Android fragmentation has been one of the weak points of the Android ecosystem, right from the beginning. As if different versions of Android OS were not enough, we now also have games that run only on a specified SoC (Processor+GPU) combination.
Thanks to Nvidia and its Tegra zone, many games have released on the Android Market, which run only on the company’s Tegra 2 SoC powered Android handsets. These games are usually some popular gaming titles already available on iOS, and have console-quality like graphics.
The worst part is that the Tegra 2 SoC is one of the weakest dual-core SoC out there in the Android world. Any other dual-core SoC can run these Tegra 2 exclusive games easily. Thankfully, one awesomely talented Android developer – Chainfire – decided to do something about this situation. The end result is Chainfire 3D.
Thanks to Chainfire 3D, users can easily run Tegra 2 games on their non-Tegra 2 handsets. This even includes single core phones like the Galaxy S, and the latest dual-core phones like the Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Sensation, Droid Bionic etc.
Before proceeding, please keep in mind that you must have a rooted Android phone/tablet to use Chainfire 3D.
Here are the steps to run Tegra 2 games on your non-Tegra 2 phone -:
1) First, install Chainfire 3D from the Android Market. The app comes in two versions, one paid and one free. The paid version has some advanced features available, and will also display Tegra 2 games on the Android Market, when viewed from your non-Tegra 2 phones.
2) Start the app now, and select the ‘CF3D driver’ option. Now, select the ‘Install – Install CF3D driver and reboot’ option, and then press the Install option in the dialog box that pops up.
3) Your phone will automatically reboot, and install the Chainfire 3D driver.
4) Now to play Tegra 2 games, users first need to install the Nvidia shaders plugin. Download the required plugin from here.
5) Fire up Chainfire 3D again, and select the ‘Install plugins/shaders’ option. The app will now search your phone?s SD card for all the available plugins, and display them. Select and install the Nvidia plugin that you downloaded in the previous step. After you have installed the plugin, go to the ‘Default OpenGL settings’ option, and select the ‘Use a Plugin’ option, and then select the Nvidia plugin from the window that pops up.
6) Now, just install a Tegra 2 game and start playing! If you have brought the Pro version of Chainfire 3D, you can use the app to spoof your Android handset a Tegra 2 one. This will allow you to buy Tegra compatible games from the Android Market, and the Tegra zone.
Keep in mind that some Tegra games require specific plugins to be installed. Chainfire 3D also has many other advanced options, which can improve the graphics of a game, or make decrease its graphics quality so that it runs smoothly on your handset.