PS2 BIOS Steam Deck - how to play PS2 games

An image of a PS2 BIOS installed Steam Deck

An image of a PS2 BIOS installed Steam Deck

The Steam Deck is definitely a nifty little machine and there's a lot you can do with it. Our best emulators list can already give you some ideas. But sometimes, setting them up is not the easiest thing to do, so let's take a look at how to install the PS2 BIOS on Steam Deck.

The PlayStation 2 was one of the most prolific consoles of its time and, perhaps, ever. The Sony system saw so many different game titles, legendary and less so, with some series that are still around today (God of War, to name one). This is one of those systems that you would want to always bring in the palm of your hand with the Steam Deck.

In this guide, we'll be looking at how to set up the PlayStation 2 emulation and how to install the PS2 BIOS. But, before that, you may want to install EmuDeck on your Steam Deck.

Installing the PS2 BIOS on the Steam Deck

To play PS2 games on Steam Deck, you need a PS2 emulator, PS2 BIOS files, and game ISOs. A PS2 emulator mimics the PlayStation 2 console, allowing games to run on different hardware, while the PS2 BIOS initializes and manages hardware operations necessary for the games to run.

While I can't directly guide you to specific sources for downloading PS2 BIOS or game ISOs because distributing or downloading copyrighted material without authorization is against the law, conducting a careful search online can lead you to the resources you're looking for.

Once the files have been downloaded, you need to have the PSX2 emulator installed on your Deck. The emulator will create several folders on your portable console, one of those being called "BIOS". Just put all the files you've downloaded off the internet in the folder, and you're good to go.

How to emulate the PlayStation 2 on the Steam Deck

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We've seen how to install the BIOS, but what about all the other steps? Here is a quick guide on how to quickly download the emulator and be on your way to playing games in no time.

This is what you need to do:

  • Enter Desktop Mode on your Steam Deck and search for "PCSX2-Qt" on the Discovery Application
  • Download and install it, making sure it is the one with the blue icon, then you'll have to configure the "Pad.ini" file in order to be able to control PlayStation 2 games with no problems
  • This is a good time to also install the BIOS in the mentioned folder
  • Add the emulator as a "Non-Steam game" on your Deck and it will now be ready to launch

These are just the basic steps, clearly after downloading you definitely want to look into the configuration of the emulator in order to modify it to your tastes and allow it to run smoothly. It is not the easiest process, but with a little bit of trial and error, you will soon be playing your favourite PlayStation 2 classics.

If you're looking to get more out of your Steam Deck we definitely recommend taking a look at our guides such as how to change the controller order and how to install EmulationStation.

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