Hack PS Vita (Firmware 3.18 or lower) To Play PSP Games

Hack Your Ps Vita Main

If you have a PS Vita and had a PSP before, then you might be wondering why some of the PSP games you have are simply not available on the PSN Vita store. In fact, there are tons of Vita owners out there that would like to play those games on their Vitas and fully take advantage of what this great console has to offer.

This is exactly why so many Vita users out there look into the hacking scene, since it allows you to turn your PS Vita into a really open, versatile gaming machine. If you are interested in hacking your PS Vita and are new to all of this, then check out this entry beforehand for everything you need to know about hacking your PS Vita.

In this tutorial in particular, we’ll take you through the process of hacking your PS Vita to make it run a PSP emulator running custom firmware, which in turn will allow you to play PSP ISOs (Game Backups). This is only the first step into really opening up your PS Vita, since there is much, much more that we will cover in further entries.

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Ready? Okay, here’s what you’ll need:

  • A PS Vita running OFW (official firmware) 3.18 or lower
  • qCMA – an app for transferring data between your computer and your PS Vita without requiring an internet connection (available for both Mac and Windows)
  • For this tutorial we will use the latest exploit game for OFW 3.18 in the U.S. Gladiator Begins ($7.99). You need to have bought this PSP game on your account and have it installed on your PS Vita.  Here is a list with all the exploit games so far and their required OFW to run the hack.
  • Exploit SAVE files for your region (links: U.S. ,Europe)
  • PSP update file (direct link)

Exploit Games

Exploit games are revealed to the public by the hacking scene. Once this occurs, Vita users have a sort of ‘window’ to buy the game and install it on their Vitas before Sony takes the game down from the store. This window is usually about 48 hours. In this case though, more than a week has passed and the game is still up on the store. So Vita users are even now able to get them.

But even if you miss this chance, keep an eye on the topic for the next few months, and the moment another exploit game is revealed, the following instructions will apply exactly.

On Your Computer

Important Note: While this tutorial was created on a Mac, the instructions still apply if you have a Windows PC.

Step 1: There are three (3) files that you have to download from the description above. Make sure to download them and place them in a separate folder for organizational purposes.

Step 2: Let’s start with the exploit files for your region. In the case of users with U.S. accounts, it should look something like the screens below. Make sure you unzip the file to access its contents.

Gladiator Begins Save File Us Download
Gladiator Begins Save File Zipped

Once you unzip the file, you will see that it contains a folder (named something like ‘ULUS10528SAVE00’) with seven files inside. Leave that folder open for now and proceed to the next step.

Gladiator Begins Save File Opened

Step 3: Now the PSP update file. When you download it, it comes with the name ‘EBOOT.PBP’

What you need to do is rename it, changing the ‘EBOOT’ part to ‘660’ just as shown in the image below. In the end, the file should be named ‘660.PBP’ (everything in caps).

Eboot To 660 Pbp

Important Note: Make sure your computer displays file extensions. Otherwise you won’t be able to see the ‘PBP’ part, which also needs to be written in caps.

Step 4: Now move this renamed file into the folder you left open previously. It should now have eight (8) files in total as shown below.

Gladiator Begins Save File Pbp Added

Step 5: With that done, open the qCMA app you downloaded just a few minutes ago. This app works just like the official CMA app from Sony, except that qCMA lets you transfer files and backups between your PS Vita and your computer without performing any checks or verifications with Sony’s servers through the internet. It’s a very convenient app to have and I personally prefer it to Sony’s offering.

The setup and pairing of the app with your PS Vita is very simple and shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. This app not only lets you backup files, but also shows you the paths to them in your computer.

Lesson Time: In order to hack your PS Vita, you will need to ‘seed’ a new SAVE data file into it. This is the file you downloaded (the hack itself) and added the ‘660.PBP’ file to. This new SAVE file needs a game to be launched of course, which in this case is Gladiator Begins.

See how everything starts to make sense now?

Step 6: Now in your computer, you have to head to where qCMA stores all the SAVE files for PSP games. The path to that folder should look something like the screenshot below.

Vita Path To Save Files

The folder containing all of them should be named with a bunch of numbers and letters.

Cool Tip: To easily find out where the PSP SAVE files are located on your computer, first, backup a SAVE from any PSP game to your computer using qCMA. Then open qCMA and open the Backup Manager window from the menu bar. On that window select PSP Savedatas and then click the Open Folder button.

Once the folder opens, head back one level and you’ll see all the SAVE files from PSP games there.

Backup Manager
Psp Savedatas
Q Cma Open Folder

With that folder open, copy the exploit folder you just modified (perhaps named ‘ULUS10528SAVE00’ and containing now 8 items including 660.PBP) into it.

In the end, that exploit folder should be along with all other PSP saves just as shown in the screenshots below. Close the folder and also close qCMA (in case you still have it open).

Save File Before
Save File After

This is the last step that will take place on your computer. Now go grab your PS Vita.

On Your PS Vita

Before you start, plug your PS Vita into your computer using its USB cable. You can also do this via Wi-Fi, but using a cable is faster and more secure, so I prefer that option for this process. Once you plug in your Vita, open qCMA on your computer.

Step 7: Now on your PS Vita open Content Manager. On the next screen, under Copy Content, select PC > PS Vita System.

Ps Vita Content Manager
Ps Vita Content Manager Pc To Ps Vita

Next, select Applications, and on the following screen scroll all the way down and under Saved Data select PSP/Other.

Ps Vita Content Manager Applications
Ps Vita Content Manager Save Data

On the next screen now select the save data for Gladiator Begins then tap the Copy button to copy the SAVE file to your PS Vita.

Ps Vita Content Manager Copy Save Data

Step 8: Now, exit the Content Manager on your Vita and start the Gladiator Begins game.

Ps Vita Start Exploit Game

Once it starts, select LOAD GAME and load the save file.

Ps Vita Exploit Game Load Save

On the following screen, press and hold the ‘R’ button on your Vita (this is required only this first time and it is VERY important. Make sure you don’t release the ‘R’ button until we tell you).

Then, from the available options choose Item Box (while still pressing the ‘R’ button) and the exploit will trigger.

Ps Vita Trigger Exploit

The screen on your PS Vita will flash green and then you will be taken to the exploit Recovery Menu as shown below. It is now safe to release the ‘R’ button.

Ps Vita Tn V Recovery Menu

Step 9: There, select Advanced and then on the following screen select Install 6.60 files.

Ps Vita Tn V Recovery Menu Install

After the installation is done, exit the Recovery Menu and the PSP emulator will be ready for you to set up and start using.

Ps Vita Hacked

Congratulations. You now have a fully unlocked PSP working on your PS Vita!!

And that’s about it for this tutorial, make sure to browse the rest of the site for more tutorials on how to use your hacked PS Vita, including entries on how to install and run games and other emulators on it. As we mentioned before, this is just the first step into opening up your PS Vita to a lot more, which we will cover in further entries.

PSP and PS Vita Image by: Sergey Galyonkin

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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