RetroArch: Enable rumbles / vibration for PlayStation games

  • This tutorial detailed the steps to enable vibration function when playing PlayStation games on RetroArch.
  • Depends on the controller you use, to follow the steps given on the prerequisites section to ensure you are using proper driver / program.
  • For other interesting articles related to gaming, check it out here XboxPS5Nintendo Switchother gamingiOSTech or more at JILAXZONE.
  • If you find this article / content inside is already obsolete, do let me know by commenting on the comment section below so that I can update the article to reflect the latest process/news. Thanks.

RetroArch is one of the best multiple retro console games emulator out there. There’s no doubt about it, however at the same time, RetroArch is also known for its complex and difficult to navigate menus and interface – especially if you are new to RetroArch. That’s the main reason I’m writing this article (and future article related to RetroArch), to share the step by step setup and configuration as well as tips and tricks that do not exist on RetroArch documentations so that you can maximize your RetroArch experience.

This time, in this article, I’m going to share how to enable vibration (or rumble or force feedback) for PlayStation (or PS1 or PSX) games on RetroArch, so you can play the game and feel like playing on the original PlayStation console.


Prerequisites

These are the prerequisites needed to enable playing PlayStation games with vibration / force feedback on RetroArchc. They are:

  • RetroArch for Windows PC was downloaded and setup
  • Rumble-compatible controller has been paired to Windows PC and proper driver / program has been setup

RetroArch for Windows PC was downloaded and setup

In case you have not downloaded nor installed RetroArch, here’s the download link. Once downloaded, don’t forget to extract / install it.

Download linkRetroArch latest version at LibRetro

Rumble-compatible controller has been paired to Windows PC and proper driver / program has been setup

Although your rumble-compatible controller has been paired to Windows PC successfully, but that doesn’t mean your rumble-compatible controller will have its rumble feature working in RetroArch. You have to use the proper driver or program. Depends on the type of controller you are going to use to play PlayStation games on RetroArch, to follow the detail steps on one of the link here to ensure your rumble-compatible controller is using proper driver or program.

console wars who will win this time jilaxzone.com
Whatever your controller is, follow the steps below. Image courtesy of Final Weapon (https://finalweapon.net)
PlayStation 1 & 2 DualShockEnable DualShock vibration / force feedback on Windows PC at JILAXZONE.
PlayStation 4 DualShock 4Using DualShock 4 to play all games and emulators on Windows PC at JILAXZONE.
Nintendo Switch Joy-ConUsing Nintendo Switch Joy-Con to play all games and emulators on Windows PC at JILAXZONE.
Other controller that support force feedback / rumble / vibrationUse any controller to play games on Windows PC at JILAXZONE.

Here’s how enable vibration function to work on PlayStation games running on RetroArch

The steps were tested on RetroArch version 1.9.2 running on Windows 10 and using DualShock 4 with DS4Windows connected to RetroArch.

This setup needs to be done only one time, however unfortunately this setup can’t be done before playing the game since the setup is considered hidden and accessible only from the RetroArch Quick Menu.


1) Run RetroArch.

2) Load the PlayStation game you want to play. Ensure the PlayStation game supports vibration.

3) Once the PlayStation game has been run, open the RetroArch Quick Menu (on default configuration, press F1 on the keyboard).

4) On RetroArch Quick Menu, go to Controls > Port 1 Controls.

5) Inside Port 1 Controls, change Device Type to “DualShock”.

6) Resume the game.


If you are connecting more than one rumble-compatible controllers, then redo the steps for Port 2 Controls, Port 3 Controls and so on and so forth.

Bring it all together

Final Fantasy IX FF9 logo jilaxzone.com
Now with this trick, when playing Final Fantasy IX or other PlayStation games, I can feel the rumble from my controller

If you follow the steps correctly, you’ll end up playing PlayStation games with vibration enabled – just like how you played it on the original PlayStation console.

In case you encounter any issues / difficulties, don’t hesitate to ask for help on the comment section below, I’ll be happy to help.


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