1. Playstation Vita Game
For support in English, ask for help at HENkaku on Discord.
  1. PS Vita CFW – Install h-encore² on 3.65 to 3.73. Install Ensō for Permanent CFW on 3.60 and 3.65. Manually Update PS Vita Firmware Offline. Block PS Vita Updates via DNS. Modoru – Downgrade PS Vita Firmware. Modoru 2.0 – Downgrade PS Vita Firmware (3.73) VitaShell – Installing PS Vita Games and Homebrew. NoNpDrm + ref00d – Play Any.
  2. All Free PS Plus Games For PS3, PS Vita, PS4, PS5 – PlayStation Plus has been a fantastic thing for PlayStation owners. From providing cloud saves, early beta access and a range of discounts.
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For complete guides to homebrew and custom firmware for other devices, check out Hacks.Guide.

Thoroughly read all of the introductory pages (including this one!) before proceeding.

This guide is for retail (consumer purchased; not from the PlayStation Partner Program) consoles only!

This guide is available in other languages!Click the icon at the top right of the page to change the language.Alternatively, click here to help to keep these translations up to date.

What is Homebrew?

Homebrew usually refers to software that is not authorized by Sony. It allows you to run homebrew games, tools like save editing and backup, and emulators for various older systems.

In many cases, running homebrew on your device is 100% free using just the system browser.

What is Custom Firmware?

Custom Firmware (“CFW”) enables you to use more advanced hacks that userland homebrew can’t easily do, in addition to anything homebrew can do. Essentially all homebrew solutions on the PS Vita (TV) include a CFW of some kind.

For information on how custom firmware works, please see this post by Yifan Lu.

What does this guide install?

This guide has the end goal of taking a completely unmodified PS Vita (TV) from stock firmware to custom firmware.

The best CFW solution currently available, Ensō, allows for convenient homebrew access on your device by running an exploit at boot-time to setup the homebrew environment. It is more convenient than other CFW solutions (such as HENkaku or h-encore) as it does not require you to trigger an exploit on your device after every reboot manually.

Ensō is available on all devices with firmware version 3.65 or below, while higher firmware version devices can use h-encore to achieve a similar (if less convenient) result.

What can I do with Custom Firmware?

  • Customize your home screen with user-created themes.
  • Use “ROM hacks” for games that you own
  • Backup, edit, and restore saves for many games.
  • Play games for older systems with various emulators, using RetroArch or other standalone emulators.
  • Dump your game cards to a format you can install, and play them without needing the card.
  • Certain games only: stream live gameplay to your PC wirelessly with Rincheat Streamer.
  • Play your PSP games on your Vita with Adrenaline ePSP CFW

What do I need to know before starting?

  • Before beginning the guide, you must know the risks of Vita hacking: EVERY time you modify your system, there is always the potential for an UNRECOVERABLE brick. They’re rare, but still a possibility so make sure you follow ALL directions EXACTLY.
  • This guide will work on all PS Vita, PS Vita Slim, and PS TV devices in all regions on firmwares from 1.03 to 3.73
  • If everything goes according to plan, you will lose no data and end up with everything that you started with (games, PSN Account, saves, etc will be preserved).
  • Keep your device plugged in and charged throughout the entire process to avoid data loss or damage from an unexpected power-off!
  • The PS Vita 2000 and PS TV models are essentially identical to the original PS Vita 1000 in terms of software. All steps which say “PS Vita” also apply to other models unless otherwise specified.
  • If you have a PS Vita 1000, you must also have an official Sony memory card (of any size) to follow this guide. This restriction does not apply to the PS Vita 2000 or PS TV as those devices have a built-in memory card.

Continue to Get Started

If you own a PS Vita and have it hacked in order to run other games and emulators, then you know that the moment you update your Vita’s firmware, all the hacks and emulators you have on it will be lost.

Related:

Playstation Vita Game

If you’d like to know more, make sure you check out this great guide on everything you need to know about hacking your PS Vita.

But you can’t stay on your Vita’s current firmware just like that – Sony will force you to update if you want to access the PSN Store (as shown above).

So, what if you want to play a game you bought but haven’t downloaded to your PS Vita yet? Or what happens if you want to hack your Vita but you haven’t downloaded the exploit game you need yet?

In theory, you simply cannot download a game from your Vita’s Download List directly because of these blocks that Sony imposes. However, there are a couple of methods for getting games on your PS Vita even if you are running older firmware and Sony blocks you from the PSN Store.

Read on to find out how to do this.

1. Download Remotely

Important Note: This method tends to work only for a few weeks after every new system update. So you will be able to use it only for a short while after Sony updates the Vita software. If you are not able to use this method, check out the next method below.

Step 1: First, log in to your PSN account on your computer and either buy the game you want or head to your Download List if you already bought it. There, on your Download List, look for your game and click on the Download… button.

Then, on the pop-up panel that shows up, click on the Download button where it says PlayStation Vita.

Step 2: Now, turn off your PS Vita (make sure its Wi-Fi is on) and then turn it back on. After a short while, you will see the notification bubble at the top right of the screen showing your game as it downloads to your PS Vita.

Transfer Using Your PS3

If you try to simply download the game to your PS3 and transfer it from there to your Vita, it will ask you to update its firmware just as before. But there is a workaround to this method using the qCMA app that doesn’t require an internet connection.

This method is less-known and takes a bit more work (and a PS3 of course), but on the upside, it works (although the latest Vita firmware seems to have disabled it temporarily).

Step 1: First, on your PS3 head to the PSN icon and select the Account Management option. After that, choose Transaction Management.

Step 2: On the next screen, click on Download List and then start downloading your game to your PS3. Once ready, keep the game in its bubble and leave it there for the time being.

Psn

Now head to your PS Vita.

Step 3: To start, on your PS Vita head to Settings and disable the Wi-Fi, located under Network. Additionally, you can also enable Flight Mode to be completely sure all wireless signals on your Vita are turned off.

Once you do that, turn off your PS Vita, wait for a bit, and then turn it back on.

Step 2: Now on your computer open the qCMA app (used to transfer files to the PS Vita) and plug your PS Vita into your computer via its USB charging cable. Then, on your PS Vita, open the Content Manager and select Copy Content.

Once you do that, unplug the USB cable from your computer but leave the other end connected to your PS Vita. If an error message like the one shown below pops up, just disregard it.

We do this in order to open a connection to your PS Vita without Sony’s online checks forcing you to update its firmware.

Step 3: Now take your PS Vita (with its cable plugged in) to your PS3 and then plug the USB end to it. Then dismiss the error message and choose to connect your Vita to your PS3 via USB cable as shown on the screens below.

Step 4: After that, just continue with the normal process of copying games from your PS3 to your PS Vita and transfer your game to it.

Done! Now you know how to download and get games on your PS Vita even if the PSN store is blocked because your Vita is not running the latest firmware. Enjoy! And of course, don’t forget to check out our other entries if you want to know more about how to hack your PS Vita.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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