How to Softmod a PS2 Without Action Replay Max

By Marshal M. Rosenthal
A flash drive can be used to modify a PlayStation 2 game console.

The PlayStation 2 (PS2) can be modified by its owner to do things not included in the operating system, for example, playing backup copies of legally owned games and running programs created by other gaming enthusiasts. You can modify a PS2 through software called a “softmod” that doesn’t require opening the PS2 and voiding its warranty. You will need to install some free files created by PS2 gamers on a PC and transfer them to the game console. You will do this using an inexpensive and readily available USB flash drive, avoiding the cost of having to buy a Action Replay Max adapter device.

Insert the USB flash drive into a USB port on the PC. Wait for the icon of the USB flash drive to appear on the desktop.

Download a PS2 softmod program to the desktop of the PC, for example, the MC Boot program found at http://psx-scene.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58292/. Double-click on the file once downloaded to decompress it to a folder onto the desktop.

Double-click on the icon of the folder to open its window. Drag the contents of the window onto the icon of the USB flash drive. Wait up to 10 minutes for the files that are inside of the window to copy to the flash drive. Close the window by clicking on the red “X” button at the upper right corner.

Right-click on the icon of the USB flash drive. Select “Eject” from the pop-up menu. Remove the USB flash drive from the USB port of the PC.

Insert the USB flash drive into the USB port on the PS2. Plug a PS2 game controller into a PS2 game controller port. Turn the PS2 on.

Navigate from the Home menu to the “Network” icon. Select the web browser from beneath the “Network” icon. Press the “X” button on the PS2 game controller.

Wait one minute for the PS2 to recognize the USB flash drive. Press the “Eject” button on the front of the PS2. Insert a PS2 game disc into the disc tray of the DVD drive. Press the “Eject” button to close the disc tray.

Wait as a loading screen appears with the logo of the PS2 game disc on the screen. The files from the USB flash drive are now being loaded into the PS2’s operating system.

Press the “0” button on the PS2 game controller to quit the PS2 game as soon as the main gaming menu appears on the screen.

Press the “Eject” button on the front of the PS2. Remove the PS2 game disc from the disc tray of the DVD drive. Press the “Eject” button to close the disc tray. Remove the USB flash drive from the PS2’s USB port.

Turn off the PS2. Wait a minute. Turn on the PS2 to have it boot up in the softmod mode.

Tip

Pulling the USB flash drive out of a PC's USB port without unmounting it first will cause disk errors.

Warning

Don’t use a USB hub instead of a built-in USB port for the USB flash drive—a hub does not provide as stable a signal for transferring data.

About the Author

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."