Credits: psx1 for the original FAQ, and the many members of the pSX Emulator message board (to many to list, thank you all).
I had originally intended on locking and archiving the original thread, but accidentally deleted it instead. Sorry about that Fortunately, I had a copy I was already in the middle of editing on my computer. Anyway, I'll be reposting the *edited* FAQ here instead of the Support forums. Separate posts will be made for different topics.
If you feel any additions should be made, feel free to PM an administrator about it.
Q. How do I install pSX? A. There actually isn't any installation procedure for pSX. All you need to do is extract the emulator with a RAR compatible utility (WinRAR), place the BIOS (check BIOS section below for details) in the bios directory, and run psxfin.exe.
Q. What are the minimum system requirements? A. There isn't really a minimum, as requirements varies from game to game, and pSX Author is unable to test on older hardware, since he does not have access to any. Reports indicate that requirements are fairly low, though. Computer configurations that run pSX well can be found in the Feedback: System's Configs that run pSX thread. There are a lot of powerful systems listed there, but some low-powered ones can be found as well that run pSX (mostly) fine. Alternatively, a generalized list of requirements can be found on the pSX emulator Wikipedia page. Do note that for Windows, operating systems older than Windows 98 are not supported, as DirectX 9 can not be installed on those operating systems.
Q. Why does pSX (Linux) seem to be complaining about a missing library? A. pSX (Linux) makes use of the "libgtkglext" library to draw OpenGL graphics to screen. As such, it needs to be installed in order for pSX to work. You should be able to find this library in your Linux distribution's package repository.
Q. What is a BIOS? A. It is the software installed on a Sony PlayStation that games use to communicate with the hardware. In short, it's like an the PlayStation's operating system.
Q. How do I get the BIOS? A. To obtain it, you must dump the BIOS data from your PlayStation (see below). Note: Because the BIOS is content that is copyrighted by Sony, it is illegal to distribute (download, email, give to friends, etc) the BIOS.
A. I'll just quote the ePSXe FAQ... "To dump a PlayStation BIOS, you need a GameShark or Action replay and a PC comms link. To start, you need either a real Caetla module or go ... search [the Internet] for "Caetla" (it's a BIOS replacement for your module, so properly read the included documentation before installing it!!). Now upload "Caetla", and use use the Caetla commands for downloading a binary memory image from the region 0x0bfc00000 - 0x0bfc7ffff! Now save the image as SCPHxxxx.bin, where xxxx is your PSX's model number..."
Q. Can you write your own BIOS so that a copyright one is not needed? A. This is unlikely to happen for PS1 emulation, though it is possible for PS2 emulation.
Q. Why doesn't my PlayStation CD work in the emulator? A. The first release of pSX did not support reading from CDs. As of pSX 1.1 and newer, most CD drives should work, but you can try setting the emulator from auto to IoControl mode as ASPI still has problems. If you still cannot use your CD drive with pSX, the only alternative you have is to create a CD image and run the image instead. Note that IoControl might require administrator priveleges to work.
Q. The disc images take up an awful lot of space on my computer... how can I save space? A. The emulator comes with a utility to compress images, called cdztool. As of pSX 1.4, the tool was integrated into pSX, and can be accessed in File > Convert .BIN to/from .CDZ. Compression can still be accessed from the commandline -- view the readme for further information on operating it from the commandline.
Q. I have this game that spans multiple discs... how do I switch to the next disc after I'm done with one? A. Try the following...
When you are at the "Insert Disc" prompt, you first go to file menu and select the "Eject CD" command.
Next (if running by images or using multiple drives skip this sentence) change the disc in the physical/virtual drive.
Now go to the file menu and select "Insert CD Drive" or "Insert CD Image" and then select the second disc as if you were going to start a game.
Wait for the game to detect the new disc or press the button displayed on the screen to continue.
Q. Why is everything so blurry? I already set the resolution higher, but it doesn't help! Can I make the graphics look nicer in pSX? A. pSX does not, and will not, attempt to enhance the graphics of your PlayStation games, but rather, attempts to faithfully reproduce their original graphics because the goal for pSX is to make an accurate emulator that reproduces the gaming experience from the real PlayStation. As such, the games running on pSX will not look much better than on your television screen. The most you can do is enable bilinear interpolation, which smooths the image out when stretching it (not unlike how the image looks on a TV when it stretches the image). If you want an emulator that does enhance graphics, pick any PlayStation emulator that supports the PSEmuPro plugin spec (which includes ePSXe, PCSX, SSSPSX, PSXeven, and many others).
Q. How is it less accurate to enhance graphics? A: With the method that many of the graphics enhancement plugins in PSEmuPro-based emulators use, graphics objects from PlayStation games are translated into Direct3D or OpenGL objects, which are not direct analogues to the native PlayStation objects, and so they may lose information possibly important to the game. As such, accuracy is sacrificed for enhanced graphics. This is something that pSX strives not to do.
Q. How do I get into fullscreen [full screen] mode? A. Press Alt+Enter to toggle between fullscreen and windowed mode. If you want the emulator to open up in fullscreen mode, use the -f commandline switch (check this section of the FAQ if you're not sure how to do that).
Q. All I see is a blank screen when I try using pSX... help? A. Make sure you have DirectX 9 installed, and check that your hardware drivers are up-to-date (video card and chipset drivers especially).
Q. Why do we need DirectX? Wasn't pSX supposed to be software rendered? A. DirectX (more specifically, the Direct3D subset) is needed only for drawing the images to the screen. Everything else is done in software mode, so the emulator is more CPU bound rather than GPU bound.
Q. Can't you support OpenGL for rendering? A. pSX Author has stated that he'd "definitely consider it."
Q. What's that grid-like pattern of dots I see all over the screen? It's annoying me, and it doesn't happen with [some other PlayStation emulator(s)]! A. It's a little something called "dithering," which is done natively on the real PlayStation. You probably don't notice this on the TV because of the inherent differences between a television and a computer monitor. You probably don't see this in the other emulator(s) because the emulator isn't emulating the dithering.
Q. What's that black bar on the [top/bottom/left/right] of the screen? It's annoying! A. This is most likely the game exploiting the "Overscan" on television sets to increase performance by not rendering in areas not typically seen or,
A. If you are using a non-standard aspect ratio (standard aspect is 4:3) display such as widescreen displays (16:9, 16:10) or unique application displays (5:4). You will experience aspect correction such as: sidebars (seen on 16:9, 16:10) or letterboxes (seen on 5:4). This can be compounded by the overscan exploits explained above. If you wish to Stretch the output to the edges of the screen, set a "false" Aspect Ratio of 4:3. This will not compensate for overscan exploits, but it will remove the black bars that appear from aspect correction.
A. [As of pSX 1.11, this should no longer be an issue for most games] There was never a set "standard" resolution that game developers had to use when making games for the PlayStation, so they always used whatever resolution they wanted. Because pSX does not correctly do anything about the resolution discrepancies at the moment, the only thing it does is draw the game at the resolution the game developers chose, not stretching it to fit to screen, and the result is the black bar you see, which fills the empty space to "pad" the image up to the output resolution (in most cases, anyway).
Q. I can't set the sound device to Disabled! What should I do? A. [As of pSX 1.10, this is no longer an issue] This is a known bug, and isn't a big deal, though it will be fixed in a future version. The workaround would be to mute the audio if you don't want to hear sound (NUMPADENTER by default, but you'll find the key in the Misc tab of the Configuration).
Q. Sound stutters while playing a game... how can I fix this? A. Try playing around with the sound latency settings. Increase it little by little, but make sure you don't increase it too much. The default value is 20ms.
Q. How do I create new memory cards? A. When you're "selecting" a memory card on the Memory cards tab in the Configuration window, just type in the name of the new memory card file, and press OK, and pSX will automatically create the memory card file. Although many games will be able to format the memory card if it detects that it is unformatted, some don't. Because of this, you should start pSX with the memory card loaded, but without any game loaded. Visit the memory card screen, and any inserted, unformatted memory card will be formatted.
Q. How can I use my memory cards from other emulators? A. Most PSEmuPro-based emulators use raw memory card images, which is the same format that pSX uses, simply with a different file extension. pSX can use the files, regardless of the extension, just select the file in the memory card configuration.
Q. Will I lose any data from my memory card if I exit abruptly? A. pSX always writes memory card changes directly to disk, so there is a very low chance your saves can be corrupted, unless you exit while the game is in the process of writing a save to memory card.
Q. Why are the directional buttons on the controller configuration dialog reversed? A. They are not. Look at your real PlayStation controller and you will see that that is how the buttons really are.
Q. My controller isn't working in game X (or in the BIOS screen). What the heck! Can you fix it? A. Because some games don't support the analog sticks, or a certain mode, you might find that the controller just doesn't work at all. Try switchng your controller to another pad mode in the pSX configuration.
Q. Why do some of my games not work with the "DualShock" and "Analog+rumble" controller setting? A. Most older Playstation games were not programmed to be able to accept the analog signal that a DualShock controller uses. This is not a limitation of pSX, but rather a limitation of the games themselves. If you try turning on Analog on a DualShock controller while playing one of these games on a real Playstation, you would have the same exact problem.
Q. Why can't I configure my gamepad? Any time I try, pSX automatically selects the same thing for every other button! A. [As of pSX 1.11, this is no longer an issue] This is a known issue. Some users have reported that switching drivers helps. Also, if possible, try increasing the deadzone radius for your gamepad, as the drivers might be reporting that it is not in neutral position.
Q. Will pSX support gamepad (converter) X? A. Some gamepads and converters are known to have difficulties when being used with pSX. Read the Converter compatibility with pSX thread for some more information about which converters work.
Q. I'm getting an error message about a missing d3dx9_26.dll... what does that mean? A. That means you a file from the DirectX 9.0c June 2005 update. Try getting it from here or here. You simply have to place the file into the same directory as psxfin.exe, and it should be fine.
Q. Why am I getting a different (than above) DirectX error? A. First please update to the latest version of DirectX.
Web Installer - Recommened way for all. This also downloads all the updates automaticly in one swoop. [~300 KB plus the amount needed files for the actual updates]
Full Download - Recommened for users who need to install on a PC with no Internet Connection by CD or other large media. [~65 MB]
Q. pSX crashes on my x64/next-gen processor! What can I do? A. [As of pSX 1.11, this is no longer an issue] Sometimes Date Execution Protection is enabled and it conflicts with the processes used to emulate the PlayStation. "This can be disabled by going into Settings/Control Panel/System, go to the Advanced tab, press the Settings button next to Performance. Then go to the "Data Execution Protection" tab, change the option to 'Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select' and 'Add..' and select the executable (.exe) file for the emulator."
Q. Why can't I load any games directly from disc? A. In Configuration > CDROM, try setting the driver to IoControl. If IoControl disc reading does not work (note that it requires administrator user priveleges in Windows), you might want to try using ASPI. Make sure you have wnaspi32.dll placed in the same directory as pSX's executable file if you do try using ASPI.
Q. I'm having problems with game X! What should I do? A. Check the compatibility list and search the forums. Make a compatibility report if you can't find anything about it, but be sure to read this thread before doing so.
Q. I can't save crash dumps? A. Try getting dbghelp.dll from here, which is less then 300KiB. If that doesn't work then try this, which is about 14MiB.
Q. Where are settings stored? A. Settings are saved to psx.ini, which can be edited in a plain text editor. The emulator does not touch the Windows Registry.
Q. As soon as I start the emulator, I get error messages in the DOS console saying "r3000: executed illegal opcode" followed by 8 numbers/letters, and the emulator just stays at a black screen. What's going on? A. There is a very good chance that you have an invalid BIOS dump. You'll need a valid BIOS dump in order for the emulator to start. Also, if you're using an image, it may be a bad rip, or the game might just not be compatible.
Q. Does pSX support game X? A. Emulation isn't an easy thing, so some games might work, while others don't. Feel free to report any troubles you have playing a game in the forums, but be sure to check the pSX Compatibility List, and search the forums before posting a new thread.
Q. I got this plugin for PlayStation emulators, but why can't I use it in pSX? A. pSX is not a plugin-based emulator, so they are not supported.
Q. How can I use GameShark/Pro Action Replay cheats in pSX? A. A. There is no native way to do this at the moment, but support will be added in the future. For the time being, people have reported success in loading the cheating device's CD, and swapping with the game disc to play (note that not all cheat devices work with pSX currently). Alternatively, some people have reported limited success in using CEP to cheat with pSX. Playing from the original disc seems to be by far the best way to ensure success with CEP.
Q. pSX is great, but it'd be even better if it goes open source! So how about it? A. There are no plans to take pSX open source as of yet. If you are an emulator author, feel free to email pSX Author, as he is willing to share the source code (within reason).
Q. Will pSX ever be released for Linux? A [NEW]. As of pSX 1.11, an official Linux port has been released alongside its Windows counterpart. Check the official homepage for a link. A [OLD]. It's a possibility, but not a priority at the moment. People have reported limited success with running it on Wine, so you might want to test it on that.
Q. Will pSX ever be released for the XBOX? A. According to pSX Author... "at one point I did port it to xbox but I no longer have access to a devkit so I doubt I'll ever release this."
Q. How about writing a PlayStation 2 emulator? A. PlayStation 2 emulation is in progress, though it is moving slowly.
Q. I'd love to see a Nintendo 64 emulator that's as easy to use as pSX! Can you write one? A. pSX Author started writing one as a side project, but wants to focus on PlayStation and PlayStation 2 emulation for now.
Q. Can you support Zinc ROMs? A. pSX Author is currently unsure about adding support for Zinc ROMs.
Q. Can you add support for CD image format X? A. pSX currently supports BIN/CUE, CloneCD (CCD/IMG[/SUB/CUE]), and ISO images, as well as any of the above-supported formats compressed into a CDZ. Support for more formats might be added in the future.
Q. What do those letters in the lower left corner stand for? A. CD = Accessing CD XA = Playing XA audio sectors PR = Waiting for CD prefetch MR = Reading memory card MW = Writing memory card RQ = Read queued (waiting for hardware to respond to read request)
Q. How do I use commandline switches? A [NEW]. Try pSX Frontend. A [OLD]. Create a shortcut to psxfin.exe and edit it so that you have a space and then the commandline switch in Target field. Alternatively, you can create a shortcut to cmd.exe in the directory that you have psxfin.exe in and edit the properties so that the Start in field is empty. Press OK, and run the shortcut. From there, you can type in psxfin.exe -whatever -switches -you -want.
Q. What switches are there to use? A. Type psxfin.exe -? at the command prompt to see a list of all available commandline switches.
Q. I used the switch to open in fullscreen, but it disables pausing instead! What gives? A. Command line switches are case sensitive, so -f is not equivalent to -F.