Essential Applications

Now you’ve got your freshly-hacked PSP, you need a suitable toolkit to get the best out of your handheld! We will keep you updated on the must-have homebrew apps and emulators to keep you entertained.

Keep in mind if you dont know already that for the following suggestions to work, you will need the ability to run unsigned PSP applications, which requires custom firmware.

This whole page is due to be expanded, please bear with us.


If you’re looking to emulate older, retro era consoles and handhelds, then you are in luck. PSP is the de-facto portable emulation system! To date, the PSP has handled the entire GameBoy lineage, the (S)NES, Mega Drive/Genesis, all the way up to the PlayStation 1.

GameBoy Advance – uo gpSP Kai

This section is due to be expanded, please bear with us.

Absolutely spot on emulator for the GameBoy Advance. Old school Advance owners (not the SP) will be right at home with the PSP form factor here, and even benefit from the genuine GameBoy intro on launch of a game. This really drives home the retro experience.

The emulator supports running games from ZIP files to conserve space, which is particularly useful for the Go. Also, the emulator replaces the home button action with a fully featured menu, including state saves, cheat systems and in depth configurations. This is truly one of the top emulators to get on the PSP.

PlayStation 1 – POPSLoader

This one actually comes built in to the PSP itself. The handheld has an excellent inbuilt PS1 emulator that can run EBOOT.PBP PlayStation 1 games. The inbuilt emulator also has support for the trigger shoulder buttons (through clever usage of the joystick) and multi-disc games.

Designed purely to run games bought from the PlayStation Store, those running custom firmware can bypass it and run downloaded and ripped games on POPS too. They show up in the games list alongside PSP games.

Nothing needs downloading here, as it is built-in. However, later firmware releases did come with more compatibility fixes, so upgrading your firmware may be beneficial.

In some situations – especially non-pstore games – the latest POPSloader will not work. NicoBlog has a fantastic guide to a Custom Firmware seplugin that lets you choose which version of popsloader you run, so you can experiment until you get your game working.

SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis – DGEN

This section is due to be expanded, please bear with us.

While Dreamcast emulation might be a pipe dream, the Mega Drive is certainly not.

DGEN provides a fantastic level of Mega Drive support, and comes with a vast configuration panel due to the volatile nature of Mega Drive emulation. From my experiences, the default settings will often work fine enough, but I am a fan of using all the screen real estate, which this emulator provides for.


With custom firmware you are not necessarily limited to just games and media. Here are some other cool uses for your handy device.

Joypad Controller – FuSa Gamepad

When you’re bored of using your PSP for conventional gaming, a plugin exists that lets you whack it into your PC and use it as a game controller, if you don’t mind the single joystick limitation.

FuSa allows your PC to register the PSP as a controller while the application is open. While in this state, all buttons will be picked up by the PC as a generic controller. You can then use whatever tools you wish to further extend this, such as the Steam platform or RetroPie.

Last updated: 9th May 2019

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