How to Play Games on PSP

By Stephanie Fidalgo

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • PSP

  • UMD

  • Memory stick

While the PlayStation Portable offers surprising processing power in a small, elegant package, all of its mechanics might not be intuitive at first. The most basic thing to learn about a PSP is how to play a game on your portable system. The PSP plays games stored on a Universal Media Disc (UMD) or downloaded to a memory stick.

Playing a UMD

Turn on the PSP. The power switch is located on the right side of the system. Slide it upward to turn the system on and off. It will return to the middle position afterward.

Open the UMD slot. The "open" button is located on the top of the PSP next to the "R" shoulder button. Slide it toward the right to open the slot.

Insert your UMD with the logo and decorated side of the disc facing outward. Gently push it into the holder to ensure that the reader opening will be in the proper position.

Close the UMD slot. The slot will only close if the disc is properly inserted. If it isn't, gently reposition the disc and try again.

Press the "X" button when the game loading screen comes up. If it doesn't come up automatically, navigate to the "Games" menu on the crossbar and select "UMD" from the menu.

Playing a Downloaded Game

Turn the PSP on following the directions above.

Set up an account on the PlayStation Network and access the PlayStation Store under "Network Menu" on the crossbar. This requires a wireless connection. Once in the store, select the game you wish to download and it will be automatically installed if you have enough memory on your memory stick.

Select the "Memory Stick" option under the "Games" menu on your crossbar. This will bring up a list of all the games you have downloaded. Scroll to the game you wish to play using the up and down buttons on the directional pad and start the game by pressing the "X" button.


You can set your PSP to automatically start games when you insert the UMD. Select "System Settings" under the "Settings" menu on the crossbar and then turn on "UMD Auto-Start."

The PSP Go only uses downloaded games and does not have a UMD slot. It comes with 16 GB of memory, about enough room for eight games.


Handle UMDs gently. While they are protected by a casing, it is possible to break the casing and thus the disc itself. Always keep your UMDs stored in a PSP storage case or their original packaging.