- Q - What PSP models are hackable and how?
A - Every PSP model is hackable assuming it's firmware is at or below a certain version (look at the chart at the top).
- Q - Wait that's totally different than all the other info I've read.
A - The 6.x hacks work on every single model, unlike the old 5.x hacks. The below questions cover that in more detail.
- Q - Some things refer to PSP revisions by motherboard model, others refer to them by generations... what matches what?
A - The below table is given by Yoti, who maintains PSPIdent.
- Q - I've heard about "fully-hackable" and "semi-hackable" PSPs, what's what?
A - Any PSP model TA-088v3 and above (with TA-090 v1 being an exception) has a "semi-hackable" motherboard. All the earlier ones have a "fully-hackable" motherboard.
- Q - What's the difference between "fully-hackable" and "semi-hackable"?
A - Back in the old 5.x custom firmware days the hacks could only be permanently installed on the older PSP models (the 1000's and earlier 2000 models), the later models needed to use a less-capable temporary version that only worked on software 5.03 (and as the later models couldn't use pandora to downgrade, anything above 5.03 that was a newer model couldn't do anything). Things have changed now, though.
- Q - What's the difference now?
A - With the new 6.x hacks every PSP model can be hacked on more recent firmwares, and there's two types of permanent hack. One is the cIPL permanent method used on the 6.60 firmware, this method is the same type as the old 5.x method so it only works on the earlier models (1000 and earlier 2000). The second type is the vshmain.prx patch, and it works on any PSP, but only if it's on 6.20 or below.
- Q - Temporary or permanent hack, what's the difference now?
- Permanent hacks are always-on by default.
- Temporary hacks have the same functionality as permanent, but you need to re-run a hack file after each time you shut down the system fully (sleep mode is okay).
- Q - So is there still any advantage to getting an earlier model?
A - Yes, later models (TA-088v3 and above with TA-090 v1 being an exception) cannot use Pandora. Since the earlier models can, they can be unbricked/restored/recovered. Since the later models have no current public way of booting into service mode, if you manage to brick a later PSP (such as a 3000 or a Go) there's no way for you to fix it.
- Q - Is there a way to downgrade a PSP's firmware?
A - There are sometimes ways to downgrade via software hacks (and the models this works on changes over time, so ask), but if your PSP firmware version is too high you will need pandora to downgrade, check the pandora guide.
- Q - How far can I downgrade?
A - You can't normally downgrade to a firmware lower than the PSP originally had (what it came with out of the box). Some specific workarounds for this issue have been found with certain models and software versions, but in general don't try to go too low unless you know what you're doing.
- Q - I don't remember what software my PSP came with...
A - You can check the system software article to see when certain software versions were released, and see what software was the latest when you got your PSP to try to make a guess.
Configuring Custom Firmware.
- Q - How do I change the hack settings and such?
A - The "recovery menu" is where you access all sorts of settings. To get to this menu you can either hold R on startup, or press Select at the main PSP menu screen to access the VSH menu and then go to the option for the recovery menu.
- Q - So games just run off the memory card?
A - Yes.
- Q - What kind of memory card do I need?
A - For the PSP 1000/2000/3000/E1000, Memory Stick Pro Duo is recommended. The Go uses M2 (and has it's own internal storage). You may have bad luck with MicroSD adapters.
- Q - Do I need a memory card reader?
A - No, the PSP itself will connect to the computer through a USB cable with the appropriate ends (generic USB-Mini for the 1000/2000/3000/E1000, and a special one for the Go). If it doesn't automatically connect when you plug it in (there's a setting for that) you can go to the very left-hand menu and there's the USB connection option.
- Q - Can I run games/homebrew off the internal storage of the Go?
A - Yes.
- Q - How do I make my own backups?
A - You can press Select on the main menu to get to the VSH menu, from there you can change "USB Device" to "UMD Disc". If you are on a CFW without that option in the VSH menu, you may need to boot the recovery menu (hold R while starting up the PSP from cold boot) to get to it. After changing the setting, when you connect your PSP to your PC what you'll see is the UMD drive, and you can make an ISO of that *the direct ISO may need patching before it will run on some firmwares and this is generally accomplished with Takka's ISO Tool). When you're done ripping the ISO make sure to go back into the VSH menu and change the "USB Device" back to "Memory Stick".
- Q - How do I run game backups?
A - PSP games will be either .ISO or .CSO, just place all of those in the /ISO/ folder on your memory stick or Go's storage (do NOT put them in sub-folders, the PSP will not recognize that natively). Then they'll show up in the Games - Memory Stick menu.
- Q - Will any version of the game I get work?
A - Not really. It's easy to find versions of games that have been "ripped" or modified one way or another for the various types of PSP hacks (such as pre-patches for 5.x users and signing for OFW users). If you're on a recent custom firmware it's generally recommended to run "untouched" or "clean" ISOs, as ones that have been modified before even making it to your PSP may not run properly.
- Q - How do I run homebrew?
A - Homebrew will be named EBOOT.PBP and should be inside their own folder in /PSP/GAME/ like so.
/PSP/GAME/(homebrew name here)/EBOOT.PBP
/PSP/GAME/Youtube Something 1.1 RTA/EBOOT.PBP
/PSP/GAME/Random Porn Game v28/EBOOT.PBP
You run them from the Games - Memory Stick menu.
- Q - How do I run signed homebrew on a non-hacked PSP?
A - The same way you run homebrew on a hacked PSP.
- Q - I found a cheap memory stick on ebay (or some other auction site), should I go for it?
A - No. Reseller sites and chinese sites are full of fakes and slow cards. Do yourself a favor and buy a real card from a real store. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Q - What's the difference between .ISO and .CSO?
A - .ISO is a normal game, .CSO is a Compressed ISO. You can use a tool such as CISO+ to convert back and forth. Compressing the games makes them take up less space, but they may take longer to load (or cutscenes may stutter), it depends on the compression level chosen when making them (there's 9 levels) and if the audio/video was compressed or not.
- Q - Is there any way to speed up loading times?
A - CSOs are compressed and may load slower than ISOs, so converting a CSO back to ISO may make it load faster. In addition some CFWs (such as the PRO and M33 series) have a "memory stick speedup" option that can greatly decrease load times for ISOs and homebrew.
- Q - Can I play any PS1/PSX games?
A - Yes. Check this guide to see how to turn any PS1/PSX game into a usable format for the PSP. PS1/PSX games are run through a system referred to as POPS, for future reference.
- Q - Can I play online or access the PSN?
A - Yes, it's possible to access the PSN on certain custom firmwares.
- Q - What's a plugin and how do I use it?
A - A plugin is a .PRX file that adds additional functionality to your PSP. They can cheat, take screenshots, save/load state, stream video, remap your controls, and lots more. A plugin's installation instructions usually require you to place it's PRX file into your /seplugins/ folder, and to modify one or more of the text files in that folder. There's three text files, one for VSH, one for GAME, and one for POPS. You edit whichever file for the section you want the plugins to work under, like this.
The first line is for the joysens.prx plugin, and the 1 indicates it's enabled. The second line is for the RemoteJoyLite.prx plugin, and the 0 means it's disabled.
- Q - When will plugins be activated?
A - A plugin will be activated the next time it's section (VSH/GAME/POPS) starts.
- Q - What are VSH, GAME, and POPS?
A - VSH refers to the PSP's native OS/Menus. GAME refers to PSP games (and hombrew). POPS refers to PS1/PSX games.
- Q - A plugin isn't working for me on a 6.x firmware, what do I do?
A - Things changed between 5.x and 6.x, so some plugins needed to be updated, make sure you're using the latest version.
- Q - Can I enable/disable plugins without having to hook up to a PC and edit that file each time?
A - On the home screen press Select to get to the VSH menu, and enter the recovery menu from there. There's a section in the recovery menu to toggle the individual plugins.
If, however, your PSP won't boot properly and you have a perm hack installed, you can shut the PSP fully down (hold the on/off switch until it cuts off), then turn it back on and immediately hold the R trigger to access the recovery menu.
- Q - Where can I get plugins?
A - http://zx-psp.blogspot.com/