If you’re an avid gamer, you’ll know that the PlayStation 2 is a classic console that has stood the test of time. While the platform itself has transitioned to modern versions, many people prefer to hold on to their old consoles because of the nostalgia and the selection of games that are exclusive to the platform.
Are you tired of paying for expensive PlayStation 2 games? Do you want to play classic games without having to pay for them? If so, then you might want to consider modding your console. By doing so, you’ll be able to play all the games you want without having to spend an additional dime.
In this guide, we’ll detail the steps you need to take to mod your PlayStation 2 console and play free games. With our help, you’ll be able to get the most out of your console, and be able to relive your childhood memories through your favourite games.
Things you’ll need
Prior to any hacking or modding process, you’ll need to ensure you have everything you need for the process. To mod your PlayStation 2 console, you’ll need the following:
- Your PS2
- A PS2 memory card
- A DVD
- A computer to burn the DVD
- A USB storage drive
These are the main things. To simplify the job, you could also do it with a Raspberry Pi and a microSD card, but they’re not mandatory.
Determine the PS2 firmware
You’ll need to know precisely what firmware the DVD player of your PS2 has, or the installation won’t be successful. The process is fairly simple. Simply boot the console without having a DVD inside.
At some point, you’ll get the screen for browser and system configuration. Press the triangle button, and you’ll see some technical details about the console. The DVD player version is normally on the fifth line. It should be clearly labeled. Write that number down.
You’ll need this version in order to download the right version of the software.
Download FreeDVDBoot and burn it
There are more programs you can use, but FreeDVDBoot is pretty straightforward and simple to use. There are more versions you can find online. Make sure the one you choose is the same version as the PS2’s DVD player version.
You’ll usually download it as an image.
Burn this image on a DVD. There are lots of programs you can use in the process. ImgBurn is pretty simple and intuitive, so you shouldn’t have any issues. Of course, you can use software you may already have too.
It may take a few minutes or more, depending on how fast your computer is. Wait patiently and refrain from doing anything else on the computer meanwhile. You don’t want to compromise the installation.
Run the program on the console
Safely remove the DVD from your computer and insert it into the PS2. The disc will show up as a DVD in the browser. Loading the program may take up to a minute, so wait patiently. If loaded correctly, you should be able to install Free McBoot.
Download and prepare Free McBoot
Free McBoot must be installed on the USB drive first. Find the latest version on the official website and download it.
Meanwhile, format the USB drive with FAT32.
Once the download is over, unzip it and copy the main folder with all its contents on the USB drive. Meanwhile, you can use your computer to look up PlayStation 2 ROMs download websites online. After all, you’ll be able to play pretty much anything for this console once modded.
When the process is over, safely remove the USB drive and insert it into your PS2.
Install the software
This process may seem a bit technical, but it’s simple if you follow these steps:
- Load LaunchELF with FreeDVDBoot
- Press the circle to enter the browser
- Go to mass:/ to access the USB drive
- Press circle again, and you’ll be in the FMCB folder
- Look for FMCBInstaller.elf
- Press circle and the installation will begin
- Choose to install by pressing X
- Choose a slot, and when prompted for the installation type, go for the normal one
- Wait until the installation is over and press X to select OK
- You can now remove the DVD
Reboot the console. As it loads up, you’ll notice the DVD is no longer needed, so you won’t require it for your modded games. Instead, it will run Free McBook automatically.
There are more programs you can use in the process, but these ones stand out because they don’t alter the system files of your console. If you need the original version of your PS2 back, simply turn it off, remove the USB drive, and start it. It will load up with stock settings.
Find your favorite games and load them
You can now find and download your favorite games, as well as modded games and homebrew applications. To launch such programs, you’ll have to install a different program first, OPL. Perform the same download and installation through your USB drive.
Getting used to OPL may take a while, especially if you’ve never used a modded console before. However, it’s not impossible, and the menu is quite straightforward. Besides, there are plenty of guides over the Internet.
You can play games in different ways, but the best way to do it is to burn them on DVDs using your computer. Each game should go on a DVD. Once you find them for downloads, they’ll usually be available as images.
With the USB drive in the console, simply insert the new DVDs and start the games. They’ll load automatically, with no issues whatsoever. Of course, you’ll have to find a reliable source for your downloads.