Since I sell PS2 modchips on eBay I often get asked for installation diagrams showing how to install a chip into a specific motherboard. This post aims to be the ultimate source of information on PS2 modchips, including how to install them into every version of the PlayStation 2. I may have sent you here if you were looking for installation diagrams, or had questions a bout how to install the modchip. Continue reading and I’ll answer those questions and more.
As of right now this guide is still a work in progress. For the most part the Modbo 5.0 modchip guide section is complete, but the rest isn't.
This guide is structured into several pages. It’s organized like this primarily so that comments can be more organized and useful for readers.
This page is the starting point of the guide. It includes some frequently asked questions about PlayStation 2 modchips in general, and then links off to more information about each type of chip, and those pages link off to installation guides for each console model.
I’m not a PlayStation 2 modchip expert. This guide has been put together from a combination of my experience, and what I have found online. Many of the sources for PlayStation 2 modding information have gone offline, or are spread out across many forum threads.
My goal is to have a single guide that covers as much information as possible, making it easier for everyone to get solid information about PlayStation 2 modchips. If you have any suggestions, corrections, or additional information, please leave a comment and I’ll be happy to update this guide.
Modchip specific guides
Here’s a list of modchip specific guides, which include links to installation diagrams for each board, and source code to make your own chips.
- Modbo modchip (primarily for 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 750 chips)
What is a modchip, and what is it used for?
The idea of a modchip is pretty straightforward. It is typically a small chip or board that is soldered to various parts of a video game console. The chip is programmed with special software that is used to circumvent DRM protection on the console.
In the case of the PlayStation 2 a modchip allows the console to do many new things. Here’s a list of common PS2 modchip features.
- Play video game backups discs from any region (PS1 and PS2).
- Play genuine game discs from any region (PS1 and PS2).
- Boot PlayStation 2 games from a hard drive or flash drive.
A common use of a modchip is to play games from other regions, like Japan, that weren’t released in the United States. With a modchip there is no need to import a console from each region.
PlayStation 2 modchip history
I'll update this section with more detail in the future.
The very first PlayStation 2 modchips took advantage of disc swapping and boot discs like the GameShark or Action Replay.
Later modchips were able to boot games directly.
More recently memory card based exploits were developed. One of those is called Free McBoot, which was first released in 2008 and continues to be updated today. These memory cards boot homebrew directly from the memory card. They aren't as useful as full modchips, but don't require any console modifications. They work with all consoles except the later SCPH-9000x systems which patched the exploit.