Emulation has come a long way, and you have a lot of options to choose from when emulating PlayStation 1. When looking around online, many articles still point towards old and outdated emulators. There are much better options than ePSXe, PCSXR, and similar. Those emulators haven’t had an update in a very long time, and don’t have good compatibility or features. So what are your best choices for PS1 Emulators in 2021?
What you will find in both of these recommendations
- Excellent Accuracy
- High Performance
- Upscaling Hacks
- Active Development
- Bug Fixes
- Easy to use interfaces
Duckstation or Beetle PSX HW – Highly Recommended
The absolute best PS1 emulators are Duckstation and Beetle PSX HW. They are still actively updated, have much better compatibility, and better features. Whether you’re looking to improve your game’s graphics through hacks, or achieve max performance, these are the way to go.
Some people favor one over the other, but they are very similar. Both of them support upscaling, PGXP hacks, texture filtering, overclocking, and cheats. If you have a good PC, then you won’t notice any difference between the two while playing or using upscaling hacks.
Duckstation is usually the more popular choice. It’s a standalone emulator that doesn’t need to use Retroarch’s frontend like Beetle PSX HW does. It also has better performance overall, some of which is improved by not having to use Retroarch. Their mission is to create an emulator that’s accurate as possible, but can still maintain performance. So if you have less powerful hardware, you’ll be better off with this emulator.
You also have the choice between two different GUI’s depending on what you prefer. Try them out to see what you like best. Both of them still have the same features. It has an easy to use menu where you can quickly change any upscaling hacks or emulation options.
Beetle PSX HW
Beetle PSX HW is another one of the best PS1 emulators that I personally prefer to use. It’s actually a fork of another popular emulator Mednafen. The downside that many people see is that it’s only available through Retroarch.
Their interface seems overwhelming at first, but it’s actually very easy to use. It will only take a few uses to get used to it, and then you can use it for many other emulators as well. Look through the emulator list and you’ll see you can emulate all sort of systems like the Nintendo 64, NES, Atari, and much more.
Some people don’t like this emulator as much because it looks complex at first. However, you don’t need to use most of it’s menu’s. I promise, you can learn it very easily and you’ll love it more than any frontend. It will only take a few tries to get used to it.
To change options, to turn on upscaling and performance hacks, you just need to open the quick menu when you open a game. You can change them at any time just like Duckstation!
Never Use ePSXe Ever Again!
I still see so many people recommending this emulator. People on reddit, and other websites use it since so many blogs are misinformed on the latest technology and still write about it. You should never use it again. It’s old and will probably never be updated again.
If you’re using ePSXe and are encountering problems playing a game, nobody will be able to help you. It doesn’t have the fixes for many common issues. Stick to the recommendations above, and I promise you’ll be happy with them. It was great to use in the past and has a place in mine and many other gamer’s hearts, but it’s no longer a good option.