You want those nostalgic feels back! You haven’t played a PS2 game in years. You’ve probably sold your PS2 or chucked it out a long time ago. You miss playing the classics like Tekken 5, God of War, and San Andreas.
Luckily for you, you don’t have to buy a PS2 again and go scavenging the internet for old PS2 discs. Queue the PCSX2, the PS2 emulator. It allows you to play almost any PS2 game from your PC. This guide will take you through how to download and set up PCSX2 and install games completely free.
There have been some changes over the years and some websites providing games are not running anymore. So this is a fresh and updated guide that 100% gets you up and running and playing your favorite PS2 classics in under 5 minutes.
Can My PC Run PCSX2?
This is a common question before people download the PS2 emulator. The thing is, it’s actually quite a difficult console to emulate. You would think because it’s old it would be easy for a new computer to run. However, that’s not the case. Below are the minimum and recommended requirements to run PCSX2.
|> Windows/Linux OS|
> CPU: Any that supports SSE2 (Pentium 4 and up, Athlon64 and up)
> GPU: Any that supports Pixel Shader model 2.0, except Nvidia FX series (broken SM2.0, too slow anyway)
> 512MB RAM (note Vista needs at least 2GB to run reliably)
|> Windows Vista / Windows 7 (32bit or 64bit) with the latest DirectX|
> CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.2 GHz or better OR i3/i5/i7 @ 2,8 GHz or better OR AMD Phenom II @ 3,2 GHz or better
> GPU: 8800gt or better (for Direct3D10 support)
> RAM: 1GB on Linux/Windows XP, 2GB or more on Vista / Windows 7
Download PCSX2 1.4.0 & Bios
Firstly, go to the PCSX2 official website and download the software. The software is available for multiple systems including Windows Linux and Mac. When you click download, a file called pcsx2-1.4.0-setup.exe will download to your computer. It is about 17MB.
Download PS2 Bios
After you download the emulator. You must download the PS2 Bios. You can get these from RomsPedia here. Just click the download button and wait for the ZIP file to download.
Now extract the ZIP folder into a new folder and call it PS2 Bios. You can extract the ZIP file using the Windows default ZIP extraction tool. You will need these shortly. Keep following the guide.
Run the PCSX2 Setup Wizard
Next, go to your PCSX2.exe file and double-click to open the setup Wizard. You will then be given the option to choose your components. Leave all at default and select Next. The Setup Wizard will install PCSX2 on your computer. When it is complete select the Close option.
First Time Configuration
Go to your new PCSX2 1.4.0 desktop icon and double-click it. The first-time configuration window will pop. You will be asked to select a language. Select your preferred language and click Next.
Finally, you need to select your bios. Bios are essentially the PS2 console files. Select the Open in Browser Option. Copy the content from the bios file you saved earlier and paste it into this folder. Click Finish. Now click the Refresh List button. You should see the console list. Select Japan v01.00 and Apply.
The installation and setup are now complete. The PCSX2 User Interface will pop up on your screen.
How to Navigate the User Interface
We will go through every UI option from left to right and explain its function.
System: You will go here when you want to play a game. Click Boot CDVD full or fast to run your game. The other options are selected by default so don’t worry about them.
CDVD: Here you will find your ISO selector. ISOs are the PS2 games you download to your computer.
Config: Here you can configure all features of the PCSX2 emulator. Including emulation, video, audio and controller settings.
Misc: A window that shows your console information and system About pages
Debug: This option lets you look for any errors in the system and fix them. You probably won’t ever need this option.
Now we will show you how to install and play games on your PS2 emulator.
How to Download and Install Games/PS2 ISOs
There are a few ways to download PS2 ISOs for PCSX2. Our favorite and most reliable way is through RomsPedia. They have an extensive collection of PS2 Roms available.
We can also use a site called EmuParadise. However, In 2018, EmuParadise removed all the content from their website including all their emulator game files. Fortunately, we’ve found a way to download games from EmuParadise using TamperMonkey. Check out the steps below.
Step 1: Tampermonkey Install
You can still download games from their site using an extension called Tampermonkey. To download Tampermonkey go to the Chrome extensions store and download and activate Tampermonkey on your Chrome browser.
Step 2: EmuParadise ISO Download
When you have Tampermonkey ready. Go to the EmuParadise PS2 ISO page and download a game you want. When you find a game. Scroll to the bottom of the page and under the “Direct Download Links” option, select “Download using the workaround script”. The game will start to download.
Please be aware that this method takes a while to download the game and the rate will also depend on your internet speed.
Step 3: Extract and Place in Games Folder
The ISO file will come in a ZIP folder that you can extract using your chosen ZIP folder extraction tool. We use WinRAR because it’s fast and free.
After you extract the ISO file from the ZIP folder. You need to move it to the games folder in your PCSX2 root folder. Your root folder will look different from ours. It will depend on which destination folder you selected when you installed the emulator. However, it’s normally in your program files folder by default.
When you have found the games folder in your PCSX2 root folder. Copy and paste the ISO game file here. As you can see the games I’m currently playing are in the games folder.
Booting and Playing Games
Now that your ISO is in the correct folder. Go back to the PCSX2 User Interface. Select the CDVD option. Select ISO Selector. Browse for the ISO file in your games folder. The game will now appear in your ISO section. Select it.
Next, go to the System option and select “Boot CDVD(full)”. The game will start running.
Congratulations, you have downloaded and set up PCSX2 on your PC. Game on!
Common PCSX2 Questions and Solutions
How do I save my games on PCSX2?
No point in playing games if you can’t save your progress right? to save your PCSX2 game click on the User Interface while in-game. Go to the System options. Select Save State. Select which memory slot. If it’s your first game select slot 0. The game is now saved. You can also save the game by using the F1 key while in the game.
To load your game again go back to System and select Load State, then select Slot 0. The game will load in the exact state you left it. You can also use F3 to do this in the game.
How do I set up my controller on PCSX2?
Any controller should be fine to use by simply connecting it to your PC. We used an Xbox One controller and no configuration was necessary. However, if you want to configure a controller. Go to Config – Controllers – Plugin settings. From here you can set up your controller.
How to go fullscreen mode on PCSX2?
To enter full-screen mode on your PS2 emulator. Simply Double click the game screen while in-game. It should enter fullscreen.
If you have any issues with the setup process. Drop a comment below and we’ll try to help you out.