How to Make PCSX2 Run Faster on a Computer

By Jason Gordon

Updated September 28, 2017

An emulator lets you run console games on your PC.
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The PCSX2 emulator is a piece of software that allows you to play PlayStation 2 games on your PC by simulating the PS2's hardware and software configuration. Emulators are notoriously difficult to get to work right, so they require a patient user who knows how to tweak a system for best performance. With a few hints, you can help the PCSX2 run faster on your computer.

Check your computer's specifications. PCSX2 is powerful software and needs equally powerful hardware to perform adequately. If your processor, memory or graphics card is not up to spec, you can't do much to make PCSX2 run faster other than upgrade your system or buy a new computer (see links in Resources for recommended specifications).

Lower the resolution. This setting determines how much detail you can see while playing, but a higher resolution requires more system resources and can make PCSX2 much slower. To lower the resolution, select "Plugin/BIOS Selector" in the Config menu. In the Plugins tab, click on the "Configure" button next to the GS dropdown and change the resolution setting. For the GSdx plugin, you can find this setting under "D3D Internal Res."

Disable the debugging window. PCSX2 runs a hidden window to help you track down bugs, but it is mostly for advanced users and can slow down the emulator. To disable it, deselect the check box "Enable Console" in the Misc menu.

Use frame-limiting. Frame speed has a significant impact on performance. Limiting it might speed up performance, but gameplay might appear choppy. To get to the frame-limiting options, go to "Emulation Settings" in the Config menu and click on the GS tab.

Free up memory. If the other steps haven't given you much of a boost and your computer is up to spec, check whether your system is too busy with other processes. Click "Start," choose "Run" and type in "msconfig." Under the Services tab, you can see all currently running processes. Try disabling nonessential processes such as antivirus software while running PCSX2.


Back up your system before making any changes to your software or hardware configuration.

If you disable antivirus or security software while running the emulator, your computer might be vulnerable if it is connected to the Internet.