How to Emulate the PS3 on a Steam Deck With RPCS3

Start up screen of a PS3 emulator running on a steam deck
Marcus Mears III / How-To Geek
To Emulate the PS3 on your Steam Deck:

  1. Download EmuDeck, install it, and use it to install the RPCS3 emulator.
  2. Copy your PlayStation 3 games to the PS3 EmuDeck folder.
  3. Add your PS3 games to Steam with Steam ROM Manager. Make sure to install PKG game files before trying to add them with Steam Rom Manager.

Want to go back to the late aughts/early 2010s and relive the PS3 glory days on your Steam Deck? You can do it with the help of RPCS3, a PS3 emulator that can run all your PS3 favorites. Our guide will show you how to install RPCS3 via EmuDeck and how to get the emulator up and running.

Step 1: Install RPCS3 via EmuDeck

The first thing you must do is install Emudeck. You can download Emudeck by opening Firefox—the default browser in SteamOSbut you can use any browser installed on your Deck—and visit Once the website loads hit the “Download” button located on the upper right side of the front page.


Once you’re on the download section, click the “Download Installer” button and wait for the download to finish. Firefox will save the EmuDeck installation file in your “Downloads” folder.

Once on the download page hit the Download Emudeck button and wait for the installation file to download

Now, in order to install EmuDeck, you have to move the installation to your desktop. This is a mandatory step needed for EmuDeck to work properly. To move the installer to your desktop, open Dolphin, the default file manager app on SteamOSand click on the “Downloads” tab located on the left side by pressing the right trigger or the right touchpad. Once inside the “Downloads” folder, locate the EmuDeck installation—the file titled “EmuDeck.desktop”—and right-click it by pressing the left trigger on your Steam Deck. Once you’re greeted with the right-click menu, click the “Cut” option.

Copy Emudeck installation file on your desktop by opening dolpghin, locating the file in the downloads folder, and copying it to yoru desktop

You can now minimize Dolphin and go to the desktop. Once on the desktop, right-click on any part of it not covered by icons and then click the “Paste One File” option.

Next, paste Emudeck installation by right clicking desktop and selecting the copy one file options

Once you move the installation to the desktop, double-click the “Install EmuDeck” icon and click “Continue” when prompted.


The installer will download files, open a terminal Konsole window, download updates, and install EmuDeck.

Once the installation finishes, you’ll be greeted with the welcome screen showing two ways to set up your device: “Easy Mode” and “Custom Mode.” Select the latter and click the “Continue” button.

Once you install Emudeck open it and select the custom configuration mode

The following window lets you select where you want EmuDeck to create your Emulation folder that includes ROM directories, as well as other folders that store save files, emulator settings, firmware, etc. We recommend using a microSD cardso your ROMs don’t take up precious space on your internal storage. You can also hot-swap multiple SD cards and use one for emulation ROMs and another for your Steam games, allowing you to have multiple storage expansions that you can hot-swap seamlessly.

Next, select your SD card as your ROM directory

Next, pick the Steam Deck from the list of devices and click the “Continue” button.


Now, select RPCS3 from the emulator list and click “Continue.” You can also install any other emulator you plan on using.

Make sure to select RPCS3 from the emulator list

On the following “Emulation Configurations” window, make sure to again select RPCS3 so that EmuDeck can automatically configure the emulator with the Steam Deck optimized settings.


Next, you’ll be able to tweak various QoL settings, including enabling auto saves for certain systems, game bezels for games that run in aspect ratios other than 16:9 and 16:10, aspect ratios for certain systems, etc. Tweak those settings to your liking.

You can freely tweak Quality of life options to your liking

Once you go through every QoL option, EmuDeck will show a window with all of the emulators and emulator configurations you chose to install, your customizations, and the location of the Emulation folder. Check whether you selected RPCS3 for installation and configuration, then click the “Finish” button.

Make sure that the RPCS3 is on the emulator and emulator configuration list on the here is what Emudeck will do page

EmuDeck will then install and configure emulators and create the ROMs folder. Once it finishes, it will notify you that the installation is complete. Check whether RPCS3 is on the “Post Installation List” and click the “Add Games!” button.

Make sure that RPCS3 is on the post installation status list

The following window will give you the option to plug a USB flash drive into your Steam Deck and let EmuDeck automatically create ROMs and BIOS folders, but we’re going to show you how to add games manually. Click the “Skip For Now” button.

Skip the option to use a USB drive to transfer your games

Once you’re on the “Welcome Back to EmuDeck” window, close EmuDeck. It’s time to show you where to add your PS3 ROMs and how to install PS3 firmware.

Once you arrive at the welcome back to Emudeck page, it's time to copy your PS3 games

Step 2: Copy Your ROMs and Install PS3 Firmware

If you created your ROMs folder on your SD card, access the card by scrolling down to the “Removable Devices” tab in the Dolphin file manager. Once there, click the “Primary” tab, and once there, enter the “Emulation” folder.

Open your Emulation folder by opening DOlphin and then accessing your SD card by clicking it on the primary button on the removable devices menu

Once inside the “Emulation” folder, enter the “Roms” folder.

Next, open the ROMs menu

After you enter the “Roms” folder, look for a folder titled “PS3,” enter it and copy your ROMs inside it.

Once inside the roms menu locate the PS3 folder and copy your PS3 games inside it

Note: Because downloading games you don’t own is illegalwe won’t show you how and where to get PlayStation 3 ROMs. If you own the game, however, with the right hardware, you can create your own ISO files. You can also visit the “Quickstart” page on the RPCS3 website to find out how to dump the games you own.

Once you copy your games, it’s time to install the PS3 firmware. Open Firefox or any other browser you use and go to the RPCS3 website, On the homepage, click the “Quickstart” button.


Scroll down the “Quickstart” page until you see the “Software Requirements” heading. There, click on the “PlayStation 3 System Software” button.


Clicking the “PlayStation 3 System Software” button will lead you to the PlayStation website. Scroll down until you arrive at the “How to reinstall the PS3 console system software” section. Then, click the “Reinstall Using a Computer” button and then click the “Download PS3 Update” button.

Scroll down the following page untill you arrive to the How to reinstall the PS3 console system software section. There, download the PS3 firmware

Next, Firefox will notify you that the file you’re trying to download is a potential security risk. Click the arrow.


Once you click the arrow, click the “Allow Download” button and wait for the file to download. Firefox will, by default, place the file in your “Downloads” folder.


Next, open RPCS3 by clicking the “Application Launcher” button, then the “Games” tab.

Next, open RPCS3 by clicking on the app launcher button, selecting the Games tab and then open RPCS3

After you open RPCS3, click on File > Install Firmware.

Once inside RPCS3 install the firmware by clicking the File > Install Firmware ” width=”730″ height=”550″ src=”/pagespeed_static/1.JiBnMqyl6S.gif” onload=”pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);” onerror=”this.onerror=null;pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);”/></p>
<p>Next, click the “Downloads” tab, select the “PS3UPDAT.PUP” file, and click “Open.”</p>
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RPCS3 will now install the firmware. A new window will open with “Compiling PPU Modules” shown on it. Wait for the installation to finish, and then close RPCS3. Now it’s time to add your PS3 games to Steam with Steam Rom Manager.

Wait for the Compiling PPU modules window to finish installing the PS3 firmare. The window will automatically close once the installation finishes

Step 3: Add Your PS3 Games to Steam Deck Game Mode

Note: You must install PKG files in RPCS3 for Steam Rom Manager to recognize and add them to Steam. To install a PKG game, open RPCS3, click File > Install Packages/Raps/Edats, locate the PKG file, open it, and wait for the game to finish installing.

Open EmuDeck and click the “Steam Rom Manager” button on the homepage.

You can open Steam Rom Manager on the Emudeck homepage

Next, allow Steam Rom Manager to close Steam.

Alow Steam Rom Manager to close Steam by clicking on the Yes button when prompted

The following window is called Parsers. Once there, click the “Toggle Parsers” toggle to turn off adding games for every single emulator you have installed. Next, enable the “EmulationStationDE” and “Emulators” parsers to use Emulation Station to open emulated games you don’t want to add to Steam while in Game Mode and to be able to open RPCS3 when in Game Mode. This way, you don’t have to go to Desktop Mode each time you want to tweak RPCS3 settings.


Next, scroll down—disabling Steam will disable left-click with the right trackpad but you can scroll down with your finger since Steam Deck has a touch screen—and enable both PlayStation 3 parsers, as shown below. Then you can click the “Preview” button.

Make sure to enable both PS3 parsers (ISO and PKG)

Click the “Parse” button on the following window and wait for Steam Rom Manager to fetch all your games.


Once Steam Rom Manager lists your games, click the “Save to Steam” button and wait until you see a notification in the upper right corner of the screen that reads “Done Adding/Removing Entries.”


Now you can close Steam Rom Manager and open Steam. Select your Steam Library and then click the “Collections” button.


Once there, you should have a collection titled “PS3.” if you have it, that’s it; you added your PS3 games to Steam!

If all went as supposed to you should have a PlayStation 3 collection in your Steam library that includes all of the games you added

Configuring and Patching Games in RPCS3

While some PS3 games work perfectly with default RPCS3 settings, lots of games require custom configs or installing game patches. We recommend you visit the RPCS3 compatibility page and search for each game you want to play to see recommended settings for that particular game.

To tweak custom settings for a specific game open RPCS3, select the game you want to tweak, right-click it and then select the “Create Custom Configuration” button.


Finally, the most popular PS3 games feature various patches that improve performance, fix bugs, add 60fps mode, etc. To download and enable game patches, select a game, right click it and then click the “Manage Game Patches” button.


Once in the “Game Patches” menu, click the “Download Latest Patches” button and confirm your choice to download every patch available for that particular game.


Once RPCS3 downloads patches, you can freely enable or disable individual patches.

Once RPCS3 download all of the patches for a specific game you can freely turn them on and off

Okay, that’s about everything you should know about emulating PS3 games on your Steam Deck! If you’re a Nintendo fan, you might also want to check our guide on how to emulate GameCube games on your Steam Deck.

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