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pSX Tutorial

By Alejandro Rodriguez. Last revised Sep 20, 2016.

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About pSX

This tutorial is to help you with pSX for Windows. It's a PlayStation 1 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. You can play games via the CD-ROM or via ISO.

pSX is an abandoned emulator that hasn't been updated since 2007. It's still a pretty good emulator, though. It runs well on slower and/or older machines.

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

BIOS setup

The PlayStation 1 BIOS is required in order to boot games. This is a separate download after you've downloaded pSX. Below you can download this BIOS.

  • PlayStation 1 BIOS (236 KB). Download by right-clicking link and go to Save Link As. When saving, rename the “_ip” file extension to “zip”. If you don't see the file extension, try showing them.

Here's what to do after you download the BIOS:

  1. Extract the BIOS from its zip file. Drag “Scph1001.bin” to pSX's BIOS folder, as shown below:
    Place the PSX BIOS in the 'bios' folder
  2. Open pSX. Go to File > Configuration, as shown below:
    Selecting the Configuration from the File menu
  3. Click on the BIOS tab. Then click the “...” button (shown below). Select the “Scph1001.bin” BIOS file, then click Open.
    Selecting the BIOS tab
  4. Click OK. Then close pSX. The next time you open pSX, it will be ready for you load a game.

Installation

pSX is a standalone program so it does not have an install wizard. Installation is simple: just extract pSX from its zip file. Not sure how to extract zip files? Here's a video tutorial showing you how: how to unzip files on Windows.

IMPORTANT! pSX must be placed in a common folder on your computer. I recommend Documents, Downloads, or create a folder on your desktop. If you place pSX somewhere else on your main C drive, then you may be restricting it to read-only access. This prevents pSX from saving anything.

To open pSX, double-click on pSX's EXE

Q: I get a missing d3dx9_26.dll error!

Upon opening pSX for the first time, you might encounter a “Missing d3dx9_26.dll” error. This is an assisting file for video capabilities with DirectX. It's missing because certain versions of DirectX don't include it. I have this file for download right below.

Installing it is quick and easy:

  1. Extract all the contents of the zip file and double-click on DXSETUP.EXE to open the install.
  2. Click I accept > Next > Next > Finish. That's it!

Setting up the keyboard or gamepad

pSX's button configuration
  1. Go to File > Configuration.
  2. At the Configuration window, click on the Controllers tab.
  3. You'll arrive at the screen shown above. Click on the button you want to reconfigure, then press the keyboard key or gamepad button you want to change it to.
  4. Repeat the process to reconfigure all the buttons you want to change. Click OK when you're done.

Loading a PSX ISO

  1. You setup the BIOS, right? If you haven't already, do that first.
  2. Downloaded PlayStation 1 ISOs typically come in a ZIP, RAR, 7Z, or ECM file. The first step is to extract it. To extract a RAR or 7Z file you can use 7-Zip (it's free). To extract an ECM file watch this video.
  3. Using 7-Zip is easy. Just right-click the RAR or 7Z file and go to 7-Zip > Extract Here, as shown here .
  4. Once the ISO is extracted, now take notice of the file format of the ISO. pSX supports BIN/CUE, ISO, CCD, IMG, SUB, MDF, MDS, and CDZ. If your ISO is not in any of these formats, then you need to download the game from somewhere else to get it in a supported format.
  5. Next, we need to setup the memory card so you can save. You only need to do this once - you don't need to create a new memory card per game. Go to File > Configuration and click on the Memory Cards tab.
  6. You'll arrive at the screen below. Type a name for the memory card. Any name.
    Creating a memory card
    Click OK when you're done.
  7. Finally, we can load an ISO. Go to File > Insert CD image.
  8. You'll arrive at the Open window. By default, pSX opens its “cdimages” folder. If you did not place your PlayStation 1 ISOs there, navigate to the folder in your computer where you have them. Click on your ISO file, then click Open - as shown here . That's it! The game won't load instantly; give it a minute.

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

Upon loading an ISO in BIN format, you may get the following error:

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

At this point, the game may or may not play. If it doesn't play, then you'd need to try downloading a BIN from elsewhere containing a CUE sheet. Or look for non-CUE-sheet-based ISOs in the following format: ISO, CCD, IMG, SUB, MDF, MDS, and CDZ.

Loading a PSX game CD

  1. You setup the BIOS, right? If you haven't already, do that first.
  2. First, we need to setup the memory card so you can save. You only need to do this once - you don't need to create a new memory card per game. Go to File > Configuration and click on the Memory Cards tab.
  3. You'll arrive at the screen below. Type a name for the memory card. Any name.
    Creating a memory card
    Click OK when you're done.
  4. Now we can load your PlayStation 1 game CD. Insert it into your computer's CD drive, if you haven't already. Give it a moment for Windows to detect it.
  5. Finally, go to File > Insert CD drive. This will load your game CD. The game won't load instantly; give it a minute.

The ESC key 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. Out of habit, you might accidentally close pSX and instantly lose all your game progress.

Fortunately, you can reconfigure the default keys for features in pSX. Here's how:

  1. Go to File > Configuration.
  2. Click on the Misc tab. As shown here , you can change the ESC key to “Exit fullscreen mode”.

Full screen

Simply press Alt+Enter to bring pSX to full screen. Then press Alt+Enter again to bring it back to window mode. Take note of the above - pressing ESC while in fullscreen mode closes pSX!

CD swapping for multiple-CD games

You don't need to do anything special. At the point when the game asks you to insert the next CD, load it the same way you would load another game.

Ripping your PSX game CD to ISO

These days we have 1 TB hard drives, mobile devices, and laptops without a CD-ROM drive. All such devices are reasons for you to rip your PlayStation 1 games (if you refuse to download them from a ROM site). PSX games also run better & faster via ISO, as opposed to playing them via a CD-ROM drive. The following directions will show you how to rip your game CD. Specifically, it'll be ripped to “BIN/CUE”. It's a common type of ISO format.

  1. Download & install ImgBurn (it's free). You can download ImgBurn from the ImgBurn homepage.
    *If you have an anti-virus such as AVG, it may flag ImgBurn for containing adware . Don't panic - it does not contain adware! This warning is false. All that ImgBurn does is show you ads during the install wizard (which is why AVG falsely flags it). ImgBurn is 100% safe.
  2. Upon opening ImgBurn, click Create image file from disc, as shown here .
  3. Make sure the proper source drive is set in “Source”, then click the Read icon - as shown here .
  4. That's it! Ripping your game CD will take maybe 20-30 minutes. By default, ImgBurn will toss the BIN file (the ISO) into Documents.

Save states

Save states is a feature that saves the exact spot you are in any game. You can use this feature manually by going into the Run menu or by quick keyboard shortcuts.

Using the save state feature
  • Capturing a state: To capture a save state go to File > Save state. Enter a name for the save and click Save. Or press the Enter key right after you type a name. When re-saving a save, you can save it as the same name to replace/update it.
  • Loading a state: To load a state you previously saved, go to File > Load state. Select the save you want to load and click Load.

Pro tip: If you're playing a game that has in-game saving (such as an RPG) I recommend that you use both save states and in-game saving to save your games. That way you'll always have a backup.

Memory card: copying/moving/deleting saves

To manage your memory card and copy/move/delete saves are the same exact way as you do on the real thing. The following directions will guide you to the memory card management screen.

  1. Open pSX. If you setup the BIOS, pSX will enter the BIOS screen automatically. It's the first thing it does every time you open it.
  2. At the BIOS main screen , choose Memory Card.
  3. Now you're at the memory card management screen:
    pSX's memory card management screen
    This is the screen where you can manage your memory card saves. You would do so exactly as you would on the real PlayStation 1 system.

Finding PSX ISOs

In my links page, I have some good links to sites where you can download PlayStation 1 ISOs. If you want to try to find more sites than what's in my collection of links, just Google around. For example, if you want to download Final Fantasy VII just Google “download final fantasy vii psx”.

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.

Q: pSX isn't saving anything!

If you're using pSX for the first time and you're finding that you have all these problems:

  1. Save states aren't working. You save a state, then when you try to reload it nothing happens.
  2. When you save your game at a save point and close/re-open pSX, you find that the save is lost.
  3. Plug-in configurations that you changed aren't saved. When you close/re-open pSX, you have to make those configuration changes again.

Then your problem is that you currently have pSX in a read-only location on your computer. You must move pSX to a more common location such as Documents, Downloads, or a folder on your desktop.