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PS Vita games on Android! Testing the Vita3K emulator: performance, pitfalls

PS Vita games on Android!  Testing the Vita3K emulator: performance, pitfalls

On the portable console PS Vita have already learned how to run games from Android. Now you can play the other way around. The Vita3K app, the first PS Vita emulator on the platform, was released on Android. The Vita3K project itself has been around for a long time, but until recently it was available only on computers.

I tested the novelty on smartphones and in this article I will tell you what Vita3K is capable of.

Game testing

You can check the compatibility of games with the emulator at project website. So far, the percentage of fully playable titles is just under 40%. But here there are nuances – I will talk about them a little later.

I tested the emulator on two devices: a typical mid-range Pixel 4a (Snapdragon 730G, Adreno 618, 6 GB RAM) and a more powerful Pixel 6 (Google Tensor G1, Mali-G78 MP20, 8 GB RAM). Looking ahead, I note that the differences in the operation of the emulator on these smartphones are clearly visible, and the filling is of great importance in the case of Vita3K.

Each time the program is launched, it encounters a splash screen copied from the original system. The main menu is different, but the background images are also taken from the PS Vita. Even the start window of each game is stylized as a console interface. It looks a little clumsy, given the small but noticeable differences. However, the UI does not cause inconvenience. Vita3K even has game achievement support and a dedicated achievement center.

Not so rosy in the games themselves. As usual for emulators for Android, touch buttons are located on the sides. The problem is that some of them partially go under the screen. Because of this, their size is small and harder to hit.

But the worst thing is that the D-pad and action buttons sometimes overlap the image of the game itself. The fact is that PS Vita has a touch screen, and some projects use this feature to interact with the interface. And sometimes the touch buttons in the emulator just interfere with pressing.

How well does the emulator run PS Vita projects? For this article, I selected a few games and tried to run them in Vita3K.


On the project website, the cult visual novel VA-11 HALL-A is marked as “Playable”. The game starts, allows you to create a save and enter the gameplay part. But it was not without nuances. There are simply no inscriptions in the main menu, so you have to navigate blindly. This is only half the problem. All dialogues are also not drawn, and this is already a critical bug, because the game is literally based on them. Therefore, despite the status of “Playable”, VA-11 HALL-A is impossible to pass. In addition, the game just crashes when you save.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

It would seem that Uncharted is a technically more complex game. But things are much better for her.

She has the status “Ingame+”. It means that you can enter the game up to the gameplay part, but there may be critical glitches or performance will be low.

Uncharted starts up, but on the Pixel 4a it is really slow, sometimes loading the system so hard that it is forced to reboot. But on the more powerful Pixel 6, there are no such problems. The game practically “flies”, delivering a stable 30 FPS. By the way, on the original console, the frame rate is the same. I didn’t go through Uncharted completely on the emulator, so I can’t say if there will be unpleasant bugs in the future.

However, I can immediately note the problem that exists on both devices. Uncharted: Golden Abyss is designed for the PS Vita with a touch screen, so some buttons are placed on the screen as icons and are activated only by touch. The virtual buttons of the console overlap the in-game ones, so some hints at the beginning had to be closed by a forced restart of the checkpoint. Perhaps because of this, some game mechanics will not be available.


Although Terraria is listed as “Playable”, meaning it can be played from start to finish, the game actually crashes immediately after character creation and world loading. This issue was encountered on both tested devices. And the main menu does not look the way it should – somewhere there are no inscriptions or images.

Hotline Miami

PS Vita games on Android!  Testing the Vita3K emulator: performance, pitfalls

PS Vita games on Android!  Testing the Vita3K emulator: performance, pitfalls

Plunging into the world of neon ultra-violence in the face of Hotline Miami on Android will not work either. The game launches into the main menu, creating false hopes, but freezes immediately after the start, without even having time to fully load the location. Pretty strange, considering the “Playable” status.

Persona 4 Gold

PS Vita games on Android!  Testing the Vita3K emulator: performance, pitfalls

But the three-dimensional Persona 4 Gold is launched and works fine. But only on powerful devices. Pixel 4a barely mastered the gameplay part, issuing something in the region of 10 FPS, and then completely hung. On the Pixel 6, the “persona” can be comfortably played at 30 FPS. I met Glitches only once, before the very first cut-scene. All dialogues are drawn, and locations are loaded. Persona lives up to its Playable status.


PS Vita games on Android!  Testing the Vita3K emulator: performance, pitfalls

PS Vita games on Android!  Testing the Vita3K emulator: performance, pitfalls

Undertale runs great on all tested devices, with no glitches, bugs, or performance drops. The latter is not surprising, given the simple two-dimensional graphics. This is another game that has a Playable status for a reason.

Installation and setup

If at this point you already want to download the emulator and try it yourself, you may find it useful to have a small setup guide.

You can download Vita3K from GitHub project as an APK file. After installation, you will first have to select a language, and then download the firmware. This should not be difficult, since links to the necessary resources are provided immediately in the emulator. After downloading both required add-ons, you must click Install and select a file for each of them.

Next, you need to install the games themselves. First you need to find them in PKG format with an accompanying work.bin license file. Then select File > Install .pkg in the emulator and find the downloaded PKG file in the explorer. After that, press the Select work.bin button, select the appropriate file (it is unique for each game) and wait for the installation.

Another format in which PS Vita games exist is VPK files. But they are much less common. Other formats are not suitable.


Vita3K is a good attempt to bring games from PS Vita to Android. The emulator even tries to mimic the original interface to add a bit of authenticity. The application has just appeared on smartphones, so it is still raw. For example, action buttons sometimes overlap screen content. Most likely, for the same reason, some games refuse to work normally and crash. Perhaps in a couple of updates the situation will become much better. Developers are regularly working on the project, so there is hope for improvements.

But right now, some popular PS Vita projects can still be launched and tested. True, this will require a powerful device – there will be no comfortable gameplay in three-dimensional games on mid-budget devices.


#Vita #games #Android #Testing #Vita3K #emulator #performance #pitfalls

❤ XOXO ❤

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