Installing Custom Firmware on the PSP

Installing custom firmware (CFW) on your Sony PSP can unlock the power to use it as a capable handheld emulation platform, as well as opening it up to playing your PS1 backup files. If you’re not familiar with CFW on the PSP, you may be surprised at how easy it is to set up and use.

Please pay special attention to the text in red, follow the instructions carefully and in order, and you should have no problems.

Is my PSP compatible?

PSP Mboards

Click for a full CFW compatibility list

There have been several iterations of the PSP hardware over the years, and there are some differences in what kind of CFW you can get running on each. Clicking the picture will take you to an excellent resource listing all the different motherboard revisions and what CFW they are compatible with.

In a nutshell, every single PSP ever made can run some form of the latest CFW, and all but the E1000 (Street) model support a permanent form of the CFW that persists even when the console is completely shut down or has its battery removed. The permanent patch takes two forms: either the cIPL flasher that comes with the CFW, or the Infinity 6.61 patch (which is bit more involved but provides the same functionality). I’ll run through both methods in this tutorial.


Updating your OFW

First check which version of the official firmware (OFW) your PSP is currently running by going into your Settings menu, then System Settings / System Information. If you’re on a version older than 6.60 then you must perform this update, otherwise skip this step.

If you have a new memory card, please format it first by putting it into your PSP, then choose Format Memory Card from the System Settings menu. This will wipe it clean, change it to the correct file system, and set up the default folder directories.

The latest OFW from Sony is 6.61 (as of March 2016), but we will update only to 6.60 as (apparently) the CFW for 6.60 has better compatibility with homebrew applications and themes. Download OFW 6.60 here and extract it onto the root of your memory card, choose to merge the folders if necessary and you should end up with an EBOOT.PBP file under PSPGAMEUPDATE. Run the 6.60 updater from your PSP and let it do its work.

Installing the CFW

If you are now running OFW 6.60 then download this CFW folder, if you were already on OFW 6.61 then download this folder instead. Inside the package are three folders:

  • FastRecovery
  • CIPL_Flasher

Regardless of which hardware revision you have, go ahead and copy the PROUPDATE into the PSPGAME directory on your memory card. You’ll now see a ProUpdate application in your PSP, run it and allow it to complete the installation. Your PSP is now running the temporary CFW which lasts until a power off (sleep mode doesn’t count as powering off). You can delete the PROUPDATE folder from your memory card now.

It’s worth pointing out that you can stop here if you like. Simply copy the FastRecovery folder into your PSPGAME directory and run that application every time you boot up your PSP from a fully powered down state to reinstate the CFW – it doesn’t take long and most people will be happy with this solution (it’s also the only solution open to owners of the E1000 hardware revision). But if you want a permanent hack that doesn’t require the FastRecovery app, then read on.

Upgrading to Permanent CFW

If you have a PSP-1000 or 2000, then go to Method 1 (and then check if you need to use Method 2). If you have a PSP-3000 or Go, then go to Method 2. If you have a PSP Street then this you are out of luck for now, you have to stick with the temporary CFW and the FastRecovery app.

Method 1

If you have a PSP-2000 please first download PSPIdent, extract the PSPIdent folder to your PSPGAME directory, and run it. It will tell you which motherboard revision you have. If you are unlucky and have the TA-088v3 then this method will not work! You will have to use method 2. Otherwise, you’re good to go with this method.

Copy the CIPL_Flasher folder from the CFW download into your PSPGAME folder and run the application. That’s it. Now you can turn your PSP off whenever you want and the CFW will still be intact next time you power it back on again. Easy! You can now delete the CIPL_Flasher folder from your memory card.

Method 2

OK this is a bit more involved than Method 1, but it is the only method available to owners of the PSP-3000, Go, and the PSP-2000 with a TA-088v3 motherboard.

We will be using Davee’s 6.61 Infinity to enable a permanent CFW hack on our machine. Download the Infinity installer from Davee’s website, as well as the 6.31 and 6.61 OFW from the relevant links below based on your hardware:

PSP Go 6.31 6.61
All other models 6.31 6.61

It is critically important you choose the correct OFW versions for your PSP, you will brick it otherwise.

Unzip the Infinity files and you will find two folders called FLASHER and MAKER inside – copy these to the PSPGAME folder on your memory card. Next, unpack the 6.31 and 6.61 OFW files you downloaded and rename the EBOOT file for each one to 631.PBP and 661.PBP respectively. Then copy these two files into the MAKER folder on your memory card.

Run the Maker application from your PSP and allow it to work. You will now have a file in the MAKER folder called DATA.MFC, copy this file into the FLASHER folder on your memory card and now run the Flasher application from your PSP. After it’s done you will be running 6.61 Infinity.

You are technically still running the OFW at this stage, just a compromised version of it, so now you’ll need to reinstall the CFW just as you did in the Installing the CFW section – but this time install the 6.61 version, even if you installed the 6.60 version before!

Once that’s installed download the Infinity Configuration folder from Davee’s website, then unpack and copy the files within into your PSPGAME folder. run the Configuration application from your PSP and scroll across to the Installed Modules page. Choose the PRO CFW option to make your CFW permanent. You are now safe to power down your PSP totally without needed to reinstate the CFW on reboot.

Once you’re up and running with the CFW you play ISO backups of your PSP games and converted backups of your old PS1 games (among many other things!). PSP ISO files go into the ISO folder in the root of your memory card (if this folder doesn’t exist then create it yourself, just ensure that ISO is spelled in all-caps), PS1 games go into the PSP/GAME folder (you can put them into their own sub-folders within the GAME folder itself).


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