PS1 graphics

Many hardcore retro gamers try to play most of their games on the original gaming hardware for the most authentic and enjoyable experience. However, the original Playstation is one of the consoles that most definitely prefer playing via an emulator. One of primary reasons I use ePSXe to emulate PS1 games is the amazing graphical options it provides via plugins.

While You’re Here: More Must-Read PS1 Content to Check Out

What Can These Plugins Do?

Without getting too technical, most of these ePSXe plugins will make some of the PS1 games look nearly as good as an early Dreamcast or PS2 game. These improvements are usually made by enhancing the 3D model textures and using anti-aliasing techniques to smoothen the rough edges of the polygons. Here are some great examples of enhances screenshots (click to enlarge) …


What Plugin to Use?

There are a number of graphical plugins available for ePSXe, but for most modern PCs, you’ll want to go with Pete’s plugin, which has been around for quite a while, but it always being improved. Our resident emulation enhancement specialist, Mozgus, has these words of advice:

“For most 3D PS1 games, you want to use ePSXe, with the newest Pete’s OpenGL2, and Eternal’s sound plugin. From there, study each setting to better understand which ones are appropriate for which games. ” He also noted that “OpenGL2 is aimed at very good video cards like Geforce 7 or Radeon X1K series and up… Those with weaker video cards should use Pete’s OpenGL plugin (not OpenGL2). Those with no video card should seek a software mode plugin.”

What Settings Are Best?

Since the options screen on these graphical plugins are filled with lots of technical terms and can be a bit intimidating, I asked Mozgus to provide us with the following screenshot of his typical settings…

He said that he typically uses these settings for most of his games, but “there might be one or two small changes… Also, sometimes theres option you should enable under the “special game fixes …” button.”

Don’t Forget Custom Shaders

There are also some other add-ons known as shaders that can give some very interesting graphical effects. Mozgus likes the Natural Vision shader, because it strengthens colors, anti-aliases the image, and adds a nice blur that hides numerous PS1 visual flaws which high resolutions will not heal alone. Note that the Shader Level controls the blur amount for the given resolution. If the level is too high and the resolution is too low, the picture will be blurred too much. This shader arguably provides an overall pleasing look for every game out there.

To get your imaginations wandering, here are some samples of what other custom shaders can do…

Pretty Cool, Huh?

Of course, there are additional tweaks you can do for certain games to make them look extra special, but these settings should definitely get you started in the right direction.

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