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How to download and play PSP games on Android using the PPSSPP Emulator

Relive your childhood!

The PlayStation Portable (PSP) was the first-ever handheld console under the PlayStation line. First released in 2004, the PSP became popular due to its large library of games and its vast array of multimedia features. For many, this console brings back great memories of all kinds of games like the early GTA editions, God of War, Metal Gear Solid, and more. Fortunately, there is the chance to relive those memories once again. The best part? All that is needed is an Android phone! In this article, we cover absolutely everything you will need to do, in detail, to set up how to play PSP games on an Android smartphone for free.

How to play PSP games on Android for free

An emulator is simply a bit of software that lets one device act like another. In this context, we are looking for an app for Android which can simulate the PSP. It will not impact the device in any way, since it is just like any other mobile app.

Step 1: Download a PSP Emulator

Android PSP Emulator: Play Store image
Image via Google Play

By far the most reliable one available is PPSSPP. With 100 million+ downloads, this emulator is reliable, safe, and quite user-friendly too. There is another version of PPSSPP titled PPSSPP Gold. This is a paid app and is there as a way to support the developers and future versions. It would be nice to pay a bit of cash as a way of giving something back to the people that worked hard to build this software.

Step 2: Download some PSP games

No games will be included with the PSP emulator, as the actual games have to be downloaded from elsewhere. There will be many websites on the Internet that offer PSP game downloads, but it’s advised to be careful as there are a few unsafe ones out there too. A good option is Cool ROM – navigate to the link and look through all the available games from the PlayStation Portable section. Once you have chosen the game, click on the link to its download page and hit the download button.

To clarify, a ROM is a name commonly used when referring to games run on emulators. Literally, ROM stands for Read-Only Memory, and in this context, a ROM is a copy of a game’s read-only memory. Put simply, an emulator ROM is a general term for a digital version of a game cartridge. Another term used when talking about PSP emulators is ISO. This is just the file that contains the PSP game.

Step 3: Extract and Organise the PSP games

The game should be downloaded either as a .zip file or as a .7z file. These are essentially folders that hold the actual game file inside, and they are used to reduce the size of the file for quick downloads. To retrieve the actual game file, we must first extract the folder. To do this, simply navigate to the file on a files manager app and hit extract. PSP game files can vary in size, with some of the top-end ones reaching 1.5-2GB and potentially more, whilst some can go under 1GB.

The main file of interest is the one that ends in .iso as this is what the game actually is. It can be useful to keep a folder that holds all the .iso files together in order to keep things organized.

Step 4: Loading up the Games

Now, open up the PPSSPP application we downloaded earlier. The main menu is quite self-explanatory and features a file browser. Navigate to where the .iso file from the previous step is stored and the game should appear as shown in the image below.

Android PSP Emulator: Emulator main menu
Image via PPSSPP

As said previously, it can be useful to keep a folder with all the games together, as it may be easier to locate them in the future. To load up the game, just click on its cover image in the file browser and it should just open normally.

Step 5: Getting familiar with the controls and settings

All the controls are on-screen but understandably, they can be a bit awkward to use for some games. In the settings menu, it is possible to alter the layout of the controls by moving or resizing buttons. Alternatively, it is also possible to connect a controller and play the games that away.

Android PSP Emulator: Game image
Image via PPSSPP

Just hook it up as you would normally and it should start functioning. There is the option to map controls in the settings as well if necessary. There are a bunch of different settings for graphics and audio, with some looking quite complex. It’s best to avoid tweaking random things just to be on the safe side.

Did you find our article on how to play PSP games for free on Android useful? Do let us know in the comments below!

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