- If you want to play PS4 games on your PC, we can show you what software to use.
- These emulators are free of charge and can bring your favorite PS titles to your Windows PC.
- Check out these free-of-charge emulators and pick your favorite from this lineup we prepared.
Are you a game enthusiast? Do you have a special likeness for PlayStation games? If so, we have good news for you: You can now enjoy your favorite PS4 games on your PC, at absolutely no cost.
This article brings you short reviews on some of the best PS4 emulators for PC, which you can use to play PS4 games on your PC.
PlayStation 4 (PS4) is arguably the most advanced game console in the market today. It is the eighth model of the popular PlayStation gaming franchise, which has over 80 million users worldwide.
However, in terms of portability and affordability, it is not suitable for low-budget game lovers. Yes, these PS4 emulators also work on Windows 11, if you were wondering.
Not to worry though, as there are now durable emulators that would enable you to enjoy your favorite PS4 games on your personal computers, without paying a dime.
Although there are still controversies surrounding the durability/effectiveness of PS4 emulators; however, a handful (seven) of them have proven their effectiveness.
Are there any working PS4 emulators for PC?
Emulators for the PS4 are available on PC, however, there aren’t many of them and they can’t emulate full games due to PlayStation 4 being a more recent gaming system that takes a significant amount of resources.
As you can imagine, it will take a bit of time before we can use such software to play God of War or Horizon Zero Dawn, but we’re slowly getting there.
For the time being, most games suffer from low FPS, or the inability to make use of certain features. However, developers are still working on this.
What are the issues with PS4 emulators on PC?
Creating PS4 ROMS for PC is extremely hard, as you basically have to reverse engineer the entire system with no official guidelines to help you.
Documented behavior of the hardware is useful, but developers can’t use any software dumps or anything similar.
Since the two system’s architectures are so different, replicating patterns and behavior can prove to be extremely challenging, even for the most skilled developers.
What are the best PS4 emulators for PC?
PS4Emus – The most stable option
PS4Emus is probably the best PS4 emulator for PC today. It has managed to rack up a number of positive reviews, in the midst of the raging controversies, which center around whether PS4 games can be emulated on PC or not.
This emulator was initially launched in 2013, and after over half-a-decade of tweaking, upgrade and modifications, the latest update (optimized package) was released.
Furthermore, the PS4 Emus emulator supports both desktop and mobile devices, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
This makes it extremely flexible to use and you can easily enjoy exclusive PS4 gaming experience on your Windows PC or even on the go, on your mobile devices.
Also, the emulator offers a commendable frame per second (fps) rate, and its graphics and soundtrack are only slightly different from what is obtainable on the original console.
The bottom line, you might encounter some lags while playing PS4 games (using PS4Emus) on your PC, but you are less likely to even notice them.
Let’s quickly look at its key features:
- Hosted online server with PlayStation games that you can easily download or play directly online
- Built-in support for BIOS
- Optimized graphics, sound system, and the overall layout for PC and mobile alike
The interesting thing is, all these are offered to you at absolutely no cost. And considering the cost of a typical PS4 console, this emulator sure offers you a real deal, for free.
Enjoy an exclusive PS4 gaming experience on your Windows PC or on the go!
PCSX4 – Best for bigger games
PCSX4 is one of the recently developed programs for emulating the PS4 console on PC. It is an open-source application that grants you the opportunity to emulate and play PS4 games on your computer (Windows and Macbook).
At the moment, the program has a record of 290,000+ downloads (for Windows) and still counting.
Moreover, PCSX4 is compatible with only high-powered computer systems for now. Specifically, the emulator is able to work perfectly on only 64-bit Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and Mac OS 10.13.6 (and higher).
Also, your computer must be running on a 4-core processor (or higher), as well as AXV and SSE-4.2 GPU, to optimally support the PS4 emulator.
Let’s quickly look at its key features:
- Game-cache image (GCI) adequately encrypted with the 256-bit protocol
- Able to run at a frame per second rate of 60fps, provided you are running a high-end computer that is equipped with an advanced GPU system, like AMD Radeon 780 or GTX 60 (or higher)
- Near-perfect graphical imitation of your favorite PS4 games on your PC
Setting up PCSX4 on your computer is very easy: All you need to do is to download the program from the source website, extract the executable (.exe) file and run it as an admin, to install the program.
Also, you will be required to extract the PlayStation device identifier file (.pdix) and link it to your account. After the whole setup, you can download your favorite PS4 games and enjoy an exclusive gaming experience on your PC.
Step 1: .exe, step 2: .pdix, step 3: download your favorite PS4 games and enjoy!
PS4 EMX – Under development
PS4 EMX is a PS4 emulator, which was developed in 2014 by Ghaststeam. Although the program is currently closed (unavailable), its developers are still working toward reinventing it.
According to the program’s lead developer, they are currently working on the program’s GUI, for Windows. The finished package is expected to launch any moment between now and the coming years.
Upon its initial launch in 2014, PS4 EMX is supported on modern Windows PC i.e. Windows 8 and later versions. Also. your system must be equipped with all of the following GPU and CPU parameters:
- Pixel Shader (Model 3)
- 2GB RAM (minimum)
- 50 GHz Processor (for Windows)
- AMD/NVidia GPU
While the program is currently undergoing redevelopment, not much is made known to the public about its updates, fixes, or modifications.
Nevertheless, upon completion, PS4 EMX is expected to be one of the few available PS4 emulators in the market. So you can wait for it.
Orbital PS4 Emulator – Best graphics
Orbital is the only genuine PS4 emulator globally accepted, and it was developed by the prominent developer – AlexAltea.
However, the program is still under development and cannot be used to emulate commercial PS4 games yet. Nevertheless, significant progress has been made in its build, making our list of best PS4 emulators for PC.
Orbital is a low-level emulator that virtualizes the PS4 console OS, not the full x86-64 CPU. It is specially built for Windows and Linux, and upon completion, users would be able to download and play their favorite PS4 games on their PC.
The program is now designed to support only top-end Windows and Linux PCs, with a minimum RAM of 16GB and a PS4-mirrored processor of x86-64 (with AVX extensions).
In layman’s terms, you need a high-powered modern Windows or Linux computer to run the Orbital emulator effectively.
- Supports both PS4 4.55 and PS4 5.00
- Compatible with Windows (7+), Linux (4.4+), macOS (10.10+).
- Not designed for low-end PCs
Lastly, Orbital is an open-source project with inputs/contributions from several quarters of the tech community. So if you are a developer, you can contribute (financially or intellectually) to the program’s development here.
fpPS4 Emulator – best for smaller games
Here’s another excellent emulator you might want to know if you are really into playing your favorite PlayStation 4 titles on your PC.
This one, fpPS4, is a PS4 emulator for Windows x64, specifically a PS4 compatibility layer (emulator) on Free Pascal.
According to the software developer, this project is made for fun and is still in its early stages, so expect more tweaks.
fpPS4 already runs some commercial games, just in case you were wondering, and it was tested with Sonic Mania, and We are Doomed.
It’s traditional for developers to run smaller, less demanding games when the emulators are in the initial phase for better calibration.
However, you can now play many other PS4 games on it, but it’s essential to know the prerequisites before you start.
The minimum requirements are Windows 7 x64 and higher, an x64 CPU with AVX2 support, and a GPU with Vulkan API support.
- Free Pascal compiler: 3.0.0 and higher, x86_64 only
- Lazarus: 2.0.0 and higher, x86_64 only
GPCS4 – Best for lower-end PCs
Another emulator you should keep an eye out for is undoubtedly the GPCS4, a virtualization-based PS4 emulator and debugger project written in C++ for PC, compatible with Windows.
In a few words, it uses OpenGL, Vulkan, and DirectX as its back-end API renderers and runs most of the PS4 exclusives on high-end machines.
Keep in mind that GPCS4 will recompile all the shaders, untiling all the textures, and upload all the buffers every frame, making it a bit less efficient.
As a disclaimer, as far as this emulator is concerned, you should not run pirated games, as GPCS4 is made in such a way that the game cache-image (GCI) is encrypted with a 256-bit header with a .pdix hash.
Needless to say that this is linked to your PS4 account, so dumped images are useless. So, to avoid illegal activities and misuse of source code, GPCS4 is made semi-open-source.
It still needs some work, and developers mentioned that they are actively working to make it a smoother, more stable experience.
- Support simple compute shader, compute ring, cube maps
- Use Direct Input to emulate the pad
- GPCS4 will recompile all the shaders
7. Kyty – Upcoming PS5 support
The last emulator on our list is Kyty which, like some others, is still in its early stages of development, so don’t get overly excited.
What’s even better to hear is that the creators of this PS4 emulator are also thinking about taking it to the next level; however, graphics for PS5 is not yet implemented.
For the time being, it is possible to run some simple PS4 games on your PC. That being said, there may be graphics glitches, crashes, freezes, and low FPS for the time being.
Some features still awaiting implementation on the Kyty emulator are audio input/output, MP4 video, network, and multi-user support.
A lot more is in store for this PS4 emulator, so we’ll have more to be happy about pretty soon, based on what developer InoriRus shared with the community.
- Visual Studio + clang-cl + ninja
- Eclipse CDT + mingw-w64 + gcc/clang + ninja/mingw32-make
- MSVC compiler (cl.exe) is not supported
PS4 is, without a doubt, the most advanced game console on the market today. But unfortunately, it runs on the robust x86-64 architecture, which is highly difficult to emulate.
As a result, there is serious controversy surrounding the possibility of emulating PS4 on PC.
However, amid the raging controversy, a host of emulators have been developed, and some are still under development, with few PS4 emulator games available now.
These emulators stand out as the best PS4 emulators for PC, and we have provided brief reviews on each of them in this article.
You are probably wondering about the best PS4 emulator for PC, which is also free to download, so let us put your mind at ease by saying they are all free.
Regarding the best PS4 emulator for windows 10, we can recommend PS4Emus. There are also online PS4 emulators if you don’t want to install one on your PC, but we can’t guarantee their functionality.
Which one will you try? Share our thoughts in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are quite a handful of specialized PS4 emulators that you can use and some are still in the development stage. Check out the available solutions in this article to learn more.
PCSX4 is indeed a trustworthy solution that allows you to emulate PS4 action directly on your PC. Using the most powerful 256-bit encryption protocol, this open-source emulator guarantees the ultimate protection while playing online games. Also, it has a strict no-piracy policy.
PS4Emus is the most flexible tool out there. This emulator supports both desktop and mobile devices, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.