Guide to the installation and configuration of RPCS3, the PlayStation 3 emulator

Given the large following of our guides to Nintendo emulators CEMU, Yuzu and Ryujinx, it's time to dedicate one to RPCS3.

RPCS3 is able to run PlayStation 3 games directly on your PC by emulating the Sony console. Remember that emulators are perfectly legal software, of course, as long as you don't download pirated games.

In this guide we will describe how to install and configure it to fully enjoy any title you intend to play.

DISCLAIMER - assumes no responsibility in case of non-compliant use of this guide. Emulators are fully legitimate only if the end user physically owns the game from which he can get the files needed for emulation.

Before moving on to the various phases, below are the minimum and recommended requirements to use the software:

Minimum requirements (poor performance)

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit or newer / Linux 64-bit
  • CPU: any 64-bit processor (32-bit is not supported)
  • GPU: any graphics card compatible with OpenGL 4.3 or better
  • RAM: 4 GB

Recommended requirements (excellent performance)

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit or newer / Linux 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel with 4-6 cores (Haswell or better) / AMD 6-8 cores (Ryzen only)
  • GPU: AMD or recent NVIDIA compatible with Vulkan
  • RAM: 8 GB

Important premises:

  • It is highly recommended to have a PC compatible controller in order to comfortably use all key combinations in games.
  • The guide was written based on Windows 10, so the settings names or some steps may differ for other operating systems.

1 - Download the latest drivers for your graphics card

First, make sure you have installed the latest updates available for your graphics card.

NVIDIA: by clicking on this link or through the GeForce Experience application.

AMD: by clicking on this link or through the Auto-Detect Tool application (downloadable from the same address).

2 - Download and installation of RPCS3 and necessary software

To download RPCS3, click on the following link: Download RPCS3.

Immediately after that, download the latest firmware released for PlayStation 3. You can do so at the following link: PS3 Firmware Download.

Furthermore, if you are using Windows, you must download Visual C ++ 2019 Redistributable from the following address (the download will start automatically): Download VC Redist.

Once you have downloaded all the necessary files, install the VC_redist.x64 file and, when finished, restart your PC as required.

Now unzip the compressed folder of RPCS3, open it and click on the executable with the “3” icon to start the application. Check the “Don't show me again” item to skip the pop-up at the next start.

On the RPCS3 home screen, select File → Install Firmware and select the .PUP file downloaded from the PlayStation portal. Proceed and wait for the completion of the installation bar and the Compiling PPU modules.

3 - Configuration of RPCS3

Now we can proceed with the detailed configuration of the emulator. On the RPCS3 home screen, click on the Config icon to access the various settings. Then go to change the following options:

"CPU" tab

  • Under PPU Decoder and SPU Decoder, select Recompiler (LLVM).
  • In Additional Settings:
    • Enable thread scheduler: check only if you have an AMD Ryzen CPU.
    • Lower SPU thread priority: tick only if you have slower Intel CPUs like i3 and i5. On i7 or Ryzen it may degrade performance.
    • Enable SPU loop detection: checked.
    • SPU Cache: checked.
    • Accurate xfloat: unchecked.
  • If your CPU supports it, enable TSX Instructions; otherwise it is not possible to change the option.
  • SPU Block Size: Select Safe.
  • Preferred SPU Threads: select the value 2. In case of poor performance in some game, you can try to set it to Auto and see if the situation improves.

"GPU" card

  • Select Vulkan under Renderer. Alternatively, if the performance is not satisfactory in any title, you can try OpenGL.
  • Select the 16x value in the Anisotropic Filter.
  • It is important that the resolution remains at 1280 × 720. Raising it to higher values ​​often causes games to crash. What you need to change, however, is the Resolution Scale, increasing it to the actual resolution of your screen. A full HD, for example, requires the setting set to 150%.
  • In Additional Settings:
    • Write Color Buffers: Check only if the game has out of phase and unnatural colors.
    • Multithreaded RSX: can improve performance if you have a CPU with at least 6 cores. Our advice is to check the fluidity of the games both by activating and deactivating it, then deciding which is the best choice.

Audio card"

Make sure you select the correct audio channel in the first item. Unless you are using a 5.1 or 7.1 device, keep Downmix to Stereo.

Note: in case of audio not perfectly synchronized in games, you can try unchecking Enable Buffering to see if the situation improves.

"I / O" tab

If you have titles that natively support the keyboard, select Keyboard Handler → Basic. If not, don't change anything.

"System" tab

The only two options you can possibly change are Console Language and Keyboard Type, selecting Spanish if you prefer.

"Network" tab

In most cases no modification is required, but some games may require network access to start. In that case, set as follows:

  • Network Status → Connected
  • PSN Status → Simulated

"Emulator" tab

The only option we advise you to enable is Start games in Fullscreen modem, in order to start the games in full screen. To toggle with windowed mode, we reveal a simple keyboard shortcut: ALT + ENTER (works in any title).

If you want to keep an eye on the in-game performances, you can also check the Enable performance overlay and Show framerate graph items.

When finished, remember to apply and save all changes made.

Important: what you just ran is a configuration applied to all the games in your library. By right-clicking on a single title and selecting Create Custom Configuration, instead, you can create exceptions so as not to have to change the general parameters for the most “problematic” games every time.

4 - Controller configuration

On the RPCS3 home screen, click on Pads. Then set the controller buttons as follows:

  • Handlers: Select XInput if you have an XBOX or similar controller. The various keys will be assigned automatically, thus saving you the trouble of setting them manually. If, on the other hand, you have a DualShock 3 or 4, connect it to the PC with the cable and select the relative item.
  • Save and exit the settings.

5 - Add games to RPCS3

We have reached the last stage of the guide and the most important to finally enjoy the PlayStation 3 titles on PC.

As we said at the beginning, for obvious reasons we will not give you any indication on how to obtain these files, reminding you that the operation is legal only by purchasing the original version of the game from which to extract them.

Important: Several titles are not 100% compatible with the emulator, effectively resulting in startup problems, delayed audio and other inconveniences that undermine the gaming experience. To check the list of fully functional games (with green “Playable” label), click on the following link: RPCS3 - Compatibility List.

To load games, from the RPCS3 home screen:

  • Select File → Add Games.
  • Select the folder where you have saved the ROMs of your games and they will be automatically loaded on the emulator.

Useful note: To know the format of the games, you need to rely on the title ID. The B indicates the Blu-Ray disc, while the N indicates a digital copy from PlayStation Network. Examples:

  • BLUS30443 - US physical copy of Demon's Souls.
  • NPEB01393 - European digital copy of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F.

6 - Install DLC and update

To install game updates or DLC, from the RPCS3 home screen:

  • Select File → Install Packages / Raps.
  • Enter the folder containing the update or the DLC (the extension is .pkg), select it and it will be installed immediately.
  • Check the actual success of the operation in the log space below, where the green writings appear.

Congratulations now RPCS3 is perfectly configured and you can start enjoying your favorite PlayStation 3 titles. For any request or doubt, you can comment under the guide, contact us via our Facebook page or enter directly into our official Telegram channel.

Have fun!

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