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Persona 4 (PS2) Mod Support

How to load modded files in P4 (PS2, PCSX2 & PS4)

Background

The original version of Persona 4 has been around as long as the modding scene, so there is a decent amount of mods available. However, with the recent PC release and upcoming port of Persona 4 Golden on Switch, you may notice a community effort to shift focus to that version. Many mods are not directly compatible due to substantial differences between P4 and P4G.
Persona 4 is a 2008 turn-based JRPG released by Atlus on PS2. The game features dungeon crawling and life-sim elements. Combat is mainly based on summoning and fusing a party of Personas with different elemental affinities.
There is a 2012 re-release featuring many quality of life improvements and a longer campaign. It has recently been ported to PC and a Switch port will release in January 2023.

Modded PS2 Console

Missing info:
  • How to mod a PS2 console
  • How to launch modded .ISOs

Custom Firmware PS3 Console

Missing info:
  • How to mod a PS3 console
  • How to launch modded PS2 .ISOs

HEN on PS4 Console

If you have a moddable PS4, it's possible to create and install custom PS2 titles, including modded games. Please note that this requires use of the paid software UltraISO. You're also welcome to try equivalent, free .ISO creation tools to see if they work.
These games will only be usable while in "HEN" mode, which you will lose access to if you update the system firmware. Also, due to these titles being illegitimate, there is always a possible account/console ban risk.
  1. 1.
    Obtain an .ISO of the game. For detailed instructions on dumping your own game as an .ISO, see this wiki page.
  2. 2.
    Follow the Persona 5 Royal (PS4) Mod Support page up until the "Adding Mod Support" section to get HEN running on your moddable PS4.
  3. 3.
    Download the latest release of the Mod Compendium.
  4. 4.
    Extract it somewhere on your PC using 7-zip.
  5. 5.
    Choose Persona 4 in the games dropdown, and click the Settings button.
  6. 6.
    Provide the path to your ISO and the output path.
  7. 7.
    Download any mods you want from ShrineFox.com/Browse. Extract them to the Mod Compendium's "Mods" folder.
  8. 8.
    In the Mod Compendium, click the checkboxes next to each mod to enable them, and sort their priority with the up/down arrows on the right.
  9. 9.
    Click Build and a new set of .CVM files and a new executable will be output.
  10. 10.
    Manually replace these files by dragging them in the ISO and saving as a new ISO using UltraISO Premium (paid software).
  11. 11.
    Create a .PKG from your new .ISO using PS4 PS2 Classics GUI.
  12. 12.
    Install the .PKG using the same steps found at the end of the Persona 5 Royal (PS4) Mod Support page.
  13. 13.
    Run the game to ensure that it works!

PCSX2 Emulator

You can run this version of the game on PC using the PCSX2 emulator.

Setting Up PCSX2

  1. 1.
    Download the latest release for your platform.
  2. 2.
    Extract the .zip anywhere on your PC using 7-zip.
  3. 3.
    Download any PS2 Firmware and install in PCSX2 during setup.
  4. 4.
    Obtain a .ISO of the game.
  5. 5.
    Launch the game to make sure it works!
For detailed instructions on dumping your own game as an .ISO, see this wiki page.

Patching the Game

In order to load modded files, you need to patch the executable of the game to look for them in an external directory. This patch is known as HostFS.
  1. 1.
    Go to ShrineFox.com's Getting Started Page.
  2. 2.
    Follow the instructions on the page to enter the game's CRC hash.
  3. 3.
    Enable any optional patches you'd like.
  4. 4.
    Download the .pnach file.
  5. 5.
    Close PCSX2. Place the .pnach in the folder called "cheats" next to PCSX2.exe.
  6. 6.
    Open the PCSX2_vm.ini file in the PCSX2 folder with your text editor. Change the line hostFS=disabled to hostFS=enabled then save and exit.
  7. 7.
    Make sure to check on the option File > Enable Cheats in PCSX2.
  8. 8.
    Open the game's .ISO with 7-zip. Extract the executable file, which should look like "SLUS_217.82". Add the .ELF extension to it, which should give it the name "SLUS_217.82.ELF."
  9. 9.
    Run the .ELF in PCSX2 to check if it works!
An easy way to check if patches are working is to include the Debug Log patch and check if files are logged to the PCSX2 console as the game loads them. To view the console, go to Misc > Show Console.

Installing Mods

To use community-made mods, or to eventually create your own, you'll need a mod manager.
  1. 1.
    Download the latest release of the Mod Compendium.
  2. 2.
    Extract it somewhere on your PC using 7-zip.
  3. 3.
    Choose Persona 4 in the games dropdown, and click the Settings button.
  4. 4.
    Provide the path to your ISO and the output path. The output path should be where your extracted .ELF file is for PCSX2. Also check the "HostFS mode" box if you're using PCSX2.
You can explore community-submitted mods and download them from ShrineFox.com/Browse. Extract the .zip to the Mod Compendium's Mods folder and refresh to enable/disable them. Change their order as needed with the up and down arrows on the side.
Press Build and it should merge and output the contents of the mods to your output directory!
Note: If you're not using PCSX2/HostFS mode, files will be output as new .CVM and a new executable. You must manually replace these files by dragging them in the ISO and saving as a new ISO using UltraISO Premium (paid software).

Extracting Files

If you are looking to create your own mods for this game, you will want a full dump of all the game's original, unedited files.
Persona 4 utilizes CriWare's .CVM archive format to store its individual files. You can think of it somewhat like a .zip file that contains the directory structure, but offers compression.
Open the game's .ISO with 7-zip. Click on each .CVM file and extract its contents to a file named after the CVM (i.e. DATA, BTL, BGM, ENV).

Creating Mods

To begin exploring the files and learning how to edit them, see the Persona 4 page on the Amicitia Wiki. Once you have an idea for a mod, open the Mod Compendium and click on the New button. Fill out the form and it will create a mod folder for you.
Inside the mod folder, match the structure of the extracted .CVM contents. For instance, if you're editing a file in the DATA.CVM's /INIT/ folder, copy the unedited one from your .CVM dump to your mod folder and place it in a DATA/INIT/ folder.
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