How to emulate PS2: By tidying up your room, did you find some old PS2 titles you’d like to play? Well, at this point you have two avenues at your disposal: you can go up to the attic, dust off your old PlayStation 2 and cross your fingers to make sure it still works correctly or – if you want some advice from a friend – you could install a PS2 emulator and play directly on the your PC.
Yes, you read that right! With a simple free emulator you can play PlayStation 2 games on your PC almost perfectly. Both game disks and image files in ISO format downloaded from the Internet can be used, it is up to the user to choose the path he deems most convenient. No problem with gaming comfort either, as you can connect any USB controller to your computer and play with it.
In short: if you want to save yourself the trouble of going up to the attic and dusting off your old console, take five minutes of free time and find out how to emulate PS2 thanks to the information I’m about to give you, in my opinion it’s worth it!
Before getting to the heart of the guide and discovering, together, how to emulate PS2I recommend that you make sure you have everything you need to emulate PlayStation 2 games.
- A fairly powerful computer – Recommended requirements for running PS2 games are as follows: 2GB of RAM; 3.2 GHz or faster Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2.8 GHz or faster Intel i3 / i5 / i7, or 3.2 GHz or faster AMD Phenom II processor; graphics card with support for Pixel Shader model 2.0. The recommended operating system is a version of Windows equal to or later than Windows 7, but as we will see shortly it is possible to emulate PS2 games even on Mac.
- PS2 games – to emulate PS2 titles on your computer you can use the original game disks or ISO images of the latter. ISO images can also be downloaded from the Internet (just search on Google), but only if you own the original game. Alternatively you can create an ISO image of the games you have in the original version and use the one with the emulator.
- PS2 BIOS – Another essential requirement for PS2 titles to work on PC are PlayStation 2 BIOS files. PlayStation 2 BIOS files can only be legally downloaded from the Internet if you own a real PS2. To find such files, search for “PS2 BIOS package” on the BitTorrent network or on sites like LoveRoms.
- One controller – no one is stopping you from playing PS2 games on your PC using the keyboard, but let’s face it, you’d miss out on a lot of the fun! If you want to fully enjoy the PS2 experience on your computer, you need to purchase a controller for the computer and use that. They are good for low-cost controllers that connect to the computer via USB cable.
Thrustmaster Dual Analog 4 (Gamepad, PC)
Trust Gaming GXT 540 Wired Gamepad for PC and PlayStation 3, Black (207 …
- The free CPU-Z program – free software CPU-Z for Windows allows you to discover a lot of information about the hardware of your PC, including the version of Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) supported by the processor. This value is used because it must be indicated in the initial setup of the PlayStation 2 emulator; if you want to know more consult Wikipedia. To find out the version of Streaming SIMD Extensions supported by your computer’s processor, start CPU-Z, select the “CPU” tab of the program and write down the values you find in the “Instructions” field.
How to emulate PS2 on Windows
At this point, I’d say we can take action and see how to emulate PS2 on a Windows computer. My advice is to use PCSX2a free emulator that manages to guarantee excellent performance and in my tests has proved reliable with numerous titles.
To download PCSX2 on your PC, connect to its official website and click on the item first Windows and then on download button placed under the heading PCSX2 xx Standalone Installer.
Once the download is complete, open the PCSX2 installation package (pcsx2-xx-setup.exe) and, in the window that opens, first click on Yup and then on Next And Install to complete the emulator setup.
If a window about Microsoft Visual C ++, it means that you must also install some additional components necessary for PCSX2 to function. Then put the check mark next to the item I accept the terms of the license agreement and complete the Visual C ++ setup by clicking on Install and then on Close.
Later, some library-related files may be downloaded from the Internet DirectX Microsoft: wait patiently for the procedure to be completed, it will all happen automatically.
Now, I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re not ready to play your emulator just yet. Before starting the games, you need to properly configure all PCSX2 settings and copy the PS2 BIOS files to the emulator folder.
Then start PCSX2 using its icon on the desktop, make sure the language is selected Italian in the drop-down menu and click on the button Forward.
Now you need to adjust the version settings of Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) supported by your PC processor. To do this, expand the drop-down menu GS and select the mode for the most advanced instruction type supported by your processor. For example, if in the field Instructions of CPU-Z you found the value SSE 4.1 as the last value of SSE, you have to select the item GSdx 0 (MSVC 19.00, SSE41).
Then, if you want, press the button Configure … located next to the drop-down menu GS and configure the graphic parameters to be used by the emulator. You can choose the graphics adapter and renderer to use, the resolution, the aspect ratio and much more. If you’re not sure where to put your hands, leave the default settings on.
Now press the button Configure … located next to the drop-down menu PAD and configure the controller keys you intend to use with PCSX2. This is an optional step, as the controller settings can be adjusted at any time. You choose whether to do it now or later.
Good. At this point, click on the button Forward and copy the PS2 BIOS files to the PCSX2 folder which was created automatically in the folder Papers of your PC. To be more precise, you have to open the ZIP archive that contains the files of the PS2 BIOS and extract its contents into the folder Documents PCSX2 bios of your PC.
When the operation is completed, click on the button Refresh of PCSX2, select the European BIOS (I recommend version 1.60) and press the button end to finish configuring the emulator.
Mission accomplished! You are now ready to emulate PS2 games on your PC. Then select the item ISO from the menu CDVD located at the top left, go to the menu CDVD> ISO selector> Browse and select the ISO image of the game you intend to emulate.
After this step too, select the item Boot from CDVD (full) from the menu System and the game should start. If instead of ISO images you intend to use diskettes directly with games, select the item first Plugin from the menu CDVD and then the voice Boot from CDVD (full) from the menu System.
If you are unable to start a game and / or receive error messages, try to change the BIOS or GS plugin by going to the menu Configuration> Plugin / BIOS selector of PCSX2.
I also point out that by going to the menu Configuration> Audio And Configuration> Video you can adjust the emulator’s audio and video settings while going into the menu Configuration> Controller (PAD)> Plugin Settings you can adjust the controller related settings.
How to emulate PS2 on Mac
Emulating the PlayStation 2 on the Mac is possible, but sadly the emulators available on macOS are not yet as advanced as those on Windows. PCSX2 for Mac exists, but its development has stalled and its degree of reliability isn’t even remotely comparable to that of its Windows counterpart, so it’s best to turn to other solutions.
Among the alternative solutions that I would like to recommend, although still immature, there is Play!: a free emulator that has all the credentials to become the best PS2 emulator for Mac.
To download Play! on your Mac, connected to its official website and first click on the item Weekly Builds (for Windows, OSX, Android and iOS) and then on the link relating to dmg package most recent. So open the dmg package which contains Play! and drag the application icon into the folder Applications of macOS.
At this point, start Play! by right clicking on its icon and selecting the item You open from the menu that appears and start the ISO image of a game by going to the menu File> Boot Disk Image or a disk by going to the menu File> Boot cdrom0.
Unfortunately it is not possible to adjust advanced settings related to video, audio or controller. The only settings that can be changed in the emulator are found in the menu Play! > Preferences. The ability to tweak the settings in more depth and support for new games will come in the future, hopefully. You keep following the project and download all the updates that will be released for the emulator.
Alternatively, if you’re in a really desperate situation where you absolutely want to play a title that doesn’t work in Play !, you could install Windows via Boot Camp and use PCSX2 on your Mac using Windows. I explained how to do it in my tutorial how to install Windows on Mac. I do not recommend, however, the way of emulating Windows on Mac as you would get a noticeable performance drop and in many cases you would encounter PS2 emulator crashes .
How to emulate PS2 on Android
Would you like to emulate a PS2 title on your Android smartphone or tablet? This can also be done.
Play!, the emulator I just told you about, is also available for Android and allows you to emulate different PS2 titles on the green robot system. It is not yet compatible with all games, it is not 100% mature, but for the moment I would say that it can be satisfied.
To download Play! on your Android device, you need to connect to the site purei.org/downloads/play/weekly/ and download the apk package most recent among those available. Once the download is complete, you need to open the application Download of Android or you have to use any file manager (eg. ES File Manager) to navigate to the folder Download of Android and you need to install Play! opening the apk package that concerns it. To complete the operation you must activate support at unknown origins in the menu Settings> Security of your device. For more details about it, check out my tutorial on how to install apk files.
Once installation is complete, transfer the ISO image of the game you intend to emulate to your smartphone or tablet, start Play! and select the title of your interest to start emulation.
If you have any problems or errors, I’m sorry, but the game you selected is almost certainly not compatible with Play yet! for Android. Be patient for a few weeks and try again with a newer version of the emulator.