Thursday 29 January 2015

NVIDIA Shield Portable: Reasons to Root

Please note this guide is for the Shield Portable, and not the Tablet.

The NVIDIA Shield is a great portable gaming system. The physical controls and Tegra 4 GPU make this a perfect fit for running retro games with emulators, as well as regular Android games that support the controller. You even have a built in button mapper for those touch-only games that do not support gamepads.

So why would I need to root this? Here are some reasons to root your Shield.


Expandable Storage

Sure, the Shield supports MicroSD cards out of the box, but what if you want to actually store your games on them? Due to a "security" feature in Android 4.4.2 KitKat, you need root in order to store files on the MicroSD card.

So once you have rooted, head to the Play Store and download NextApp SDFix and reboot your device, and then you will be able to store files on the external MicroSD card again.

But then what? You have all these games, but your running out of space due to the Shield's 16GB of storage. Just download FolderMount and you will be able to make symbolic links from your internal storage to your MicroSD card so that games will think that they're on your internal storage, but in reality they're on your MicroSD card.


Do you ever have that problem when you reset an android device that you lose all your apps and games? Titanium Backup is your one-stop-shop solution to that problem. With Titanium Backup you can backup and restore apps, set scheduled backups, and do much more like freezing unwanted bloatware to free up system resources.


Let's say you wanted to be able to have more than one app open simultaneously, or wanted to change the appearance or functionality of your Android device without flashing a new ROM? Xposed Framework is your gateway to just that, and more.


Do you want to stop Angry Birds from mining your personal information? Install a firewall such as AFWall and do just that. It allows you to control which applications can access the internet or not. Just make sure to set it as a blacklist, or you might block all apps by accident!


Do you want to be invincible in Grand Theft Auto for Android? Need I say more?

OK, you've convinced me, now how do I root?

Thanks to Geohot's Towelroot, it is very easy to root Android 4.4.2 KitKat, the current version of Android available for the Shield. The version of Towelroot available on the website is not compatible with the Shield so you must download an older version. Thankfully, a website known as GreenRobotGamer has provided just that.

Just download that APK, and open it up in a file manager such as ES File Explorer. Please note that you must enable Unknown Sources and Verify Apps in Settings > Security. Now you just install Towelroot, press the "MAKE IT RAIN" button. Now wait about 30 seconds, then reboot your device. You will now be rooted!

Finally, install SuperSU so that you can control which applications are allowed root access.


With rooting, comes great responsibility. I am not responsible if you overclock your device and it bursts into flames. (Rooting alone does not let you overclock your device) You can always install a custom recovery such as CWM if things go wrong. Just make sure you install one that's compatible with your device.

That's it folks, stay tuned for more NVIDIA Shield tutorials!

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