sideloading, which has been a godsend for many reasons.

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Now we need to auto backup cores before updating I guess


Is this valid for shaders as well? I would like to add my own little shader in non-rooted phone. Thank you!

yep, same process should work with shaders.

thank you very much :blush: