RPCS3

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RPCS3 is an emulator for PlayStation 3 games.

Installation

Install rpcs3AUR. As RPCS3 is under heavy development, rpcs3-gitAUR 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.

Configuration

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.

Installing games

Warning: Make sure to obtain a legitimate dump. Piracy is not supported because of legal and technical reasons. Pirated copies tend to have issues since the distributors may have patched the dumps.

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 game directory.

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/ICON0.png and PS3_GAME/PIC1.png contain the icon and background for that specific game.

Troubleshooting

Enabling the debug menu

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.

Note: This does not apply if it stopped working after an update. Regressions are possible and should be reported.

See also