Play PS Two Games in HD with AetherSX2 on Android
How to Download and Play PS2 Games on Android with AetherSX2
Do you miss playing your favorite PS2 games on your old console? Do you wish you could take them with you anywhere on your Android device? If so, you're in luck. There's a new PS2 emulator on the block, and it's called AetherSX2.
AetherSX2 is a PS2 emulator for Android that lets you play games that you have dumped from disc on your portable device. It supports OpenGL, Vulkan, and software rendering, as well as upscaling, widescreen patches, save states, touchscreen, and bluetooth controllers. It's easily the best PS2 emulator on the platform, and it's free to download and use.
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In this article, we'll show you how to download, install, configure, and play PS2 games on Android with AetherSX2. We'll also give you some tips and tricks to improve your gaming experience. Let's get started!
Requirements for AetherSX2
AetherSX2 is a powerful emulator that requires a high-end device to run smoothly. The developer recommends at least a Snapdragon 845-equivalent device, which means four large cores (Cortex-A75 level, 500 or more single core Geekbench 5). You also need enough storage space to store your BIOS file and game disc images.
AetherSX2 requires Android 7.0 or higher to run. You also need a BIOS image file that is dumped from your own PS2 console, using a homebrew application such as biosdrain. This file is not optional, and it should match the region of your games. You can find more information on how to dump your BIOS file on the official website of AetherSX2.
Finally, you need game disc images that are compatible with AetherSX2. These are files that contain the data of your PS2 games, such as .iso, .chd, or .cso. You can create these files by using a tool such as ImgBurn to rip your PS2 discs to your computer, and then copy them to your device over USB. Alternatively, you can download them from online sources, but make sure you only do so for games that you own legally.
How to Download and Install AetherSX2
Step 1: Download AetherSX2 from Google Play Store or official website
The easiest way to get AetherSX2 is to download it from the Google Play Store. Just search for "AetherSX2" or click here. Alternatively, you can download the APK file from the official website of AetherSX2 here. If you choose this option, make sure you enable the installation of apps from unknown sources in your device settings.
Step 2: Grant permissions and launch the app
Once you have downloaded and installed AetherSX2, you need to grant it some permissions to access your device storage and bluetooth. This is necessary for the app to load your BIOS file and game disc images, as well as to connect to your bluetooth controllers. Just follow the instructions on the screen and allow the app to access these features.
After granting the permissions, you can launch the app and see the main menu. Here you can select a game, access the settings, or exit the app.
How to Configure AetherSX2
Step 1: Select the BIOS file from your device storage
The first thing you need to do before playing any game is to select the BIOS file that matches your PS2 console region. To do this, tap on the "Settings" icon on the top right corner of the main menu, and then tap on "BIOS". You will see a list of folders on your device storage. Navigate to the folder where you have stored your BIOS file, and tap on it. The app will verify the file and show you a message confirming that it is valid.
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If you have multiple BIOS files for different regions, you can select them from this menu as well. Just make sure you use the correct one for each game, otherwise you may encounter compatibility issues.
Step 2: Adjust the settings according to your preferences and device capabilities
The next step is to tweak the settings of AetherSX2 to optimize your gaming experience. There are many options available, but we'll focus on the most important ones here. To access them, tap on the "Settings" icon again, and then tap on "Emulation". You will see four tabs: General, Video, Audio, and Input.
Under General, you can change the language of the app, enable or disable auto-save states, enable or disable cheats, and enable or disable fast-forward mode. You can also choose between OpenGL, Vulkan, or Software rendering modes. OpenGL and Vulkan are hardware-accelerated modes that offer better performance and graphics quality, but they may not work on some devices or games. Software mode is slower and less accurate, but it may work better for some games that have graphical glitches or compatibility issues with hardware modes.
Under Video, you can adjust the resolution scale, aspect ratio, frame skip, FPS limit, texture filtering, anti-aliasing, and shader effects. These options affect how the games look and run on your device. Higher resolution scale and anti-aliasing improve the image quality, but they also require more processing power and may cause slowdowns or crashes. Lower resolution scale and frame skip improve the performance, but they also reduce the image quality and smoothness. Aspect ratio determines how the games fit on your screen. You can choose between 4:3 (original), 16:9 (widescreen), or auto (based on game). Texture filtering smooths out the textures of the games, while shader effects add some post-processing effects such as scanlines or CRT.
Under Audio, you can adjust the volume level, enable or disable audio stretching, and enable or disable reverb effects. Audio stretching synchronizes the audio with the video speed, which can prevent audio glitches or stuttering when using fast-forward mode or frame skip. Reverb effects simulate the sound environment of the PS2 games.
Under Input, you can customize the touchscreen controls layout, sensitivity, opacity, and vibration feedback. You can also pair your bluetooth controller with your device and map its buttons to PS2 buttons.
How to Load and Play PS2 Games on AetherSX2
Step 1: Copy your PS2 game disc images to your device storage
Before you can play any PS2 game on AetherSX2, you need to copy its disc image file to your device storage. As mentioned before, these are files that contain the data of your PS2 games, such as .iso, .chd, or .cso. You can create these files by using a tool such as ImgBurn to rip your PS2 discs to your computer, and then copy them to your device over USB. Alternatively, you can download them from online sources, but make sure you only do so for games that you own legally.
You can store these files anywhere on your device storage, but we recommend creating a folder named "AetherSX2" in your root directory for easier access. You can also organize them into subfolders by genre or region if you want.
Step 2: Select the game from the app menu and start playingOnce you have copied your PS2 game disc images to your device storage, you can select them from the app menu and start playing. To do this, tap on the "Games" icon on the top left corner of the main menu, and you will see a list of folders on your device storage. Navigate to the folder where you have stored your game files, and tap on the one you want to play. The app will load the game and show you the PS2 logo screen.
From here, you can use the touchscreen controls or your bluetooth controller to play the game as if you were using a real PS2 console. You can also access the in-game menu by tapping on the "Menu" icon on the top right corner of the screen. Here you can save or load your game state, change the settings, or exit the game.
Tips and Tricks for AetherSX2
How to improve performance and compatibility
AetherSX2 is a very impressive emulator, but it's not perfect. Some games may not run well or at all on your device, depending on its hardware and software capabilities. Here are some tips and tricks to improve your performance and compatibility with AetherSX2:
Use Vulkan mode if possible. Vulkan is a graphics API that offers better performance and compatibility than OpenGL or Software modes. However, it may not work on some devices or games, so you may have to switch to another mode if you encounter any issues.
Lower the resolution scale and frame skip. These options can greatly affect how fast and smooth your games run on your device. Lowering them can improve your performance, but it will also reduce your image quality and smoothness. You may have to experiment with different values to find the best balance for each game.
Disable anti-aliasing and shader effects. These options can enhance the image quality of your games, but they also require more processing power and may cause slowdowns or crashes. Disabling them can improve your performance, but it will also make your games look more pixelated and jagged.
Use compatible game disc images. Some game disc images may not work well or at all with AetherSX2, depending on how they were created or compressed. You may have to try different formats or sources to find the ones that work best for each game.
Check the compatibility list. The developer of AetherSX2 maintains a compatibility list that shows how well each game works with the emulator. You can find it here. You can also contribute to it by reporting your own results with different games and devices.
How to use touchscreen and bluetooth controllers
AetherSX2 supports both touchscreen and bluetooth controllers for playing PS2 games on your device. Here are some tips and tricks to use them effectively:
Customize the touchscreen controls layout. You can adjust the position, size, opacity, and vibration feedback of each button on the touchscreen controls layout. To do this, tap on the "Settings" icon on the top right corner of the main menu, and then tap on "Input". Here you can drag and drop each button to your desired location, pinch to resize them, use the sliders to change their opacity and vibration feedback, and tap on "Reset" to restore them to their default values.
Pair your bluetooth controller with your device. You can use any bluetooth controller that is compatible with Android devices to play PS2 games on AetherSX2. To do this, make sure your controller is turned on and in pairing mode, then go to your device settings and tap on "Bluetooth". Here you can scan for nearby devices and select your controller from the list. Once it is paired, you can use it with AetherSX2.
Map your bluetooth controller buttons to PS2 buttons. You can customize how each button on your bluetooth controller corresponds to each button on a PS2 controller. To do this, tap on the "Settings" icon on the top right corner of the main menu, and then tap on "Input". Here you can tap on each PS2 button and then press the corresponding button on your bluetooth controller to map them. You can also tap on "Reset" to restore them to their default values.
How to use save states and cheats
AetherSX2 supports save states and cheats for playing PS2 games on your device. Here are some tips and tricks to use them effectively:
Use save states wisely. Save states are snapshots of your game progress that you can save or load at any time. They are very convenient for saving your progress without relying on in-game save points or memory cards. However, they are also prone to corruption or incompatibility from the Google Play Store or the official website, and follow the steps in this article to set it up and play your games. We hope you enjoy using AetherSX2 and reliving your PS2 memories on your Android device.
Here are some FAQs that you may find useful:
Q: How can I transfer my PS2 memory card data to AetherSX2?
A: You can use a tool such as PS2 Save Builder to convert your PS2 memory card data to a .psu file, and then copy it to the "memcards" folder on your device storage. Then, you can use the app menu to select the memory card slot and load the .psu file.
Q: How can I update AetherSX2 to the latest version?
A: If you downloaded AetherSX2 from the Google Play Store, you can update it automatically or manually from there. If you downloaded AetherSX2 from the official website, you can check for updates from the app menu, and download and install the latest APK file.
Q: How can I report bugs or request features for AetherSX2?
A: You can contact the developer of AetherSX2 by email at email@example.com, or by joining the official Discord server here. You can also leave a review or feedback on the Google Play Store page of AetherSX2.
Q: How can I support the development of AetherSX2?
A: You can support the development of AetherSX2 by donating via PayPal here, or by becoming a patron on Patreon here. You can also share AetherSX2 with your friends and family, and rate and review it on the Google Play Store.
Q: How can I play multiplayer games on AetherSX2?
A: AetherSX2 does not support online multiplayer or LAN play at the moment. However, you can play local multiplayer games by using multiple controllers on one device, or by using multiple devices with AetherSX2 installed. You can also use a tool such as Parsec to stream your games to other devices over the internet.