The PS1 has a huge library of games, but many of them are too pricey and many more were never released outside of Japan. For these reasons, gamers have been burning PS1 games for years now.
Here are simple instructions for burning PS1 games, and just in case you need to know how to play your burned games, we’ll show you two different methods.
You need the following two things to burn PS1 games:
- A blank CD-R disc (you can buy these online or in most big-box retail stores)
- A computer with a disc drive (you can buy an external USB disc drive if your computer does not have one)
How To Burn PS1 Games With ImgBurn
Before you begin, you’ll need the files to burn to your disc (obviously). Most PS1 game files come with a .bin file and a .cue file.
You can use the burning software of your choice if you are experienced with similar software. If not, you can follow these simple steps to burn your PS1 game with a program called ImgBurn.
- Insert a blank CD-R disc in your disc drive
- Download and install ImgBurn from the official website
- Make sure the folder with your game files has a .bin and .cue file
- Right click the .cue file and open with ImgBurn
- Set write speed to 4x
- Make sure your “source” is your disc drive
- Optional: check the “verify” box to ensure your disc was burned properly
How To Play Burned PS1 Games
Unfortunately, playing burned PS1 games is not quite as convenient as playing burned PS2 games, but you do have some options. The two most common options are with the disc swap method, which doesn’t require modding, and the console mod option.
How To Perform The PS1 Disc Swap Method
Before you attempt to perform the disc swap method, you’ll need to do a small “modification” to your console. Before you panic, it’s not a real mod. You just need to plug up the lid sensor.
If you take a look at your console and open the lid, you’ll notice that there’s a round lid sensor in the top right corner. This sensor can be pushed down. The console knows it’s closed when the sensor is pushed down. Crumble up a small piece of paper and use it to keep the sensor pushed down, then tape it down to keep it in place. This will trick the console into thinking the lid is closed when it’s open.
Follow these steps carefully to play a burned PS1 game using the disc swap method.
- Insert a non-burned game into your PlayStation console
- Turn the power on
- When the disc slows down on the black PlayStation start-up screen, quickly swap out the real disc for the burned disc
- When the burned disc starts to slow down, quickly swap it with the real disc
- When the start-up screen fades to black, quickly swap the real disc with the burned disc
- If everything went correctly, the game should start
This disc swapping method may seem overwhelming at first, but kids throughout the 90s were able to master the technique. If they were able to do it, then you can to!
Playing Burned PS1 Games With A Modded Console
You can easily insert a burned PS1 game into a modded console and it will instantly play without any issues. That sounds great, doesn’t it? A mod chip, such as the MM3 or Mayumi mod chip, will allow you to play burned games and even games from other regions.
However, the downside is that you’ll need to buy and install a mod to your console, which might be a bit scary for new modders. Thankfully, you’re not alone. There are several great tutorials from experienced modders on YouTube.
If you’re still not too keen on installing the mod chip yourself, you can always look into buying a modded console off eBay or getting a verified modder to do the work for you, but their services are usually not cheap.
Keep in mind that there are other options to play PS1 backups. For example, the PSIO and XStation mods allow you to play disc image files off of an SD card, so you don’t have to worry about burning any games yourself.
If you don’t want to burn PS1 games or fiddle around with console modifications, you can check out TonyHax and FreePSXBoot.