PCSX for Mac OS X: A Step-by-Step Guide

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Spulture, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Spulture macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2009
    PCSX/PCSX-Reloaded for Mac OS X: A Step-by-Step Guide​

    How to play PSone games in Mac OS X​

    Update: Added PCSX-Reloaded

    Video Tutorials
    PCSX Tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-skM9xr_-A

    PCSX/PCSX-Reloaded is a PlayStation (PSone) emulator for Mac OS X. I've been experimenting with it a little and I've made a guide for anyone who wants to play PlayStation games on Mac OS X.

    Key Things

    1. PCSX/PCSX-Reloaded
    2. PlayStation BIOS
    3. ECM for OS X
    4. cdrmooby PCSX Plugin (*only if running PCSX)


    ECM for OS X


    cdrmooby PCSX Plugin (*only if running PCSX)

    PlayStation BIOS

    I am not legally obliged to give links to the PlayStation BIOS file, so use your preferred Internet search engine and search for “PlayStation BIOS” or “PlayStation BIOS Download”. There’s quite a few websites that have the PlayStation BIOS for download so you shouldn’t have trouble finding this.

    Just to clarify things,the name of the file you need is called "SCPH1001.BIN".


    The Guide​


    1. Open PCSX.


    1. Open PCSX to create a Pcsx folder in Application Support. Go to: Finder>Home>Library>Application Support>Pcsx>Bios

    2. Copy the PlayStation BIOS file "SCPH1001.BIN" into the Bios folder.


    1. Open PCSX.

    2. Click PCSX in the Menu Bar to bring up a drop menu. From this menu select Preferences.

    3. A window should appear called PCSX Preferences. It should be on the Emulation tab. Under the Options, Game Fixes, and Hacks panes... uncheck all of the boxes. Having these checked may reduce game quality.

    4. Select the Plugins tab. Under the Graphics pane, click Configure.

    5. A new window will appear. Uncheck all of the boxes except for Enable Hacks. Some games may work better or worse with the Hacks enabled.

    6. Return to the Plugins tab and under the Sound pane, select Configure.

    7. A new window will appear. Move the sliders all the way to the right. Under Misc check the High Compatibility Mode box. Under XA Music check the Enable XA Playback box.

    8. Return to the Plugins tab and under the Controller pane, select Configure.

    9. A new window will appear. Here you can configure the controls to your keyboard or joystick, and select between a Digital controller and an Analog controller. You can also change the controls for Controller 2.

    Playing PCSX via CD

    At this point you are ready to play PSone games on your Mac provided that you have a CD. Simply pop it in the CD-ROM and wait for it to mount... then in PCSX, under File, select Run CD. The game should play. If not, try again.

    Playing PCSX via File

    At this point you are ready to play PSone games on your Mac provided that you have a file of a PlayStation game. Simply go to File in the Menu Bar, and select Run ISO (or Run CD if playing on PCSX). A browser window will appear, find the PlayStation file, select it, and click Open. The game should run.

    **if you are using PCSX, open the cdrmooby PCSX Plugin folder, copy the cdrmooby.psxplugin, Secondary-Click the PCSX icon to bring up a drop menu. Select "Show Package Contents" and open Contents... Plugins... paste the cdrmooby.psxplugin into the Plugins folder. When you are playing a game from a file, open PCSX, go to Preferences... then click on Plugins. Under the CD-ROM pane, select "cdrmooby disk image driver". When you have a PlayStation file, go to File and select Run CD (⌘R) a Open Image browser will appear. Find the file and click on Open. The game should load.

    Downloading PlayStation Games

    It's illegal to download PlayStation games, and I'm not obliged to give out links to websites to download. Use your preferred Internet search engine and search for "PlayStation ISOS" or "PlayStation ROMS" and there's quite a few websites that have almost every PlayStation game for download.


    Not so fast...

    Even if you download a PSone game file... many of the files end in .ECM and PCSX will not run it.

    So what do you do if the file extension ends with .ecm? Remember ECM for OS X?


    1. Return to the Desktop and open the ECM for OS X folder. Inside this folder is an application called ECM GUI. Open it.

    2. A window appears and has some information on it. Click on the Un-ECM bubble first.

    3. Click Select File. A browser window appears. Find the .ecm PlayStation file and click Choose.

    4. Once you see text in the field at the top, click Begin. Wherever the .ecm file was, there will be a replacement file that excludes the .ecm portion and then it will run perfectly in PCSX.


    If all you see is a black box when you load a game check the Preferences and Graphics Configurations and make sure all of the boxes are unchecked. Also, make sure (if you’re playing from a file) that the file extension doesn’t end with .ecm. And if it still isn't working, go back to the cdrmooby PCSX Plugin folder and open compressIt again.

    If PCSX crashes when you select Run CD... reopen and try again.

    If PCSX crashes when you select a PlayStation file... reopen and try again.

    If PCSX crashes on one particular game try playing another game that does work and then retry the game that wasn’t working. This has helped me the most.

    If PCSX crashes on one particular game, try changing the file extension to .ISO, .BIN, TOAST, .IMG, or MDF.

    If you ever get an Error message, just quit and reopen PCSX and it should work again.

    In some games, things are gone or missing... I haven't found the solution to this issue, but it's only happened on one game so far (tested on Loony Tunes Sheep Raider).

    The key is persistence! PCSX/PCSX-Reloaded is stubborn occasionally and you need to continue retry loading the games.
  2. Tharian macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2009
    Over 100 views and no "thank you's" yet?

    That's crazy, so let me be the first to say THANK YOU. This works great! Breath of Fire 3 brings back many old memories.

  3. Hansr macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2007
    PCSX is dead, check out PCSX-Reloaded instead.
  4. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Actually no, you're not allowed to download BIOS or ROM files unless permission has been granted (as is the case with Commodore Amiga). Pirates run around making claims about having to own the game to download it but it is still illegal.

    Even making backups of your own games (you don't technically own them) is legally grey too.
  5. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    A "guide" post like this would last longer as a MacRumor's Guide. This will just disappear over time.
  6. Hansr macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2007
    In the US it's gray but in most other countries dumping the BIOS and games on your own is quite legal.

    In some countries downloading the ROM if you own the game is legal too.
  7. Mac7 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2009
  8. adrian.oconnor macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    Nottingham, England
    Are you sure? Amiga were always very definite about their legal rights to the ROMS and the fact that it was illegal to distribute them. Cloanto licensed them, and you can buy them online, but you can't just download them.
  9. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    What I meant was permission had been granted to distribute the kick files. Until then you had to create your own kick file from your own Amiga. Sony, on the other hand, do not have any boot files for sale.
  10. Spulture thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2009
    This thread is for anyone who needs help running PCSX in Mac OS X. If anyone has issues running PCSX, then feel free to post or message me.
  11. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    Thanks for this. I always seem to want to play the older resident evil games when I'm not at home and forgot about emulators.
  12. ttaavi macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2010
    Thanks for awesome tutorial! However, I have one major problem.

    When I try to launch ECM GUI, nothing happens. And by nothing, I mean nothing. No error messages, nothing. I've tried to downloading it again, I tried the trick involving some terminal tweaking that was posted over here: http://forums.emuparadise.org/showthread.php?t=70218 but with no luck.

    I'm running Snow Leopard on white MacBook (not the unibody one).

    Anyone know solution to this?
  13. Spulture thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2009
    I also have a non-unibody MacBook running Snow Leopard (10.6.4). I tried ECM GUI on it and it works just fine. I also tested it on an iMac (10.6.4) just to be safe, and it works on that too. I looked at the link to the thread, though that looks like it's just for a scripting problem.

    Also, ECM GUI is a PowerPC application, I'm not sure if that would affect it opening on your MacBook, but so far it's worked everywhere else.
  14. ttaavi macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2010
    Interesting. I tried it again, no luck. It just wont open.
  15. CrispyXUK macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2008
  16. filmguy2003 macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2010
    Disc swap

    1 GHz PowerPC G4
    256 MB DDR SDRAM
    Mac OS X Version 10.4.11

    PCSX (v1.6.0) plays both CDs and images perfectly on my computer. It's a remarkable emulator. The problem arises when it comes time to swap discs during a game. If I 'Eject CD' during an image and select a new one (using cdrmooby), the game simply continues as if I told it nothing. If I do so with a CD, I get a spinning beach ball and I have to Force Quit. The game I have been trying this with is Metal Gear Solid. Disc 2 works from a 'Run CD', but it refers me to disc 1 when I load my save file. It's such a shame, it seems like all of the pieces are working, but a little hangup is blocking the way. Others have recommended PCSX-Reloaded, but because my machine is a PowerPC, it won't work. I tried. I will definitely use it with my next computer, but for now this is what I have. I would love to be able to play my favorite classics on my computer, which seems not far from being possible. Thanks, I really enjoy PCSX.
  17. runofthedill macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2010
    i know this is an old topic, but no matter what i try, i can't open ECM for GUI. It just wont open.
  18. SpeedofMac, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012

    SpeedofMac macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2010
    Nowadays, you should only need to download PCSX-Reloaded from the PCSX-Reloaded CodePlex site and get your BIOS. PCSX-R ships with all the necessary plugins.

    If you're looking for better graphics, the recent builds of PCSX-R have an improved video plugin included. You can build from source or download a pre-compiled application from my site: http://consoleemu.com/emulator/pcsx-reloaded#latest.

    I hope this helps!
  19. runofthedill macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2010
    my problem is i don't have the disks with me at college. I dled some files that are bin.ecm. I dled a program called ecm for gui no mater what i tried i couldn't convert these files. Do you have a place that may be better for downloading the games or a application to convert these files. I just can't get that program open.
  20. runofthedill macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2010
    oh i see, that person have a problem before is having the exact same problem as me. Wonder if he got a solution.
  21. jmcwil124 macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    Hey man, I am brand new to this forum and have basically admitted defeat (on my own) in my quest to find, SOMEWHERE, how to turn Frame Skip, Fast Forward, Speed up, Turbo, what ever you call it, on...
    I am using PCSX version 1.5 test 3 (1.5.0 test 3) and I have a MacBook Pro that is running Mac OS X version 10.6.6 with a 2.4 GHz intel Core 2 Duo and 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3. Right now, I am playing Final Fantasy 7, and am watching HC Bailey's "Lets Play" Youtube series along as I play. I am not new to emulators, I am, however, new to playstation ones. I looked everywhere and I think it may have to do with the fact that I may not have the right plugin, but I'm not sure, any help at this point would be really appreciated and if it helps, my eMail is: jmcwil124@gmail.com
  22. xx Mantar xx macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2011
    PCSX Reloaded w/ Wine..?

    I need help. I've had no trouble downloading the old version of pcsx (2005) as seen in that youtube help video, but i've heard of running reloaded through wine for better graphics. I followed to a tee the step by step on 'Speed of Mac' for installing the windows version through wine on mac osx yet still can't get things to work. I hear i need to be savvy with terminal?? If so, is there a way to improve graphics plug-ins with simply the mac version? If so, where is it and can someone hold my hand through the process? i've only been successful with the old version of pcsx, i can't seem to successfully download and run pcsx reloaded. I've been at this too long and its giving me a headache. Thanks a lot
  23. MacMandoPro13 macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2011
    thank you much!

    this worked perfectly! Been wanting to play the original Silent Hill for some time now, I've played most of them, big fan of survival horror :D
  24. hutrade macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2012
    black screen, no action

    THANK YOU for this post. You totally helped me get this going. I am sooo close to getting this to work, the only problem I am now having is that when I load up the game (a file) on the pcsx the game never loads. A black screen shows up and nothing ever happens.

    the game is Final Fantasy 7 and here is the file name for it:

    Final Fantasy VII (E) (Disc 1) [SCES-00867](1).7z

    Do I need to convert it using ECM GUI? I can't seem to download ECM GUI if that is the case.

    I am soooo close and this is killing me!! Can anyone help me? thank you again!!
  25. Duouk2000, May 14, 2012
    Last edited: May 14, 2012

    Duouk2000 macrumors newbie


    Dec 8, 2011
    You need to extract the iso/bin file first (.7z is a compression format).

    edit: I also want to give my thanks to the op for this thread, I was searching everywhere for a native psx emu last year but only ever seemed to find info for running epsxe in wine or the original buggy version of pcsx. Finding this thread was a god send.

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