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PSX Emulation: pSX Tutorial

About pSX

This tutorial is to help you with pSX. It is a PS1 emulator that works to its peak capacity right out of the box. That's great for people who don't want to fuss with ePSXe's plug-in system. pSX is also friendlier on slower computers. However, pSX is a rather simple emulator and doesn't have all the fancy features that ePSXe has.

*If you would like to download pSX, I have it in my emulators page.

The BIOS

You can't boot up games with pSX without the PS1 BIOS. Click the link right below to download it.

Playstation BIOS (236 KB)

After extracting pSX from its zip file (if you haven't already), look for a folder called "bios". Extract "Scph1001.bin" into the "bios" folder. My BIOS zip file actually comes with a whole bunch of other BIOS's. Just ignore them - Scph1001.bin is all you need.

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Extracting, Placement & Starting Up

1. I suggest you make a new folder called "Playstation" within a folder called "Emulation". You don't have to, but it makes things a little easier for you if you're not too computer literate.

2. pSX's zip file contains folders in it. If you simply drag & drop pSX, those important folders will not be created. pSX must be extracted by the extract feature. If you don't know how to extract files from a zip file then read this.

3. When the extracting is complete, if you haven't setup the BIOS then do it now - look for a folder called "bios". Extract "Scph1001.bin" into the "bios" folder.

4. Double-click on "psxfin" to open pSX.

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Missing d3dx9_26.dll

Upon opening pSX for the first time, you're going to most likely encounter a "Missing d3dx9_26.dll" error.

*You can download this missing file here (14.7 MB)

I'm sure you're curious what the heck this file is and why you're missing it. In a nutshell, Microsoft screwed us over from something cool and decided not to continue distributing this in their latest versions of DirectX. And now I'll walk you through installing d3dx9_26.dll.
NOTE: This installation does not install DirectX. All that it does is copy over d3dx9_26.dll's files to wherever they need to go.

1. Extract all the contents of the zip file and double-click on DXSETUP.EXE to open the install.
2. Just click I accept > Next > Next > Finish and BOOM you're done.

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Setting up the keyboard or gamepad

The keys are:

Up
Left
Down
Right
Triangle
Square
Cross
Circle
Start
Select
L1
L2
R1
R2

Cursor up
Cursor left
Cursor down
Cursor right
A
X
Z
S
Return
Space
Left shift
Left ctrl
Right shift
Right ctrl

But if you wish to reconfigure them or set up a gamepad:

1. Go to the File menu then Configuration.

2. You will arrive here. Click on the Controllers tab.

3. Simply click on the button you want to reconfigure, then press the keyboard key or gamepad button you want to change it to.

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Loading a PSX ISO you downloaded

1. You setup the BIOS right? Do that first, if you haven't already.

2. I'm sure the PSX ISO came in a ZIP, RAR, or 7Z file. The first step is to extract it. Windows XP can extract ZIP files by default; I have directions here. To extract a RAR file you need to install RAR software; 7-Zip and ExtractNow are good free ones. And to extract 7Z you need 7-Zip.
*If the game you downloaded has a ECM file extension, that's a form of compression. Go here for directions with that.

3. Go to File then Insert CD image. An Open window will show up. Look through your computer for your ISO and load it as if you were loading a ROM. Note that pSX supports multiple ISO formats; like BIN, IMG, NRG, etc. Anyway, don't expect the game to load immediately. Give it a minute or two.

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Q: I get a “No .cue file found” error!

Upon loading a CD image (the ISO) of a game you downloaded, you may get the following error:

“No .cue file found! Will attempt to guess format assuming single track”

That's not a good thing. Even though pSX supports a wide range of ISO formats, it can be picky with how a PS1 game is ripped. If you own the game you're trying to play, you can try to rip it differently or use different software to get it to work. Otherwise, if you downloaded the game then your options are: (1) try downloading the game from somewhere else and hope it's in a proper format for pSX, or (2) use ePSXe because it's not a picky as pSX and doesn't produce this error.

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Loading a PSX game CD

You setup the BIOS right? Do that first, if you haven't already. When you're ready, insert the game into your CD-ROM then go to File and Insert CD drive. That's it! Oh, and don't expect the game to load immediately; give it a minute or two.

Note: Really though, it's silly to be using your actual game CD when modern computers have such large hard drives. Games run better in their ISO form. Read below to learn how to rip your game CDs.

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Ripping your game CD to ISO

Gosh, these days we have like 500 GB, 800 GB, 1-5 TB hard drives! You can totally rip all of your PSX games and barely put a dent in your hard drive. PSX games run better & faster when you're running their ISO. And now that smartphones and tablets are becoming more common, you'll have no choice but to rip your games to play them on emulators on mobile devices. So here's how you rip your game CD:

1. Download & install ImgBurn. You can download it from its homepage, or download it right here (it's 2 MB).

2. Upon opening ImgBurn, click Create image file from disc, as shown here.

3. Make sure the proper source drive is set under "Source", then click click the "Read" icon - as shown here.

4. That's it! Ripping your game CD will take maybe 20-30 minutes. And by default, ImgBurn will toss the BIN file (the ISO) into Documents.

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Pausing

There's no official way to pause your games, but you can easily do so by pressing the Alt key to access pSX's top menus. Press Alt again to unpause. If you're in fullscreen mode, expect pSX to jump back to window mode temporarily until you press Alt again.

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Creating a memory card

If you wish to save your game(s), you need to create a memory card.

1. Go to File and Configuration.

2. Click on the Memory Cards tab.

3. Type a name for the memory card. Any name.

4. Click Ok. And you're done.

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ESC closes pSX!!

Warning!! Pressing the ESC key closes pSX! This is dangerously confusing because most video game emulators exit fullscreen mode when you press ESC.

Fortunately, you can reconfigure features in pSX. To change the function of the ESC key...

1. Go to File > Configuration.

2. Click on the Misc tab. As shown here, you can change the ESC key to exit fullscreen mode.

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Fullscreen

Simply press Alt+Enter to bring pSX to fullscreen. Then press Alt+Enter again to bring it back to window mode.

Reminder: Take note of the above - pressing ESC while in fullscreen mode closes pSX!

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Save states

Save states is a feature that saves the exact spot you are in a game. Once a game is open press the F6 key to save your game. When you wish to recall your saved state, press F1. pSX lets you save up to 5 different slots. Check out the Quicksave menu for the keys to each slot.
Tip: If you're playing an RPG then I recommend that you use both save states and normal saving to save your games. This way you'll always have a backup.

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Q: Can I transfer my memory card file to another PSX emulator?

Unfortunately no. pSX doesn't use the MCR format for memory card files, which is the format that other PSX emulators use. And pSX save states definitely can't be transferred since save states are always exclusive to the emulator it came from.

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Q: Where can I download PSX games?

Ah, the golden question. Some of my ROM site links carry PSX games. Torrents are a good resource as well. When in a torrent site, search using keywords like "final fantasy vii psx", "final fantasy vii ps1", "final fantasy 7 psx" and such to find the game you're looking for.

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