The AYN Odin is a handheld game console with a 6 inch display, built-in game controllers, and an ARM-based processor. It ships with Android software, but we’ve already seen that it’s possible to load other operating systems like Windows on some models.

Now you can do that without wiping Android first. Project Valhalla is a community-built set of tools that allows you to turn an AYN Odin into a dual-boot device capable of running Android, Windows, or maybe even Linux (although Linux support is still a work in progress).

Retro Games Corps / YouTube

A guide for dual booting Windows and Android was released this week. It requires an AYN Odin Base or Pro model (with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, as Windows doesn’t currently support the MediaTek Dimensity 900 chip used in the AYN Odin Lite).

But as long as you’ve got the right processor, it doesn’t matter if you’re using an AYN Odin Base (with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage) or a Odin Pro (with 8GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage). That said, I’m not sure I’d recommend using Project Valhalla on an AYN Odin Base model. Not only will Windows run better on systems with 8GB of RAM, but the installer divides your device’s storage into two equally-sized partitions, so if you’re using an Odin Base, you’ll have just 32GB for Android and 32GB for Windows.

Anyway, the install process looks pretty straightforward. You can find instructions at GitHub, or if you’re a more visual learner, you can check out the Retro Games Corps video walkthrough of the process on YouTube.

In a nutshell, you’ll need to put your Odin into fastboot mode, connect it to a computer with Google’s Android USB drivers installed, and run a command to flash a custom bootloader to the Odin. This will re-partition the device, giving you two bootable partitions. That allows you to use a specially configured USB flash drive to install Windows to the second partition.

Note that the instructions assume you’re using a Windows PC to install Windows to the Odin, but it should be possible for advanced users to modify the instructions and tools so they work from a Mac or Linux computer as well.

After Windows is installed, you can choose which operating system to run when starting up the Odin:

  • Press the power button and the Odin will boot into Android.
  • Hold the volume up button while pressing power and it will boot into Windows.

Keep in mind that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 isn’t a super-speedy processor by Windows PC standards, but it’s very similar to the Snapdragon 850 processor that powered some of the first Windows on ARM devices.

Not all Windows games and applications are going to work perfectly on an AYN Odin running Windows. Only 32-bit apps and games are supported, and while some are playable, others run with slow frame rates or other problems. You can get a sense of some of the Windows games that do and do not run well on the AYN Odin in a community-made spreadsheet or Join the Odin 845-Windows channel on Taki Udon’s discord server to further discuss Windows on the Odin.

Retro Games Corps / YouTube

Of course, you don’t need to install on an Android device if you want a Windows handheld gaming PC. There are plenty of other options available at the moment, although most tend to be substantially more expensive than the Odin (which sells for $239 and up), and all feature x86 processors. But that could change later this year when new models like the AYA Neo Air Plus and AYN Loki go on sale with expected starting prices below $300.

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  1. It seems the Odin is really popular and selling a lot of units. Meanwhile, the GPD XP+ IGG is looking like it’ll be total flop.

    1. I recall GPD’s IGG’s after the Win 3 were all fairly not very successful but the XP Plus seems to be trending towards a failure with those numbers. Maybe they gave up on the XP and ramping up their marketing of the Win Max 2 along with GPD’s spokesperson, Phawx.

      1. Looking at the ridiculous looking Win Max 2, I do wonder how many people will actually “back” it when it goes on IGG.

        It’s long term joint pains waiting to happen. It’s not a matter of just “hitting the gym more”. The ergonomics of the Win Max 1 was already bad which the Win Max 2 just makes even worse unless you have a fat stomach to put it on and only play while lying on your back…

  2. Anyone know when Ayn plans on providing any real photos/videos/info of the Loki models? Right now, it’s just renders/text on a screen and whatever 1 guy has said.

    1. I preordered the Loki and Loki Max just in case until I see some actual hardware running things. Who knows, I might end up not getting either depending on what I see.

      I really hope they show something real soon.

    2. I impulse pre-ordered the AMD Loki Mini because I got a $75 USD coupon for it. Although I’m waiting on some real game performance videos to decide whether I’ll cancel or not.

      I’d likely cancel if it ends up being an Athlon Mendocino.

    3. Hopefully, they don’t just have renders for months. They’re not doing a crowdfunding campaign but a direct sale technically. Can’t really have much excuses that’re normally “okay” with crowdfunding.

  3. When is the neon air plus going to be on sale in England and can you play google play store game like mech arena?

  4. I wonder when they’ll give more info about the Loki. I guess they need to be careful when talking about the Loki until all the Odins ship so not to ruffle the Odin buyers’ feathers too much.

    1. I’m waiting on info if they really are working on SteamOS support and show it in action. Especially the performance controls and reliable sleep.

      I really hope it’s not like GPD’s Linux “support” where several things are broken for most of their devices where GPD has no intention of helping fix.

  5. Dual boot was the thing I was hoping to see with the Odin. I would want to install a Linux-based emulation OS, but keeping Android around would be handy.