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


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


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


Finally …


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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54 comments on “How to Configure PCSX2 (PS2 Emulator)

  1. I’m having a problem loading iso image.everytime I go to file load iso image and highlight the iso,it keeps saying GetElfName:SYSTEM.CNF;invalid cd image or no disk present.I have tried a few forums and I just can’t figure out what’s going on please help any help is appreciated Thank You

  2. what is bios?how can i make my ps2 game run on my dell inspiron laptop.i inserted my ps2 game and try to use pcxs2 emulator then i follow your instructions and click next then it says plz select a bios rom and by clicking on browse button i locate my ps2 dvd which is in drive d. but nothing happens, what to do? please help me. .

  3. hey when i go to run ps2 emulator. that time i m getting one error. it said that bios file not found. plz tell me its meaning and also tell me its solution..
    plz mail me on my email id
    [email protected]

  4. i am currently running win 7 in my laptop.i have intel corei3 cpu .i have 2 gb of ram and 512 mb ati mobility radeon hd 4550 graphics. iconfigured the pcsx2 in the right way and whenever i try to run the game “cod:world at war” the emulator runs it at the first phase but after the cutscenes when it reaches to the loading of the first mission ,the emulator stops working correctly n it fades away.evrytime it happens when the loading of the 1st mission takes stops working and it returns to desktop n the programme then ends.can u pls tell me why its happening like this. pls help

  5. my ps2 emulator will start up but then crash after you get pass the intro screen then when it suppose to go into the screen where you have memory card and setting on the ps2 irl and it crashes and says window will find a solution and never dose

  6. hey when i try to play persona 4 on legacy GUI it will always show up but it will not be responding. Is there any way to fix this?

  7. dude…
    i play genji and got 50-57fps (85%)
    how can i increase performance…??
    i have used all speedhack but doesnt make any efect..

  8. I have a problem. I done everything as you said, and I started the game(Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus). For graphics I use ZeroGS 0.97.1 because when I use GSdx the game is flashing. All other options on conf. are same. The problem I am having is that when the game starts it is in slow-motion. I tried with diferent sound conf. and i disabled evertything I could find that could slow down things. But it is still in slow-motion, and when the animation is over and when it is time to play, not only that it is in slow-mo. but there are colour squares everywhere.

  9. hi there is a new problem that i cannot run some games like downhill smackdown pain

    Altough other games simply run but their speed becomes slow while playing

    what should i do?

  10. man you are the best

    After going thoroughly through your site I tried running Pcsx2 SVN Compile(new gui) and it worked but there is a problem that I can play games through cd rom and not through virtual cd rom and iso images. how do i fix it?

    1. Hello Anshuman, first of all i’m really sorry for late reply because i didn’t notice there is a new comment posted here :)

      Anyway, i just tested it and i can load iso images fine. Btw if you want to load iso images in new gui (based from your description it seems you’re running the new gui), so all you have to do is just choose your iso image by clicking CDVD -> ISO Selector -> Browse and make sure that the ISO option in CDVD is checked. And you’re done

  11. hi
    my computer works on windows xp sp 2 its configurations are

    intel pentium dual core
    CPU [email protected]
    ram 2.99 GB
    graphics card inbuild 256Mb

    And if please send version of bios and recommended settings on my id or give reply to this post

  12. Please can somebody help send me a manual on how to configure and use PS2 EMULATOR, and a download link of PS2 EMULATOR (my email’s: [email protected]). Pls, i’ud be very grateful if i shud get it. Thanks

  13. I am playing smackdown vs. raw 2010. But many times the game hangs while loading. Why?? and how i can run ISO images from PS2 cd/dvd?

    1. Hello Safar, first of all i’m sorry for late reply because i didn’t notice there’s a new comment posted here. Btw which PCSX2 version you’re using? is it the SVN Version or the official release version?

      As for loading ISO on PCSX2 you can do so by choosing File -> Run ISO Image … and done ;)

    1. You’re free to use CD/DVD directly if you want, but if you want best performance i’d suggest using ISO Images :)

  14. I am running Pcsx2 SVN Compile. the speed’s right but the sound’s not. it always comes out haphazardly and so i can’t understand properly. I hope u understood what i meant and what’s the solution??

    1. Have you tried using different sound plugins? if you’ve tried that, perhaps that game isn’t supported yet

    1. Thank you very much Victor, btw actually credits should be given to PCSX2 devs :)

    2. hey guys i try playing dragon quest 8 everything ok but when i start playing they talk slow and the game goes slow can u help ??

  15. Hey nice to see someone doing fresh compiles of the pcsx2 do you have a site where you post compiles of this it would be nice to see fresh updated compiles more often guess ill be bookmarking this page ^_^

    1. I’m glad to hear that someone actually like it, but well actually this is my site (or blog if you prefer to call it that way) so if i got an idea about new post or something it’ll be posted on this site lol :) , and as a thanks for your comment, i’ll post an updated compile tomorrow and it will be posted on a separate page to make it easier to find and not cluttered ^_^ (in case someone else also interested, and to make updating much easier) ;)

  16. I have this error when trying to run a game
    Error loading xxx . then Error Opening CDVD Plugin. How do i fix this ? thx