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Get started using RPCS3 on your PC
Due to copyright, these files cannot be distributed by us and must be self-dumped from your own PlayStation 3 system. Alternatively you can download the latest PlayStation 3 firmware update file from PlayStation.com if you are legally allowed to do so. Once downloaded, you can install the firmware using RPCS3's built in Firmware Installer found under Tools > Install Firmware. The files will then be installed and then correctly placed in their appropriate directories.
In the rare instance that you may want to manually dump your own encrypted or decrypted firmware files from your own PlayStation 3 system, they must be placed in the following locations:
• .prx files must be placed in: \dev_flash\sys\external\
• .pic files must be placed in: \dev_flash\sys\external\
• .ttf files (Fonts) must be placed in: \dev_flash\data\font\
We are currently working on making module selection automatic, thus making this step completely non-existent in the future. Until then, users must select and enable their modules manually for use with RPCS3. These are the minimum set of modules that must be enabled at all times for games to boot and function as intended.
In some cases, games will need more than just the minimum set of modules enabled to boot. Looking at the log, you can get an idea of what modules you need to enable to run the game properly. If the log outputs something like:
• cellResc TODO: cellRescSetConvertAndFlip(cntxt=*0x270000, idx=0x0)
Then you need to enable libResc.sprx in the 'Load Libraries' list under 'Settings'. While this is true for most modules, notable exceptions are anything with 'sys' in the module name along with libgcm. These modules will most certainly crash the emulator if you try to enable them because the emulation is not yet accurate enough at the moment.
• PlayStation 3 save data files can be managed in: \dev_hdd0\home\00000001\savedata\
• Please note that save data is stored in folders that correspond to your game's region ID.
Again, due to copyright and obvious legal reasons, PlayStation 3 games and software cannot be distributed online and must be self-dumped from your own PlayStation 3 console. Once these games are dumped from your console, they can be in either Package format (.pkg), Blu-Ray Disc format or PlayStation® Network format.
The typical layout of a Blu-ray Disc game's root directory:
• PS3_GAME folder, PS3_DISC.sfb
The typical layout of a PlayStation® Network game's root directory:
• TROPDIR folder, USRDIR folder, ICON0.png, PARAM.sfo, etc
Both Blu-ray and PlayStation® Network games must be placed in a single folder with their respective files and the folder name must correspond to the game's ID. If you are not sure what your dumped game's region ID is, you can find your region ID on the bottom side-edge of your game case. If you are no longer in possession of your game case or your game is a PlayStation® Network game, you can do an internet search for your "Your Game Name Here + Region ID". Please note that it is very important you use the correct region ID.
• For example: BCUS00000 is a USA Blu-ray Disc game
• For example: NPUA00000 is a USA PlayStation® Network game
When working with actual game region IDs, the game's region ID will look something similar to this:
• For example: BCUS98233 is a USA Blu-ray Disc copy of Uncharted 3
• For example: NPUA80472 is a USA PlayStation® Network copy of LittleBigPlanet
• .pkg files must be extracted using RPCS3's built in 'Install PKG' option.
• .pkg files will be automatically installed to: \dev_hdd0\game\
• Blu-ray Disc game data can be placed anywhere and must be booted with 'Boot Game'.
• PlayStation® Network game data must be placed in: \dev_hdd0\game\
• PlayStation® Network .rap files must be placed in: \dev_hdd0\home\00000001\exdata\
Typically, you want to dump your own PlayStation 3 games and software from your own console. We believe that this is the most efficient and safest way to migrate your disc-based games and digital games from your console to your PC. To do this, you will need a PlayStation 3 system with a custom firmware and various software tools that are used to rip/dump games from your system's Blu-ray drive or internal storage.
You can also dump games using select compatible Blu-ray drives. Not every Blu-ray drive will recognize PlayStation 3 games due to how data is formatted on the disc. Here's a compiled list of the known compatible Blu-ray drives that are capable of reading PlayStation game discs:
• ASUS BC-12B1ST
• BENQ BR1000
• Lite-ON DH-401S
• LG BD BH14NS40
• LG BD BH16NS40
• LG BD UH12NS30
• LG BD-RE WH16NS40
• Sony Optiarc BD 5300S
You will need two different tools for dumping PlayStation 3 game discs from a Blu-ray drive:
• PS3 ISO Patcher - By BlackDaemon
• 3k3y ISO Tools - By the 3k3y team
1 - Insert a PlayStation 3 Blu-ray disc game of your choice.
2 - Dump the .iso image using a program like Alcohol 120%.
3 - Use jonnysp.bplaced.net to locate the appropriate .ird file that matches your game.
4 - Be sure to check discID in case of different game editions and the game's firmware version in param.sfo
5 - Open PS3 ISO Patcher and select your dumped .iso file and its appropriate .ird file.
6 - Press Patch to apply the patch to the .iso file.
7 - Open 3k3y ISO Tools and decrypt the .iso file.8 - Your game should now be properly decrypted.
9 - You must now extract your decrypted .iso file for use with RPCS3.
• PPU Interpreter (Precise) and SPU Interpreter (Precise) provide more accurate emulation, but they're slower.
• PPU Interpreter (Fast) and SPU Interpreter (Fast) are faster than their 'Precise' counterparts. They are the most commonly used modes and tend to be a lot faster.
• Both the PPU and SPU recompilers should only be used if the game already runs decently on the PPU and SPU interpreters to gain a boost in performance.
You should always test your games with all the rendering beck-ends (OpenGL, DirectX12, Vulkan) to see in which one gives you the best performance and to see if other back-ends suffer from issues that could be potentially fixed.
Optimal resolutions for testing are 1920x1080 (1080p) and 1280x720 (720p). Not all games will render at 1080p because the real PlayStation 3 doesn't support this resolution on all games. If you run into any issues, try lowering the resolution of the game.
Frame-limit should be set to 'Auto', otherwise some games may surpass their 60FPS target causing issues such as sped-up gameplay. Games are only intended to run up to 60FPS on a real PlayStation 3.
D3D Adapter should be set to your current GPU and is only required when using D3D12 (DirectX 12).
Read / Write and Color / Depth buffers should be disabled for now as they're not working properly with any of the rendering back-ends. These buffers are only required for bigger AAA games which don't run yet.
Audio implementation isn't really a priority for now, so it only has basic implementations. RPCS3 currently supports OpenAL and XAudio2. XAudio2 should always be used on Windows for proper audio playback.
If you run into any issues with either audio back-ends, set the output to 'Null'. This will disable all audio for the emulator.
That's cool, we're all open ears. Feel free to join our Discord server where you can interact with developers and contributors by asking questions, submitting feedback and even posting screenshots of your findings. Any feedback is greatly appreciated and we hope to see PlayStation 3 emulation hit the mainstream really soon.