Updated · Mar 23, 2023
Can You Hack a PS Vita and What Can It Do?
Updated · Mar 17, 2023
PlayStation Vita—the company’s last handheld device—allows gamers to bring all the joy of the world’s most popular console brand on the road with them.
Moreover, despite (or because of) its discontinuation in 2019, the modding community has been diligently unlocking the Vita's true potential since then.
So, can you hack a PS Vita, and what can it do? The answer to the first question is: yes. As for the second question: it can do anything you can imagine!
Let us tell you more about it below!
PS Vita Hacking Requirements
Today’s PlayStation modding scene offers several approaches to jailbreaking the Vita, from using the original ‘HENkaku’ exploit for PS Vita with firmware 3.60 to applying the ‘h-encore’ and ‘h-encore²’ ports of that exploit for post-3.60 firmware versions.
That said, this guide focuses on a newer web-based jailbreak that works with every model and the latest PS Vita firmware: Software Update 3.74, released in 2022. This method relies on the VitaDeploy toolbox that makes homebrewing a breeze!
To realize the PS Vita’s true capabilities and turn it into a versatile entertainment device, enthusiasts must ensure their model meets all jailbreaking requirements:
- You have an original PS Vita memory card if using the Vita 1000;
- You have updated your PS Vita to the latest 3.74 firmware version;
- Update via Wi-Fi or manually with the latest update file.
- You have factory restored your PS Vita;
- You have connected to a stable Wi-Fi connection;
- You have signed into the PSN Store.
You should also purchase a good SD2Vita card adapter, such as the Funturbo one, which is essential for a jailbroken Vita, as it allows you to plug in a standard microSD, which is needed for installing mods and dumping all your games and media files.
How to Hack Your PS Vita?
Now that you have everything you need, let’s go over the process of permanently jailbreaking your PS Vita to open it to a world of modding possibilities.
1. Install Henkaku and VitaDeploy
We first need to prepare the PS Vita for jailbreaking by getting the tools we need:
- Open Vita’s browser app and type in: jailbreak.psp2.dev;
- Wait until the ‘henlo-bootstrap’ opens up;
- Select and install ‘henkaku’ first;
- Once the process completes, do the same with ‘VitaDeploy’;
- Navigate to ‘Exit’ to return to the PS Vita main menu.
2. Jailbreak Your PS Vita via VitaDeploy
Now, it’s time to use VitaDeploy to install an older custom firmware:
- Open your main ‘Settings’ menu and navigate to ‘HENkaku Settings’;
- Tick the checkmark next to ‘Enable Unsafe Homebrew’;
- Press the PS button to exit out of settings;
- Open up ‘VitaDeploy’ and press ‘Start’;
- Click on ‘Install a different OS’ → ‘Quick 3.65 install’;
- Wait for a minute or two for the packages to download;
- Press ‘X’ twice to confirm the downgrade from 3.74 to 3.65;
- Wait for the system to update and your Vita to restart;
- Verify you are on a modded 3.65 firmware via ‘System Information’.
That’s it! The hack is complete! How easy and fast was that? Now the fun begins as we tell you how to prepare your SD2Vita adapter card for all your games!
Note: Leave VitaDeploy installed so you can play with game cartridges too!
3. Set Up Your SD2Vita Adapter
To enjoy all the goodies that come with a jailbroken Vita, you need proper storage:
- Put at least a 128 GB card into the SD2Vita adapter;
- 256 GB cards are better since some games are large;
- Plug the adapter into the corresponding PS Vita slot;
- Open ‘VitaDeploy’ again and click ‘Miscellaneous’;
- Tap on ‘Format a storage device’ and see if SD2Vita is the target;
- Click on ‘Format target storage’ and wait a few seconds;
- Tap ‘OK’, go back to the ‘VitaDeploy’ main menu, and tap ‘Reboot’.
Once the card is formatted and the device boots back up, follow these steps:
- Go into the main ‘Settings’ menu on your PS Vita;
- Navigate to ‘Devices’ → ‘Storage Devices’;
- Check the ‘Use YAMT’ box and back out to ‘Settings’;
- Tap on ‘HENkaku Settings’ and scroll to the bottom;
- Click on ‘Reboot Device’ and wait for the Vita to restart;
- Open ‘VitaDeploy’ and select ‘File Manager’;
- Navigate to and access the ‘ux0’ section;
- Select all folders except ‘SceloTrash/’ and copy them;
- Back out to the root directory and enter the ‘uma0’ folder;
- Paste here all the 15 folders you have copied.
You’ve just transferred all the folders you need for your games from the internal storage to your SD card storage. The only thing left to do is to go back to ‘’Storage Devices’ via the main ‘Settings’ menu and swap the ‘ux0’ and ‘uma0’ targets—‘ux0:’ should read ‘SD2Vita’ instead of ‘Memory Card’ with ‘uma0’ the other way around.
Congratulations! Now you can reboot the device and go to ‘System Information’ to confirm that the memory card line reflects the size of your microSD card.
What Can a Hacked PS Vita Do?
Once you hack your PS Vita, the improvements you can apply are endless: from turning it into your retro gaming station to playing most media files out there. Below, we take a look at the most useful mods you can safely use with a jailbroken Vita:
- Play Homebrew Games—the modding scene has been creating amazing unofficial Homebrews for the Vita for a while now: from original indie games to ports of popular games, like Doom, Hexen, and Quake, and PS1 and PSP titles;
- Emulate Retro Games—the Vita is the perfect emulation station when enhanced with RetroArch, which handles most retro games across a range of classic consoles, from Sega Genesis to Super Nintendo and Game Boy titles;
- Stream Remote Gameplay—did you know you can play PC games on your PS Vita? Well, it’s finally possible! You just need the Moonlight application, and you can use your Vita as a controller, including the touchpad as a mouse!
- Run All Sorts of Media—reading books and comics? Watching films and TV shows? Playing all kinds of music? All of this is possible on the PS Vita once you hack it and install the apps needed to run your favorite media files;
- Create and Play Backups—the main reason to jailbreak most consoles is to create backups of your favorite titles that you can run anytime without inserting physical disks. The Vita does that superbly! You just need an affordable SD card and a plugin to create game license files before dumping your entire library.
The modding opportunities do not stop here, as you can add plenty of other features to enhance your Vita experience. Did you know you can use YouTube and Twitch on it? Or even use the Vita as a flashlight? Modders are still creatively improving this nifty console so it can meet all your entertainment needs for the foreseeable future!
Hacking the PS Vita is the best thing owners can do to this little gaming box since the proper jailbreak method will transform their console into a media powerhouse. With a modded Vita, you can do everything from playing Homebrew games and running old PS1 and PSP titles to reading books, enjoying comics, and watching shows and movies!
Is PS Vita still selling?
No, the PS Vita was discontinued on March 1, 2019. That said, gamers were still surprised by several new game releases since then.
How much is a used Vita worth?
Used PS Vita models cost anywhere between $50 to almost $800 since their price depends on their current condition, exact model, whether or not they include the original packaging and accessories, and whether or not they come pre-modded.
Is PS Vita still playable?
Definitely, in fact, today’s jailbroken and modded PS Vita is the most playable and relevant version of this handheld device in its entire history.
Can you play physical games on a modded PS Vita?
Yes, you can still play physical cartridge games on a modded PS Vita by turning off the console, removing the SD2Vita adapter, and plugging in your game card.
Selma is a content writer with a love for all things nerdy by day and an internet archaeologist that likes to dig up obscurities by night. Mostly she's trying to balance between many obsessions. Right now, it's bass playing and reading hard sci-fi about vampires in outer space - next week, who knows.
Latest from Author
Your email address will not be published.
Updated · Mar 22, 2023
Updated · Mar 21, 2023
Updated · Mar 20, 2023