RPCS3 is a software emulator of the PS3 (PlayStation 3) game console for Windows operating systems. The program is free to use, and it works in 64-bit Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.
How To Install RPCS3?
To use the RPCS3 program, you need not only the emulator itself, but also the firmware (the operating system built into the game console) of the PS3. You can download it from the official website of the game console. Steps to install RPCS3 are as follows:
- Extract the emulator to any folder on your computer.
- Next, you need to install the PlayStation 3 firmware. Open the File menu in RPCS3, then choose Install Firmware. Specify in the window that opens the downloaded firmware from the game console (by default it is called “PS3UPDAT. PUP»). The program will do the rest, which may take 10 minutes or more (depending on the configuration of the computer).
- After installing the firmware, you can proceed to the installation of the games themselves.
Installing Games In RPCS3
The developers of RPCS3 strongly recommend using only official games distributed on Blu-ray or through the online service PSN (PlayStation Network). However, the emulator can run PlayStation 3 games, regardless of how they came to the gamer’s possession (copied from the disc or downloaded from torrents or other resources):
- In any case, to install (compile) the game, it is enough to select the “Install Packages/Raps” item in the “File” menu and point to the file with the extension “.pkg”, usually located in the root directory of the archive / image of the game disc.
- Installing games in the emulator is a rather lengthy process. The larger the size of the game, the longer you will have to wait for its installation to complete.
- When the game finishes compiling, it will remain to run: in the main window of the emulator, highlight the installed game and click the “Play” button at the top (but usually games start automatically after installation).
Unfortunately, not all games for the PlayStation 3 game console can be run on computers through the RPCS3 emulator. The degree of compatibility of a particular game can be found after installing it in the “Compatibility” column of the main program window. You can see a list of all games supported by the emulator and get information about their compatibility even before installation on the official website of the program developers in the “Compatibility” section. Opposite their name in the column “Status” will be put one of 5 values indicating the level of compatibility:
- Fully compatible games that can be played from start to finish.
- Games that either can’t be completed or have insufficient performance (freezes, lags, etc. – perhaps even on powerful PCs).
- Games that are not played by the emulator beyond the original menu.
- Games that are loaded into the computer’s memory, but nothing else (a black screen may sound in the initial menu).
- Non-working games.
At the time of writing, there are 1889 games in the playable status of “Playable” – any of them can be played (if the power of the computer allows).
Basic RPCS3 Settings
The first thing you need to do immediately after installing the emulator is to configure the control:
- Click on the “Pads” button at the top of the window.
- In the new window that opens, in the “Handlers” block, select the type of your gaming device – keyboard or joystick (DualShock 3, DualShock 4, XInput and MMJoystick are supported).
- Customize the controls to your liking, save the settings (you can right during the game).
If the performance or graphics of the game do not suit you, click on the “Config” button:
- CPU performance settings are located in the “CPU” tab. The greatest impact on the performance of the game is exerted by the parameters in the blocks “PPU Decoder” and “SPU Decoder”. For best performance in these blocks, it is recommended to set the values to “Interpreter (fast)” and “Recompiler (LLVM)”, respectively.
- In the “GPU” tab there are settings of the graphics processor (video card). The best graphics are achieved by selecting “OpenGL” as a renderer (the “Renderer” block), increasing the “Anisotropic Filter” to “16x” and “Default Resolution” to the maximum possible value. If you have a powerful graphics card, you can also enable the “VSync” and “Multithreaded ESX” options in the “Additional Settings” block. And to improve performance: select “Vulkan” as the renderer, set the lowest value of the “Anisotropic Filter” parameter, turn off “Anti-Aliasing” and lower the screen resolution.
In rare cases, even emulator-compatible games marked as “Playable” may not work due to a mismatch between the region for which the game is designed and the region for which the PS3 console was purchased. Fortunately, the emulator is not tied to any country, and the user can specify any region of origin of the virtual console:
- First, determine the region for which your copy of the game is released. This can be done on the official website of the emulator (the region checkbox is checked before the name of the game).
- Open the emulator settings and go to the “System” tab.
- In the “Console Region” section, set the region corresponding to the region of the game you are running.
RPCS3 System Requirements
The performance of the RPCS3 emulator depends on the specific game you are running. At a minimum, the computer must have a dual-core 64-bit processor, 4 GB of RAM, and an OpenGL 4.3 compatible video card. Recommended PC requirements:
- 4-core Intel processor supporting HT Technology (Hyper-Threading) or 6-core Intel processor without HT support (Haswell series or higher). 6-core AMD CPU with SMT (Simultaneous Multithreading) support or 8-core AMD without SMT (Ryzen series processors only).
- Modern graphics card (the more powerful, the better), compatible with Vulkan technology.
- 8 gigabytes of RAM or higher.
- Microsoft Visual C++ 2019.