Not a lot of people know this, but there are free games for the PSP out there. I’m not talking about those demo disks you get handed in stores or stolen copyrighted titles, but about great homebrew games, created by PSP enthusiasts themselves.
There’s an endless variety of them, ranging from simplistic puzzle games to graphically stunning action adventures. Before long you’ll be surprised of the creativity of the common geek and nerd.
Sony, you should really employ the public!
Today we’ll show you how to download games onto your PSP for free.
The need for a custom firmware
Unfortunately, Sony doesn’t allow any kind of software enthusiast too much freedom, so they will not run on standard PSPs. Your device will need to be unlocked, cracked, or loaded with a custom firmware before we go on.
There are a lot of different ways to do this, both involving software and hardware modifications, and the availability of each depends on your PSP model and current firmware. I would advise you to read the PSP Downgrading / Upgrading Guide, which lists going over all techniques step by step, illustrated and newb-proof. In it, you’ll find anything you’ll need to know about loading a custom firmware onto your PSP, and once we’ve got that settled, you’re good to go.
How to run homebrew games
If you’re running a custom firmware on your PSP by now, welcome to the next step – getting your homebrew games booted up. If you haven’t, or don’t know what I’m talking about, please return to and read the previous item.
Running these games is actually quite simple, the hardest part is putting them in the right folder. These days, there are two basic possibilities.
If you’ve got a 1.50 kernel application, you need to put the unzipped application folder in X:/PSP/GAME150, with X being your PSP drive letter. You know you’ve got a 1.50 kernel homebrew application when you’ve got two folders, ‘application’ and ‘%application’. These games are oldskool, based on the first firmwares of the PSP, and occur less and less each day.
If you’ve got a 3.xx kernel application, which includes most modern homebrew, you need to put the unzipped application folder in X:/PSP/GAME. Contrary to the 1.50 applications you’ve only got one folder; ‘application’.
Back on your PSP, go to Game – Memory Stick. You should see your homebrewed games there. Note that these same techniques can be applied for the various homebrew applications you’ll find on the internet, and not just games.
Sometimes your games don’t run. Always make sure you placed a folder in GAME or GAME150, and not just a bunch of files.
On current custom firmwares you can further tweak the advanced settings. To do this, hold the right trigger key (R) while booting up. This needs to be a real boot – if unsure, turn your PSP off by holding the turnoff button, or by temporarily removing your battery.
If all goes right, you’ll enter a recovery menu (listen well Sony, you could learn about this). Here you can configure kernel settings – best if you put them to 3.xx, but if you’ve got trouble starting your application you can flick through the alternatives – and enable the option to Hide Corrupted Applications. Reboot your device, and have a blast!
Top Download Sources
There are several download sources to acquire and download homebrew games onto your PSP for free. Allow us to present the best of them to you.
All-time favourite PSP Updates premiers nearly every new homebrew game and application. They’re a great source for new and good games. Take a look in their archive of PSP Hacks., for a more than decent representation of what’s out there. A good alternative, and pretty similar to PSP Updates is the
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and learned something from it. If you’ve got any remarks or questions about the topic, refer to the comments section below. Another PSP related article that might interest you is last week’s How To Transfer Music To Your PSP.