In the aftermath of the cancellation of the AetherSX2 project, Android PlayStation 2 emulators have been a bit orphaned lately. There have been some independent developers who have created NetherSX2, a small patch which gives the ill-fated emulator some interesting additional features. Here’s what you need to know to install it.
The best PS2 emulator for Android, AetherSX2, was discontinued in March, and we have yet to find a replacement. In the end, what we have to choose from is NetherSX2, a small patch that was developed by a group of developers and implemented some exciting features into the emulator, such as the removal of advertisements and the possibility of utilizing third-party launchers and front ends to organize and customize our games as we like.
This article will provide an in-depth look at some of the improvements NetherSX2 offers over AetherSX2, as well as how it can be easily installed. Let’s find out more!
What is NetherSX2 exactly?
Rather than being a new version of AetherSX2, NetherSX2 is a patch that adds some functionality to the original emulator, as the developers say. Even though optimizations have been made to the game database in the latest updates that could improve performance or correct bugs in some of them, this patch has not been created to enhance the emulator’s performance.
Aether SX2 will work the same as in its latest version since the modifications are tailored to improve the user experience. What are those modifications? Here are the details:
Removal of advertising: Following the announcement that AetherSX2 would no longer be developed, the developer added ads to the latest version he released on Google Play and the official website. It is not an intrusive or annoying advertisement, but this patch eliminates it.
Support for front ends: Besides supporting the DaiJiSho and Launchbox launchers, NetherSX2 makes the emulator compatible with DaiJiSho’s companion launcher. Our games can be organized in this way in a completely customized manner.
Support for PS2 BIOS extracted from PS3: It was impossible to use PS2 BIOS extracted from PS3 firmware in the original AetherSX2. It is no longer possible for this to happen with NetherSX2, which makes it worthwhile to use it if there is no PS2 but a PS3.
There have not been many additions to the AetherSX engine, but perhaps the most interesting is the addition of front ends, which were missing in AetherSX. In this way, we can finally organize everything along with games from other consoles and add our PlayStation 2 ROMs to a launcher.
How to install NetherSX2
The first step in installing NetherSX2 is to download Termux, a console program where we will need to enter a few lines of code so that the installation is successful (don’t be scared; it’s straightforward). We have provided links to download all the steps below.
Please note that AetherSX2 does not have to be installed beforehand. The necessary files must be backed up if we own them and wish to preserve our game progress.
Download and install Termux.
To install NetherSX2, the first step is to install Termux, a console where we can add the necessary code. Here is the link where we can download Termux APK:
Enter the code
- In this step, we will add the necessary lines of code for the installation process. In Termux, click on the first available space and type:
apt update && apt upgrade
- Waiting for the process to complete, we press Enter on the keyboard. Do you want to continue? It appears when we see that question. As we write, we encourage Enter again.
- Here is where a new process begins, which can stop at any point in its progression. In such a case, we will always type N and press Enter.
- The following code will be written after this process has been completed:
Once we press Enter, we’ll be asked permission to access the mobile storage. Accepted.
Run the script
It’s time to install NetherSX2. We will first download it to our mobile phone, then install it locally, which is recommended.
It can be saved in the downloads folder or somewhere else. We will need it next, so we must know which route it is on.
In our case it is in /storage/emulated/0/Download .
With the route noted, we return to Termux and write the following:
If you had it in another folder, you must replace it /storage/emulated/0/Download/with the corresponding path
Install NetherSX2 APK
It is important to uninstall AetherSX2 before beginning the installation, as it could cause conflicts with NetherSX2. Ensure that there is no xyz.aethersx2.android folder in the Android > data path.
A NetherSX2 folder will be automatically opened in the file explorer if there are no errors during the installation process. The emulator’s two APK files will be inside.
As soon as we click the file with the name “noads” (in our case, 15210-v1.5-4248-noads.apk), we will be asked to install this app. By clicking on the “Install anyway” text, we bypass Google Play Protect.
That’s it; NetherSX2 is now installed on our Android. Next, we will look at the initial settings.
Setting up NetherSX2 for the first time
NetherSX2’s setup process is similar to AetherSX2 and many other emulators. First, we must specify the BIOS file and then the directory in which the emulator can find the .iso files. The games should now appear on the emulator’s main screen.
How to backup AetherSX2
We mentioned at the beginning of the tutorial that if we already had AetherSX2 installed and wanted to keep the progress of the games, we would need to make a backup copy of the Memory Cards, where the saved games are stored, so we can later recover them in NetherSX2. Here are the steps we will take:
- Connect the mobile phone to the computer: We will have to connect the mobile phone to the computer in data transfer mode so that we can access the phone’s storage. This could also be done through a browser on the mobile itself, although due to Android security systems, the process could be complicated so we will do it with the computer.
- Access the files: Once the phone is connected to the computer, we enter the storage and follow the following path: Android > data > xyz.aethersx2.android > files > memcards . Inside this folder, we will see two files corresponding to the console Memory Cards, with names Mcd001.ps2 and Mcd002.ps2.
- Save the files: Now, we copy both files and save them somewhere easily accessible to recover them whenever possible. For example, we can create a PS2 folder on the computer and save them there.
With that, we now have the files safe. After installing NetherSX2, we only have to move or paste those files again in the Android > data > xyz.aethersx2.android > files > mem cards folder to have the game progress again, overwriting the original files.