Hacking [Release] ARK-4 CFW port for PSP.

Acid_Snake

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
243
Trophies
0
Age
28
XP
759
Country
Spain
New, updated, improved and modern CFW for PSP and Vita.
Simple to use and full of unique features, ARK CFW aims at keeping the PSP experience fresh.

What is ARK?
ARK is a CFW that started as a port of PRO CFW to the PS Vita (named PROVITA) created by the original Team PRO members (Coldbird, Liquid Snake and Neur0n).
After the original team left, the source code of PROVITA was handed over to me (Acid_Snake) and my long time scene friend qwikrazor87.
We quickly began a huge process of rewriting and restructuring code, more specifically a much more robust dynamic patching algorithms that would work on any 6.6X based firmware (including all Vita's ePSP firmwares). Thus ARK-2 was born.
Soon after, qwik, thefl0w and I began working on PSX exploits, which resulted in TN-X and ARK-3 (never publicly released).
Because the original PRO CFW hasn't been updated or maintained in a while, and it has become a little bloated and hard to work with, I decided to start working on porting ARK to the PSP since the core elements of the CFW are compatible with PSP 6.60 and 6.61 with minor changes.
After lots of work getting the same ARK binaries to properly work on both PSP and Vita, I am proud to announce that the release of ARK-4 is finally here!


What are the features?
  • Core system for unsigned code execution on every PSP device based on 6.60 kernel.
  • Inferno driver Version 2 compatible with ISO, CSO, ZSO, JSO, CSOv2 and DAX format.
  • Popcorn controller for custom PS1 games. Compatible with Popsloader for PRO.
  • Stargate No-DRM engine.
  • Plugin support for PSP games, PSX games and VSH (XMB), including the ability to enable and disable plugins per-game.
  • Compatible with all PSP models on firmwares 6.60 and 6.61.
  • Compatible with all PS Vita models on firmware 2.10 and up.
  • Minimalistic: only 6 files installed on PSP flash, CFW extensions are installed on memory stick
  • Custom game launcher with built-in file browser, FTP server and client, modernized look, game categories and more.
  • Compatible with PRO Online.
  • Compatible with Legacy Homebrew via eLoader and Leda.


Known Issues?

ARK-4 is pretty stable and compatible, with all features available on PSP, but some features are missing or restricted on PS Vita.
  • PS1 games don't work on PS Vita (there are two ways to fix this and each of them is not fully explored yet).
  • High memory support on PS Vita is experimental and buggy.
  • There is no kernel exploit available for PS Vita 3.65+.
  • There is no native Vita-side patching done, so there's some limitations imposed by Official Sony pspemu (can't create folders in /PSP/GAME/, can't create files named EBOOT.PBP, etc), some workarounds include being able to use /PSP/APPS/ and /PSP/VHBL/ folders for homebrews and alternative names for eboots (FBOOT.PBP, VBOOT.PBP, wmenu.bin).

Some Screenshots of the CFW

- ARK XMB with VSH Menu
20210223142557.png


- ARK custom launcher (arkMenu), showing installed games by category (using background sprites animation).
20210223142706.png


- ARK custom launcher showing file browser (using background tetris animation).
20210223142834.png


- ARK's recovery menu showing system settings (using background fire animation).
20210223142915.png


- ARK's recovery menu (installed plugins).
20210223142928.png





How do I install it?

- Download the precompiled binaries from: https://github.com/PSP-Archive/ARK-4/releases/

  • Install ARK_01234 folder into /PSP/SAVEDATA/ folder.
  • Install ARK_Live folder into /PSP/GAME/ folder.
  • Launch ARK Live Loader. It will install ARK modules on PSP Flash and boot the CFW.
  • If using Infinity place the EBOOT.PBP from the Infinity folder found in the ARK download into
    /PSP/GAME/UPDATE. (might have to run it using OFW).
    This will allow you to use ARK permanently and tripple boot with PRO and ME.

  • For 3.60 Henkaku users only.


  • Considering the savedata exploit loads H.BIN from the savedata path.
  • Copy the following files from ARK_01234 savedata folder into game exploit folder:
  • H.BIN, ARK.BIN, ARK4.BIN FLASH0.ARK, MENU.PBP, RECOVERY.PBP, DATA.PKG and other extras.
  • Don't copy K.BIN if running on an ancient firmware.



How do I customize the CFW?

You can install plugins by creating a file called PLUGINS.TXT in the /SEPLUGINS/ folder and/or ARK's savedata folder.

To install plugins use the comma-separated format (CSV).
Where the header is: runlevel, path, switch.
A few samples:
  • game, ms0:/seplugins/cwcheat/cwcheat.prx, enabled
  • pops, ms0:/seplugins/cdda_enabler.prx, 1
  • vsh, ms0:/seplugins/cxmb.prx, true
  • ULUS10041, ms0:/seplugins/lcscheatdevice.prx, on

You can use the following keywords to enable a plugin:
  • 1
  • on
  • true
  • enabled
  • Anything else disables the plugin

You can use the following keywords to tell ARK when the plugin loads:
  • all/always: if either of these keywords are used, the plugin will always load.
  • umd: plugin should only load on retail games (UMD/ISO/PSN).
  • homebrew: plugin should only load on homebrews.
  • game: plugin can load on both retail games and homebrews.
  • pops: plugin only loads in PSX games.
  • vsh: plugin only loads in the XMB.
  • game ID: if you specify a game ID (i.e. SLUS000000), then the plugin will only load on that game.

You can create a SETTINGS.TXT file using the same format as PLUGINS.TXT to enable/disable some CFW functionality on different parts of the system.
For example, you can overclock to highest CPU speed like this:
  • always, overclock, on

Another example, overclock only on games, use powersaving on VSH:
  • game, overclock, on
  • vsh, powersave, on

You can use the same runlevels as used in plugins to tell ARK when the settings take effect (all/always, umd, homebrew, game, pops, vsh).
Configuration settings for ARK:
  • overclock: use this for better performance at the expense of battery time. Sets CPU/BUS speed to 333/166.
  • powersave: use this for better battery life at the expense of performance. Sets CPU/BUS speed to 133/66.
  • usbcharge: enables USB charging whereever you want.
  • launcher: replaces the XMB with a custom menu launcher.
  • disablepause: disables the pause game feature on PSP Go.
  • highmem: enables high memory on models above 1K. You should only use this on homebrew runlevel as retail games were not meant to use the extra memory, and this can cause issues with cheat devices or other plugins that expect games to have their data at specific memory addresses.
  • NOTE: You should use the recovery menu to handle settings easier.


ARK comes prepacked with a very powerful launcher with a built-in file browser and highly customizable. You can however change it to whatever you please. You can change the theme used by both the custom launcher and recovery menu by replacing DATA.PKG with your own.

Aside from the default launcher provided, there have been many other custom launchers created by scene members, some better looking, some with more features, some more simpler, but all of them with personality, dedication and love from the community. Here is a list of all popular menus for ARK:

* Note: some of these menus have not been updated or supported by their developers in a while, they may not work well with modern ARK or real PSP hardware.



Credits:
  • The original Team PRO members: Coldbird, Liquid Snake and Neur0n.
  • Total_Noob/TheFl0w for his advancements and research in CFW development and overall contributions to the scene.
  • qwikrazor87 for being such a genius and all his hard work with kernel exploits and ARK-2.
  • Codestation for his incredible work improving CSO speeds and creating the ZSO format.
  • Zer01ne, noname120, astart and other devs that have blessed me with their knowledge and wisdom.
  • balika for his research in porting M33 to modern firmware that has helped improve compatiblity in ARK.
  • Every other giant shoulder I am standing on.
 
Last edited by Acid_Snake,

Acid_Snake

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
243
Trophies
0
Age
28
XP
759
Country
Spain
It's usefull, saved a ton of PSPs using Recovery Flasher.


Registry hacks, plugins manager etc.
The idea is to extend functionality via plugins to keep the core cfw simple. It WILL have recovery and VSH menu, just not built in, it'll have the ability to load whatever recovery or vsh menu you have installed in your memory stick. This will allow it to be more flexible and custom.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jayro

chaoskagami

G̷̘̫̍̈́̊̓̈l̴̙͔̞͠i̵̳͊ţ̸̙͇͒̓c̵̬̪̯̥̳͒͌̚h̵̹̭͛̒̊̽̚
Developer
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
1,365
Trophies
1
Location
↑↑↓↓←→←→BA
Website
github.com
XP
2,235
Country
United States
The idea is to extend functionality via plugins to keep the core cfw simple. It WILL have recovery and VSH menu, just not built in, it'll have the ability to load whatever recovery or vsh menu you have installed in your memory stick. This will allow it to be more flexible and custom.

I actually really like this minimalist way of doing things; any chance we might see something like pergame.prx implemented officially (or taihen-style configs, which is more modern) instead of the usual vsh/game/pops txt files? At this point, the whole loading every plugin listed and having them unload themselves when not needed thing is feeling a tad bit dated.

In any case, I'll probably try this out on my 1000; I think I still have ME on the thing instead of Pro, and I'm not exactly a fan of closed source stuff at all nowadays (which ME is, or at very least I'm not aware of any source code for it) Looking at the code, this is much easier to parse through than the mess that is Pro, which is a definite plus.
 
Last edited by chaoskagami,
  • Like
Reactions: Acid_Snake

Acid_Snake

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
243
Trophies
0
Age
28
XP
759
Country
Spain
I actually really like this minimalist way of doing things; any chance we might see something like pergame.prx implemented officially (or taihen-style configs, which is more modern) instead of the usual vsh/game/pops txt files? At this point, the whole loading every plugin listed and having them unload themselves when not needed thing is feeling a tad bit dated.
Yeah that's the idea, to update the way plugins are handled since the old SE/M33 method feels a bit bloated.
For now ARK allows you to load plugins via one simple PLUGINS.TXT file (installed in the same folder as other ARK files) with the following format:
game, ms0:/path_to_plugin, enable
pops, ms0:/path_to_plugin, disable
Support for VSH plugins and per-game plugins are going to be added soon, I am mostly working on making it stable for now rather than adding new features.
 

Acid_Snake

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
243
Trophies
0
Age
28
XP
759
Country
Spain
Hey guys, I've released the third update of ARK-4, the CFW is now pretty stable, compatible with most ISOs and homebrews (it should have the same compatibility as PRO), as well as working fine on 2K and 3K.
The CFW is no longer in "experimental" phase.
 

Kernelgm

Member
Newcomer
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
9
Trophies
0
Age
27
XP
67
Country
Brazil
Man, I'm really happy that you're working on psp. Thank you very much. I hope that full support for PSP GO arrives soon, it is my favorite console of all time.
Great job!
 
  • Like
Reactions: AncientBoi

Acid_Snake

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
243
Trophies
0
Age
28
XP
759
Country
Spain
High battery drain without particular reason.
True, but I overclock by default on the basis that:
1 - Most people already do it.
2 - You can change it with a plugin.
I might just create and all-in-one plugin for all the missing functionality like changing CPU speeds, ISO drivers, etc
I can't have this in the core part of the CFW, but it can always be extended.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Messages
1,388
Trophies
2
Age
65
Location
On my bed, with my warring controller
XP
2,361
Country
United States
This might come as a surprise to some, but after lots of coding and research I've been able to port ARK eCFW to the PSP!

What is ARK?
ARK is a CFW that started as a port of PRO CFW to the PS Vita (named PROVITA) created by the original Team PRO members (Coldbird, Liquid Snake and Neur0n).
After the original team left, the source code of PROVITA was handed over to me (Acid_Snake) and my long time scene friend qwikrazor87.
We quickly began a huge process of rewriting and restructuring code, more specifically a much more robust dynamic patching algorithms that would work on any 6.6X based firmware (including all Vita's ePSP firmwares). Thus ARK-2 was born.
Soon after, qwik, thefl0w and I began working on PSX exploits, which resulted in TN-X and ARK-3 (never publicly released).
Because the original PRO CFW hasn't been updated or maintained in a while, and it has become a little bloated and hard to work with, I decided to start working on porting ARK to the PSP since the core elements of the CFW are compatible with PSP 6.60 and 6.61 with minor changes.
After lots of work getting the same ARK binaries to properly work on both PSP and Vita, I am proud to announce that the first (EXPERIMENTAL) release of ARK-4 is finally here!


What are the features?
- Core system for loading unsigned PSP homebrews and plugins compatible with all PSP and PS Vita models.

- Inferno driver for ISO, CSO and ZSO games.

- Galaxy controller for Sony NP9660 driver.

- Popcorn controller for PSX games.

- Stargate No-DRM engine.

- Plugin support for PSP games, PSX games and VSH (XMB).

- Compatibility layers for PSP and PS Vita.

- On PSP, it patches VSH so you can launch games (ISO, homebrew, PS1) directly from the XMB.

- Allows you to install your favorite menu launcher (gMenu, ONEmenu, vMenu, etc). This is the default behaviour on PS Vita, but can be also be used on PSP in recovery mode (holding R while launching ARK).

- More readable, robust and structured code that is still being maintained (it's also open source).

- Legacy support for PSP game exploits and PSX exploits on PS Vita (includes TN-X patches): this is however useless nowadays, but still kept in there for legacy and conservation purposes.

- Minimalistic CFW: ARK only install the bare minimum to have CFW functionality, both VSH menu and recovery menu are external to the CFW (a minimalistic one is included). ARK doesn't really have anything to configure so it doesn't make sense to have a VSH menu either, but it will allow you to install an external one. You can also use your favorite plugins to extend the functionality and look of your XMB, or use custom launchers. Please don't request features that can easily be added to the CFW via plugins, the idea behind ARK is to keep it simple and functional across all devices.


What are some drawbacks?

- For now it mostly only works on PSP 1K, 2K and 3K since that's what I have been testing it with. PS Vita should work but I haven't yet tested and fixed it for 3.60, same as other PSP models, please wait for that.

- No permanent patches (FOR NOW), this is a live CFW and needs to be launched for REAL OFW (a permanent CFW in OFW mode doesn't work as it's not real OFW: ARK needs to be able to override rebootbuffer, which is already overwriten if you use Infinity, even if launched in OFW mode). Please wait for this to be stable and I will make a CIPL and Infinity installer so you can use it permanently.


How do I install it?
Download the precompiled binaries from below.
On PSP:
- Create a PSP GAME folder, i.e. ms0:/PSP/GAME/ARK
- Copy the following files: EBOOT.PBP, ARK.BIN, K.BIN, FLASH0.ARK and MENU.PBP
- Launch from the XMB on OFW (launching from permanent CFW such as CIPL or Infinity won't work!).
- It will install FLASH0.ARK into flash0 and then detele the package (so it doesn't get reinstalled every time you boot into the CFW). To reinstall flash0 files, copy FLASH0.ARK again into the ARK folder.
On PS Vita:
- I haven't yet added support for PS Vita since there's already a good working build of ARK-2 for PS Vita 3.60 including a PBOOT.PBP bubble. Support for PS Vita in ARK-4 needs to be tested and fixed, which is not the priority now.

How do I customize the CFW?
You can install plugins by creating a file called PLUGINS.TXT in the same folder where you installed ARK files (ms0:/PSP/GAME/ARK).
- Add a line of text for each plugin using the following format:
game, ms0:/path_to_my_game_plugin.prx, enabled
pops, ms0:/path_to_my_psx_plugin.prx, 1
vsh, ms0:/path_to_my_vsh_plugin.prx, true
- You can use keywords "enabled", "on", "1" or "true" to indicate that the plugin is enabled, anything else disables it. You can use game, pops or vsh keywords to run the plugin in the corresponding runlevel.
- You can also customize ARK by launching it in recovery mode (holding R trigger when launching it), which replaces the entire XMB with a custom launcher. There have been many custom launchers created by scene members, some better looking, some with more features, some more simpler, but all of them with personality, dedication and love from the community. Here is a list of all popular menus for ARK:
- ONEMenu: https://github.com/ONElua/ONEmenu/releases
- vMenu: http://www.mediafire.com/file/7acb5mhawx4gr9t/vMenu_ARK.7z/file
- yMenu: https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B0kWUCdtGmJwLUhRUlNJSWhMWVE
- gMenu: http://www.mediafire.com/file/oou5490qc99vr7d/gmenuARK.rar/file
* Note: some of these menus have not been updated or supported by their developers in a while, they may not work well with modern ARK or real PSP hardware.

CHANGELOG:
Update 4:
- Added ability to have a VSH menu installed externally. Classic PRO VSH menu is included.
*** please note that there's no configuration options for ARK, things like chaning the CPU speed or ISO driver doesn't do anything (ARK will always enable fastest CPU speed and Inferno ISO driver).
- Added preliminary PSP Go support (untested for now).
- Fixed issue when exiting from retail UMDs.

Update 3:
- Fixed issues with ISOs such as Tekken 6 and Peace Walker. All ISOs should work well now!
- Fixed issue with some homebrews like PSPFiler.
- Fixed issues with the XMB on later models. ARK now works on 2K and 3K! (PSP Go support is still not finished, PSP Street has not been tested yet).
- Added support for high memory layout on slim models for homebrews that use it.
- ARK is now stable!

Update 2:
- Added back plugin support, including for VSH.
- Added recovery option, which lets you replace the XMB with a custom launcher (a minimalistic one is included with ARK).
- Fixed some dynamic patches.

Update 1:
- Fixed issue when launching UMDs with ARK.
- Improved dynamic patching code for SystemControl, Inferno and Popcorn.
- Added Galaxy controller for NP9660 ISO driver (for retail PSN EBOOTs).
- Added compatibility layer for PSP-specific patches (still in development).
- Restructured PS Vita compatibility layer (still in development).

And now, the download:
Compiled binaries: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YIlxoU2PWcZvQl5DBN4G9xhhjH1WVZYn/view?usp=sharing
Source code: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UI12Cl1jyl8NmGpgZY-CAZxEcqY41wbC/view?usp=sharing
* Note: these links never change, I update the files they point to.

Credits:
- The original Team PRO members: Coldbird, Liquid Snake and Neur0n.
- Total_Noob/TheFl0w for his advancements and research in CFW development and overall contributions to the scene.
- qwikrazor87 for being such a genius and all his hard work with kernel exploits and ARK-2. I miss you bro, come back to the scene!
- Zer01ne, noname120, astart and other devs that have blessed me with their knowledge and wisdom.
- Every other giant shoulder I am standing on.

Now this is cool. Can't wait to use it on my PSP 3001.

All I need is to find out how to find the codes on my own for my games. Any suggestions?
 

kane159

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
May 28, 2013
Messages
215
Trophies
0
Age
33
XP
1,183
Country
Taiwan
This is so cool ! I don’t know that somebody is still trying to make psp family better until I saw this. Sadly my on the go console is psp go. Hope it’ll be fully support soon :D if need any test I would like to help.thanks for still trying to keep this alive


從我的iPhone使用Tapatalk 發送
 

FPSUsername

Active Member
Newcomer
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
39
Trophies
0
Age
24
XP
81
Country
Netherlands
Hey man, amazing work on updating the firmware.
I have a Netgear Rax 20 and the PSP doesn't see my WiFi network, even if I put the encryption type to "WPA (TKIP) & WPA2 (AES)" (there's no standalone WPA option). The WiFi mode does support 802.11b, so I don't know why it's so problematic. (It was also problematic when I first got my PSP, since the routers already had support for WPA2).

It would be nice if could look into the WiFi driver and perhaps update it. Adding support for WPA2 (AES) would be amazing.
 
  • Love
Reactions: AncientBoi

Acid_Snake

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
243
Trophies
0
Age
28
XP
759
Country
Spain
Hey guys small update: I got myself a PSP Go to port ARK to it. As it stands right now ARK is semi-compatible with PSP Go.
What works:
- XMB patches.
- PSX games.
- PSN games.
- Plugins.
What fails:
- Homebrews.
- ISOs using Inferno.
As soon as I have it stable I will upload a new release and work on Infinity installer for permanent CFW (I already have it coded, but I need the CFW to be as stable as possible before going to Infinity). As for other PSP models: 1K, 2K and 3K all work flawlessly, PSP Street should work fine too but I have none to test (if anyone does, feel free to test it, it's risk-free).
 

pscdx

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Feb 9, 2021
Messages
2
Trophies
0
Age
25
XP
12
Country
Japan
Nice to meet you, Acid_Snake
Thank you for the wonderful release of PSP.

Compiled binary:

Is this file up to date?
If it is not the latest, please update it.
 

Acid_Snake

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
243
Trophies
0
Age
28
XP
759
Country
Spain
Nice to meet you, Acid_Snake
Thank you for the wonderful release of PSP.

Compiled binary:

Is this file up to date?
If it is not the latest, please update it.
Hi there! I've updated the links to the latest binaries. It now works well on PSP Go minus some small bugs I need to fix.
 

Kernelgm

Member
Newcomer
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
9
Trophies
0
Age
27
XP
67
Country
Brazil
Thx Acid. I have on my PSP Go now the CFW Infinity PRO 6.61. You can do one tutorial step by step, how install ARK4?
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    We have layaway
    Gift
  • SAIYAN48 @ SAIYAN48:
    what's with muricans
    and their guns?
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    Stereotype
    Gift
  • Dark_Phoras @ Dark_Phoras:
    215 shootings in the US just this year, according to the BBC
    Gift
  • Dark_Phoras @ Dark_Phoras:
    That's almost a shooting per month in each state
    +1
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    Nice improvement
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    dangerously close to buying a miyoo mini :/
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    I was just looking at those the other day
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    But $50 could get a retroid that does some ps2
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    $50 more*
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    Then $100 more added to that $100 could get you an Odin 🤷‍♂️
    Gift
  • Noctosphere @ Noctosphere:
    I want a gun to kill all
    guns, then make this gun commit suicide
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    60 bucks is pretty good deal, i mainly play gba and gb anyway
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    using a gb micro and v1 gb sp, be nice to get a bigger brighter screen
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    I still like my powkiddy v90
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    got tempted by that too, and mainly the ambernic woodgrain gameboy, almost bought that
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    Powkiddy quality control is pretty trash and software glitchy but the screes nice
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    The ANBERNIC RG280V looks nice
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    i like the v90, i dig clamshells, love my sp but it's the old version with the dull-ass screen
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    and my micro has a sharp screen but it's tiny and i have old person eyes
    Gift
  • M @ MrWhosHacking:
    i need help with my switch can anyone help me
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    Saw powkiddy.com had the on sale for $35
    Gift
  • Veho @ Veho:
    The Retroid Pocket 2+ is great value for money, $99, it's still in the "budget" range somewhat but it has a nice large screen and can run a whole lot of platforms.
    Gift
  • Veho @ Veho:
    The Myoo Mini is cyoot, but mini :P
    Gift
  • Veho @ Veho:
    The Funkey S is even cuter and mini-er :tpi:
    Gift
    Veho @ Veho: The Funkey S is even cuter and mini-er :tpi: