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I generally have a thing against sticking my own posts, but this one is important enough that I am gonna stick it.

I have opened the thread now, so if you have comments or suggestions, please feel free. But please try to keep it constructive, I don't want the thread becoming messy.

This guide is for general PCSX2 troubleshooting. It contains answers to the most common problems that get asked over and over and over on the forum. Some of these are asked each day. Hopefully, this will cut down on some of that. One thing to note is, this guide DOES NOT cover speed issues. If you ask a question about speed in this thread(except the one special case in the General section), then your post will be deleted. Speed questions should go here or in some cases, have their own thread(like if speed used to be okay then suddenly is not).

If you have read this guide and tried the solutions it contains, and still have a problem, feel free to post a thread about it. However, if you haven't read it, then you will probably be directed here by me or someone else if you ask a common question. It doesn't mean we don't care about your problem, it's just easier to have the simple answers all in one place.


Please do NOT ask questions about things that this guide does not cover in this thread!
You may ask for clarification or explanation of anything contained in this guide, but other things should have their own thread. Unrelated questions will be deleted.
Graphical Issues

So you've come to this section, which means you are having graphical issues. Note that this section does NOT cover frame rate or speed issues. It is regarding corrupted graphics, missing polygons, bad textures, etc. Graphical issues are generally caused by the graphics plugin itself, in hardware mode. Unlike the other sections which are broken down into specific problems, this section is broken down by solution, since all of them address the same problem. The very first thing to try is:

Software Mode


Software mode is a good bit more accurate than hardware mode, and most graphical issues will go away when using it. Many games require software mode to display properly. You can enable software mode in game by pressing the F9 key. Note that software mode is ALWAYS native PS2 resolution. Also note that software mode is VERY resource intensive, and it may noticeably drop your frame rate. However, if you have a multicore system, there is hope to stay at full speed.

Go to: Config->Video->Plugin Settings

At the very bottom of this configuration panel is "Extra rendering threads." What should you set it to? Well, some experimentation may be required(and setting too many WILL hurt performance) but here are some guidelines:
  • Dual Core CPU: It won't help with one of these unfortunately, unless you have Hyperthreading, in which case you might try 1 or 2
  • Quad Core CPU: 2-3 extra threads is best, unless your CPU has Hyperthreading, in which case 4 or 5 MIGHT be useful.
  • Hex Core CPU: 3-4 extra threads
  • Octa Core CPU: 4-5 threads

Feel free to play around with other values, but remember that I said too many WILL degrade performance. Also over about 4 threads the returns seriously start to diminish.

Native Resolution


A lot of graphical glitches are also caused by upscaling. So one thing that can fix them is using Native Resolution. Software mode is always native resolution, but you can use it in Hardware mode as well.

Go to: Config->Video->Plugin settings

Below the first three drop down boxes is the resolution section. For native resolution, tick the "Original PS2 resolution" box. Note that native resolution in hardware mode will NOT fix all the issues that using software mode will, but it's worth a shot if your PC can't handle software mode.

Nvidia hack


Lately it seems Nvidia does not like PCSX2, as they keep breaking stuff with their graphics drivers. You might have an issue where certain parts of the screen seem to momentarily stretch, or you might have texture flickering. For the flickering, updating to the very latest drivers should solve it. For the stretching:

Go to: Config->Video->Plugin settings

Three quarters of the way down the page, you will find "Enable HW hacks" Tick the box to enable them, and then press the configure button to the right of that. Inside there, enable the "Nvidia hack." This should solve the problem.

Other thoughts


It should go without saying, but the "Hardware Hacks" section contains a lot of things that can cause issues. They can also fix issues. But it's important to not have anything enabled in there that you don't need for the game you are currently playing. So if you had the WildArmsOffset hack on while playing Wild Arms, don't leave it on when you start playing God of War.

Lastly, MSAA can improve graphic quality greatly. However in some games it will also cause graphical glitches. So if you are having issues, try disabling it before testing other stuff.
Audio Issues

This section is for troubleshooting common problems with audio, like skipping, popping, cracking, slowed down, etc.

Slow/distorted Audio

Synchronizing mode

The main cause of this is that your game is not running at full speed. Look in the title bar of the GSdx window and note your FPS. If it is less than 60 (for NTSC games) or 50 (for PAL) games, then that is the problem with your audio. Since again this guide does not cover speed issues, we will be focusing on how to fix the audio regardless of the frame rate.

Go to: Config->Audio->Plugin Settings

On the right side, where it says "Synchronizing mode," change it from "Timestretch (recommended)" to "Async Mix (Breaks some games!)." This will allow the audio to run independently of your video, and should solve the problem. Note that as it says, it WILL break a few games. However, in my experience, it's only a small handful. An example is "Amplitude" but also note that you should not be using this setting for rhythm based games anyway, as it will completely throw the timing off.



Another possibility, if you are running at full speed, is that the latency setting is too low. The default should be OK, but if you changed it:

Go to: Config->Audio->Plugin Settings

And set the latency slider to at least 50ms. If that doesn't fix it, try setting it at 100. If that still doesn't fix it, then this is not your problem.

No sound at all

Most likely this is caused by an incorrect/incompatible output module setting in SPU2-X.

Go to: Config->Audio->Plugin settings

At the very top right, notice the "Module" setting. If it is currently "4 - Portaudio (crossplatform)" try setting it to "1 - Xaudio2 (recommended)." If it was already on Xaudio2, try Portaudio instead.
Pad issues

This section covers the most common problems with input like gamepads or whatever you are using to play your games in PCSX2.

My analog sticks don't work well/move slowly/move by themselves

This is most likely a problem with sensitivity. If your character moves without you pressing anything, the setting is too high, and if your character moves slowly or only at the edge of the stick's range, it is too low. It could also be deadzone, in which case the opposite applies: too high and you only move at the edge of the range, too low and you might move without pressing anything!

Go to: Config->Controller->Plugin Settings and go to the "Pad 1" tab(or Pad 2 if your issue is with pad 2)

On the bindings list on the left side, click on one of your analog stick bindings. Then, on the right side, modify the sensitivity slider according to your problem. Decrease it if you move by yourself or your sticks are too responsive, and increase it if you move slowly or only at the end of the stick's range. Note you must do this for each direction, for both sticks, so 8 times. You may also need to modify the setting for the deadzone. The deadzone is the position where the sticks have "no response." It's basically the "play" in the sticks, like how in a car you can turn the wheel a bit before the vehicle will start to turn. Larger values increase the deadzone(you have to move the stick farther for a response) and smaller values do the opposite.

Certain buttons don't work in my game, even though I have configured them

This is an odd problem that sometimes pops up with certain games. The most common solution is to change input pad plugins. Assuming you are using the default of lilypad, try this:

Go to: Config->Plugins/BIOS Selector

Under the Pad drop down box, change to SSSPSX Pad Pressure Mod. Apply that, then go to: Config->Controller->Plugin settings and bind your controller for the new input plugin. Then give it a try.

I'm using Motioninjoy and I have X problem

Don't use Motioninjoy. It's spyware infested crap. Uninstall it(and do a virus/malware scan!) and then use this: http://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-XInput-Wr...Controller
Disc/ISO Issues

This section covers general disc issues, like disc swapping, using ISO, etc.

First thing to check for all problems: Are you using a well made ISO?

While you can play directly from disc with PCSX2, you will have a much better experience using an ISO and this is recommended. In order to make the best ISOs for PCSX2, do the following:

1. Go get IMGBURN and download and install it. This is the best software for making ISO to use with PCSX2.

2. Pop your PS2 disc in your DVD drive


4. Click "Create image file from disc"

5. Halfway down the left side, under the "Destination" section, click the folder icon and choose a place for the ISO to go and give it a name.

6. Press the button at the bottom left that shows a picture of a disc with an arrow pointing to a sheet of paper with a disc on it.

7. Let that finish, then try your new ISO with PCSX2.

I'm playing a two disc game, and I can't swap discs properly!

This is a known problem. For most games you can get around it because the game lets you save before you switch discs. So save the game at the end of the disc. Then close out PCSX2 and restart it with the second disc, and load your file. That should get you on your way again. Note that if the game DOESN'T allow you to save at the end of the disc, then you are probably stuck. This is a known issue that is being worked on.

I'm playing a long game, and at some point near the middle the game just freezes!

This is most likely because you are playing a game that uses a dual layer DVD. You can check this list on Wikipedia to see if your game is dual layer. If it is, and you are having this problem, you are either playing from the disc directly (which is not supported for DVD9 games) or your ISO file contains only the first layer. Either way the solution is to rerip the disc properly. See the first green section of this post for instructions.

I downloaded my game from xyz warez site and I am having all kinds of problems!

Too bad. Piracy is not supported here, read our rules. Also, don't bother making a thread for help if you pirated your game. Go out and buy it, then we'll talk.
General Issues

This section will cover more general issues, that aren't related to a specific plugin.

My PCSX2 won't start at all!

You probably didn't install the proper version of the Visual C++ redistributable. For version 1.2.1 and forward you need Visual C++ 2013 redist x86. This link is a direct link to the download from Microsoft. Even if you don't think this is your problem, try it. You need the x86 version even if you have a 64 bit system because PCSX2 is a 32 bit app and uses 32 libraries. And even if you already have it installed, clicking "Repair" within the VCREDIST installer will also fix the problem many times.

There is another possibility here. If your system locale is set to "Arabic" then PCSX2 will crash on startup. The solution for now is to go to PCSX2/langs and delete the ar_SA directory.
هناك احتمال آخر هنا. إذا تم تعيين لغة النظام الخاص بك إلى "العربية" بعد ذلك سوف PCSX2 تحطم عند بدء التشغيل. الحل الآن هو أن يذهب إلى PCSX2/langs وحذف الدليل ar_SA. (From Google translate, not great but should be understandable)

I get an error about "api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll" or similar!

Look here!

When I launch a game, I hear sound but have no video(and I already checked the Graphics Section of this guide).

Your DirectX is probably not up to date. Update it by clicking here.

I am playing on a powerful laptop and get playable speed, but suddenly for no reason, my speed drops by a huge amount!

I know I said no speed issues in this guide, but this is a special case. The two possibilities that might cause this are temperature throttling and power saving. For power saving, ensure that your power plan is set to "High Performance." For temperature, go here and download CoreTemp (make sure to use the "More downloads" button to get the standalone version). Run it, and the run PCSX2. When the slowdown happens, note your temperature and frequency in core temp. If the temp is close to or at the "Tj. Max" value or you see your frequency drop, then heat is your problem. To address this problem, make sure your PC is getting good airflow to all it's vents, and possibly utilize a laptop cooling pad. Don't play with the laptop on a soft surface like a blanket, as this will block airflow and increase heat.

I'm using save states exclusively and have (insert problem here)!

Load from a memory card save. If you don't have one, then I hope your glitch isn't severe enough to prevent you from making one.

Save states are dumps of PCSX2's virtual PS2 memory, virtual CPU registers, emulator state, plugin state, etc .

If anything gets messed up by bad emulation, an error on your machine, cheats, etc etc, they will save that too for that reason. All emulators will in fact but the higher level the console the generally worse it can be because there is a lot more complex stuff going on.

I get a message like "Some kinda plugin failure!" in the PCSX2 log!

This is normally not an issue. It just means that plugin is not supported by your CPU. An example would be AVX2 on an AMD FX chip. You can safely ignore this.

I have some other issue and I really wanna play my game!

You can have a look at this thread for patches for certain broken games. You can also make a request in that thread, but there are no guarantees!
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