Play PS2 games on your PC with PCSX2

Most of us love gaming and its always a way to refresh oneself or to find a break in between your work or more viable as a form of entertainment  There's no doubt that most of the gamers of the planet are gaming via PCs. I'm pretty damn sure of that. However, we all get bored sometime when there's no new game on the store or the games of current days do not match our tastes. Lot of damn good games are there that are made exclusively for consoles but not available for PCs. You don't have a console yet you still wanna play it. What if you could play a Playstation 2 game on your PC? Yeah, that's possible with PCSX2.

PCSX2 is a free emulator developed a group of codies which allows your PC to emulate PS2 games as smooth as possible. This one's probably the best emulator I've seen as a PS2 emulator and a nicely made emulator unlike any other comparing the other emulators. PCSX2 has lot of customization tweaks and settings to allow smooth emulation of PS2 games using up your system's resources. However, emulators always have some limitations. If you don't know them yet, I'll tell you as you may want to know it or just skip this part and head to the section where I tell you how to install PCSX2 and run PS2 games on your PC.

PCSX2 1.0.0 interface.
First of all -- your system decides it all. Even if you have a well-built PC that is capable of handling all the new games doesn't mean you can emulate and run the games smoothly. Emulators are always slow and is resource hungry. High performance PC = Smoother emulation. Sometimes  you may have a thought that the PS2 graphics are much more amateur than the current-gen graphics. Your PC may can handle the latest visuals at a smooth pace but that doesn't mean your system is damn ready to handle the PS2 system. Console system is entirely different from general PCs and they have a very different architecture. Emulators are always slow as they need to first make your PC resources match the specific console's and then emulate the game under the allowed resources. That means you may wont be able to use the extra resources on your PC for your emulation -- doesn't mean it is always so. So, even if your PC can handle the extreme games doesn't make it totally fit for PS2 games. It's entirely different all the time. Even my system which hosts a 3rd gen Intel Core i5 clocked at 3.4GHz, a factory overclocked GTX 560 Ti and an 8GB DDR3 memory unit can't always play the game smoothly and it lags often. However, thanks to PCSX2's expanded optimizations and tweaks, you can reduce the quality of the game and make it perform faster if the game lags terribly for a smooth gameplay environment. Lots of tweaks in PCSX2 can fasten your gameplay. If you have an average system with a dual core and a discrete graphics card, you will be able to play the game feasibly.

Now, lets head into the installation. First of all, download the files given below to your PC.
  1. PCSX2 - Download (Windows,Mac,Linux)
  2. PS2 BIOS files - Download
I only share my PCSX2 experience on Windows here and the instructions for Windows only. It may differ on other platforms.

Now, run the installation file you downloaded and install PCSX2. Once installed, just go through the quick configuration window if any appears. Skip the BIOS part if it does ask for any. Close PCSX2. Now, copy all the BIOS files to Username\Documents\PCSX2\bios. Now, open PCSX2 again and go to Config, choose Plugin/BIOS selector and select the BIOS tab. The list of various BIOS will appear and if it doesn't, click click refresh list. Make sure you copied all the files to the above specified folder. Select a BIOS from the list that's newest and matches your region and language and click OK. That's it, PCSX2 is now ready to emulate PS2 games.


Once BIOS is setup, PCSX2 is ready to emulate your PS2 games. However, before you go forward, you may need to configure it to get a smooth experience. As you might already know, this depends on your system -- how high or low the configuration is. Anyways, if you want a detailed configuration of PCSX2, just google it or check PCSX2 forums.

However, you can try these settings if you're using it for the first time. Before that, open PCSX2 and select Plugin/BIOS Selector and select the GS tab. Now, configure the plugins as shown below:
  1. Select GS Plugin as GSdx 5443 AVX as this is a new and optimal plugin that'd work in all systems. For detailed configuration, click Configure next to the list.
  2. Choose LilyPad (default) as the PAD plugin. If you have a USB controller, connect it to the PC and click Configure next to the list and configure the buttons as you wish. Also check out the extra options inside the Plugin Configurations as there maybe extra settings for different controllers.
  3. I'd leave the SPU2 (Sound) Plugin as it is. However, if your system is worth it, then go on and configure and set all the settings to max for better sound quality but would result in slower emulation.
  4. CDDVD -- Depends on how you're gonna run the game. If you have an .iso image file, then choose Linuz ISO DVD. Then when you apply the changes and go back to the main PCSX2 window, select CDVD menu and then go to ISO selector and click browse. Locate the .iso file and select open and once again go to the same menu and see whether the file appear below Browse and see whether it is selected.

    Select Gigaherz Plugin if you have a DVD and Configure it so set the DVD drive of your PC.
  5. Leave other options as it is.

How to start?

Once you set the BIOS and the Plugins and you tweaked PCSX2 for the perfect optimal settings, select the System menu and then select Boot CDDVD to start the emulation. Choose fast boot to skip the PS2 animations and stuff and jump directly into the game.

That's it folks! Have a great time playing your old PS2 games on your PC. If you're having any trouble, feel free to share them with me here. You can also check out the PCSX2 forums for optimized settings, new Plugins and lots more.