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This is the PCSX2 1.0.0 FAQ.


  1. Section I - General questions about the project

  2. Section II - General questions about the emulator

  3. Section III - Configuration questions

  4. Section IV - Useful links


Section I: General questions about the project

What is the aim of this project?

The aim of this project is to emulate the Playstation 2, allowing people to play their Ps2 games on their PC. This requires having an original Playstation 2 console (for the BIOS) and of course having the original games as well.

Is the project open source?

Yes, the project is open source, and it is licensed under the GNU General Public License v3. The repository is at Github HERE

Can I help the project?

Sure you can, refer to this thread HERE

Is the release package complete? Can I play out of the box?

No, the release package is not complete. You need to do at least 3 things before you can play.
First, you need to put in your own BIOS. Dump your Playstation 2 BIOS from your own console. You can find the BIOS dumper HERE.
Second, you need to configure the plugins in the emulator. You can use the official guide found HERE
And third, you need to update your DirectX in order for GSdx to work (important!). GSdx is our suggested graphics plugin. Update DirectX with the web installer HERE

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Section II: General questions about the emulator

What are the requirements for using this emulator?

* Windows 2000 or newer/Linux OS
* CPU that supports SSE2 (Pentium 4 and up, Athlon64 and up)
* GPU that supports Pixel Shaders 2.0
* 512mb RAM

* Windows Vista / Windows 7 32bit/64bit
* CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.2ghz or better
* GPU: 8600gt or better
* 1gb RAM (2gb if on Vista / Windows 7)

Does the emulator support 4 cores?

No, currently up to 3 cores are supported (2 cores and an additional one if the new MTVU speed hack is used). To make PCSX2 efficiently use 4 or more cores will require major code changes. So don't ask when quad-core support will be available, since it won't be anytime soon! However, PCSX2 will run fine on your quad-core processor. It just won't benefit from the extra core.

Why is my CPU load less than 100%?

As said above,PCSX2 only uses 2 cores,so if you have more the CPU usage will be way less 100%. Even if you have exactly 2 cores, the emulator will not cause 100% CPU usage because of the way threading works. This does NOT mean PCSX2 isn't using the full power of your CPU, it is normal.

Is SLI/Crossfire useful?

By itself, no. PCSX2 is not programmed to use more than one GPU.

Why not use CUDA to make things faster?

CUDA works best when doing simple operations on many parallel threads.
This isn't very useful for ps2 emulation, and any implementation that attempts to use CUDA will most-likely slow down the emulator.

Is game X playable?

There is a compatibility list on the site, HERE
Most games have been tested for the latest 1.0.0 release,for the rest try the game yourselves.

Do ps1 games work with this emulator?

No, this emulator only works with Playstation 2 games. In order to play Ps1 games, you will need a ps1 emulator.

My game worked in an earlier version, and now it does not, why?

Due to changes in the emulator some games may not work as well as they did in the previous release, as you will find with most emulation projects, you fix one game, you break another somewhere. If you still want to play your game, you can try our archive download section and get the older version but keep in mind you will not get support for it in our forum.

Why is the emulator so slow?

Because the Playstation 2 is a complex console, with a lot of parts which must be emulated at the same time. For a better explanation,refer to this thread

I've seen my game running full speed on YouTube, why do i get low FPS?

Videos which appear on YouTube are generally recorded with the GS plugin. What is actually recorded is each frame, which is then run at the full rate of the game, it is more than likely the person recording it had similar speeds to you, so don't take it too seriously.

Where can I get BIOS and Games?

You can get your own BIOS from your own Playstation 2 console.
You can use games from your own collection, or acquire them from a game store. Any other way is illegal and we have a strict policy about warez.
Case closed.

How do I play a game?

You can follow our getting-started page (recommended) or:

1) Dump your own BIOS and put it into the BIOS folder
2) Configure the emulator (read Section III below)
3) Get your Ps2 game discs ready, or make an ISO of them for faster access
4) Configure the CDVDrom plugin or the internal ISO reader to point to those ISO/discs
5) System->Boot CD/DVD (fast)

How do I compile the SVN source?

Read the compile guide HERE
Keep in mind that while you can post bugs about SVN revisions, we do not offer support for them.

When will the next version be released?

It will be released when it is ready. Don’t waste your time and ours asking about that.

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Section III: Configuration questions

How can I configure the emulator?

Please refer to the official PCSX2 guide HERE

My settings are not being saved / Error creating memcard / Failed to copy file etc

Right click on pcsx2.exe and select 'Run as administrator' (Vista / Windows 7 only) and/or install PCSX2 on a folder you have rights to write (like My Documents)
Alternatively, create a new folder like C:/Games/PCSX2 and install PCSX2 in there.

What about the frame limiting options?

The frame limiting options are often necessary for an enjoyable experience. Read out the explanation in the configuration dialogue, it's very detailed.

What is the normal speed for Playstation 2 games?

NTSC games have a normal speed of 60 frames per second.
PAL games have a normal speed of 50 frames per second.
Note that these speed are unlike what happens in normal PC games. Sound, graphic, everything is clocked at that speed. A NTSC game running at 30 frames per second is truly going at half the speed it should be.

Are patches necessary?

Often they are not. In a few cases, they allow you to go further ingame compared to without, but by default you should leave them off. They can also be used for cheats and adding wide screen support.

What about gamefixes?

Gamefixes are, like the name says, special fixes for certain games. Enable them only for those games, they might cause problems in others.

Are speedhacks safe?

Speed hacks are, like the name says, hacks that make games go faster.
Use speedhacks at your own risk, they will break many games.
NOTE: Do NOT report bugs unless you also tried the game with "Nothing" selected.

What about the advanced options?

Advanced options should be only changed knowing you can break up games spectacularly sometimes. The help included in the configuration dialogue is very detailed, read it.

What about the plugins?

We included the latest stable versions of the best plugins out there in the package. You will need to configure them. Refer to the guide

Why is the sound bad?

We made SPU2-X the default plugin, as it has become a very nice choice by now.
If you have trouble with it, try ZeroSPU2 (also included).

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Section IV: Useful links

BIOS Guides:
Reichfuher's guide to dumping your Playstation 2 BIOS

Error/Problem Guides:
Will PCSX2 run fast on my computer?
Why is PCSX2 slow?

Memory Card Guides:
How to have 100% complete save game guide
Various methods for converting GameFAQ saves to PCSX2 memory cards
Convert GameFAQ saves to PCSX2 memory card with MyMC
How do I make my PS3/PS4 controller work under Windows?
XInput Wrapper for DS3 and USB Dual DS2 Controller

How do I keep separate configuration for games?
PCSX2bonus frontend
PS2Lunch frontend
Auto-Boot and Pre-Configure Games Separately

How do I use patches in general?
How pnach files work

How do I play online?
How To Play Online Guide

How do I run precompiled Pcsx2 binaries on 64 bit Ubuntu without a 32 bit chroot?
[Howto] PCSX2 on AMD64 Ubuntu

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