Are you looking to go on a trip down memory lane? One of the disadvantages of using Apple devices is its limited capability to run video games. Fortunately, times are changing and people are getting more resourceful. With that being said, we’re here to teach you how to run a PS2 emulator on Mac!

Truth be told, making the PS2 emulator work is very easy — what’s challenging is finding a game that you can play flawlessly. The good news is there are already a ton of games that can run on your Mac. However, your mileage may vary (YMMV) depending on your device and the tech specifications you have.

One way of finding if your Mac can handle it is to test it yourself. Let’s get started, shall we?

How to run the PS2 Emulator on Mac (Using PCSX2)

PS2 Emulator on Mac

The most popular way of running a PS2 emulator on Mac is by using WineSkin or CrossOver to run an emulated Windows version of PCSX2. The process alone is very easy

Prerequisites:

This video tutorial can help you tweak the most advanced settings that we won’t be covering for this guide.

Step 1

If everything is installed correctly, you should be seeing the PCSX2 First Time Configuration Window. Leave everything as-is and proceed to PCSX2 Bios.

Step 2

Locate the PS2 BIOS file you have downloaded and select it. Make sure to put a Check on Use Default Setting, then click on Finish and proceed to the next setting.

Step 3

It’s time to configure PCSX2 Graphics Settings. You can find this under Config, Plugins/BIOS selector. We recommend leaving GS Plugin as-is if you’re not experiencing visual artifacts or glitches.

Pro-Tip: Using a Mac with M1 Chip? If you’re having problems with Hardware Renderer, switch to Software Renderer and observe performance differences.

Step 4

If you’re using a controller with native xinput.dll, then you won’t have to configure anything for this part. However, if you’re using a PlayStation DualShock controller, you might need to manually configure each button.

Pro-tip: Use DS4Windows to spoof your DS3 or DS4 controller into thinking it’s an Xbox Controller.

Step 5

It’s time to load up a game. To do so, just click on System and select Boot CDVD(Full). Locate the folder of your ISO ROMs and select the game you want to play. If the file isn’t corrupted, you should be able to see the boot animation of the PS2.

PS2 Emulator on Mac – running PCSX2 on macOS natively (Advanced)

PS2 Emulator on Mac natively

If you’re looking to run a PS2 emulator on Mac natively, then this is probably the one you’re looking for. This native version of PCSX2 is compatible with both Intel and M1-based Apple devices. However, do keep in mind that Intel Macs have better compatibility at the moment.

The process is pretty much the same, but here are the instructions: 

Step 1

Inside the PCSX2 First Time Configuration Window, leave everything as-is and proceed to PCSX2 Bios.

Step 2

Locate the PS2 BIOS file you have downloaded and select it. Make sure to put a Check on Use Default Setting, then click on Finish and proceed to Graphics Settings.

Step 3

It’s time to configure PCSX2 Graphics Settings. You can find this under Config, Plugins/BIOS selector. We recommend leaving GS Plugin as-is if you’re not experiencing visual artifacts or glitches. However, be sure to check the performance differences of Hardware vs Software Renderer to maximize your gaming experience.

Step 4

As far as controller compatibility is concerned, this is still a work in progress. As far as we know, Xinput devices should work natively. However, if you’re experiencing issues, you might need to use the SDL Gamepad Tool to customize your settings.

Step 5

It’s time to load up a game. To do so, just click on System and select Boot CDVD(Full). Locate the folder of your ISO ROMs and select the game you want to play. If the file isn’t corrupted, you should be able to see the boot animation of the PS2.

Known Issues with native macOS PCSX2:

  • Controller mapping GUI is still in the works. Some controllers may run natively while others might need to create a new controller mapping using SDL2 Gamepad Tool
  • Mac users that are using Intel Iris Pro 5200 have reported crashes using Hardware Renderer. Switching it to Software Renderer has fixed most of the users’ issues.
  • Visual glitching is more common with the native macOS build. 
  • The full-Screen mode doesn’t retain the aspect ratio.

Status of the PS2 Emulator on Mac with the M1 Chip

Since Apple’s new silicon chip is still relatively new, the compatibility of PCSX2 on M1 chips is still a hit or miss. The good news is that users across the PCSX2 forums have been sharing their experiences running games using PS2 emulator on Mac natively.

If you’re using the M1-powered Mac, make sure that the Software Renderer is set by default. Although word of caution: running PS2 emulator on Mac with the M1 chip will take a lot of troubleshooting and editing to make it work seamlessly. We recommend checking every now and then for better compatibility.

Summary

Which method of running PS2 emulator on Mac are you going to try? We highly recommend trying out every method listed so that you can find the smoothest and most consistent gaming experience.

What’s important is getting the most out of your Mac. And while we’re on the topic of getting the most out of your devices, be sure to check out our other resources for macOS, iOS, and everything Apple-related down below:

Previous articleFinding the Best DNS for PS4 in 2021
Next articleStreaming from VLC to Chromecast in 2021 Done Right

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.