How to Install RPCS3 Emulator and Play PS3 Games on Linux

The PS3 was a great console, and it was home to plenty of awesome games. Keeping an old one around now might seem a little cumbersome. Thankfully, you can play your PS3 games on Linux with the RPCS3 emulator. This guide will walk you through the process of getting set up. Before you continue, please note that RPCS3 is still in Alpha. Expect bugs. That said, you’ll still find plenty of games are playable.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to Download RPCS3
  • How to Run RPCS3
  • How to Add PS3 Firmware to RPCS3
  • How to Launch a PS3 Game

RPCS3 Running on Linux

RPCS3 Running on Linux.

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Any current Linux distribution
Software RPCS3
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Install RPCS3 Emulator and Play PS3 Games on Linux – Step by Step

  1. Download RPCS3

    To get started, you’re going to need to download the latest build of RPCS3. The developers have chosen to release their emulator as an AppImage. So, you can simply download an run RPCS3 on any distribution with minimal hassles. Just be sure to have the latest graphics drivers for your card installed and running before you try.

    Download RPCS3 for Linux

    Download RPCS3 for Linux.

    Open up your browser and head over to the RPCS3 download page. There you’ll find the latest builds for Windows and Linux. Click the Linux link to get your AppImage. When prompted by your browser, save the file.

  2. Run RPCS3 Emulator

    Open up a terminal and navigate to your ~/Downloads directory. Locate the AppImage with:

    $ ls | grep -i rpcs

    Copy what you see there, and make it executable.

    $ chmod +x rpcs3-v0.0.6-8051-6b7cd458_linux64.AppImage

    Now, you’re ready to launch RPCS3. You can either run it from the terminal or click on it in your file browser. Either will work.

    RPCS3 Welcome Message

    RPCS3 Welcome Message.

    When RPCS3 first launches, it’ll show you a welcome message and prompt you to read its quick start guide. Just check the box and the bottom to confirm that you’ve read the guide and continue.

    If you’re familiar with the Dolphin emulator, you should immediately recognize the RPCS3 layout. They’re very similar. As of now, though, you can’t play any games with RPCS3, not yet.

  3. Add PS3 Firmware to RPCS3

    RPCS3 needs real PlayStation 3 firmware in order to run games. That might sound like a sizable barrier, but PS3 modding community has actively been developing and releasing custom firmware for the PS3 for years. That’s the best place to look.

    Back in your browser, you can search for you own PS3 custom firmware or you can pick up this PS3 4.83 CFW. Grab the latest standard release. You don’t need any variants or extras. Really, it’s entirely up to you. They’ll all probably work fine for this purpose.

    Install PS3 Firmware on RPCS3

    Install PS3 Firmware on RPCS3.

    Back in RPCS3, click on File, and select Install Frimware. Navigate to your custom firmware’s directory, and select the PS3UPDAT.PUP file. Open it.

    Select PS3 Firmware File for RPCS3

    Select PS3 Firmware File for RPCS3.

    RPCS3 will take a few minutes to install your firmware. Sit back and relax for a moment.

  4. Launch and play PS3 Game

    You’re finally ready to play a game. You can do this a couple of ways. If you have a physical PS3 game disk, you should be able to insert it into most Blu-Ray drives and navigate to it through RPCS3 to open and play. If you have a rip of a PS3 game, you can use that as well. You’ll navigate to the Blu-Ray rip folder named after the disk, like BLU30464, and select the folder itself to open.

    Press the Open icon in the upper left of the main menu. Navigate to your game, and open it.

    RPCS3 Playing a Game on Linux

    RPCS3 Playing a Game on Linux.

    RPCS3 will take a few minutes to set up your game and open it. When it’s ready, a new window will open up for your game and will act like the screen you’re playing on. For control options, click the Pads button. You’ll be able to see and modify your control options.

    From there, you’ll be able to play the game normally, using the control settings you have established.

    From here on, you can launch any game you like from the list in the RPCS3 window by clicking on it.


RPCS3 is a work in progress, but it’s showing a ton of promise. There are plenty of games that you can already play with RPCS3, and that list is only going to grow in the future as the project matures. Since RPCS3 is open source, expect distribution packages in the future as well.

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