ROG Ally owners: a thread for Asus' handheld gaming system

I ended up getting on the Ally bandwagon - got a bigger SSD so I wouldn’t have to use the MicroSD slot at all. Setup was pretty bad - had to do a couple of resets because of various issues like the controllers just not working at all in the Armory Crate app.

But now I have Playnite as the front end, and a heap of games I have always wanted to play but are locked away on old consoles - Wind Waker andTwilight Princess, Twin Snakes and MGS4. Plus a heap of gamepass titles that have been sitting there unplayed - Forza Horizon 5 plays like a dream!

As some may have seen in the Steam Deck thread (as I attempted to buy of those first), I now have an Ally. Some sort of starting guide would certainly be nice, but everything is more/less like that now. That being said, thanks to those who gave me help in the other thread. I’ll keep new questions here.

So, question time…

Was trying to play Lego Star Wars: Skywalker Saga, and it ran TERRIBLY (can’t emphasize this enough). Turns out that the touchscreen was killing the game, and disabling it made the game run great. Haven’t tried running Starfield again since disabling the touchscreen, but was wondering if anyone else had noticed improvement in other games after disabling the touchscreen? And how would things like the keyboard work w/o it (I’m wondering if it’d still work with the right-stick mouse)? And it’s easy enough to turn back on - I was just curious if anyone else had any experience turning the touchscreen on or off.

I haven’t even tried disabling the touchscreen, so good to know it’s a troubleshooting option in the future.

I’ve gotten very playable performance on Starfield by setting the graphics options to some Steam Deck-recommended options and setting the font size to large in the Accessibility area.

Way, way better than trying to play it via Xbox Cloud Gaming on my iPad, which was jerky AF.

I haven’t personally, but I seem to recall it coming up on the Reddit. Maybe even for that game.

Yeah, don’t know if it was that thread or one like it, but that’s what led me to try disabling the touch screen. I may have to go back and up some of those graphics settings now, tho, after reading that link. I had them all pretty much as low as possible.

OK - first trip over. Not perfect, but I enjoyed being able to play Starfield at least a little bit. I didn’t get to play nearly as long as I wanted (which would have been the entirety of both flights) because it only seemed to last for a number of minutes equal to the percent charged - and that was with it plugged into the seat back USB port (there didn’t seem to be an AC port, sadly). Does anyone have some good battery saving tips? I do have a page saved for some things to try, but wondering if anyone else had any ideas. Also, any good external batteries you’d recommend (if I can find one near Aulani)?

Yeah, the best situation is when there’s a plug available on the plane. I played most of a Seattle-to-Atlanta flight thanks to having brought my power brick on the plane and a convenient back-of-seat plug.

The problem with using the USB A ports found on many airplane back seats is that they’re low-wattage, designed more to charge phones or small tablets. The ROG Ally requires 65W to run in Turbo mode, and even the 25W it uses in “medium speed” mode is more than some seat backs will handle. Soooo, you’ll either want to plug in the AC adapter, or have a high-power external battery.

Because of the high power usage of the ROG Ally (and Steam Deck too), you similarly need a high-wattage external battery. Your typical Anker pocket-sized battery will recharge the Ally, but at a slower rate than the Ally actually uses power, so it’s mostly useful for offline charging as you’ll “get ahead” of the recharge.

I had this one on on-hand that will recharge the ROG Ally and adds another 60-120 minutes depending on what you’re playing.

The best portable battery I have is this Anker monster, 24000mAh and enough wattage to power my MacBook. But it’s pricey and I snagged it on a sale. (Current price is $109, not $149.99 like the thumbnail link indicates.) The r/rogally Reddit folks swore this was the best available for the Ally, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s now my go-to backpack battery.

I’d be surprised if you can find on near Aulani, though. On the bright side, you’re at Aulani! Do the evening stargazing thing if they’re offering it while you’re there! And say hi to Stitch!

Other options…\

Starfield is a CPU hog and is a worst-case scenario for Ally/Deck gaming. When I was on a flight with a dead plug on the seat, I stuck to less demanding games like Peglin, where I could drop the performance to 15W, and I got a little over 3 hours of life.

Yeah, I bought the 737 for it (and for my Switch). Seems great so far. Only issue is finding a case it will fit in, but I usually just put both in my bag. Might get a tight fitting hard case just to protect the sticks.

Thanks! I will look into that battery when I get back! If I could find one here it would be great (if we came across a Best Buy or something) but it would really only be needed for the flight back to LA (and then Chicago, but it’s a shorter flight). I’m not worried about having it otherwise.

Not playing 3d accelerated games.

When I know I am not gonna be able to plug in, I play the 2d or indie games, as they can often stretch battery life to nearly 3 hours on the Steam deck, and I believe the Ally’s battery consumption is very similar.

3d games are always gonna kill battery.

The anker powerbanks are great, I always carry one while traveling.

Get acquainted with TDP system settings? And game settings too, to lower them so you can game at a lower TDP?

Yeah - I made a lot of changes, but it’ll be a while before I can really test it. Maybe I can get an extra 15 minutes or something. Or maybe the next plane will actually have AC plugs.

So for those playing along, after all the changes I made to power consumption and what not, I got the same 90 minutes as I did before using only batter. Today on the flight back to the mainland, I was able to use a USB power outlet, and got to about 2 hours. Not a big upgrade, but at least noticeable. Now in LA, maybe I can try to find the power think mentioned above at a Best Buy or something, and if not, I can play for at least half the flight. Still cool to be able to play Starfield on the plane. Makes travel go so much faster.

Best Buy has compatible chargers, but last I looked, not the one linked above. Anker or Amazon for that one.

They do have one - it’s an Anker model, but a higher powered one (87W). Wondering if it’s be worth it. I do like the look of the 65W one better with the external display.

I was talking about the 140W Anker one, actually, not the 65W Baseus one.

It’s on sale for $99 today, which is a great deal for the best charger I’ve used. Great display, recharges reasonably quickly, enough wattage for anything.

Yeah, I got them mixed up. Looks like I’m just waiting until I get home to order the Anker one shown above. And just hope the plane for the flight home Sunday has an AC plug. Or live TV for watching football.

I have that Anker one. Be aware that they only claim it has an effective lifespan of 300 cycles, so maybe charge it slowly and to 80% or less if you want to stretch that out.