[UPDATED]Beginners Guide - Printable Version

+- (
+-- Forum: PPSSPP - Playstation Portable Simulator Suitable for Playing Portably (/forumdisplay.php?fid=1)
+--- Forum: General Discussion and Announcements (/forumdisplay.php?fid=2)
+--- Thread: [UPDATED]Beginners Guide (/showthread.php?tid=5352)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

[UPDATED]Beginners Guide - GuilhermeGS2 - 08-06-2013 07:13 PM

Many people have difficulty using the emulator when installing for the first time, because they have some difficulties and have no experience with this sort of thing. I'll make a little guide for beginners to help all who have doubts.

Opening the emulator first time

When you open the emulator for the first time on newer versions of Android, you will see a message asking you to give the emulator permission to access your files, otherwise you will not be able to use the application.

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-130909.png]

On older versions of Android or even on the PC, you'll probably see this screen.

At the top of the screen we have some tabs, the Recent tab shows recently opened games (the first time is empty), the Games tab will show the games you have in the selected folder.

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-130938.png]

The first time you open the emulator, the home directory will be the root of the memory of your Smartphone, or on Windows, the disks of your computer (C: /, D: /, etc.) will be shown. You just have to browse through the folders until you find where your games are saved. If your smartphone has a memory card, you need to go back to the "/ storage" directory, use the up arrow, select your memory card, which changes its name depending on the device, in my case it is called "9016-4EF8".

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-130954.png]

My games are in the "PSP-PS1 ROMs" folder inside my card, the complete directory is "PSP-PS1 / storage / 9016-4EF8 / ROMs". When I accessed this folder, all the games on it were displayed with their respective icons. Remember that the emulator recognizes ROMs only in ISO and CSO formats.

The Home button will take you to the default home directory if you get lost. The other two buttons on the left change the display mode of folders and/or games, which can be icons or list.

If you do not have any games and want to test the emulator, in the "Homebrew & Demos" tab you can get information on how to download games DEMO and Homebrews for testing in the emulator.

Graphic settings

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131011.png]

Going to the Settings menu, the first tab that will be displayed is Graphics Setup. This is one of the most important parts of the setup, by changing these settings you can get better graphics, better compatibility and better performance. Do not worry I'll explain the basics of each option.


In this option you select the graphical API that your emulator will use to render the graphics, the options available will depend on your hardware or operating system, and can affect performance and compatibility.

Vulkan: This is the latest and fastest API currently, if your hardware and OS version support, it will be selected by default from the beginning. It is most recommended for demanding less of your CPU, thus being the fastest. However, if you encounter problems, you can switch to the next one we will talk about.

OpenGL: The common option for all operating systems is OpenGL, requiring hardware that supports OpenGL/Open GL ES 2.0 or higher. It is an older, pre-Vulkan API, slower than Vulkan but with better compatibility. If you encounter problems with other APIs, try this one.

Note: OpenGL might be the slowest API on some iGPUs (Intel HD Graphics) which has poor drivers, but yet has the best compatibility.

Direct3D9/Direct3D11: In Windows you will find two more options called Direct3D9 and Direct3D11. To use them you need to a video card/iGPU that supports DirectX 9 (for Direct3D9) or DirectX 10.1/DirectX 11 (for Direct3D11). In some cases it may offer better performance than OpenGL, especially on integrated Intel graphics.

Rendering mode

The second option with the name "Mode" is used to select how your graphics will be rendered.

Buffer Rendering: Renders graphics close to what is in the actual PSP, with all the effects and with the least possible bugs. With this option enabled, you can select rendering resolution ranging from 1xPSP (native resolution) to 10xPSP.

Skip Buffer Effects: This option skips most heavier graphics effects like blur, bloom, reflections, shadows, and more. It can be used as a speed hack if it is underperforming because of a weak GPU. Unable to select rendering resolution, graphics will be rendered at User Interface resolution (see below). You can also use it to correct some graphic bugs with the effects mentioned above.

Note: this option can cause graphic issues (missing graphics) or black screen for some games (Midnight Club series, for example), making them unplayable.

Simulate block transfer effects

This option simulates support for rendering effects not supported by current hardware, but supported by PSP hardware. Fixes multiple graphics problems in a number of games, but decreases performance on weaker GPUs (on smartphones). Disabling can greatly impact performance, and can be a great help in games that do not need this option enabled.

Frameskipping and Auto frameskipping

As many should already know, this option skips image frames to increase the emulation speed. They can be skipped between 1 and 8 frames every second. Using this option can give the impression of the game running faster but with stuttering, and this increases the amount of frames to be skipped you select. This option is only effective when your processor is powerful enough.

The "Auto frame skip" option only selects the optimal number of frames to skip to not to compromise both gameplay. The max frames to be skipped can be limited in the frameskipping option.

Prevent FPS from exceeding 60

This option was created in order to help God of War games that used to have a performance problem because the FPS were higher than normal. This option locks the FPS to 60 to avoid this problem.

Alternative Speed

You can control the percentage of the alternate speed, which is activated when the button (mapped by the user on Android, or the button next to "1" and above the "Tab" key in Windows) is pressed. The alternate speed can be to make the game faster (a kind of turbo) or slower (slow motion), it can help skip cutscenes or make through harder phases that require precision.

Remembering that for the "turbo" to work, you need a processor powerful enough to run the game beyond full speed, so if your game does not run at full speed normally, that option will not work.

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131018.png]

Post-processing shader

Here you have the option to use some shaders that modifies the graphic visual, changing the color scale, adding effects like bloom, antialiasing, etc. Remembering that this option has an impact on performance.

Display layout editor

This option allows you to set the image scale and direction of rotation.

Immersive mode

Forces the emulator to occupy the entire screen of the device, hiding system bars.

Rendering resolution

It controls the internal resolution of the graphics, which can vary from 1xPSP up to 10xPSP. Significant performance impact if your GPU is not powerful enough for certain resolutions. Affects resolution only in "Buffer Render" mode.

Display resolution (HW scaler)

It serves to control the emulator's UI (User Interface) resolution. By default comes 2xPSP, which is equivalent to twice the native resolution of the PSP (480x272). You can even choose 1xPSP, 3xPSP and Auto (1:1) that automatically adjusts according to the screen resolution or window on Windows. This option changes the internal resolution when the "Skip buffer effects" mode is selected.

Hardware Transformation

Uses the hardware to generate lighting and shading effects. With this option disabled performance may drop a lot on weak GPUs. Bugs are rare, but if found, can be disabled for testing.

Software skinning

It makes use of advanced techniques to design 3D models, which improves the performance of some games, like Tekken 6, but can have negative impact on some games.

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131025.png]

Vertex Cache

Uses vertex cache to improve performance in few games, in rare cases can cause glitches in geometry. Some games have reduced performance with this option enabled. This option mostly benefits OpenGL API, doesn't need to be enabled to other backends.

(Thanks LunaMoo)

Lazy Texture Caching

Prevents the emulator from scanning old cache modules all the time. Can cause glitches.

Retain modified textures

It works with as secondary texture cache, it helps some games but it can mess up others.

Disabling slower effects

Disables some graphic heavier effects and can result in speed increase, might cause graphic glitches. In my own tests I corrected "ghost" problems on the screen in games like Midnight Club 3, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Impact and Ridge Racer 2 that happened on my Mali T720 GPU.

Spline/bezier curves quality

Some games use a much more detailed geometry and it requires more of the hardware to render, lowering the quality may result in better performance.

Hardware tessellation

Uses GPU (if supported) instead of CPU to run curves (alternative to Spline/bezier curver quality that uses the CPU). If your CPU is too slower compared to GPU you can run the games with better performance. As it's still an experimental option, might cause glitches, also in some cases maybe be slower than Spline/bezier curver quanty set to low.

(Thanks LunaMoo)

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131030.png]

Texture scaling options

In this submenu you can make modifications to the texture scales, which improves the visual at high resolutions, increasing the Upscale Level up to 3x, choose the Upscale Type: xBRZ, Hybrid, Bicubic and Hybrid + Bicubic. Depositing can correct minor flaws in escalation. xBRZ is overall the best option while Hybrid is a slower version of xBRZ and doesn't offers much difference, Hybrid + Bicubic is the slowest one using two effects.

All the scaling is made by CPU and results in a great performance impact. Use carefully.

Texture filtering options

You can modify the settings of the Anisotropic Filtering, which fix the textures on the horizon that are drawn at angles resulting in a better look.. You can also choose the Texture filtering (Auto, Closer, Linear and Linear only in CG, use Auto in case of doubt) and the Screen scaling filter (Linear and Closer).

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131037.png]

Hack settings

Some hacks that can be used in some cases (I personally don't like to use). Timer hack allows to have stable FPS at cost of lower framerate. Disable stencil test can be used to work arround some glitch effects using stencil (very rare). Lower resolutions effects can improve some effects in some games (bloom, for example, will look exaggerated at higher resolutions running some games), while others might do nothing.

(Thanks LunaMoo)

Show FPS counter

Here you enable/disable the on-screen FPS display, you can also display the emulation speed (in percentage) if desired.

Show Debugging Statistics

An advanced option for developers (or curious) that displays many satistics on the screen. Makes the emulation much more slower while running.

Audio settings

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131051.png]

Enable sound

Enable/disable sounds in games.


Controls the overall internal volume of the emulator.

Audio Latency

It can be chosen low, medium and high.

Bluetooth friendly buffer

You can fix some sound problems when using Bluetooth headphones, but add lots of audio lattency.

Sound speed hack

It helps in some games, like Dead or Alive, with problems in sound speed.

Control settings

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131103.png]

Control mapping

Here you can map each button on the PSP to be represented by a button on your keyboard or your control connected to your PC or Smartphone.

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131118.png]

You can delete the mapping by pressing the "x" on the right side of the screen, or you can add another button to represent it by pressing the "+" if you want, for example, to configure the keyboard and a controller on your PC, you will need to use this option to keep the two mappings active.

Haptic feedback (vibration)

When this option is enabled, you receive vibration feedbacks every time you touch a virtual button on the screen.

Tilt input type

Set the analog, D-Pad, action buttons or R/L buttons to respond with gestures of the Smartphone/Tablet accelerometer.

On-Screen Controls

Enables/disables the on-screen touch controls.

Edit layout of touch controls

You can add/delete touch controls on the screen, increase/decrease size, drag to change positions, etc.

Auto-centering analog stick

When this option is active the touch analog is "free" in the area around which it is mapped, and it will be centered where the first touch occurs.

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131110.png]

Combo key setup

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131135.png]

You have five extra buttons (from 1 to 5) that can be configured to perform a combo of the selected controls. You can add them onscreen as touch buttons.

Show pause menu button

When activated a touch button appears to go to the emulator's pause menu (you can also access it by pressing the Back button on Android or ESC in Windows).

Disabling D-Pad diagonals

Disables the diagonals, being possible to use only the four directions.

Button opacity

Adjusts the transparency level of the touch buttons.

Auto-hide buttons after seconds

Adjusts the time for the buttons to disappear from the screen after deletion.

Button Style

Choose the style of touch buttons, there are currently only two options available, but there will probably be more available in the future.

Analog axis sensitivity

Adjusts the sensitivity of the analog.

Analog Limiter

Adjust the max analog angle.

Network settings (multiplayer)

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131202.png]

Visit the Multiplayer Ad Hoc forum

It takes you to a specialized area of the forum with tutorials and Multiplayer Ad Hoc settings.

Enable network/WLAN

Enable this option to enable Multiplayer Ad Hoc.

Change PRO ad hoc server IP address

Here you configure the IP of the server where you will play (the IP adress of the server). All players need to use the same IP.

Enable built-in PRO ad hoc server

Uses the built-in emulator server.

Changing the MAC Address

Manually changes the MAC address in case of conflict.

Port offset

Change the port to correct some compatibility problems (check the forum).

Tools settings

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131207.png]

Savedata manager

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131211.png]

Here you can see game saves, information (profile name, percentage of completion, game time, when it was saved) and also delete the save. Same for saved states (in the second tab).

System Information

Shows information about your hardware, CPU model, GPU, supported extensions, etc.

Developer Tools

An advanced area for developers or modders. Only change something if you are sure of what you are doing.

Remote disc streaming

Here you can share your (recently played) games with other devices connected on the same network using your device as a server. This option still has some problems, also takes a while to load the games.

Note: the games are not copied to the other device, it works only while the server is active.

System settings

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131327.png]


The first option changes the language of the emulator, in case it needs to change.

Enable server compatibility reports

When enabled, a new option appears in the emulator pause menu that allows sending game compatibility feedbacks to developers. Error messages are also automatically sent when the emulator encounters a fault.

Note: It's disabled for safety when using hacks or cheats, requiring the user to restore default settings to have access to this option.

Fast memory

This option avoids some memory accesses by caching information, however a few games may have problems when this option is enabled, most run with no problem.

I/O on thread

Uses separate CPU thread for input/output of files (read data).

I/O timing method

Sets the method to use for the above option. The fast option may break some games because of times of the loading.

Force real clock sync

The purpose of this option is to synchronize the speed with the actual PSP clock.

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131340.png]

Change emulated's PSP CPU clock

Allows you to change the internal CPU clock of the emulator (of the emulated CPU). Larger clocks can ensure a more stable performance in certain games that present problems even on a real PSP, but it requires more powerful hardware. Lower clocks can help weak hardware have more comfortable gameplay, limiting FPS to a lower rate. Changing this option opens the door to several bugs that may compromise some games.

Rewind snapshot frequency

Snapshots are unsaved savestates on disc, this option can adjust how often they are made to choose between smooth and long "rewind".

(Thanks LunaMoo)

Memory Stick inserted

Disable this option to remove virtual Memory Stick from the emulator (unable to save games).

Screen Rotation

You set the orientation of the screen rotation on your device.

Check for newer versions of PPSSPP

The emulator will notify you when a new version is available (official releases only).

Clear Recent games list

As the name already suggests, it clears the list of recently played games that appears on the emulator home screen.

Set UI background

You can choose a background image from the gallery.

Restore Default Settings

Restores the default emulator settings.

[Image: Screenshot_20180221-131346.png]

Savesate slot backups (not in the image)

Automatically backs up the saved state before saving again. Useful if you accidentally save.

Auto-load newest savestate

Loads the most recent saved state when entering the game.

Enable cheats

Enables the use of CWCheats in games.

PSP Model

It changes the PSP model, which changes the compatibility with some homebrews.

Change nickname

Change the user name of the emulator (some games can use this name in the saves profile).

Daylight savings

Turns daylight saving on/off (changes the PSP's internal clock, which may be important for games that have night-day cycling).

Date format

Sets the date format that will be recorded in saves and other emulator files.

Time Format

Selects 12HR or 24HR.

Confirmation button

You can choose "X" or "O" to be the confirmation button.


Please check the forum rules:

I recommend: Guide:- Maximizing the performance of PPSSPP on your Android/Windows device by solarmystic

Many of these options are available only in latest builds, you can download in:

Some options explained was taken from:

Others source is in the post.

Special thanks to LunaMoo for some warnings.

Please tell me anything wrong that I fix.

Thank you for reading, I hope you like Smile

RE: Beginners Guide - vnctdj - 08-06-2013 07:22 PM

I corrected a typo in the title of your thread : it's not "bennigers" but "beginners" Wink

RE: Beginners Guide - solarmystic - 08-06-2013 07:23 PM

(08-06-2013 07:22 PM)vnctdj Wrote:  I corrected a typo in the title of your thread : it's not "bennigers" but "beginners" Wink

Was about to mention that typo. Thanks for the quick fix vnctdj.

GuilhermeGS2, when the NewUI is done, you're going to have to change the guide to accomodate the use of the New UI too. Screenshots of all the options in New UI will have to be added in as well.

RE: Beginners Guide - GuilhermeGS2 - 08-06-2013 07:24 PM

(08-06-2013 07:22 PM)vnctdj Wrote:  I corrected a typo in the title of your thread : it's not "bennigers" but "beginners" Wink

OMG Blush

Thanks Smile

RE: Beginners Guide - vnctdj - 08-06-2013 07:26 PM

(08-06-2013 07:23 PM)solarmystic Wrote:  
(08-06-2013 07:22 PM)vnctdj Wrote:  I corrected a typo in the title of your thread : it's not "bennigers" but "beginners" Wink

Was about to mention that typo. Thanks for the quick fix vnctdj.
(08-06-2013 07:24 PM)GuilhermeGS2 Wrote:  
(08-06-2013 07:22 PM)vnctdj Wrote:  I corrected a typo in the title of your thread : it's not "bennigers" but "beginners" Wink

OMG Blush

Thanks Smile

You're welcome Smile

I hope this thread will help new users...

RE: Beginners Guide - solarmystic - 08-06-2013 07:28 PM

One of you (moderators) should also update the PPSSPP Options explained thread with the latest options as well, since the thread creator seems to be inactive in the forums at the moment.

RE: Beginners Guide - vnctdj - 08-06-2013 07:35 PM

(08-06-2013 07:28 PM)solarmystic Wrote:  One of you (moderators) should also update the PPSSPP Options explained thread with the latest options as well, since the thread creator seems to be inactive in the forums at the moment.

You are right, but I don't have the time to do this now...
However, you can propose some corrections if you want and I will edit the post with your changes Smile

RE: Beginners Guide - AidyD - 08-16-2013 03:47 PM

I do not have the option to unlock cpu speed on my menu, and I do not have the entry in the ini file to change cpu speeds either - Im using latest available build from play store, is it only available on windows?

Trying to play core crisis on my nexus 4, jittery slowdown but with a boost in performance would run great, this phone should be able to handle most things you chuck at it.

RE: Beginners Guide - GuilhermeGS2 - 08-16-2013 03:56 PM

In final of the post have the link to download the last build. This options are not in 0.8.1, will come in 0.9. But you can download the last compilation in the link:

RE: Beginners Guide - AidyD - 08-16-2013 04:06 PM

(08-16-2013 03:56 PM)GuilhermeGS2 Wrote:  In final of the post have the link to download the last build. This options are not in 0.8.1, will come in 0.9. But you can download the last compilation in the link:

Ah thank you, the play store build had none of these new options, completely transformed the emulators performance for me - running crisis core flawlessly now and can even up the graphics beyond originals, great emulator thank you for the help

RE: Beginners Guide - GuilhermeGS2 - 08-16-2013 04:54 PM

You are welcome Wink

RE: Beginners Guide - stodag - 08-16-2013 04:58 PM

Thanks m8.

RE: Beginners Guide - GuilhermeGS2 - 08-16-2013 10:43 PM

Sorry because I still not posted in English screenshot. I'm accessing the forums only by my phone, I'm without an computer.

RE: Beginners Guide - bonquacks - 08-17-2013 07:12 AM

Nice guide GuilhermeGS2. Relly helpfuls.

RE: Beginners Guide - GuilhermeGS2 - 08-17-2013 01:47 PM

Thanks Wink