Fancy playing Deadpool and Fallout on the bus or while kicking back on a sleeper train to Italy? Check out our article on how to play PS3 games on Steam Deck here!
It’s safe to say that the PS3 is a weird system. Sony still hasn’t figured out exactly how to emulate the system in any meaningful way, which means that the only way you can actually play PS3 games on a modern console is by streaming those games through the cloud.
And that requires the purchase of a PlayStation Plus membership.
Even then, the selection of games available for PS3 console streaming is pretty bad, and you can’t exactly take it out and about to play on the go.
That’s where the Steam Deck comes in, allowing you to play all of the games from a seemingly unemulatable (at least by official sources) system on the go, at varying rates of success.
Sure, not every game is going to run at 60FPS, but that’s only because RPCS3 is still being updated to be the best version of itself. You can still reliably play a lot of games on the emulator and on your Steam Deck that you’d otherwise have trouble playing.
This means that the best PS3 exclusives like the PS3 Ratchet & Clank trilogy is finally playable not only natively on another system, but also on the go.
No more will you have to suffer through the pain of cloud streaming, the feeling of getting so far into a game before the game completely crashes on you and you have to travel back to where you were over and over again.
Now, you can save whenever you want, thanks to the marvel of RPSC3.
Table of Contents
1. The EmuDeck Method
The EmuDeck Method is very handy as instead of just adding one emulator for the PS3, it adds emulators for multiple systems. Check out the available emulators on the system below!
- Sega Genesis
- PC Engine
- Nintendo Entertainment System
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System
- Master System
- Neo Geo
- Super NES Widescreen
- Genesis Widescreen
- Gameboy Color
- Gameboy Advance
- Neo Geo Pocket
- Nintendo DS
- Nintendo 3DS
- Nintendo 64
- Nintendo Wii
- Nintendo GameCube
- PlayStation 1
- PlayStation 2
- PlayStation 3
- Nintendo Wii U
- Nintendo Switch
How To Install EmuDeck
It’s actually relatively simple to install EmuDeck onto your Steam Deck. The Steam Deck itself is basically open-source, and you’re able to install whatever you want on it as long as you can find a workaround to any potential issues. In order to install EmuDeck on your Steam Deck, all you need to do is:
- Firstly, you’ll need to format an SD card to ext4 or btrfs if you want to store on your SD card.
- Then, download the EmuDeck installer by using the nifty Steam Deck browser.
- Once you’ve downloaded the EmuDeck installer, just move it from your downloads folder to your desktop. You can do this by simply dragging and dropping the file.
- Once it’s safely on your desktop, just run the file.
- EmuDeck will then give you various steps to go through, including selecting exactly what emulators you want installing. You can just install RPCS3, but it doesn’t take much longer to download all of the emulators at the same time.
Once you’ve done all this, all you need to do is dump all of your ROMs and firmware onto the Steam Deck itself. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do that – we’ll tell you everything you need to know below.
2. The Other Method
You can also install RPCS3 through the Discover Store in Linux. To do this, just search the name of the emulator and install it.
This method does come with a pretty big downside though, in that you NEED to set your own settings on the emulator.
This means you need to sort your own controller settings so that PS3 games actually work with your Steam Deck, and you need to find the best settings so that the games that you want to play run at a decent frame rate overall.
In order to dump games that you already own from your PS3 to use on your Steam Deck, you first need a Custom Fireware PS3. If you want to dump PSN games, then you NEED a custom fireware PS3.
How To Use CFW PS3 To Dump Disc Games
- Install multiMAN file manager
- Insert your disc into the PS3
- Launch MultiMAN
- Highlight your game disc and press triangle. Now press copy to HDD.
- Choose where you want to save your dump. You can either save it to the internal HDD or an external HDD.
How To Dump PSN Content
In order to dump digital PSN content, you need two separate files. You need the content file which comes in a .pkg format and the license file which actually activates the game and comes in a .rap file.
- Download and install the games/dlcs you want.
- Copy the folders from wherever they save to /dev_hdd0/game/
How To Obtain The License Files:
- Go to the PlayStation Network store on PS3
- Download the games you want.
- Retrieve the .rif files (the encrypted license files for every game).
- Copy these files to your PC.
- Copy and transfer the act.dat file which you can find in the same place as the .rif files. Every PS3 user has a different act.dat file and you need this to actually access the PSN store.
- Find the IDPS. This is a 32-character hex string that you can find using file managers such as Multiman. Take a note of this.
- Download RifConv and HxD Hex Edition on your PC
- Create a file on your PC and name it idps.hex
- Open the file with the hex editor and type in the IDPS number before saving and closing the file
- Launch RifConv
- Make sure you’re on the Rif2Rap tab. Add the idps.hex, act.dat and the folder containing all of your .rif files into the necessary fields. You can convert multiple games at once through this method.
- Hit create, and a new folder called created_raps will appear.
Another important thing to note is that you need to install the latest system update to RPSCS3 to prove that you actually own a PS3.
Fortunately, Sony has made this extremely easy for people looking to emulate their system by simply uploading the latest PS3 update to their website in case somebody needs to reinstall the system software using their computer, which means you can just use that.
How To Have ROMS Appear On Your Steam Deck Home Screen
You want ROMs to appear on your Steam Deck home screen, right? Well, I’ve got some good news for you folks!
EmuDeck comes with something called Steam Rom Manager, so if you’ve already got that downloaded then you’re good to go. If you opted not to download EmuDeck, however, then you’ll need to download Steam rom Manager from the Discover Store.
Just run the application once it has downloaded and select the systems you would like your ROM manager to cycle through. Then, click on the preview button followed by ‘generate app list’.
Then, all that’s left to do is kick bak while waiting for the app to gather your artwork for each game, and you’re good to go!
So, now you know how to play PS3 games on Steam Deck! Don’t forget to check out how to play PS1 games on Steam Deck to go back to Sony’s gaming roots while you’re here too!
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Ryan is a seasoned retro gaming features writer with bylines at Fanbyte, PCGamesN, Lost In Cult and more. When he’s not writing, you can find him playing retro video games.