As a Vita owner, one of the aspects that makes this console great is the potential it holds for those willing to hack it. In fact, doing so can turn your PS Vita into a vast array of consoles, all of which you can carry with you in once device.
This time, we’ll guide you through the process of installing emulators on your Vita for consoles from past generations, like for Nintendo consoles, and how to use your PS Vita to run even more custom emulator firmware (TN-V).
Let’s get started.
On Your Computer
Get Your Emulator Ready
Now, there’s something that you need to be aware of before you install emulators. There are two ways to hack the PS Vita (using VHBL or TN-V, which is much better), each allows you to run different kinds of custom firmware. Because of this, you might find that emulators and other homebrew apps are packed differently – some just as standalone apps and others nested within several folders.
Follow these steps to get the emulator you want ready for your PS Vita.
Step 1: First, no matter in which compressed or packaged format you download the emulator or app you want, make sure to unzip it (uncompress it) until you find a folder with the emulator’s name.
Once you do, open the folder. Inside you should find several files. One of them should be named ‘EBOOT.PBP’. This is the installer file for the emulator that can be read by your PS Vita. Inside the folder there should also be another folder named ‘ROMS’ (this is where the actual games will go), if there isn’t one, just create it.
Step 2: Now delete everything else outside the folder where the EBOOT.PBP is. You won’t be needing that. Then save the folder somewhere else for now.
Step 3: Now you need to create two more folders, both with their names in caps. First create one named PSP. Then, inside that folder, create another one named ‘GAME’.
Now that both folders have been created, take the folder where your emulator is located and copy it there.
Here’s a screenshot of how everything should look once you are done.
Now that you’ve seen how to do this, here’s a cool tip: you can actually place not just one, but any number of emulators you want inside the GAME folder following the instructions outlined above.
Step 3: Once you are done placing the emulators you want inside the GAME folder, you can start looking for game Roms on the web. Once you have your games’ backups, make sure to place them in the ROMS folder within their corresponding emulators.
Important Note: To use emulators on your PS Vita you need game backups in the form of Rom files (which you can search for in Google). Be warned though, these and any other emulators out there exist for game owners to be able to play backups of games they own and not to foster piracy, which is illegal.
Step 4: Now, with everything ready, head back up to the ‘PSP’ folder and turn it into a ‘ZIP’ file. There’s a catch though: Make sure not to compress the new ZIP file. There are a variety of tools available for Windows users that can create ZIP files without compression. On the Mac though, the only one I found is Keka. It’s free and does the job well enough.
Once you create a new ZIP file from the PSP folder, rename that ZIP file with a name that is no longer than eight (8) characters and all in caps, including the extension (in my case I named the file ‘PSPSTF.ZIP’).
Cool Tip: In some cases, naming the zip file ‘INSTALL.ZIP’ has proven to work better.
Step 5: With your ZIP file ready, head to the Save data folder that you’ve used before (the one with the 660.PBP file in it. Check our detailed tutorial on how to easily hack your PS Vita if you need help locating it) and then place the newly-created zip file into that folder.
Transfer To Your PS Vita
Step 6: Now close that folder, open the qCMA app and then transfer the Save data file to your hacked PS Vita. If you have a hacked PS Vita, you should already be familiar with both the qCMA app and with the process of transferring the Save data file to it. If you need a reminder though, read the entry linked just above, where the process is clearly explained.
Once the transfer is complete, on your PS Vita start the PSP emulator using the exploit game.
On Your PS Vita
Step 7: On the XMB on your PS Vita, under the Game section, you will now see the emulator you just transferred. If you transferred more than one, then only a random emulator will show up. What you have to do to get them all to show up and have them copied to your memory card (a lot better than just playing from the Save file itself) is just press the triangle button while you have the emulator selected and then select the Install option.
This will install ALL of the emulators directly onto your Vita’s memory card.
Once installed, your Vita will prompt you to delete the emulator file. Go ahead and do so.
Step 8: Now, when you head to the Game section in the XMB on your Vita you will notice that the emulators are nowhere to be seen. To make them show up for good, on your Vita press the Select button to bring up the VSH Menu. There, select Restart VSH.
This will restart the PSP emulator and refresh all of its files, making the emulators you just installed visible and ready to use.
There you go. Enjoy your retro gaming! And keep an eye on GuidingTech for more useful tutorials on how to make the most out of your hacked PS Vita.