PS2 Emulation: Beginner’s Guide to PCSX2 (Updated)

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘The Best Playstation 2 (PS2) Emulator for PC: PCSX2 (Beginner Install guide: setup / config) UPDATED’ by Mr. Sujano

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Written by: Recapz Bot

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How does it work?
How to emulate PS2 on PC using PCSX2, including BIOS and games.

Key Insights

  • This video is a tutorial on how to get up and running with PlayStation 2 (PS2) emulation on PC.
  • The video highlights the need for a PS2 BIOS file and PS2 games to proceed with the emulation.
  • The recommended website for downloading the PS2 emulator is PCSX2.net, where different versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux are available.
  • The video suggests downloading and installing 7-Zip, a free, open-source software, which is required for extracting the PCSX2 emulator files.
  • The narrator demonstrates how to extract the PCSX2 files using 7-Zip and navigate to the extracted folder.
  • After opening PCSX2, the video explains how to import the PS2 BIOS file into the emulator by browsing the directory.
  • Various settings are discussed, including interface settings, game list, emulation options, graphics settings, audio settings, and memory card options.
  • The video briefly mentions the option to integrate with RetroAchievements to track achievements in games.
  • Controller settings are demonstrated, including mapping controls for a gamepad and specifying advanced controls like save states and load states.
  • Additional features, such as customizing the appearance of the game list and configuring video settings on a per-game basis, are explained.
  • The narrator shows how to change settings while in-game and advises trying different settings for optimal performance, as different games may require specific configurations.
  • Advanced users might not find this video necessary, but there is a PS2 Discord community recommended for specific questions and troubleshooting.
  • The video concludes by emphasizing the usefulness of PCSX2 as a PS2 emulator and encourages liking, subscribing, and checking out other videos.

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Transcript

Hey everyone, MrSujano here. In this video, I’m going to show you how to get up and running with PlayStation 2 emulation on PC. Let’s get started.

Alright, before we get started here, it’s worth pointing out you will have to provide a couple of different things. One being your own PS2 BIOS file. If you don’t know what that is, feel free to google PS2 BIOS and possibly learn a bit more information about it. And the second thing are your PS2 games.

Now, to download the PS2 emulator, you will have to head to PCSX2.NET. Once you’re here, click on the latest nightly build. From here, as you can see, you’ve got a bunch of different options. One for Mac, one for Linux, and three different ones for Windows. You’ve got SSE4, Qt, and AVX2 Qt. AVX stands for Subscribe to MrSujano or Advanced Vector Extensions depending on how you want to interpret that. Most PCs nowadays and even ones built in like the last 10 years can support AVX2, so you might want to check out the top option if you’re on Windows.

The next step here is to download 7-Zip if you haven’t already. 7-Zip is free, it’s open-source, and you can pick it up at 7zip.org. I’ll leave a link to it in the description below just like everything else in this video. On top of that, if you wanted to learn how to set this up and use it, I do have a tutorial video for you, but it is pretty simple and straightforward.

Once you’ve downloaded 7-Zip, feel free to open it up, and the install process takes little to no time at all. Now, for the purposes of this video, I am using Windows 11. So the next step here, I’m going to right-click on PCSX2 and then select “show more options.” From here, it should show me a 7-Zip option since I just installed 7-Zip, and I can extract this PCSX2 file to wherever I want.

Once you’ve extracted PCSX2, which really shouldn’t take too much time at all, navigate to the folder, open it up, and then open up PCSX2. The file name should say PCSX2-QTX64-AVX2.

From here, feel free to click on “Settings” and then click on “BIOS,” and this is where we’re going to import a PS2 BIOS file so you can browse your directory right from PCSX2 and load up that BIOS file you provided.

If you’ve done everything correctly up to this point, your BIOS file should populate in the list once you’ve specified the folder where it’s located. If it’s not showing up, but you’ve provided your BIOS file, feel free to unzip the BIOS file, and that might help. You can have multiple BIOS files. It’s not a big deal, but you can only use one at a time.

We’re going to go ahead and configure a few different settings here. And if at any point you screw up, there’s a restore defaults button at the bottom. Feel free to click that and reset your settings.

In the interface submenu, there’s not really a whole lot you need to do here if you don’t want to. I’m not going to do anything in this video, but if you want games to, for example, start full screen, you can enable it from here. You can also manually check for updates for PCSX2 by clicking “check for updates” on the bottom right-hand corner.

The next option we’ll check out is your games list, and this one is important. PCSX2 does not come with any games. You will need to provide your own. You’ll also need to let PCSX2 know where you keep your games, and you can specify that in here. Just click on the file button on the top right-hand corner, where you see the little file and plus, and you can add a directory.

Once you select the folder where your games are located, you’ll get a brand-new pop-up. It’ll ask you if you wanted to scan recursively. If you’ve got a whole bunch of games in a whole bunch of different folders and possibly some games in some subfolders, feel free to select “yes.” You can select “no” or “cancel” if you’d like. For the purposes of this video, I’m just going to select “yes.”

If everything was done correctly, you should see some of your games or hopefully all of your games populate in this list, and they should auto-populate.

The next option here is the emulation option. If you know what you’re doing, feel free to tinker around in here. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t really need to change anything here if you don’t want to.

Under the graphics menu option, you can tinker around in here if you’d like. By default, the renderer is set to automatic, but if you’re on a laptop, for example, like me, where I’ve got two different GPUs, the NVIDIA and an iGPU, you can manually specify stuff in here. You can change the renderer from automatic to Direct3D, 11, 12, OpenGL, or Vulkan, or even software. By default, I would recommend keeping it set at automatic, but if you wanted to manually specify it, feel free to select something like Vulkan. You can see I’ve got two different GPUs here, my Intel one and also the NVIDIA RTX. I’m going to select the RTX because it’s a way more powerful GPU.

In addition to that, you can change the full-screen mode, you can change the aspect ratio, you can change the filtering, the de-interlacing, you can play around here if you would like. By default, it’s probably worthwhile just keeping everything as is.

Under the rendering tab, this is where you can have fun to make your games look a heck of a lot better. By default, the resolution is set to the native PS2 resolution, but you can crank it up all the way to 8x, which is like 5k. I don’t recommend doing that, but at the same time, if you have a powerful PC and a nice monitor and wanted to check it out, you absolutely can. Aside from that, you don’t really need to change anything here if you don’t want to.

In the audio menu, you don’t really need to change anything here either if you don’t want to. You can tinker around with the volume if you’d like. If you wanted to specify a certain output device, you can change that here.

In the memory card submenu, you don’t really need to do anything here either if you don’t want to. By default, PCSX2 will create memory cards for you, but if you’re importing memory cards or possibly even exporting memory cards, you might want to play around in here.

And as a bonus here, if you’re a fan of achievements, kind of like Xbox trophies, you can head to retroachievements.com, create an account. It’s 100% free, and you can even link the account with PCSX2, which you can do from here if you want.

The next step is to close out of this menu and then click on settings again and then open up the controller settings, which should be about halfway down the screen. From here, click on “controller port 1 dualshock 2,” and this is where we’ll set up our controls.

By default, the main controls are set to your keyboard, but if you have a gamepad laying around, you can manually specify those controls yourself. Or you can click the automatic mapping button on the top right-hand corner, find your controller, and click on it, and all of the buttons should be automatically mapped, and you can change them as you please. If you screw anything up at all, you can click “clear mappings” on the top right-hand corner and clear out all of your controls, and then just feel free to remap them to your heart’s content.

The next step here is to possibly specify some more advanced controls if you want. Click on “hotkeys,” and you can manually specify some certain things like

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘The Best Playstation 2 (PS2) Emulator for PC: PCSX2 (Beginner Install guide: setup / config) UPDATED’ by Mr. Sujano