Command-line support

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You can activate certain options when launching pcsx2.exe from the command line on Windows, or the terminal on a Linux environment, those options are called arguments, wich are described below


PCSX2 versions 0.9.7 and higher have full commandline support, announced on The return of the Commandline! blog entry.

Those command line options can be added to a shortcut. That means you can have as many shortcuts to pcsx2.exe with different options and settings as you need.


You should use the following format:

pcsx2.exe "IsoFile" --option="value"


  • IsoFile is the image file of the PS2 to be loaded. Remember to include full path between ( " ) and the file extension.
  • --option is the argument used to active a certain option. Read below for the full list.
  • value determines certain parameters needed for some options. Should be included betwen (") and follow a (=) symbol.

Example: c:\PCSX2\pcsx2.exe "c:\PS2\Final Fantasy X.iso" --fullscreen --cfgpath="c:\My Configs\FFX"

When running that line from the command prompt of Windows, or the terminal on Linux systems, PCSX2 is going to open Final Fantasy X, run it on full screen, and the plugin configuration files are going to he loaded from the folder specified folder, in this case: c:\My Configs\FFX.

Options list

Remember that the path to the PS2 image file to use have to be before any option (unless you use the --usecd , --nodisk or --elf="file" option.

The full list of options are:

General Options

  • --cfgpath="path" Changes the configuration files path.
  • --cfg="file" Specifies the PCSX2 configuration file to use.
  • --forcewiz Forces PCSX2 to start the First-time Wizard.
  • --portable Enables portable mode operation (requires admin/root access).
  • --console Forces the program log/console to be visible.
  • --fullscreen Use fullscreen GS mode.
  • --windowed Use windowed GS mode.
  • --nogui Disables display of the graphical user interface.
  • -h, --help Displays this list of command line options.

Auto-Run Options

  • --elf="file" Executes an ELF image.
  • --nodisc Boots an empty dvd tray; use to enter the PS2 system menu.
  • --usecd Boots from the CDVD plugin (overrides IsoFile parameter).

Compatibility Options

  • --nohacks Disables all speedhacks.
  • --gamefixes=[fix,fix] Enable specific gamefixes for this session. Valid fixes are: VuAddSub, VuClipFlag, FpuCompare, FpuMul, FpuNeg, EETiming, SkipMpeg, OPHFlag, DMABusy, VIFFIFO, VI, FMVinSoftware.
  • --fullboot Disables fast booting.

Plugin Overrides

  • --gs="dllpath" Specify the file to use as the GS plugin}.
  • --pad="dllpath" Specify the file to use as the PAD plugin.
  • --spu2="dllpath" Specify the file to use the SPU2 plugin.
  • --cdvd="dllpath" Specify the file to use as the CDVD plugin.
  • --usb="dllpath" Specify the file to use as the USB plugin.
  • --fw="dllpath" Specify the file to use as the FW plugin.
  • --dev9="dllpath" Specify the file to use as the DEV9 plugin.

Commandline options and shortcuts

The ordinary user may use this to create a shortcut to his/her game on the desktop so that PCSX2 will run the game immediately. To do this make a link to PCSX2 main executable (pcsx2.exe) and update the target field of this link, it will look something like:

"C:\PS2\pcsx2.exe" -skipbios "C:\PS2\yourgame.iso"

And thus you'll be able to start C:\PS2\yourgame.iso right from your desktop!

Lightbulb.png Tip:
If you have different games that need different emulation settings and/or plugins configuration, consider making as many shortcuts as you need with custom settings, or use an external launcher as described on this guide.

Commandline options and Steam

Click to enlarge.

Using command line arguments, you can use Steam as an external launcher for your PS2 games. Here is a step by step guide on how to do so (you may repeat this process to add as many games as you want):

1) On the Steam user interface go to Games => Add a non-steam game.
Steam guide 1.png
2) Click on Browse and locate pcsx2.exe. Click on Add selected program. It is important that you add pscx2.exe this way (rather than picking it from the list) so you can add more shortcuts later on.
3) You will find psx2 added to your game library. Open its properties.
Steam guide 2.png
4) On the target field, insert the full command for your game. In this case, it's important to insert the path to pscx2.exe between (") symbol.
Steam guide 3.png

Optional steps:

5) You can choose custom icons for the shortcuts. Such icon should be embedded on an .exe file, or it has to be a png image (preferably square dimensions).
6) If you use Big Picture mode or grid display, you can set a custom banner for the game.
It has to be a png image with 460 x 215 size.
Lightbulb.png Tip:

You can find custom banners on the following sites:
Console Grid
Steam Grid (Reddit)

7) Background images are taken from the Steam screenshots folder (taken with the F12 hotkey).
8) You can also create a custom category named Playstation 2, to group your PS2 games.

This image shows a shortcut added following all those steps, along with other shortcuts on a Playstation 2 category

Steam guide 5.png
Lightbulb.png Tip:

There is an open source proyect called ICE, that automatically adds your console games to Steam library.
You can find it at

Please read its documentation carefully before using it.
9) If you use big Picture mode, or you use PCSX2 away from uour keyboard, you can assign hotkeys to your controller (for example, to close the emulator). Learn more on this post

Commandline options and XBMC

Information on using XBMC as an external PCSX2 launcher can be found on the following forum thread.