[GUIDE] The Ultimate Noob PS Vita/PSTV Hacking Guide (Check here first!)

Discussion in 'PS Vita - Hacking & Homebrew' started by Voxel, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Voxel
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    Notice: It is currently NOT possible to downgrade from 3.61 or higher down to 3.60, or to/from any firmware for that matter. If you think you've found a video or site which claims to jailbreak/downgrade your Vita, it will be 99% completely fake.
    The creators of these said sites and videos will be more-than-likely attempting to rack up revenue from your visit to the content (it's why they do it in the first place), so at the same time, please don't give it any more attention by linking it here for other people to visit and fall for.
    Since there still seems to be quite a few posts querying about this, I decided this should be addressed at the top of the main post.


    Hello!

    To save time on asking questions in new threads, I have constructed a guide for users to follow, and to ask about/point out additional info! It has plenty of information you will need to set up your Vita for many existing hacks, and ones to come! :)

    Take note that some of these tutorials are outdated if you are running HENkaku/Interested in running HENkaku, and are only useful if you are adamant on staying on a lower firmware. Pretty much all of the tutorials I am talking about are currently under the 'Older Tutorials' category.


    Latest firmware: 3.67
    Latest EXPLOITABLE firmware: 3.60
    PSN Spoofing? Yes (3.60 only)

    (29/07/17 ~ Downloading content from PS Store or attempting to activate your Vita is currently broken (will give you an error).
    If already activated and have HENkaku installed, ensure you back up your tm0:npdrm/act.dat as soon as possible. It will come in handy in case you ever accidentally deactivate/restore your Vita.
    If not already activated you will unfortunately have to wait until there is a fix...



    Table of Contents:

    1 - Introduction
    2 - HENkaku Guides
    3 - Older Guides (Do NOT use these if you are looking to get the latest hacks and homebrew)

    4 - FAQ





    Purchasing a Vita (If you haven't already!)

    Recently been interested in getting into the Vita scene, but unsure of where to start where buying is concerned? Well you've came to the right place, as this (very simple!) guide to purchasing a Vita should be able to clean up all of your concerns of what exactly to look out for.

    Which is the right firmware for me?
    You might have probably gathered this if you did some research, but HENkaku is currently the most definitive hack to utilize on your Vita (it can only be ran on firmware 3.60, so if you are on any higher FW, you're out of luck!). HENkaku can run native homebrew applications, as well as Vita, PSP, and PS1 game backups, and allows for a rich selection of system-enhancing plugins such as RinCheat and DS3/DS4/Wiimote-pairing plugins.

    The only reason not to go with HENkaku is if you're absolutely desperate to run the PSM Dev Assistants, but overall it's rather pointless just to stay on FW <=3.51 for that, as home-made PSM applications and games can't even utilize the full potential of the Vita (e.g. lack of trophy earning, cut-down processing speeds). Rejuvenate is another example, but it is so heavily outdated that HENkaku can do absolutely everything it could do, but much better, and with much more additional features (HENkaku is also amples easier to setup!)

    If you land a Vita on 3.52, 3.55, or 3.57 you are 100% recommended to just upgrade to 3.60 and use HENkaku, as the Dev Assistants don't run on any of those firmwares...

    If you are also after PSP CFW, and a way to play PS1 backups as well, take a look at Adrenaline (for 3.60/HENkaku users only), which comprises of the full-on PSP XMB, an option to save/load savestates, and graphics filters! There is also the option of ARK eCFW for PSP ISOs and PS1 ISOs without audio support.

    If you're adamant on getting the full Vita hacking experience, avoid 3.61 or higher Vitas at all costs! There are no native (Vita-side) hacks available whatsoever that you can perform directly on those firmwares. On 3.61 and 3.63, the only available ePSP homebrew/backup solutions are VHBL and ARK, however on >=3.65 only VHBL (PSP homebrew only!) will be available, so be careful when you buy!

    Okay, so HENkaku looks like the best option; where should I start looking for those 3.60-or-lower Vitas?
    Pretty much look anywhere that stocks brand-new, unopened Vitas, except for the newer Red/Silver model Slims (or any more model Vitas manufactured after them); these ones will pretty much guarantee you a firmware with 3.60 or under on them for sure.
    If you are planning to buy from a store that is selling used Vitas, be sure to first ask to "see it turned on". If you can, get the employee to go through the setup process then go to the Settings app -> System -> System Info, and carefully observe the firmware number. If it says 3.61 or any higher value, don't buy it.
    Same story for buying off of Ebay or wherever; ask the seller to check the firmware version and not to update it.

    Hmm, any chances these new, unopened Vitas might contain 3.61 or higher on them?
    Yes! In December 2016, two new colored Vitas hit the Japan market; Red and Silver. They both shipped with 3.61 on them.
    However, if you're absolutely dying to have one of these colors, it might be possible to swap out the motherboard with another pre-3.61 Vita of a different variety.



    Some key facts you should know before you ask a question:

    - Almost all new, out-of-the-box Vitas are guaranteed to be on 3.60 or lower. As mentioned further above this post, The known models to ship with 3.61 or higher currently are the Japanese Red/Silver Slims. Any more new Vita models that have been manufactured after these two colors will also be on 3.61 or higher, so always ensure you are certain you are choosing an exploitable model.

    - It is possible to set up an eCFW for Vitas on 3.61 and 3.63 (but still no native Vita hacks!). ARK eCFW to be more precise. But on >=3.65, it is not possible to run an eCFW and play PSP/PS1 ISOs.

    - Users on 3.18 (3.20 for PSTV users) or lower may not be able to sign in to the Email Application with their Gmail or Yahoo accounts, as email security used within the app had become obsolete. To bypass this issue, use a GMX account. Members here have reportedly been able to successfully sign in using this email system, and can continue to use the email exploit with ease on lower firmwares.

    - 3.60 is, and will be, the ONLY firmware to support HENkaku for perhaps years now, as developers may not find the time and devotion to deliver backports to lower firmwares. (addresses and offsets required for the exploit need to be found again for every individual firmware).

    - As a result of the above, you CANNOT launch native Vita homebrews or game backups on any other firmware than 3.60. I do not count the Cobra Black Fin as a Vita piracy solution anymore because it is classed as a flashcard and not a free solution. Although it does still work on lower FWs, it's not really worth your time and money in my opinion. Go figure.

    - 3.52 and higher nuke PSM support. This means you cannot run the PSM Dev Assistants anymore on those firmwares. Period.

    - DO NOT perform any file operations on files inside the os0: partition! Your Vita may brick permanently as a result.

    - Have common sense when installing VPK files. Past scene dumps, dumped as VPKs, have been known to have bricking applications injected into them, which will permanently damage your device! Two of these dumps off the top of my head are Fruit Ninja and Lego Harry Potter, but I imagine there are still a few more games that got hit by this issue...

    - You can ONLY use a PS3 to activate a PS Vita under the latest firmware. 3.60 is an exception to this rule however, as you can either use ePSP Bubble Installer 2.0, or simply spoof to the latest firmware and activate by normal means (via Settings -> PSN -> Activation)




    Scam Sites

    It's silly I should say this, but it does happen from time-to-time, and some people can often be misled quite easily... Please don't be tricked into thinking that a site offering a Vita hack for 3.61 or higher is actually legitimate, because they simply aren't. These sites are often designed specifically just for money-laundering and to rack up views to climb up search engines. These sites tend to 'guard' their "CFW" files with surveys you must complete in order to bypass, so ultimately, stuff like that should ring alarm bells anyway. 99% of all downloads on the internet with surveys you have to complete first are just plain fake, period.

    To make sure you are kept up-to-date with the latest actual news, bookmark as many of these three trusted Vita hacking news sites as you please:
    • Wololo
    • Hackinformer
    • PSX-Place
    May I also add that these trusted sites are rich with other guides and releases you'll not find on GBATemp (yet :ph34r:), so if you enjoy trying out something new every day, frequently pop onto those sites as well as here!







    HENkaku Tutorials

    Below are a series of HENkaku-related tutorials. You can understand how to set up HENkaku for the first time, as well as installing VPKs for both homebrews and Vita game backups, plus much more.

    Please note that HENkaku works on 3.60 ONLY. Backports are not on the official developers' minds due to several other priorities. 3.61 patches HENkaku!




    Updating your Vita to 3.60 (HENkaku Update Server)

    This is for users still under 3.60 looking to get a piece of HENkaku quickly and easily, without any hassle. This guide will take you all the way to the golden firmware, 3.60, through the use of Yifan_Lu's DNS server! It's seriously a very easy process, and extremely noob-friendly!

    1) Go to Settings -> Network -> Wifi Settings -> Your Connected Access Point -> Advanced Settings
    2) Under DNS Settings, select 'Manual', and set the Primary DNS to 212.47.229.76.
    3) Now you may go back to the root Settings menu and choose 'System Update' -> 'Update using Wifi'.
    4) Only update if it says "Firmware 3.60 (変革 Compatible)", otherwise you should follow these steps again and ensure any other settings are not conflicting the process!
    5) After you have downloaded and installed the 3.60 update, you are now free to start setting up HENkaku!


    Setting up HENkaku for the first time

    Need a quickstart to set up HENkaku in less than 2 minutes? Look no further, as this is a pretty easy exploit to install to your system!

    With HENkaku, thanks to the immense amount of work put in by developers and communities alike, you can:
    • Access native Vita homebrew and homebrew games
    • Dump/install PS Vita backups
    • Spoof PSN to access features under the latest firmware
    • Get access to the full file system and its features
    • Run Vita romhacks and translations made by the community
    All you need is just over 10MB of storage space on your memory card (HENkaku ver. 4 brings support for even internal memcards as well as normal memcards) and also, an internet connection.

    The Method:


    Installing VPKs via your new MolecularShell installation (through FTP)

    So now you have your basic HENkaku needs, you are ready to dive into the rapidly-developing scene of homebrew and games! If you would like to see a diverse archive of Vita homebrews and utilities in VPK format, ready to be installed straight to your Vita, GBATemp member @VitaType has been working hard round the clock to bring you the latest and greatest apps and games for us to enjoy! Head on over to his impressive sticky thread for those said homebrew apps!

    :!: DISCLAIMER: :!:
    Please be wary of malicious apps. We have recently ran into trouble with a user who released a fake game dump which turned out to be an app to format one's memory card, which led to total chaos and paranoia in the scene! Please be careful when downloading from a shady source; it may even cost you your Vita, what with all the write-access to important partitions which store core OS files!

    The Method:

    Transferring files from the memory card through USB to/from a PC

    Starting from VitaShell 1.5, users now have the option to manage files on the memory card via USB instead of FTP. This allows for much faster transfer speeds, and is generally one of the most simplest ways to manage files. There are some things you will need to know if you wish to have complete ux0 access though, as Windows automatically hides a few protected folders...

    The Method:

    HENkaku Enso Installation (permanent HENkaku)

    On 29th July 2017, Team Molecule publicly released HENkaku Enso to mark their 1st anniversary since the original HENkaku debut. This variation of the well-known 3.60 browser-based exploit is installed into the boot sequence, eliminating the need to constantly revisit the web browser and execute the exploit on every reboot. This is also very useful and convenient for PSVSD and SD2Vita adapter users, as you will no longer have to keep remounting your adapter as ux0 either. Everything is now executed at boot time!

    Installation Instructions

    Game Dumping with Vitamin/MaiDumpTool

    This is a brief step-by-step process to using either Vitamin or MaiDumpTool to dump your legitimate game cartridges/PSN content (games, updates, DLC, etc) as installable, decrypted content bootable by HENkaku.
    It is highly recommended nowadays to use MaiDump for dumping your content, as support has grown much larger and faster than Vitamin.

    The Method:


    Transferring Any Type of Files via QCMA Savedata

    Struggling to transfer files via FTP? Having a hard time setting up your FTP manager? Can't access a local connection? This is the definitive method to transfer all of your files (and they can be of any type of any amount!) Offline!

    The Method:

    Installing Adrenaline (ePSP Custom Firmware) on 3.60

    Adrenaline is a new PSP eCFW, created and developed by TheFloW, for henkaku users. It allows you to install a fully-fledged PSP CFW over any PSP game/demo/mini of your choice, then transfer PSP EBOOTs/ISOs of your choice over to your memory card to access and play them.

    As stated earlier, you must be running taiHENkaku (http://beta.henkaku.xyz) and you must have any PSP game/demo/mini already installed on your Vita.
    To find out how to install a PSP basegame, and how to fully install Adrenaline to your 3.60 Vita, visit these links:

    How to install a PSP basegame for Adrenaline without the need for PSN (also activates your Vita at the same time):
    https://gbatemp.net/threads/update-...e-installer-for-adrenaline-ark-no-ps3.459931/
    Tom Bombadildo's full guide to installing Adrenaline:
    http://gbatemp.net/threads/installing-adrenaline-6-61.449344/

    (PSTV only) Mounting USB Stick as ux0

    This tutorial will guide you on how to get a USB pen drive up and running on your PSTV. This is a really useful and money-saving feature, as the infamous memory cards are still often more expensive than the PSTV itself to this day!

    The Method






    Older Tutorials

    NOTE: Do not read further/use these tutorials if you are looking to get the latest hacks and homebrew! These tutorials were written when HENkaku wasn't around, and are here for archival purposes only.

    These guides were originally some of the many hacks and tricks for earlier firmwares, before the time of HENkaku. Unfortunately, most of them are obsolete, however may still come in handy if you are using HENkaku anyway.

    HENkaku's molecularShell app can perform every action the email exploit could do, so if you are on a 3.60 Vita, and one of the tutorials below uses the email exploit, use molecularShell's FTP feature for the process instead.




    Mail Exploit Setup

    This is a tutorial to set up the fail-mail exploit. It can allow you to dump, delete, and write to specific parts of the Vita's NAND. The fail-mail exploit will NOT WORK WITH FIRMWARES 3.55 AND UP, NOR WILL IT WORK ON FIRMWARES UNDER 3.00!

    The process for this turorial is exactly the same for the PSTV.
    The Method:

    Editing your Vita's "app.db"

    In this step, we will take a look at modifying an important file in our Vita's system - app.db! It is a file which manages home menu "bubbles", executable paths, and app icons.

    The steps in this tutorial are also the same for the PSTV.

    Stage 1:
    Stage 2:
    Stage 3:

    TN-V and VHBL Setup

    In this tutorial, I will show you how to Replace a PSP game with either TN-V or VHBL.
    You WILL need a downloaded and fully working PSP basegame to use this.
    You will also need QCMA: Download


    TN-V is suited more to play PSP ISOs.
    VHBL is suited more to play Homebrew.

    The Method:

    PSM Dev for Unity Installation >=3.15 - Make your own PS Vita games!

    In this tutorial, I will show you how to install PSM Dev for Unity for firmwares 3.15-3.51. Dev Assistant for Unity can allow you to develop for, and utilize, PS Vita hardware!

    If you are using a PSTV, you can only set up VitaDefilerClient (for Rejuvenate) since you can't link your PSTV to a PC using a USB cable. The method for the 1.05/1.06 update installation is different, too.

    Installing the Unity Dev Assistant:
    Updating PSM Dev for Unity for your firmware
    PSM Dev for Unity Licensing

    Activation of a lower FW Vita

    This tutorial will guide you to activating your Vita via the use of a PS3 and USB cable, to be able to play PSP games and content. This is also useful for if you don't have PSN access from your Vita, and are wanting to download a PSP demo* specifically to set up Adrenaline/TN-V.
    *(LocoRoco Midnight Carnival (USA) and Ape Quest Starter Pack (EUR) are 2 demos you can download from the PS Store for use during eCFW setup)

    Note that this method doesn't work for PSTV users since it involves using a USB cable to plug in to the PS3.
    The Method:

    Fully Dumping your Vita's Memory Card (All of the ux0: Partition)

    In this tutorial, we will take a look at making a full dump of your Vita's memory card. That means you will be dumping the entire ux0: partition, so not only will you make a dump of your pspemu part of the memcard, you will be dumping encrypted vita apps and their metadata, and a lot of other configuration files and extras!

    Also, this guide assumes you are on any firmware up to 3.52. Any higher firmware version this guide doesn't support at the moment.

    So without further ado, on to the tutorial!
    The Method:

    Various Vita Registry hacks!

    In this tutorial, we will look at applying different registry hacks to your Vita. This includes swapping your Vita's X/O button assignment (doesn't affect games though), faking the Vita's region, and reading out your PSN Login data. Credit to Hackinformer and Co. for these findings. :yay:

    However, I am not responsible for any damage or System resets that may occur by doing this! Do at your own risk!

    ALSO, DO NOT SHARE YOUR REGISTRY FILES WITH ANYONE, AS THEY CONTAIN YOUR PSN LOGIN DATA UNENCRYPTED!!

    You will also need fixregvita from here.

    How to Dump your Vita's Registry
    Swap X/O Button Assignment
    Fake the Vita's region
    Reading out your PSN Login details

    An Alternative Method to Dumping Files - The Calendar exploit! (Works from 3.00 to 3.55!)

    If you are having a little bit of difficulty dumping files from your Vita using just the email app, there is another method that Mr.Gas found not too long back this year. It lets you create a new calendar event with a support_uri call to dump the file, and then can be emailed, which in turn, dumps the desired file into the email.

    Another benefit of this method is that it works not just on firmwares 3.00-3.52, but also 3.55 as well! (but not 3.57 or higher, as it got swiftly patched by Sony!)

    The Method:








    FAQ:

    (This FAQ is still a work-in-progress...)
    FAQ:
     
    Last edited by Voxel, Nov 28, 2017 - Reason: Tweaks in light of new update
  2. Voxel
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    Voxel u wot

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    -Reserved for any other miscellaneous tutorials that may arise in the future.-
     
    Last edited by Voxel, Dec 30, 2016
  3. Enigma Hall

    Enigma Hall GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Very cool man. I will wait for the rejuvenate version. I have it but without a larger memory I'm waiting.
     
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  4. Voxel
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    Voxel u wot

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    I will think about writing a tutorial on Rejuvenate. :)
    I will also write a tutorial for PSM Dev for Unity, so you can learn to make your own games! :D

    Edit: I have now finished the PSM Dev assistant for Unity tutorial!
     
    Last edited by Voxel, Nov 15, 2015
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  5. TwilightWarrior

    TwilightWarrior GBATEMP'S Official Boss

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    So like as a noob, can I play PSP ISO's by doing this?
     
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  6. Voxel
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    Voxel u wot

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    Yes, you can. I'll add this to my tuto right away!
     
  7. TwilightWarrior

    TwilightWarrior GBATEMP'S Official Boss

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    Ok, thanks. Let's say I want to update my vita, can all this be reverted? Also, how do I get the PSP game on my vita if I am on a lower version, I can't access the store.
     
  8. Reploid

    Reploid GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Add a FAQ pls. By FAQ I mean something like
    Q: Can I have vita games on my vita yet?
    A: Nope. Just PSP ones.
     
  9. Voxel
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    Voxel u wot

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    On it!

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Yeah, that's also something I need to clarify. Unless Vita Update Blocker works again, you can't enter the PS Store for now.
     
  10. Voxel
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    Voxel u wot

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    Updated - Added 3 Tricks you can do with your Vita as a little extra something. :)
     
  11. RazorX2014

    RazorX2014 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    you dont need to install thunderbird or use writer.eml, my Vita Email Hacker will do all that for you including sending the package installer email too you its under presets.

    for part 1 it can simply be click settings and enter your email details then click save now click upload then browse and select the mail.db file and click send email
     
    Last edited by RazorX2014, Nov 14, 2015
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  12. Voxel
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    Voxel u wot

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    Thanks for the info! I'll make sure to add that! :)
     
  13. RazorX2014

    RazorX2014 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    i further edited my comment
     
  14. Voxel
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    Voxel u wot

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    Yeah, I noticed. ;)
     
    Last edited by Voxel, Nov 14, 2015
  15. RazorX2014

    RazorX2014 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Mar 18, 2014
    guide updated
     
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  16. Voxel
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    Voxel u wot

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    Thanks, Razor! :)
     
  17. RazorX2014

    RazorX2014 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    no problem man as you notice you can use my app for all the steps now pretty much lol but thats what i made it for
     
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  18. RazorX2014

    RazorX2014 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    i didnt do a direct link for my app because i would have to change it everytime i update which i just did by the way lol its now v1.1.0
     
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  19. Voxel
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    Voxel u wot

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    Yeah, I decided not to do that as well, lol. ;)
     
  20. RazorX2014

    RazorX2014 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    lol theres always something to tweak