A Look at Legally Sideloading on the OUYA

The OUYA is home to hundreds of games crafted with the system in mind, but it enables you to play many more games than just those. Beyond the obvious use for emulators, you’ve also got the ability to sideload games onto the system. Since it lacks the ability to use the Google Play store, it can be a bit of a pain to sideload games that you’ve purchased there one-by-one. The sideloading functionality, however, means that you can load up the Amazon app store and we’ll show you how to do that here and showcase some games that you can play with full controller support right away or with a bit of effort.

The first thing you’ll want to do is navigate to the Amazon app store using the OUYA’s browser. If you’re new to the system, you can activate that by going to the Make section, then to Software. Using the touchpad, tap on the OUYA.tv home page and just search for “Amazon app store Android” and you should be taken right to the page to download it. Simply click download, wait, and go to your downloads. That section can be hard to find, as you have to go System, then Advanced, Storage, and then click on Downloads. If the download has completed, just click it, install it and check it out in the Make section.

Once you’ve done that, you can log into your account and browse your app purchases. Since this can easily go into the hundreds or thousands, it’s best to jot down what controller-friendly games you’ve got in your library and search for them. To find the My Apps section, click the OU logo button (basically the home button) and browse over to My Apps with the d-pad. Hit O to confirm and click Cloud, then search your apps. You can also browse through the main storefront and make purchases on it, although be sure to not buy something if you think you own it since it will only show up as free in the My Apps section . So you’ve got your app downloaded, now what do you do? You can either select “Done” and keep browsing or “Open” to play the game and see if it works. Not all games will support the controller immediately, but it’s worth trying some stuff out that you’ve already got. In some cases, like with Clive Gunman, I’ve actually purchased multiple versions to simply play it with a controller and thanks to sideloading, that issue can be avoided.

Now, due to the Amazon app store not having the greatest selection and Google Play having many games that aren’t there yet, there are times when sideloading will have to be done game-by-game. You can either hook your computer up to the OUYA or better yet, just go to Dropbox/Box/Google Drive or whatever cloud storage service you prefer and upload APKs there. All you have to do is get them from your tablet, phone, or computer and upload them, then download them and check them in the same Downloads area the Amazon appstore was in. Box was problematic with downloads stopping and not resuming, but I’ve yet to have an issue with Dropbox, so I’ll recommend that service since I don’t use Google Drive.

If you’ve got some APKs from the Humble Bundle, they can be used as well, with Super Hexagon working flawlessly and Dynamite Jack working fairly well too. The OUYA Forum has a listing of games that work on the OUYA complete with how well they work and one of free Google Play games stored on Zippyshare. That site, unlike some file-sharing sites, is easy to use – simply click the orange Download Now button and put it on your computer or download it directly to the OUYA if it’s plugged into your computer.

After all of this, games are not only on the system, but installed as well. Given the OUYA’s fairly small 5GB of on-board available storage is used for OUYA-centric games and everything else, we’ll look at smaller games that work on the system to varying degrees. First up is TNA Impact, the most recent game from the company that was published by Namco, who strangely hasn’t tried to monetize this license on consoles yet.

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