Android Gaming on Khadas VIM3 SBC (Video)

I started playing with Khadas VIM3 Basic SBC powered by Amlogic A311D processor and 2GB RAM, and noticed Android benchmarks, especially 3D graphics were significantly better (40% improvement) than the ones of Rockchip RK3399.

So I decided it may be interesting to show Android gaming on the single-board computer, and installed the latest version of Android 9.0 with Google Play store. Finally I connected the RF dongle of Tronsmart Mars G01 wireless gamepad, as well as USB keyboard and mouse to get some fun.

Android Gaming Khadas VIM3

Since the board only has two USB type-A ports, I also inserted MINIX NEO S2 USB-C + SSD hub to connect the gamepad RF dongle.

Then I tried to install and play four games

  • Beach Buggy Racing
    • Installed via Google Play
    • Played with Tronsmart gamepad.
    • Perfectly smooth with max graphics settings. Similar to other TV boxes or boards.
  • Riptide GP2
    • Installed via Amazon Store
    • Played with gamepad
    • Perfectly smooth with max graphics settings, and improvement over other platforms I tested before
  • Fortnite (Beta)
    • Via Epic Games website.
    • Sadly not supported on most Android devices including Khadas VIM3. The installer app can be installed, but not the game itself. Apparently the reason is because Android 64-bit is required, and Khadas VIM3 SBC / Amlogic A311D/S922X processor only support Android 32-bit right now. There’s an Amlogic 64-bit Android SDK, but it’s not quite working, meaning not even compiling at this stage according to one developer.
FORTNITE Fail 64-bit Android
FORTNITE won’t install on VIM3, and the installer runs in portrait mode – Click to Enlarge
  • PUBG Mobile
    • Installed via Google Play.
    • Played with USB keyboard and mouse
    • Requires OpenGL ES 3.1, so it would not work on devices with Mali-4xx GPU including Amlogic S905, S905X, RK3328…
    • The game can runs just fine on Khadas VIM3 / Amlogic A311D (Mali-G52 GPU), and was smooth even with HD graphics settings.
Khadas VIM3 PUBG Mobile
PUBG Mobile on Khadas VIM3 – Click for Original Size

So if you are interested in playing games in Android, and other plaforms don’t quite make it, you may consider checking out Khadas VIM3 SBC without having to go all the way to NVIDIA Android Shield TV. Note that many Android games are made for phones, and while the three games above worked out of the box, some require touchscreen emulation (e.g. CSR 2). This is still possible but requires a bit more work, and potentially buying an Android remote app to use your phone as a gaming controller.

You can check by yourself 3D graphics performance in the video demo below (~15 minutes) where I play all three games.

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