RPCS3 is an emulator for PlayStation 3 games.
Install AUR. As RPCS3 is under heavy development, AUR is recommended to make sure the latest fixes and features can be used.
To be able to actually run games, the PlayStation 3 system software is required, as indicated in the quickstart guide. Fortunately it is easy to acquire this firmware compared with other Sony systems like the PlayStation 2. Sony even provides the files online, so it is not necessary to dump anything. Download the
PS3UPDAT.PUP file by clicking on the big button.
After installing RPCS3, open it and go to File > Install Firmware, then choose the downloaded file.
In order to play games comfortably, a gamepad should be present. In the most optimal case, it is an original PlayStation 3 controller. Other gamepads are supported as well, make sure Handlers is set to
evdev under the menu entry Pads.
RPCS3 stores its data in
$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/rpcs3. More game directories can be added. It differentiates between disc dumps and downloaded (PSN) games. Put disc dumps into the
disc directory and the downloaded ones into the
The usual way of running games is pointing rpcs3 to the directory or installing it, if it is a .pkg file.
The difference between downloads and disc dumps
Downloaded games (or other content, such as DLCs) usually consist of only two files, a key (or license) and the actual game. The key is usually contained in a tiny .rap file, the game is much bigger in size, usually around 10-15 gigabytes. Put both files into
game dir/name of the game. name of the game is purely cosmetic, as this directory only exists so that the files, which may have random names, do not make the directory listing unreadable.
Disc dumps contain many files and can easily identified by the
PS3_GAME directory in it.
PS3_GAME/PIC1.png contain the icon and background for that specific game.
Unfortunately many games are still not fully playable and require workarounds. Since not all settings that are visible by default will help with glitches and other bugs, some important configuration is done in the debug menu. See the RPCS3 FAQ on how to enable the debug menu.
The main window looks odd with a system-wide dark theme
Users which configured their environment to use dark themes may have problems with the default theme. Go to Config > GUI and choose a different theme.
Graphics suddenly pop in when compiling shaders
Go to Config > GPU and set Shader Mode to Async with Shader Interpreter.
This can help with situations where it takes a while to fully compile the shaders. Objects are invisible until their shader is compiled, which can ruin the fun of e.g cutscenes.
Weird graphics errors
If the game once worked perfectly and suddenly stopped working after starting it, clear the cache. It is usually found in
$XDG_CACHE_HOME/rpcs3 and is safe to remove. This location only contains logs and other things that can be regenerated without problems, like compiled shaders and PPU modules. Removing this will cause the next startup to be slower.