First of all, this is my first post here. Second of all, I can not be held responsible for anything that happens to your device during installation or anything that happens as a result (global thermonuclear war, getting fired because your alarm doesn't work, etc.) Lastly, I would like to credit the developer of Magisk, topjohnwu and the guy on Zentalk that found this, ukolino.
ASUS attempted to push a bootloader unlock for this phone through a bootloader unlocker on their website, but they failed miserably as the tool would simply reboot the phone and do nothing else. When checking the lock status through ADB, it was always locked.
I will go ahead and explain the procedures I went to in order to get to this:
1. I don't know if this influences the results or not, but I did run the bootloader unlock tool from ASUS previously. I didn't have it installed at the time of installing Magisk. The download for the .apk can be found at https://www.asus.com/us/Phone/ZenFon...Desk_Download/
2. While you are on ASUS' website, you are going to need the firmware for the region model of your phone. Mine is a US, so I used the US firmware. If you don't know what region model your device is, you can find it by going to settings--> system updates --> build number. Mine says NRD90M.US_Phone-14.... While this is downloading, proceed to the next steps.
3. You are obviously going to need ADB for this. If you have the Android SDK, that works. I am using Minimal ADB and Fastboot and seriously suggest it over the giant SDK if you just need ADB and Fastboot.
4. Next, you are going to need Magisk Manager. It can be found at http://tiny.cc/latestmanager . If you want to read up more about Magisk, you can go to https://forum.xda-developers.com/app...mless-t3473445
5. Install Magisk Manager like any old .apk.
Now you must wait for your firmware to finish downloading from ASUS.
6. Now that your download is finished, you will need to open the .zip. Inside the zip is a bunch of files, one being boot.img. You will need to extract it. All that wait for a 9mb file....
7. You will need to move the boot.img to your phone through traditional means.
8. You will now use the Magisk Manager you installed earlier to make a modified boot image out of the stock one you just extracted. In Magisk, you need to press install, install again, patch boot image file, and navigate to the area where you stored the boot.img.
9. After selecting your boot.img, a terminal-esque window will pop up and if all goes well, it will drop a modified boot.img named patched_boot.img in (Main Storage)--> MagiskManager. Move this to your PC in an easy to locate space. I put mine at C:/android.
10. Now comes the scary stuff; ADB. I am not too experienced with ADB, so any extraneous problems encountered here may require a Google search. Make sure you have USB debugging enabled in Developer Options. Your phone will need to be connected to the PC for the rest of the process.
11. In an ADB prompt, you will need to put your phone into bootloader mode by keying in:
fastboot flash boot c:/android/patched_boot.img
13. It should take no time at all (mine took a total of 0.993 seconds), and after it is finished, you can go ahead and reboot with the buttons or you can type
14. Open up Magisk Manager again. It should say that you're rooted. If it does, congratulations, you have systemless root! If it doesn't, try again. If it doesn't fix it then, reply and I'll look into it.
15. (optional) In the hamburger menu, there is a place called downloads. It contains such beauties as Xposed Framework and ViPER4Android FX. Since there's no custom recovery involved, you can't flash anything, but you can still use root-enabled apps with ease!
I believe I covered all of the bases here, but if I didn't, please feel free to reply with any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.