Preparing and installing homebrews on your Vita for the recently released 2.02 CEF port by Frostegater is not an easy task. All menus have different ways of handling the installation packages, but, more importantly, Sony made the Vita in a way that copying anything to it is almost impossible, which is why the copy steps always look so convoluted. Tools exist to make your life easier, but here is a how to to understand how it’s done by yourself. I promise, once you’ve done it once, it all becomes simpler.
Note: all the steps below work with all versions of TN’s CEF and TN Menu, but the example are taken from Uno’s exploit on the 2.02 firmware (more precisely, with the European version of the exploit).
1.A Preparing Homebrews
The homebrews we will run on the 2.02 Uno exploit are PSP homebrews. Most PSP homebrews will run out of the box on your Vita with the UNO exploit, but you might often need to package them in a ZIP archive (unless you got a friendly download link which already has it pre-packaged for you.) . Note that in some cases you will have to create the ZIP archive yourself, for example most emulators will not ship with any rom, and you will have to add those yourself to your ZIP file.
Before you start!
The basic thing to understand is that the Vita will not accept any filename. The files you can copy to your Vita with the content manager need to be all uppercase, the “body” of the filename (anything before the “.”) needs to be 8 characters or less, and the extension (anything after the “.”) needs to be 3 characters. Accepted characters are also limited, so I suggest you li,it yourself to letters and numbers. In particular, do not put spaces in the file names.
For example, WAGIC.ZIP is good, but Wagic.zip is not (not uppercase), WAGIC.zip is not (not uppercase), Wagic the homebrew.zip is not (not uppercase, and more than 8 characters before the “.”). A very typical mistake for windows users is that your file will end up being named WAGIC.ZIP.zip because Windows will by default hide the extension for you. You will see it named “WAGIC.ZIP” but in reality the name will be WAGIC.ZIP.zip, which will not work.
When you have a problem in the filename, the vita will silently not copy it, and will not give you any form of error message. The only way you have to realize you made a mistake at this point is if the size of your savedata on the memory stick is smaller that what you’d expect.
Read the “before you start” section above 5 times, because this is the root cause of 99.9% of the issues people have installing homebrew with CEF.
I’m not kidding, read the paragraphs above!
Ok, so, let’s move on to prepare your homebrew. All homebrews have an EBOOT.PBP file. You need to create folders so that that EBOOT.PBP will end in a series of subfolders PSP/GAME/[your homebrew game]/EBOOT.PBP.
For example, PSP/GAME/WAGIC/EBOOT.PBP.
Don’t forget of course to include all the files from the homebrew in that folder structure. Once this is done, zip the “PSP” folder you created, and name it whatever you like, following the rules I described above (all uppercase, less than 8 characters, etc…). I personally suggest to use the “store” option for creating your zip, but I believe TN Menu handles all formats of compression. Do not use an other format of file that you would rename in .ZIP, this will obviously not work.
Once your ZIP is ready, copy it to the UNO exploit savedata folder in your CMA folder on your computer. It will look like PSAVEDATA/[random letters and numbers]/NPEH000DATA02 (this might vary depending on your exploit).
1.B Preparing Isos
Preparing isos and cso files follows the same naming conventions as the homebrews above, and you have to put the files in your UNO savedata folder just like for homebrews above, but you don’t ZIP them. Instead, you copy them “as is” to your UNO savedata, but keep in mind that the filename body must be 8 characters or less, and the filename must be all uppercase.
2. Copying your prepared Homebrews/isos to the Vita
Copying stuff to your Vita is done using the Content Manager. We recommend you use OpenCMA to avoid bad surprises. To do this, you will connect your Vita to your computer, run the Content Manager like you would usually do to copy PSP Savegames to your Vita, and copy over your Uno savedata.
At this point, your UNO savedata contains two types of things: the exploit required to run CEF, but also your homebrews and iso files. You can have as many homebrews and iso files as you want in this folder, as long as they follow the naming rules described above. Also note that you will likely repeat this process several times, and that it is not necessary to keep in the UNO savedata isos/homebrews you have already installed. As a matter of fact, it is better to delete them from your Uno savedata on your computer to avoid copying them once again next time.
The Vita will most likely ask you if you want to overwrite the existing UNO savedata, and this is ok.
One typical mistake there is that some people will delete some files critical to the UNO exploit by manipulating the UNO savedata. If this happens, the best is simply to redownload the UNO exploit and start from scratch
3. Extract and run the games
At this point your homebrews are in zip form, on your memory stick, and need to be extracted before they can be used. The isos, them, are in their “final” form, but need to be moved by TN Menu in order to be used.
Of course TN Menu provides functionality to do both of those. Simply select the homebrew/iso you want to install, and press X. The homebrew will then be extracted. To run an installed homebrew/iso, press X as well, it will simply run. The TN menu interface is relatively simple so there shouldn’t be any issue.
4. Troubleshooting and alternatives
If you don’t see your homebrews zips, or isos in TN Menu, the most likely reason is that you messed up the naming convention of your zip files or isos. More unlikely, but it happens again: make sure you copied your homebrews/isos in the exploit’s savedata, and not in an unrelated savedata (this technique used to work for example with VHBL, and might work with alternate menus for CEF, but not with TN Menu as I type this).
It is also possible to copy homebrews with FTP For Vita. This is much more convenient that the whole technique described above, as you don’t need to zip anything, etc… but this also assumes you have FTP For Vita up and running, and a wifi router.
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