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In this guide I will try to explain how to properly configure PCSX2 and to give some tips for running games. Here it is in steps:

1) Download the new PCSX2 v0.9.6[url=] HERE[/url]
2) Open the archive and extract its contents into a folder (eg C:\PCSX2)
3) Run pcsx2.exe which is in the folder you extracted the files.

[b]For Linux Users[/b]
Get the binary from [url=]HERE[/url] or the source from [url=]GoogleCode[/url]. To compile from source, follow the instructions in the checkout section, then go to the PCSX2 folder and type "sh all", and all the plugins with PCSX2 will compile in the bin folder.
You need the following installed: gtk2, opengl, libbz2, libjpeg, glew-dev, libxxf86vm-dev, x11proto-xf86vidmodeautomake and autoconf (version >= 1.9) Nvidia Cg-Toolkit, libasound-dev, joystick.

Plugins available for Linux are: ZeroGS OpenGL, ZeroSPU2, PeopsSPU2, ZeroPad, EFP Iso, EFP Polling and Linuz Iso

[*]Plugin Configuration
[list][*]<a href="#Gfx">Graphics plugin configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#Sound">Sound plugin configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#Pad">Pad plugin configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#Cdvd">CDVD plugin configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#Dev9">Dev9 plugin configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#USB">USB plugin configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#Firewire">Firewire plugin configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#Bios">BIOS configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#Cpu">CPU configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#Gfix">Game Fixes configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#SHack">Speed hacks configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#Adv">Advanced configuration</a>
[*]<a href="#Misc">Misc. Settings configuration</a>[/list]
<h2>Configuring PCSX2</h2>
The new VTLB version of PCSX2 has replaced the 2 older ones, but do note that save states created with the old VM build will not be compatible with it.

This is the main GUI(Graphical User Interface) of PCSX2.From here you can change the settings or plugins used by PCSX2 as you see fit.
Go to Config =>Configure to start configuring PCSX2.You'll see a screen like this (click to enlarge):


First off you can use the Set Plugins Directory and Set Bios Directory to change the directory from which PCSX2 loads its plugins and bios respectively.
So if you are not using the default directories (/plugins and /bios) you should use these buttons to change them.
The Configure, Test and About buttons that you see under each plugin section are for Configuring the selected plugin, testing if a selected plugin works(kind of obsolete since if it shows up in the list it will work) and for checking out some info about the selected plugin.

Now onto the actual plugin configuring:

<h2 id="Gfx">Graphics:</h2>
[b]What version of pixel shaders and DirectX does your graphics card support?[/b]

Check [url=]this link[/url] (thanks to Nachbrenner)

For the time being you will be able to use the ZeroGS v0.97.1 plugin ,which is a new DirectX 9 graphics plugin [b]that requires a graphics card that supports pixel shaders 2 to work[/b].

GSdx at v0.1.14 ,is a DirectX 9  and DirectX 10 plugin by Gabest which recently got greatly improved in both speed and image quality. Requires pixel shaders 2 and SSE2 to work and Vista/Windows 7 with a DirectX 10 compliant graphics card for the DirectX10 mode. Both plugins have been included in our PCSX2 0.9.6 release packs

<h3>Select GSdx v0.1.14 and press the Configure button.</h3>
[*]First of all GSdx comes in 3 versions,SSE2,SSSE3 and SSE4.1.[b]Only IF[/b] your processor supports these instruction sets use the respective version since it will be faster for you. Otherwise you will get constant crashes when using it.
SSE2 supporting CPUs: [url=]Check here[/url]
SSSE3 supporting CPus: [url=]Check here[/url]
SSE4.1 supporting CPUs: Intel Core 2 Duo Penryn series (E7xxx,E8xxx and Q9xxx models) Intel Corei5, Intel Corei7
<br />[*]To use the DirectX10 mode, you will have to be running [b]Windows Vista or Windows 7[/b] with a [b]DirectX10 compliant graphics card[/b] (check previous link)
<br />[*]Resolution: In this drop-down menu you will be able to select "Windowed" if you want GSdx to run in a window, or choose the resolution/refresh rate you want for a full-screen display.    
<br />[*]Renderer: Here you can choose how the graphics will be rendered.<br />

By selecting "Direct3D9 (Hardware)",GSdx will use the Direct3D capabilities of your graphics card, boosting the emulation speed significantly.

By selecting "Direct3D10 (Hardware)" ([b]only selectable in Vista/Windows 7 with DX10 gfx card[/b]),GSdx will use its' Direct3D10 mode which is usually the fastest mode and sometimes even more compatible as well. Highly recommended if your system supports it.

By selecting "Direct3D9 (software)" GSdx will use its' built-in software renderer, which will not use your graphics card at all, but your processor instead. This way the emulation speed is greatly reduced but you get maximum compatibility. Recommended if you encounter graphics bugs with the Direct3D renderer.

By selecting "Direct3D9 (null)","Null (software)" or "Null (null)" the plugin will simply not render anything, thus not giving any output on screen. Use it only if you want to e.g. Hear some music since with this mode you get a dramatic speed increase.
<br />[*]Shader: Here you will be able to choose between 2 options, if your graphics card doesn't support some of the modes,[b]they will not show up in the drop-down list[/b]:

Pixel Shader 2.0: Will use Pixel Shaders v2.0,improving the graphics

Pixel Shader 3.0: Will use Pixel Shaders v3.0,improving the graphics. Highly recommended for graphics card owners that have pixel shaders 3.Fast and compatible

[b]Note[/b]: When running in Direct3D10 mode, this will be grayed out since GSdx is using Pixel Shaders 4 which you can't change
<br />[*]Interlacing: Here you are able to choose between None and 6 other interlacing techniques, which are used to remove the "shaking" of the display.
In parentheses you can see what kind of effect and maybe disadvantage (e.g. like the half FPS note in blend) each one of these modes have.
You can cycle through them when running a game by pressing the F5 key.
<br />[*]Aspect Ratio (F5): Self explanatory, you can select stretch to stretch the display to get rid of the black boarders, 4:3 for a normal display and 16:9 for a wide screen display.
You can cycle through them when running a game by pressing the F6 key.
<br />[*]D3D internal res: Here you can specify the exact resolution you want your game to run at!
This way, if your pc is powerful enough (mainly your graphics card), you can play your favorite ps2 games in much higher resolutions making the graphics crisp and more detailed.
Note that the higher the resolution, the more resources the plugin will have to use, thus making emulation much slower.
<br />[*]Native: If you check this box, the plugin will render in the native resolution of the ps2 (that is why D3D internal res gets grayed out)
<br />[*]SW rend. threads: This box is only usable when having selected a software rendering method. Here you can specify how many threads GSdx will use while software rendering, to take advantage of all cores your processor might have, e.g. set it to 3 for quad core processors. Boosts speed significantly in multi-core systems for software rendering with more than 2 cores.
<br />[*]NLOOP hack: This fixes some problems with Final Fantasy X. It is a very specific hack and should [b]ONLY[/b] be used with Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2.
You can also set it to the third state (gray-checked) which will let the plugin decide when the hack is needed and when it is not and enable/disable it respectively.
<br />[*]Enable tv-out: Check/uncheck this option to enable/disable tv-out. If your video card has a tv-out the output window of GSdx is displayed on the TV.
<br />[*]Texture filtering: When checked, everything on screen both 2D and 3D will be filtered smoothing out the output and improving the visuals in general. When grayed, filtering will only be applied to 3D.Note that this can cause graphic bugs and increases the load on your graphics card.
<br />[*]Movie Capture: This is a hidden(:P) feature. By pressing F12 while running PCSX2 with GSdx a message box will appear. In the first field you must show the plugin where the captured video will be stored, and type the filename too. In the second field you can choose a compression codec like DivX or "Uncompressed" which will not compress the video at all. If you choose a compression codec, you will be able to change its settings by pressing the "Config" button. Note that only codecs already installed in your PC will show up.
Press F12 again at any time to stop the capturing. The video produced will be automatically sped up to 100% for your viewing pleasure :)
<br />[*]Hit Ok to save your changes or cancel to go back to the main Configuration window
<h3>Select ZeroGS v0.97.1 and press the Configure button.</h3>
[*]ZeroGS is a new DirectX 9 plugin developed by ZeroFrog and is aimed only for modern graphics cards which support pixel shaders 2.0 or higher. As noted before if your card does not meet that requirement you will get an "Error opening gs plugin" message and pcsx2 will terminate.
<br />[*]Interlace Enable: When this is checked some interlacing issues will be resolved(screen "shaking") although some games look better with this disabled. You can toggle it while running a game by using the "F5" key.
<br />[*]Bilinear Filtering: When this is checked the plugin will filter the display, smoothing out edges. This will generally drop your FPS dramatically except if you own a very powerful graphics card. You can toggle it while running a game by pressing and holding "shift" then press "F5". There are 2 types of bilinear filtering modes: [b]normal bf[/b] and [b]forced bf[/b]. Sometimes games will tell the GS to render textures with point sampling, not linear sampling. In normal bf mode, ZeroGS will listen to the games. In forced bf mode, it will render all textures with bilinear filtering. Forced bf can introduce unwanted artifacts at the edges of textures in some games, so be careful. However, it most cases, forced bf produces smoother looking scenes.
<br />[*]Anti-aliasing: Here you can choose the level of anti-aliasing you want the plugin to use, to make edges smoother. You can toggle this while running a game by using the "F6" key. Note that this might reduce speed.

None: Will not use any level of anti-aliasing
2x: Will use 2X anti-aliasing
4x: Will use 4X anti-aliasing
8x: Will use 8X anti-aliasing
16x: Will use 16X anti-aliasing
<br />[*]Wireframe rendering: When checked the plugin will only render in wireframe, so you'll just see some polygon lines here and there ;)
You can toggle it while running a game by pressing "F7".
<br />[*]Capture avi: You can capture a video of your gameplay just like the GSdx plugin. Press "F12" and a window will appear for codec selection. For the time being you will only be able to use XviD encoding since the rest of the codecs will crash the plugin. After you select it, you can configure the codec by pressing the configure button. Press ok and the recording process will start. Press "F12" again to stop it. The video will be saved in the PCSX2 root directory as "zerogs.avi".
<br />[*]Save snapshots as BMPs(default is JPG): What it says, with this enabled snapshots you take with "F8" will be saved as BMP files and not as JPGs files which is the default. The snapshots you take with "F8" are located in the /snaps folder of your pcsx2 directory.
<br />[*]Fullscreen: Pretty simple, if you have this checked the plugin will show the output full screen instead of windowed. If you have it disabled and already running a game you can press and hold "alt" then press "enter" to go full screen.
<br />[*]Widescreen: Some games support widescreen mode. By checking this, ZeroGS will automatically scale the window to 16:9.
<br />[*]Default Window Size: You can check the window size ZeroGS will have when you run it by default. Options are various screen resolutions that your window will be resized to. Choose what you like best and note it will not affect speed.
<br />[*]You can press and hold the "shift" key and then press the "F7" key to toggle on and off the Frames Per Second display in ZeroGS's window.

<h3>ZeroGS Advanced Options</h3>
[*] ZeroGS exposes a couple of extra options to tweak its various settings. Sometimes games use the Graphics Synthesizer in many unexpected ways, and sometimes it is impossible for ZeroGS to predict how exactly it should emulate the GS. Some options can convert a game from a garbage screen going at 2 frames per second to exactly what the game would look like on the ps2 going at 60 frames a second.
<br />[*] If a particular set of options works very well for a particular, then these options can saved in the game's patch file so that they are always applied every time the game is loaded. This is useful when you want these options to be enabled only for that particular game and not to affect other games.
<br />[*] Each set of options in ZeroGS has a unique id. To query this id, go into the ZeroGS configuration dialog box, set the particular options, and click on the [b]Compute OR of IDS[/b] button. Take the number generated and open the game's corresponding pnach file (usually the game's CRC.pnach). Then add in a new line [b]zerogs=xxxxxxxx[/b] where the x's are the id.[/list]

<h2 id="Sound">Sound:</h2>

The latest and best sound plugin at the time of writing this. It was first based on Gigaherz's SPU2 and later modified by Jake Stine (Air) of the PCSX2 team.
This is the only SPU2 plugin that supports effects processing (like reverb) and Dolby if your sound card properly decodes dolby prologic

[*]Interpolation: Here you can select 1 out of 3 options:
1)Nearest: As the description says, no interpolation made in this mode and is the fastest one.
2)Linear: This is the recommended option, doing a linear interpolation on sound.
3)Cubic: Another type of interpolation, broken at this time so don't use it.
<br />[*]Disable effects processing: Checking this will disable any emulation of effects like reverb, lowering sound quality but increasing speed.
<br />[*]Module: Here you can select 1 out of 4 settings, which are different ways of outputting sound in your system:
1)No sound: Will not produce any sound (mute) resulting in best speed.
2)X Audio 2: This is the recommended method, works better under Vista so XP users might want to try the third option.
3)DirectSound: Should be slightly worse than X Audio 2,use it if it works better for you.
4)Wave out: Not recommended, option 2 or 3 should always work better.
<br />[*]Latency: The lower the latency value the smaller audio delay you will have. [b]Note[/b] that setting latency too low WILL cause cracks and pops in sound, so change the values until you find the lowest one that works with your game without causing cracks.
<br />[*]Disable Time-Stretching: This will disable the time stretching feature which keeps in sync audio and video but also helps eliminate cracks and other sound problems. Gives a small speedup if disabled.
<br />[*]Disable audio expansion: Configuration dialogue covers what it does.
<br />[*]Use a Winamp DSP plugin: If you don't know what this is, leave it be.

This is an SPU2 plugin developed by zerofrog. ZeroSPU2 has the following features:

[*] ZeroSPU2 will time itself exactly to the game's timing, so the sound will never speed up, or slow down out of order. Not timing the sound exactly causes games to hang.

[*] ZeroSPU2 has a time-scaling feature which slows down sound when the game itself is running slow usually without time-scaling, the sound will pop because there are not enough packets. Other SPU2 plugins just request more packets from the game, which can sometimes cause the game to hang. To enable this option, go into the ZeroSPU2 configuration dialog and check the correct box. The time-scaling feature works best under Windows, but is also implemented in Linux.

[*] Audio/video recording - When ZeroGS is loaded along with ZeroSPU2 it becomes possible to record videos with sound. Check the Recording box to record sound during each of your gameplays in a file.

[*]Mute: Will mute sound, giving a bit of extra speed
PEOPS SPU2 is a solid SPU2 plugin which has been quite improved lately. Some games work with this plugin better while others like ZeroSPU2 more, choose whichever fits your needs
Pete has saved me the time and has included a detailed description of each setting on his plugin in the included readme file, so use that to configure it properly :)

<h2 id="Pad">First Controller/Second Controller:</h2>
Here you will be able to use 2 plugins, Lilypad v0.9.9 and SSSPSX Pad v1.7.0

<h3>Select SSSPSX Pad v1.7.0 and press the Configure button.</h3>

You'll see a window like this (click to enlarge):


The second controller field is totally obsolete, since you can now configure both plugins from hitting configure with either plugin selected in either First Controller or Second Controller field

Now hit Configure to start configuring SSSPSX Pad:

[*]Here, you simply press on each button's name and input the key you want to assign to it.If you want to clear a key from being assigned somewhere you can click on the respective button and wait until the "Timeout: " timer reaches 0.Then the selected key will be assigned to NONE again.
<br />[*]Click on the PAD1/PAD2 tabs on the upper left corner to switch from configuring controller 1 to controller 2(you don't need to do it from the main configuration screen)
<br />[*]SSSPSX Pad supports analog controllers. You can assign your analog axis in the "LX,LY,RX,RY" buttons. LX is for Left analog X-Axis,LY is for Left analog Y-Axis,RX is for Right analog X-Axis,RY is for Right analog Y-Axis
<br />[*]The R3 and L3 buttons are the buttons on the analog stick of the ps2 controller, R for right and L for left as usual.
<h3>Select Lilypad v0.9.9 and press the Configure button.</h3>
You'll see a window like this (click to enlarge):

[*]Lilypad is a very advanced input plugin supporting keyboards, mouse, gamepads and Xbox 360 pads. Also it includes some very handy hacks for use with PCSX2 like the ESC hack or the Disable Screensaver option.
<br />[*]For a very detailed description about what each setting does and how to properly configure it, visit the official thread of the plugin [url=]HERE[/url]. You can also download the latest version from there or from our plugins download section :)

<h2 id="Cdvd">Cdvdrom:</h2>
Here you will be able to select which plugin will be responsible for reading your CDs/DVDs or images. By default, PCSX2 includes Gigaherz's CDVD v0.7.0,Linuz Iso CDVD v0.8.0,CDVDnull v0.6.0 and PEOPS CDVD v1.3.0.
[b]Note:[/b] Older plugins like CDVDbin or CDVDdraft will NOT work with v0.9.6 since they are outdated

<h3>Select EFP Iso CDVD v0.6.0 and hit Configure</h3>
[*]Here you can press the Browse button to pre-select an image that the emulator will run. If you do that, then you will be able to run the image selected by both using Run =>Execute and File =>Run CD with the difference that with Run =>Execute you will see the bios at the start then run the game (just like on the ps2) and with File =>Run CD you will skip the bios intro and run the game at once.
<br />[*]Show configure screen when starting emulation: When checked, the EFP Iso configure screen will pop up whenever you press File =>Run CD or Run =>Execute where you will be able to browse for the desired image you want to run and press ok. If not checked, the plugin will run the image you have pre-selected before pressing File =>Run CD or Run =>Execute.
<br />[*]Show configure screen when restarting emulation: Same as above, but with restarting.
<br />[*]Get from Disc: This will pop up a new window where you can create an ISO from your PS2 disc.

Source CD/DVD Device: Input here the cd/dvd drive letter in which your PS2 disc is in that you want to create an iso from.

Iso file: Input the path and filename your iso file will have (or press browse and find it yourself to save you the typing)

New file compression: You can select a compression method you want for your new iso image file. No compression will not compress it, compressions noted as "for speed" are faster but make bigger images and compressions noted as "for size" are slower but create smaller images.

Multiple files(all under 2GB): Check this box if you want your image to be split in multiple files which will be each less than 2GB.Very useful if you don't have an NTFS partition that supports large files or when you want to split an image for storage purposes

Finally, press make file to create the image you have selected
<br />[*]Convert: This option lets you compress or uncompress images.
In the new screen, first select the image you want to get modified.
Then select the kind of compression (or uncompressed to decompress it) you want and finally hit Change file. The Multiple files checkbox does the exact same thing as described above.

<h3>Select Linuz Iso CDVD v0.8.0 and hit configure.</h3>
[*]This plugin has the extra ability of compressing your images to save you disk space apart from running your images for the emulator.
<br />[*]Click Select Iso to select the game image you want to run/compress. Once you've selected an image you can either close the config window so you can run it or press "Compress Iso" to compress it. If you selected an already compressed image you can also select "Decompress Iso" to decompress it.
<br />[*]Under "Compression Method" you can select either ".Z - compress faster", which will compress your image faster but make it larger or ".BZ - compress better", which will compress your image slowly but make it smaller.
<br />[*]Under Options you can check/uncheck "Enable Block Dump=>'block.dump'". When checked, this option will create a block.dump file in the PCSX2 root folder(where pcsx2.exe is located) from the game you ran. This file is like a small iso, which is mainly used for debugging. It will store the sectors read during the execution of the game you ran, so after you will be able to load the file(using "select iso" of Linuz Iso CDVD) and run it without any image/cd/dvd. Note that if the game will try to read any other sectors from the ones not included in the dump file, it will obviously stop responding.
<br />[*]Press ok to save your changes

<h3>Select EFP Polling CDVD v0.4.0 and hit configure.</h3>

[*]This plugin is pretty simple in its' configuration. Simply type the drive letter your ps2 game is in and you are done. Note: EFP Polling [b]does NOT support ps2 CD games yet, you can only run DVD games with it[/b]
<h3>CDVDnull v0.6.0</h3>

[*]This is a Null plugin just like SPU2null, meaning it simply does nothing. You should use this plugin if you want to run demos (via File => Open ELF file) or if you want to run the bios only(via Run =>Execute).It doesn't have a configuration screen for obvious reasons

<h3>Select PEOPS CDVD v1.3.0 and press configure.</h3>
[*]I wouldn't put this plugin's configuration here since Pete has all this [b]documented[/b] but it seems no one reads documentation anymore.
<br />[*]Interface: Here you can choose "Win9x/ME - ASPI scsi commands" or "W2K/XP IOCTL scsi commands". As noted the first option is for Windows 9x or Millenium and second option is for Windows 2000 or XP. If  the option that is noted for your operating system does not work(eg emulator freezes after you press run cd or you get an "error opening cdvd plugin") simply use the other option. If neither work, try installing an ASPI layer like the one from adaptec. Yes it's that simple!
<br />[*]Drive: Simply choose the drive letter your ps2 game is on. The plugin will auto-detect your cd/dvd rom drive letters.
<br />[*]Caching mode: Here you can choose how the plugin will cache the reads it makes. Each option has a pretty simple and complete description besides it, so you shouldn't have trouble selecting what you want. To ensure maximum compatibility I recommend using the "Read Ahead-fast, reads more sectors at once" option.
<br />[*]Try to limit speed: When checked the plugin will try to limit your reader's speed to the value you select in the drop down box at the right of this option. As noted it isn't supported by all drives. You should not enable it unless you experience some really strange reading speed issues.
<br />[*]Don't wait until drive is ready: Does what it says, so if you have problems using this plugin try checking this to see if it helps
<br />[*]Check tray state: Do what it says and leave it off...
<br />[*]Try again on reading error. Retry count(1-10): This option when enabled will force the plugin to try reading the same sectors again if it had trouble reading them and returned an error. Leaving this enabled will not cause you any problems so just to be safe,leave it on with some normal value like 5(as it is by default)
<br />[*]Show message box on reading error: When checked a pop up box will show when a reading error occurs. You can enable it to ensure no read errors have been made or if there have been maybe change the try again value above to something higher to get a better chance of reading the sector properly.

<h3>Select Gigaherz's CDVD v0.7.0 and press configure.</h3>
[*]Pretty simple really,just select the drive letter from which the plugin will read the disc from. It will then directly run your PS2 game from the CD/DVD you have inserted in your drive
<br />[*]This is the only plugin that at least partially supports disc changing. If you have troubles changing a disc that is required by a game try this plugin!

<h2 id="Dev9">Dev9:</h2>
Here are the plugins that handle the HDD(hard disk drive) and ethernet emulation. There are 2 plugins included in the release package,Dev9null v0.3.0 yet another Null plugin which is exactly like all the other ones and Dev9 Giga-raziel which partially emulates the PS2 ethernet (HDD emulation not working).
Also there is a newer Dev9 plugin in development by NHerve,MegaDev9 plugin which is still in early stages but very promising. For the time, it partially emulates the ps2 HDD. You can get it [url=]here[/url].

<h2 id="USB">Usb:</h2>
Here are the plugins that handle USB(Universal Serial Bus) emulation. The release package includes the USB Null v0.4 which is yet another Null plugin and Qemu USB driver v0.1.0 by Gigaherz.
In USB Null press Configure to get a menu with a checkbox where you can check/uncheck "Enable Logging" which will enable/disable usb logging. As said, it should be used from developers only.
Qemu USB driver was developed to work with Monster Hunter for the online play so it will not work with almost nothing else. Since it emulates more than the null plugin, it might help in game compatibility when you use it.

<h2 id="Firewire">Firewire:</h2>
Here are the plugins that handle the Firewire port of the PS2.Only the FWnull v0.4.0 is included in the release package. There are no other Firewire plugins available or in development.
FWnull v0.4 is another Null plugin. Press Configure to get a menu with a checkbox where you can check/uncheck "Enable Logging" which will enable/disable firewire logging. As said, it should be used from developers only.

<h2 id="Bios">BIOS(Basic Input Output System)</h2>
In this drop down menu you will find your bios image, if you have one and have put it in the selected bios folder. Note that the only LEGAL way of obtaining a bios is dumping it from your OWN Playstation 2 console.[b]DO NOT[/b] ask where to get the bios in the PCSX2 forum, because it's against the rules. That's because the ps2 BIOS is a copyrighted material of Sony and that makes its' distribution illegal, meaning we could get in trouble if it was found out that we were supplying people illegally with bios files. You can find out if your BIOS image is valid or not by checking if there is a percentage besides it in the BIOS drop down box of the main configuration screen. If it does, your BIOS image is NOT valid. Also if it does not even appear there even after you have selected your right bios directory, it is once again an invalid image.

[b]Attention:[/b] It is recommended that you have all files for BIOS newer than the SCPH-10000.bin.You will probably be able to run the bios or games without having them but there may be a chance that these affect compatibility somehow. This includes rom1.bin,rom2.bin,erom.bin and a SCPH-XXXXX.nvm file where XXXXX is the version of your bios(eg SCPH-34004.nvm).This last file can be also created from PCSX2 after you configure your bios(set time zone, language etc) but it's better if you have this file directly ripped from your Playstation 2.Once more [b]DO NOT ASK[/b] where to get these files, since they are part of BIOS too.

Here's a quick explanation about what these files do by auMatt:

Basically the first jap ps2 had a single bios and the dvd player etc were installed on the memcard.
The Ps2's after that first model had the Dvd Player software installed in a separate ROM (EROM) which is encrypted.
The ROM1 is an additional part of the BIOS that contains some extra stuff like ID's for DVD Player version etc.
ROM2 is the same really but I think only available in Chinese PS2's.
Hope this helps.

A new Bios dumper is already available that can dump your PS2 Bios,ROM1,ROM2,EROM and NVM.Get it [url=]HERE[/url]

Note: For maximum compatibility it is recommended that you use a BIOS image different than SCPH10000.BIN which is the oldest one. That's because with this BIOS there are problems in memory card emulation and in other sections.

[b]How to extract the bios files from your PS2:[/b] Visit [url=]PS2Dev[/url] and a thread [url=]HERE[/url]

So now we are done Configuring all plugins for PCSX2

<h2 id="Cpu">CPU settings</h2>
Next are the CPU which can be found under Config =>Cpu. You'll see a window like this(will vary depending on your CPU, click to enlarge):


[*]First, check the information of your processor that is automatically detected by PCSX2:
CPU Vendor: Shows the vendor of your CPU(AMD or Intel)
Family: The family your processor is in
CPU Speed: The real cpu speed of your processor
Features: Shows the features that your processor has. These are very important since they are used in PCSX2 for extra speed. If you don't have some, you won't be able to select some features below

Now there are various checkboxes you can check and uncheck.

[*]"EErec - EE/IOP Recompiler": When this is checked, the recompiler for the Emotion Engine of the ps2 will be enabled, granting a really big speedup. It's extremely compatible, so you should always use it. Uncheck it and you are using the really slow Interpreter mode, which in some cases is more compatible.
<br />[*]"VU0rec": Check it to enable the recompiler for the VU0 unit. More speed with this checked, but it tends to mess up more often than VU1rec,so check/uncheck depending on the game you are running.
<br />[*]"VU1rec": Check it to enable the recompiler for the VU1 unit. Will give a significant speed increase, but it will reduce compatibility with some games although usually it works properly.
<br />[*]"Multi-threaded GS mode(MTGS)": With this mode checked you will experience a significant speed boost in dual core/hyper-threading CPUs. This mode can lower compatibility in rare cases .Use it [b]only with dual core/hyper-threading CPUs[/b].

<br />[*]"Frame Limiting(FL)": Here are some new options regarding frame limiting and skipping. By pressing F4 you can switch between the 4 modes while running a game (the current mode will be printed in the console window if you have it enabled)
<br />[list]
[*]"Normal": No frame limit as the description says, will render everything at max speed(frame limiter disabled)

[*]"Limit": Your good old frame limiter. With this enabled speed will be limited to 50 FPS for PAL games and 60 FPS for NTSC games. Note that sometimes the PAL/NTSC region of the game might get detected wrong from the emulator, making this option not work correctly.
[*]"Frame Skip": See included description

[*]"VU Skip": See included description, might be buggy

[*]Detailed Settings: Here more advanced users can customize how the frame skipping will work. Description of what each setting does is included in the GUI. If you don't understand it, leave them all 0.

<h2 id="Gfix">Game fixes</h2>
As the name implies, these are special game fixes for some games which for some reason emulating them requires something special. Note that the team has no intention of keeping hacks for specific games, these are there temporarily until a proper fix is found so they can be removed.

<br />[*]FPU Compare hack: This hack is needed because of the limited range of floating point numbers defined by the IEEE standard that the PS2 doesn't follow. Enable it [b]only[/b] for 'Digimon Rumble Arena 2'.
<br />[*]VU Add/Sub hack: This hack is also needed because the PS2 doesn't follow the IEEE standard on floats.
Enable it [b]only[/b] for 'Star Ocean 3','Valkyrie Profile 2' and 'Radiata Stories'.

<h2 id="SHack">Speed Hacks</h2>
The new version of PCSX2 comes with a few hacks which you can use to speed up your games. Be aware that all these hacks [b]lower compatibility, cause bugs, crashes and all kinds of unexpected behaviour[/b] so use them with caution. Also note that these affect certain games only, so you might not get any speed up depending on the game.

[*]Emotion Engine Sync Hacks: These hacks increase the time an emulated operation takes, thus the task is easier to do for your CPU. Anything other than default can break your games, make them appear sluggish or make them start skipping frames.
<br />[*]Default Cycle Rate: This is not a hack. Have this selected to disable the EE sync hacks.

[*]Use x1.5 Cycle rate: Moderate speed increase, small compatibility hit.

[*]Use x2 Cycle rate: Big speed increase, moderate compatibility hit. Also can cause stuttering audio in game videos.

[*]Use x3 Cycle rate: Big speed increase, huge compatibility hit. This will break most games, cause stuttering audio in game videos and even make the FPS counter report false values.

<br />[*]INTC Sync hack: This hack takes a shortcut in a known situation PS2 games do when they idle. Instead of doing the idle loop it just jumps to its' end and continues from there.
Can give big speed boosts but only in a few games. Very safe hack, it almost has no compatibility hit.
<br />[*]Enable IOP x2 Cycle rate: Same as the EE Sync hacks but for the IOP. Gives a slight speed increase and lowers compatibility.
<br />[*]WaitCycles Sync hack: This hack lowers the usually very tight synchronization between the EE and the IOP. This can help the speed a bit but could cause a few games to crash.
<br />[*]Escape hack: Not really a hack, does what it says. It makes it possible to close PCSX2 completely when running a game in full screen by pressing the ESC key.

<h2 id="Adv">Advanced configuration</h2>
This section has a wide variety of advanced settings for power users who know what they are doing. [b]Do NOT[/b] change any of this if you don't know what you are doing.
For maximum compatibility, set the EErec Clamp mode to 'Full' and the VUrec Clamp to 'Extra+Preserve Sign'.

[*]EErec options:
[*]Round mode: Changes how rounding of floats is calculated. If your game is freezing somewhere, try changing the value here.
[*]Clamp mode: These settings go from faster to slower from left to right. So 'None' is the fastest but least compatible and 'Full' is the slowest but most compatible.
If you experience spikey polygons or bad geometry, try setting this to extra or full. Note: 'Full' mode works properly [b]only when VUrecs clamp is set to 'Extra+Preserve Sign'[/b].
[*]Flush to Zero: Can give a small speed boost but will lower compatibility.
[*]Denormals are Zero: Gives a good speed boost and should not cause any problem.
<br />[*]VUrecs options:
[*]Round mode: Same as EErec
[*]Clamp mode: These settings go from faster to slower from left to right. So 'None' is the fastest but least compatible and 'Extra+Preserve Sign' is the slowest but most compatible.
If you experience spikey polygons or bad geometry, try setting this to 'Extra+Preserve Sign'.
[*]Flush to Zero: Can give a small speed boost but will lower compatibility.
[*]Denormals are Zero: Gives a huge speed boost and should not cause any problem.
<br />[*]Defaults button: Will return all advanced options to defaults, which are the best settings for most games (balanced in terms of speed and compatibility.

<h2 id="Misc">Miscellaneous options</h2>
Now to describe what the rest of the options do:

[*]File =>Run CD/DVD: If you press this the emulator will run the image you have selected in your CDVD plugin or will ask you to find an image if you haven't selected one in the CDVD plugins' configuration. If you are using PEOPS CDVD or EFP Polling plugins this will instantly run the CD/DVD of the selected drive.
Note that this option [b]skips the BIOS intro[/b] and runs the game instantly.
<br />[*]File =>Open ELF File: You can use this to run demos which are almost always in .elf format.
Also [b]if you're getting a message like "This is not a PS2 game" when trying to run a game[/b] you can use this to work around this problem. Press it and browse your games' CD/DVD until you find (it's usually in the CD/DVD root directory) a file named something like SLUS_XXX.XX or SLES_XXX.XX where XXXXX are numbers different for each game. When you find it, select it and most times you will get around this problem :)
<br />[*]File =>States =>Load/Save/Other: Here you can load/save states after you've pressed ESC to return to the PCSX2 GUI while running a game. With "Other" you can specify yourself a different filename from the defaults PCSX2 uses.[b]It is NOT recommended to load states this way[/b]. Instead you can save/load states by pressing F1 to save,F3 to load and F2 to change slot.
<br />[*]File =>Exit: Closes the emulator
<br />[*]Run =>Execute: This way you can run [b]only the BIOS[/b] that you have selected in the Configuration. If you haven't selected the CDVDnull plugin but another CDVD plugin you will either get a browser window asking for an image file, where you should just press cancel or you will get an error message saying "Error opening CDVD plugin" if you're using the PEOPS CDVD or EFP Polling plugins in which case you will have to change them.
Also this can be used to resume the emulator if you have paused it by pressing ESC.
<br />[*]Run =>Reset: Simply Resets the emulator
<br />[*]Run =>Process Priority: In this menu you can select Normal, High or Low depending on the priority you want PCSX2 to have in your processors' queue. This means that the higher the priority, the more your processor will use its power to run PCSX2 and leave the rest programs in queue. Setting this to High might cause problems so it is recommended you leave it to Normal. The option checked is the option that is active at the time.
<br />[*]Config =>
[*]Configure: Will open the plugin configuration screen

[*]Graphics/Controllers/Sound/Cdvdrom/Dev9/USB/Firewire: Will open the configuration screen for the selected plugin respectively(graphics/pad/cdvdrom/dev9/usb/firewire)

[*]Memcards: Will open the memcard manager.
<br />[*]By checking or unchecking the checkbox above each memcard you enable/disable it respectively.

[*]Enable NTFS compression: By checking/unchecking this option you can enable/disable the windows NTFS compression of your memcard folder. This will tell Windows to automatically compress your memcard folder to save you disk space. If you are using an old version of Windows, Linux, or the hard disk you are running PCSX2 from is NOT NTFS formatted,[b]disable[/b] this option.

[*]Eject Memcards when loading save states: Description is in the GUI, recommended to be checked


[*]Cpu: Will open the Cpu configuration screen that we saw earlier

[*]Patches: Will open the patches browser. This will read all your .pnach files (your patches) in the /patches directory of PCSX2.Here you can create, edit or simply browse patches.
<br />[*]Language =>*Insert Language Here*: Will change the language PCSX2's GUI is in. The language checked is the language that is currently displaying
<br />[*]Misc =>
[*]Patch browser: New experimental patch system, still not complete so don't use it yet
<br />[*]Patch finder: New experimental patch system, still not complete so don't use it yet
<br />[*]Check/Uncheck Enable Console: This will enable/disable a second window that will appear behind the PCSX2 display and is mainly used for debugging. There you will be able to see various messages that can help you identify a problem or when running a game what is being done each moment by the emulator. Recommended only for advanced users. Note that if you close the console output, the emulator will close with it.
<br />[*]Check/Uncheck Enable Patches: This will enable/disable game patches. Patches are mostly used to skip game videos which are not properly emulated yet and can stop the emulator from progressing sometimes. Also more advanced patches can be used to increase compatibility but can't be created by normal users.
<br />[*]Check/Uncheck Enable Profiler: This will enable/disable the PCSX2 profiler, which will print on the console the % of CPU usage that each part of the emulated PS2 uses each moment. Used for debugging and researching bottlenecks. Enable this [b]only[/b] for debugging purposes, it will slow down the emulator.
<br />[*]Close GS window on Escape: If checked, when you press Escape the GS window will automatically close. Useful for escaping from full screen.
<br />[*]Print cdvd info: If checked, the CD/DVD reads the emulator makes will be printed in the console. Used mainly for debugging.
<br />[*]Help =>About: The about window. Here you can see who the emulators' authors are and some thanks.

[*]Help =>PCSX2 website: Takes you to the official PCSX2 site.

If you still have problems using the emulator, post your problem in the PCSX2 forums [url=]HERE[/url] after [b]reading the rules carefully[/b]

<a href="#">Back to Top</a>

That's it! Hope this will be helpful to all the people who are new in PCSX2 and for some members who like to fiddle with options to get more games working.

Thanks to [b]Gigahertz[/b] for pointing out how to make the index work with Firefox :)
Many thanks to my buddy Regulus for the background, the smilies script and for his help :)
Thanks to [b]Razor Blade[/b] for fixing the image borders
Thanks to [b]crushtest[/b] for pointing out some problems with Firefox and for his suggestions
Thanks to [b]Nachbrenner[/b] for his suggestions and additions
Thanks to [b]Falcon4ever[/b] for bugging me with XHTML validation

Made by [b]Bositman[/b]
[Image: newsig.jpg]

Sponsored links

Update 11/12/08:

Removed part about making a scempegisend patch with CKemu's guide in Misc->Enable/Disable patches,it is obsolete these days
Changed forum link,to no longer link to ngemu but here at the end of the guide Smile
[Image: newsig.jpg]
-Changed initial version and removed open pcsx2t.exe
-Changed the whole Linux section before the index
-Changed SVN link to googlecode
-Removed explanation about VM-TLB obsolete,added note for VTLB save states
-Updated plugin versions at gfx plugins introduction
-Removed non SSE2 part in ZeroGS description
-Changed ZeroSPU2/Peops SPU2 description abit
-Added SPU2-X
-Change the whole Pad plugin section
-Changed plugin versions and added Gigaherz cdvd in Cdvd plugins
-Removed NGemu from BIOS section
-Removed Limit": Your good old frame limiter, although rarely handy in our case hehe. <--that last part Tongue
-Added Speedhacks,Game fixes and advanced configurations (also added in Index)
-Removed Run =>Arguments from Misc
-Added new Misc options and memcard manager options,removed some old ones
[Image: newsig.jpg]
-Changed in GSdx configuration,software render threads: Example on quad core,set it to 3 (instead of 4 that it was)
-Fixed broken link of Linux binary
(thanks to ShadowLady)
-Applied fixes from (thanks to pcsx2fan)
[Image: newsig.jpg]
-Changed links of images (applied change myself to existing guides)
-Added Windows 7 next to all Vista references about supporting DirectX10
-Added more CPUs supporting SSE4.1
[Image: newsig.jpg]

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