Published on October 8, 2020    Updated on March 20, 2022

How to Play PSP Games on Your Windows PC

The PSP was the biggest breakthrough in handheld consoles back in 2005, and we can relive the glory today, by playing PSP games on PC!

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The PlayStation Portable (abbreviated as PSP) is one of the best handhelds to ever set foot in the gaming industry. And Sony’s Vita flop, made people yearn to the past, a past where the PSP was kicking strong, with some of the best games that even Nintendo couldn’t develop at the time.

This handheld wasn’t an ordinary piece of hardware as it was a system that pushed home console experiences into our own bare hands, without the need to buy an actual console. While the graphics were a tad downgraded compared to its brother, the PlayStation, the PSP managed to produce incredible games such as Final Fantasy Type 0, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Resistance: Retribution, 3rd Birthday and so many other iconical gems.

Hence why today, with this tutorial, you will learn how you can play your favourite PSP games on your PC. The emulator that we will be showcasing this time is PPSSPP. A fine emulator that can run anything you throw at it. The emulator is eventually reaching a perfect state.

Notice: This guide is outdated. It will be edited soon. Thank you.

How to get PPSSPP Emulator

The emulator can be easily obtained from the official website of PPSSPP. Just make sure you install the version that matches with your OS (32bit/64bit) to avoid receiving errors. One thing you will like about PPSSPP is its built-in updater. With this emulator, you are not required to install a new version of the emulator or to download it manually. Once there’s an available update for the emulator, the program will let you know right away.

How to setup PPSSPP

PPSSPP is quite easy to install since it’s a standalone program that doesn’t require an install wizard. Just extract the emulator from the zip file, and you are good to go. Note that you should place the emulator in a folder other than the C/drive, otherwise, you will be prone to some issues such as the emulator not saving your progress, or sudden corrupt in your save files.

Configure the emulator

Controls

First of all, PPSSP isn’t like PCSX2 where you can change your button configuration while in-game.  You’ll have to save then close the game to do that.  To access this feature, on your home screen click on Settings > Control Mapping., and a section will appear like the one specified above. Upon launching the emulator, you’ll notice that the emulator is already configured to run using your keyboard. To change your button mappings to the controller, just click on the one you want to alter. After that, a box will appear in which you’ll have to press the new button.

Load the game

To run a game, you have two options. One, go to file> Load, and the game should boot up afterwards. However, similar to Redream, if you dump your games into a specified folder where the emulator can read it, then congrats, you’ll see your games’ icons on the home screen instead of always using the file-load trick. If games somehow don’t show up, just refresh the emulator, and that should fix it.

Fullscreen

To enter fullscreen, simply press Alt+Enter of F11. If you want to go back just press those buttons again. However, if you’re using a potato PC, you might run into sudden slowdowns that will break the experience for you.

Improving visuals

Picture was taken from Fantasyanime website”

In terms of visuals, the PSP graphics haven’t aged well, but fear not, you can fix them.  With PPSSPP you can increase the render resolution from auto to 2x or 8x depending on your window size and if your GPU can handle it with no lag. To do that, go to game settings> rendering resolution.  If you experience any kind of slowdowns, try to lower your render resolution from 3x to 2x and see how it goes for you. Keep in mind that increasing the render resolution puts heavy work on your graphics card.

Enable/disable frame skipping

Some games on the PSP were designed to run at 30FPS, but with this emulator, you can increase your frame rate to 60fps. Some games may run smoother, but some may break. Anyway, to enable this feature, go to Game settings> Frameskipping> auto/off.

Fixing screen tearing

Sometimes you will stumble across one particular issue which is screen tearing. This is due to disabling Vsync on the emulator. Some games will run fine with that disabled, but the majority won’t. To enable or disable Vsync, go to Game settings > Vsync.

Fast forward feature

Fast forward is the feature that speeds up the game. To access it, press the Tab key. Hold it down and let go until you want the fast-forwarding to end.

How to get ISO

Just like any emulator out there, you need the Roms. Without them, how the hell are you supposed to play your game? There are a handful of safe places where you can get your ROM/ISO from. Unfortunately, we cant tell you where to find the ROMS, you will have to Google it yourself.

How to save/load my game

Being playing for hours and finally wanted to take a rest and call it for a day? but wait, did you remember to save before exiting the game? Don’t do that to yourself!
Saving your progress with PPSSPP emulator is very easy and you have three options. Either use quick commands using your progress by pressing F2 to save, press Esc on your keyboard and save directly from there, or press Esc, go to file on the top of your screen and press save state/load state. It’s that simple.

How to fix PPSSPP issues

When you will use PPSSPP you will be bound to find issues. Either small or big, but you’ll fix them up. Hopefully, this section helps you out.

PPSSPP has stopped working

Upon loading the emulator, or booting a game, you may see an error like this:

Unfortunately PPSSPP Has Stopped

This could be the cause of many things: Either the game you are emulating is demanding for your rig, a corruption on your emulator, or you are using an outdated version of PPSSPP which uses Direct3D11. I had encountered this issue before, and I believe I have the cure for this. See below for further help:

1-Run in compatibility mode set on Windows 7
2-Delete your PPSSPP, and install a new version
3-Make sure your hardware is capable of running the game you are planning to play
4-Make sure your ISO is not corrupted.
5-Lastly, here’s a detailed fix for you in case the game you want to play is still crashing:

*Open PPSSPP, go Options -> Settings -> Graphics -> Backend, and select Direct3D11. (if it crashes, after you do this, switch to Direct3D 9 or switch to OpenGL)
*Go back to Graphics, select Frameskipping, and uncheck Auto Frameskip.
*Check Prevent FPS from exceeding 60.
*Lower your settings, for example, set rendering to 1x resolution in case if you are still encountering problems. Hopefully, this helps you.

Error Code 80110383

You currently have PPSSPP in a read-only location on your computer. You must put PPSSPP to a more common location such as Documents, Downloads, or a folder on your desktop. I also recommend putting it into your D/drive.

The emulator isn’t saving anything

If you encounter this problem, then you also have the issues stated below:

  1. Save states aren’t functioning. You save a state, then when you try to reload it nothing happens after that.
  2. When you save your game at a save point and close/re-open PPSSPP, you find that the save is gone.
  3. Emulator configurations that you changed aren’t saved. When you close/re-open PPSSPP, you have to make those configuration changes again, and again.

The solution? put your PPSSPP in a common folder as I suggested above.

Missing DLL issue

The first time you boot up the emulator, you may an error message about missing DLLs like MSVCR100.dll or MSVCP100.dll. To fix that, go to any DLL download website like DLL-FIles.com and download the missing DLL. You will just need to type the DLL name in the search bar to find the DLL. Once you find the DLL, download its ZIP file, extract it as directed in the above sections, and copy the DLL file from the extracted folder.

After this, go to the following folder path My Computer > C: > Windows > System 32/System and paste the DLL in both the folders and your problem will be resolved.

PPSSPP keeps crashing

This is a rare issue. However, the only fix to this issue is by running the emulator as an admin. If that doesn’t fix the issue, then something else is surely the culprit. It could be because you are running the game on a higher resolution, or it could be also a Windows update that screwed everything up.

Useful tips

Here are some useful tips that you will need when using the emulator:

Capturing Screenshots

Just like any emulator, PPSSPP has the tools that will allow you to capture screenshots. But first, you need to decide how big you want the screenshots to be. PPSSPP will capture screenshots at the exact size you are using. Or if you’re in full-screen mode, it’ll capture screenshots at full resolution. Luckily, You can change the window size by going to Game Settings > Window Size.

To take a screenshot, just press the F12 key on your keyboard. PPSSPP will dump the shot as a JPG format in memstick > PSP > SCREENSHOT. Sadly, PPSSPP doesn’t have any other image format other than JPG. But, you can always use other alternatives to take screenshots. The one we recommend is Lightshot. A fine tool to capture a screenshot at a high resolution, and it’s easy to use as well.

Fast Forward

Fast forward is the feature that speeds up the game. To access it, press the Tab key. Hold it down and let go until you want the fast-forwarding to end.

Cheats

The first time I tried to use cheats on the emulator, nothing worked for me, and so I gave up. However, after digging, I can finally share with everyone how to do it. Although, I have to remind you that not all cheats will work for you, and some are bound to freeze the emulator. So, use it at your own risk. Here’s how to use cheats on PPSSPP:

1-Load PPSSPP and click “Game Settings“.
2-Check “Enable Cheats“. Without this feature enabled, cheats will never work
3-After you do that, Go to PPSSPP folder and navigate memstick, then to PSP.
4-Right click, create a new folder and name it cheats.
5-Open PPSSPP again, and run the game you want, then close it. A file will be created in your cheat folder.
6-Find cheat for the game online
7-Once you do that, open the INI file that was created, and paste the cheat codes in it. ( Make sure to leave space between them)
8-Close and don’t forget to save the INI file!
9-Open PPSSPP again with the game you wanted, and press Esc to pause the game.
10-Click cheats while in-game. Many cheat options will appear. Choose what you want
11-Click Back and continue the game
12-If nothing changes, make sure you picked compatible cheats with your game!

Are there any alternatives to PPSSPP?

There’s nothing similar to PPSSPP in terms of the performance and the features it provides. The aforementioned has proved to be unique, stable, and easy to use. It’s a work of art that almost of everyone who used it cannot recommend it enough. However, if you stumble across any PSP emulator that isn’t the one we talked about, avoid it at all costs, IT’S A SCAM. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Conclusion:

With PPSSPP you have access to a plethora of PSP games that you have certainly missed in the past. It’s easy and reliable to use for anyone who is new to emulation.

That’s it for the guide. Thank you for reading!

FreeckyCake

Just your average gamer who enjoys hunting hidden gems and underrated games - but is still open to any game in the industry if you ask him. His love for Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is like a truck and whenever he meets a new friend, he can't help himself but recommend it to him.

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