The success of the PS2 was incentive enough to push Sony to capitalize on that achievement by bringing to the world the PlayStation 3. And while the PS3 may have had a rough start to the point where many began assuming the Xbox 360 may have won the console war, Sony managed to break free from those dark times.
The PlayStation 3, to this day, is still a wonderful console, full of extraordinary titles that are still being discussed. The console’s library of games is vast, and people are still discovering gems they may have missed on. Thankfully, for those who had their console stop functioning, or those who are still discovering the console, an emulator called RPCS3 will help you play your games on PC.
Today, we take a look at how you can play PS3 games on PC using the RPCS3 emulator. I hope it helps anyone struggling with the software.
Notice: I try to update each emulator guide regularly so that it’s as accurate, helpful and fun to read as possible.
RPCS3 is an open-source emulator capable of running PS3 games on PC, Mac and Linux. The project was initially started in early 2011 by a small team of dedicated programmers led by DH and Hykem. The emulator was first able to successfully boot and run simple homebrew projects and was then later publicly released in June of 2012.
RPCS3 is safe to download and use. It won’t inflict any harm on your computer as long as you get it from the official website.
Yes. RPCS3 is one extremely demanding emulator that will require a powerful PC to perform decently. Of course, even if you have the best hardware out there, you may face some slight frame drops when emulating heavily demanding titles like God of War III, Uncharted and The Last of Us. However, since RPCS3 is always up to date, these hurdles will slowly evaporate.
Here are both the recommended and minimum requirements to run RPCS3 according to the official website:
As you can see from the picture above, you’ll definitely need a powerful rig. Forget about low-end computers with Intel HD graphics because that won’t do.
To download RPCS3, head over to the official website right here and click on the download tab. Upon clicking, it will send you to the download screen. It should look like this:
RPCS3 supports a variety of operating systems including Windows, Linux and macOS. For the purpose of this guide, I’m using a Windows OS, so I’ll pick the Windows Download tab on the left. Once you click that, your download will start. Just make sure to create a folder and name it “RPCS3” so that it’s easier for you to find it. Bear in mind that RPCS3 is downloaded as a Winrar/7-zip file, so make sure to extract it in your desired folder.
This is what you’ll see once you’ve extracted your RPCS3 downloaded file. From here, keep going and double-click on the rpcs3 icon.
The RPCS3 developers made setting up the emulator a piece of cake. It will only take you a few minutes until you’re fully familiar with it. Check below for the full explanation of how to set up your RPCS3 emulator.
In order for RPCS3 to fully function, you’ll need to have the official PlayStation 3 Firmware downloaded and installed on the emulator. You can download it from the official PlayStation website by going here. Once you’ve downloaded it, head to the folder where you’ve extracted your RPCS3, and create a new folder. Name it ” Firmware ” and put the file inside. For clarification, it should be like this:
Bear in mind that this update is completely safe. Just ignore your browser if it detects it as unsafe. That’s a false positive.
Now open your RPCS3 emulator, and follow these simple steps:
RPCS3 supports several controllers to play with, but the best thing about the program is that you don’t even need to map your controller in the first place. RPCS3 does that for you. Check below on how to play your games using a controller on RPCS3.
I’m using a third-party Xbox controller (Logitech F310), so RPCS3 mapped the inputs automatically the moment I put XInput as the main handler. As you can see, the emulator supports a range of controllers such as DualShock 3, DualShock 4, DualSense and even a Keyboard and Mouse. In case you don’t know what do these handlers mean, please check below:
Hopefully, the image above has helped you learn what are the officially supported controllers by RPCS3. But what if you’re using an unsupported controller? Say you’re using a Nintendo Switch Pro, or Steam controller, how will you go about it? Do not worry, these controllers will work if you follow some of the guides online.
Similar to Cemu, you can play your PS3 games using your keyboard and mouse in case you’re much comfortable with those. As a rule of thumb, not every game on PS3 is meant to be played using KB+M as these games were originally made to be played with a PS3 controller. If you’re still determined to play using this method, follow this guide:
Access your controller settings just as you did when wanting to configure a controller, but instead, this time, pick Keyboard as the handler. Of course, the moment you do this RPCS3 will configure everything for you except the mouse. You’ll have to map the right stick as your mouse. Please check the steps below:
Left-click with the mouse, hold and drag to your desired destination. However, as I said previously, PS3 games were not meant to be played with a mouse and keyboard, so you will definitely notice that the movement is slow. Luckily, that’s not an issue. You can tinker with the mouse acceleration until you’re satisfied with your movement speed. Be aware that this is only recommended for first-person and third-person titles. Do not forget to save your profile by heading over to ” Add Profile ” as shown above. Like that, you can always bounce back and forth between your favourite controls.
Once again, similar to Cemu, your games won’t show up on the emulator until you add them. I’ll be adding Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom to RPCS3, so watch my steps down below:
Open your Emulator ☛ File ☛ Add Game ☛ Browse to where your game’s folder is located and click open.
Once you do this, RPCS3 will start uploading your game. It will take a couple of seconds depending on your hardware. Do not panic if your CPU fan blasts off like a mad PS4, nothing bad will happen. RPCS3 is only installing your game. Another situation when you have a game with a DLC is you can pick the entire folder with the base game and DLC. RPCS3 will install both and you’ll be ready to go.
The process of booting your games on RPCS3 is easy as well and isn’t much difficult to figure out. However, in case you don’t know-how. Check the picture below:
Upon booting your game, RPCS3 will install the essential files. Depending on the game, the process may take up to 1 minute to have everything up and ready.
Every newcomer to the emulation scene should get used to regularly checking the compatibility list of any game they are about to emulate via the wiki page. You’re bound to stumble across a game that suffers from issues – either major or minor, the compatibility wiki exists to help you fix up those problems. To access the compatibility list, head over to the RPCS3 website ☛ Compatibility ☛ search for the game you want. The image above shows the RPCS3 wiki which doesn’t only include fixes, but also guides and other information about RPCS3.
Let’s say I’m about to boot Lollipop Chainsaw, but I’m worried the game may suffer from issues I’m not aware of. You will simply access the compatibility list, and it will show you the settings you need to enable or disable in order to have the best experience.
As you can see above in the mentioned picture, there are plenty of playable games that can be played from start to finish and in-game ones that sadly can’t be finished. As I said above, you’re better off checking this wiki before picking up any game from your collection.
Every emulator out there grants you the ability to upscale and improve the image resolution. With RPCS3 you can make your games look better than the real thing. All you have to do is enable the AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) option on RPCS3, increase the resolution and tinker with the Anti-Aliasing settings located in the GPU tab.
Once again, similar to CEMU, you can download game patches of your PlayStation 3 games using RPCS3. These patches alter how the game looks and performs. You can make a game that originally ran at 30FPS to run at 60FPS and several tricks. Please follow the steps below to learn how to access game patches.
In case you don’t like the default GUI of RPCS3 you can always change it anytime you want. Changing the look of your is easy. See the demonstration below:
Choose whichever look that has picked your interest and hit apply then save. That’s it.
The further you progress into your game, you’ll end up unlocking what’s called Achievements. Similar to Retroarch, you can view these achievements at any time. These happen locally and aren’t tied to the PSN store at all.
To Access your Achievements, Head over to RPCS3 ☛ Manage ☛ Trophies.
This marks the end of this article. Thank you for reading.
I'm just your average gamer who enjoys hunting hidden gems and underrated games. My love for Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is like a truck and I recommend that you play it.
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