Introduction: Ps2link Tutorial (REQUIRES MODCHIP)

Picture of Ps2link Tutorial (REQUIRES MODCHIP)

Hook up your PS2 to your computer and run homebrew software with ps2link software, crossover cable and a modchip or exploit code. This tutorial will be limited to the software needed on the computer and PlayStation 2 and the hardware to connect the two. I may cover installing a legal modchip in future instructables.

Step 1: Download Loader Software

You will need to download the ps2link (I downloaded v1.24 because it had an ISO that booted right off the CD)

and a PC side client for ps2link, if you are using windows, xlink is a good graphical interface.

You can obtain both easily here:

Step 2: Burn the ISO

Picture of Burn the ISO

Now that you have the package downloaded, you need to un-archive it. Then burn the ISO file to a CD, I used alcohol 120% but any CD/DVD burning package should allow you to "Burn Image" from a file.

Step 3: Connect Your PC to the PS2 Console

Picture of Connect Your PC to the PS2 Console

You will either need a crossover cable to connect your ethernet interface to the PS2's network interface or have both the console and computer hooked up to the same switch or hub with normal straight through ethernet cables.

In the photograph I have my laptop connected to the PS2 with a crossover cable.

Step 4: Start Your Software

Picture of Start Your Software

Now you need to start up XLink and boot the CD in the PS2. Booting should be easy as restarting the PS2 with the CD in the drive and selecting "Boot Media" if you have a boot-manager installed.

If everything worked fine you should see the following screen on your television screen, and the XLink status light should read "Online" and turn green.

Step 5: Run Your Software!

Picture of Run Your Software!

Now is the fun part, you can run PS2 executables *.ELF files by using the "Run" option on XLink. There are some neat Demos on the ps2 dev site along with some homebrew games. I've had a hit/miss experience with the downloaded .ELF files. Check out some demos here:

and sample code here:

setting up the compilers and toolchain for compiling your own ELF binaries will come soon!


JohnDorian (author)2013-05-10

Hello, I have a question. Where I can get the files now? The site seems to broke down.

rfelyran (author)JohnDorian2016-04-03

Yeah, the site seems to be dead. Not to
worry, though: the Internet Archive preserved them for us. Here's their
latest snapshot, dated September 5, 2010:

Hope this helps! :)

aby_b (author)2012-08-17

Hey ,
,my playstation doesnt read my games cd which used to work perfectly before .
Any idea as to what the problem is ...?

antivirus24 (author)aby_b2012-09-05

just replace the lens.

Punkguyta (author)2007-10-15

Can I do this to my slim without a mod chip? I'm not sure if the warrenty has worn out yet.

Marios_shadow (author)Punkguyta2007-10-22

You'll need a bootdisk, Swap Magic would be my recommendation, Google it. You'll also need to perform a method known as a "Swap trick", it's a bit tricky on the Slimeline PS2's, but gets easy once you do it a few times. Anyway, excellent guide, this could have saved me some CD-R's a couple months ago. :P

Punkguyta (author)Marios_shadow2007-10-22

Okay I know you need swap magic, but can I just burn one of those?

Marios_shadow (author)Punkguyta2007-10-22

No, how would you intend to boot the burned disk? :P

Punkguyta (author)Marios_shadow2007-10-22

That's what I'm asking.

Marios_shadow (author)Punkguyta2007-10-22

Ah, sorry. :P There is no way to do that, and finding a burned Swap Magic disk would be pointless, not to mention difficult.

CowGuy (author)Marios_shadow2007-12-01

Can't you just pop the disc out once the Logo appears if you covered the censor?

vader406 (author)CowGuy2007-12-14

That would damage the motor that spins the disc.

Ds HaKa (author)vader4062011-11-28

not really. theyr pretty durable

Coffee bean (author)2007-08-02

i fell a bit dumb for asking butwhat is the reason for doing this?

nak (author)Coffee bean2007-08-05

"run homebrew software" ... that's pretty much it!

Coffee bean (author)nak2008-02-15

i have a psp and am running hombrew on that. how big is homebrew for the ps2?

All the way up to playing burned games on unmodded ps2s(no modchip), playing NES, SNES, SMS, Genesis and Game Boy games, watching AVI movies and playing MP3's from USB sticks, and even running Linux.

zack247 (author)lilpepsikraker2011-07-20

-i apologize for posting on a comment so old-

how do you play mp3s off of a flash drive?

how functional is linux of the ps2 that seem kinda interesting.

It's as functional as a 350mhz computer with 32mb RAM. It's not a system you would devolve on or use as a main computer, but it will extinguish that 2AM crave when your big rig is off.

could you possibly change those specs eg adding something to it

haha kinda like the psp.

bart10655 (author)Coffee bean2008-08-26

If you won't to you could hook up to play station live threw you laptop if you have wi fi at your house and play online games and well since i did not read this instructalble or any other comments so idk if any one said that or showed how so if you need to know how let me know

billhung (author)2009-03-08

cool. This works very well for me. Now I am experimenting using memory card for ps2link instead of CD. In fact, 5 CD failed to load during the process and I finally got it working by buying another brand of CD (Sony to be exact)

blakeredfield (author)2009-02-22

How successful is ps2link with imports and backups?

railpressureflip (author)2008-05-26

Would I need any kind of extra hardware for this? Like the mod chip? Do I need to purchase it from somewhere? Also, will I be able to run emulators for Ps2 like the NES emulators etc?

Thanx =D

You do need a modchip to boot up the burned CD disk that contains the program. Also, if you have a older (fat) PS2, you don't need a modchip, just the PS1 exploit (google it). NES Emulators, SNES emulators and even most SMS and Genesis roms work on PS2 Happy homebrewing! :)

I3uckwheat (author)2008-06-27

whats homebrew

Home-made programs made a for system not usually required to run, like playing AVI movies off of a USB memory key, and playing older console games. Generally means a program made for a system, not made by a huge commercial developer.

four_eyes954 (author)2008-02-02

can i connect my PS2 slim using a USB cord instead of Ethernet?

nak (author)four_eyes9542008-02-02

NO. Just KIDDING, I don't know, make a crossover cable, simple.

cowgomoo (author)2007-12-30

whats the benefit of hooking your ps2 to your computer? sorry if its an obvious answer but im completely lost on this one.

nak (author)cowgomoo2007-12-31

Hook up your PS2 to your computer and run homebrew software

First sentence obvious ;) But if you still don't get it, then there probably wouldn't be a benefit for you!

vader406 (author)2007-12-14

linky to a reliable ps2 homebrew database por favor? I think QJ removed their ps2 section...

Moomooco1 (author)2007-07-09

The old ps2 dont have ethernet ports like the slimline!

when my ps2 still worked i used just an plain usb to ethernet plug, it worked as well as a expansion bay ethernet thing.

Marios_shadow (author)Moomooco12007-10-22

There is an accessory that allows you to use an ethernet connection on the PS2, but they're getting harder to find since the Slimline came out.

pose4me (author)2007-09-14

I need some help, im not sure what do i download on the disk and what type of disk to use, ive tryed different kinds but none of them work? please email me at thank alot

Moomooco1 (author)2007-07-09

Also do u need a modchip?

Moomooco1 (author)2007-07-09

what if you dont have a slimline ps2? I have an old fat ps2, can i still mod it?!

Jstopard (author)2006-11-03

I have just tried to load the ps2link ISO boot CD with the Swap Magic slide tool. It loads, but I get a "Failed to load .... ps2link.irk" or something. It's difficult to read out what it says as my tv is very blurry.

nak (author)Jstopard2006-11-03

Mine always booted with a "config file not found" But it worked fine as long as it said "ready" at the bottom. You may want to try another version or download, I am not sure

Onikura (author)2006-09-04

thanks :D

Onikura (author)2006-08-23

hey when i burn the iso, i put it inside the ps2 and it goes to the red screen and says please insert a playstation or playstation 2 format disc, can somebody help plz? email at

nak (author)Onikura2006-09-03

You probably dont have a modchip that allows execution of homebrew software!!

barnes (author)2006-07-07

Meh, PSP Homebrew is simple enough for me. (Maybe I'll write a PSP Homebrew + Downgrading How-To) Congrats on getting onto Make Blog :)

nak (author)barnes2006-07-07

This PS2 was a prize I got a few weeks ago, not much of a console gamer, its actually my first console :P I know there is a section of psp homebrew on that ps2dev site I kept linking.

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