How to Configure PCSX2 (PS2 Emulator)

So basically because there are still some people reading my old post about pcsx2, so i guess it’s better for me to rewrite it to reflect the new changes although actually there are almost next to no changes but since most people trying to use my sample configuration directly without adjusting it first, i think it’s better to write a new post that shows you directly on which plugins you should be using (note: this is intended for general purpose)

PCSX2 Main Window

But obviously, credits should be given to the PCSX2 Team for making such wonderful program available for free to anyone

And so, let’s begin

Requirements

PCSX2 any version both stable or svn

Personally i’d recommend you to use the svn version instead because usually it already fixes bugs that exists in stable build, although it may be buggy but as long as you have made a backup for all your save game (just in case something goes wrong). Then you won’t have anything to worry about

Latest DirectX End User Runtime

Download: here

This is needed obviously in order to use pcsx2 properly

PCSX2 Bios file (PS2 Bios)

Obviously this is needed in order to play games on pcsx2 or else you won’t be able to use pcsx2. But because it’s illegal to put them here, feel free to use your favorite search engine to locate the file

Computer Hardware:

  • Processor: at least Dual Core processor (Intel Core 2 Duo or Athlon 64 X2)
  • Graphic Card / VGA Card: at least Geforce 8600 (based on my test)
  • RAM: at least 1GB

If your computer doesn’t meet the above requirements (the hardware section) then chances are you’ll end up in a slow motion mode when playing games on pcsx2. So your best bet is upgrade your computer or buy the real PS2 console instead

Operating Sytem: Windows Vista or above

I’d suggest you to use Windows Vista or above in order to utilize DirectX 10 / 11 from the GSDX Plugin of PCSX2 to get faster speed (in my case i’ve experienced a noticeable boost while playing Final Fantasy XII on PCSX2 in DirectX 10 mode compared to DirectX 9 in Windows XP)

Optional Update for Windows Vista users to get DirectX 11 on Vista

Make sure to upgrade your Vista Installation to SP2 (if you haven’t upgraded from SP1 yet) and also install KB971512 in order to use DirectX 10 function in GSDX option in Windows Vista because of the recent changes made by PCSX2 team

PCSX2 Configuration

PCSX2 Configuration Window

PCSX2 Graphics Plugin

There are 3 Graphics plugin included in my R2830 release, there are GSDX, ZeroGS, and ZzOGL. And i recommend you to use GSDX first and if it’s giving you problem on certain game you are free to switch it to another plugin.

Depending on your processor, if your processor support SSSE3 instruction then choose GSDX SSSE3, if your processor support SSE4.1 then choose it instead. But in my case because my Phenom Quad Core CPU only support SSE2 instruction, then of course i can only choose GSDX SSE2

Note: The easiest way to see what features your cpu has, you can look at the PCSX2 Output Window, for example mine is:

Detected MMX
Detected SSE
Detected SSE2
Detected SSE3
Not Detected SSSE3
Not Detected SSE4.1
Not Detected SSE4.2

That means i can’t use SSSE3, and SSE4.1 version of the GSDX plugin

GSDX Plugin Window

PCSX2 Sound Plugin

There are two options for you to choose, the first one and also the recommended sound plugin is SPU2–X, while the other one is ZeroSPU2. If for example when you play certain game using SPU2–X and get no sound at all or hangs, then try switching to ZeroSPU2 (for example, when i play Wild Arms 5 using SPU2–X as the sound plugin, i can’t get past the menu screen, and after switching to ZeroSPU2, the problem is fixed but of course i tested this on earlier version of SPU2–X so the result might be differ now)

SPU2-X Window

PCSX2 Controller Plugin

Here you can choose between two plugins, Lilypad and SSSXPad (the other two not listed does nothing). And i recommend you to choose Lilypad because of the features (i’m using XBOX 360 Controller both wired and wireless without problem using Lilypad). Here’s what my configuration looks like

Lilypad General Tab

Lilypad Pad 1 Tab

But of course you can always use your keyboard as controller on pcsx2 if you don’t own a joystick, you are free to choose between SSSXPad and Lilypad

PCSX2 CDVD Plugin

There are three options for you to choose in this section, cDVDGigahertz, Linuz ISO CDVD, CDVDolio (the other one not listed does nothing). If you have virtual cd program installed then i recommend you to choose between cDVDGigaherts or CDVDolio (i choose CDVDolio) but if you don’t have virtual cd installed and don’t want to install it then you can use Linuz ISO CDVD Plugin, so you can run iso directly from PCSX2 but of course PCSX2 also offer that feature directly so you can choose between using plugin or directly running iso from pcsx2. Basically if you ask me on how to run iso file on pcsx2 (.nrg, .iso, .bin, .mds), the answer is you can use the PCSX2 SVN Version included in this post (if you don’t want to use ISO Plugin, although i’m not going to ask you why), or if you feel like using PCSX2 0.9.6 then you need to use the linuz iso cdvd plugin that way you can run ps2 games from disk

In my case since i have virtual cd installed, i choose CDVDolio, and here’s what it looks like

CDVDolio

Finally …

GSDX 10 FFXII PCSX2

That’s it basically … and you’re done, try testing ps2 games on pcsx2 straight away and see if you can run it or not. But what if your games run slow? or the games you’re trying to run not running at all? then see below section

PCSX2 CPU Config and Speed Hacks

If you have games that won’t run at all and you’ve tried many possible combination but it still not working, then you can try opening the pcsx2 cpu config dialog and then check MicroVU0 and microVU1

PCSX2 CPU Config

By default PCSX2 Legacy GUI doesn’t enable the MicroVU0 and MicroVU1 so try enabling it first (both of them or choose one of them only) and see whether your game run or not

Note: according to pcsx2 team, MicroVU offer higher compatibility in exchange for speed

If it’s still not running then chances are the game is still not currently supported, but what if it’s run except that the speed is slow? … speed hacks is the solution

PCSX2 Speed Hacks

Because there are no best configuration here (for example it’s good for ABC game but break DEF game) so you’ll need to play around by yourself with the speed hack option

But if you choose to enable MicroVU earlier, then you can try enabling Status Flag Hack for an increased speed when using MicroVU (so far i haven’t noticed any problem on my games, but results might be different because i don’t have all the ps2 games out there in this world)

Also don’t forget there’s Gamefixes option in pcsx2, so if you try to run games and you found problem, check the gamefixes too and see whether your current game problem can be fixed from the gamefixes option. But if you’ve tried everything and it just not working then make a visit to the pcsx2 forums

Cheating on PCSX2

If you love / like cheating on your ps2 games on pcsx2, please check my previous guide about cheating on pcsx2

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