How to play Demon's Souls in 2020

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Demon's Souls is an iconic game. It was the first Souls game and paved the way for games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro. Figuring out how to play it so many years later can be difficult because most people don't have a PS3 anymore, much less a copy of the game. Here's a few solutions:

Play on PS3[edit]

  1. Obtain a PS3 console. If you plan to buy Demon's Souls from PSN, be aware that the 12GB model of PS3 will not be able to install the game unless you get a bigger hard drive.
  2. Obtain a disc or digital copy of Demon's Souls for PS3. You can find these for $20 new in the United States, and the game sometimes goes on sale for half of that on PSN.
  3. Insert the disc into your PS3 or install the game from PSN. If you are playing the Asian version, you will want to download and install the update as well.
  4. Optional - Set up a connection to The Archstones for online play. Online play is region-locked on PS3.
  5. Launch the game and get playing!

Play on PC with RPCS3[edit]

RPCS3 is a PS3 emulator for Windows and Linux. It runs Demon's Souls quite well, even at 60 FPS, provided you have a modern CPU with at least six cores.

  1. Download and extract RPCS3.
  2. Obtain a copy of Demon's Souls for PS3. If you don't own a PS3 console yourself, you'll need to get a disc copy.
  3. Obtain a method of dumping the game. You will either need a compatible Blu-ray drive (see the quickstart page for more info) or a hacked PS3 with the multiMAN homebrew program installed.
    • does not condone piracy, and no instructions will be provided for pirating the game.
  4. Follow the quickstart instructions to install the PS3 firmware and dump your copy of the game.
  5. Configure RPCS3 to run Demon's Souls:
    • Open Demon's Souls in RPCS3 once to add it to the list of games. Close the emulation window once the game appears in the list.
    • Right-click Demon's Souls in your list and click Create Custom Configuration.
      • Click on the CPU tab.
        • Ensure PPU Decoder and SPU Decoder are both set to Recompiler (LLVM) for the best performance.
      • Click on the GPU tab.
        • Ensure Renderer is set to Vulkan.
        • Set Shader Mode to Async (multi threaded) or Async with Shader Interpreter. Move your mouse over each option and read the description to decide on which one you like.
        • Enable Additional Settings > Write Color Buffers.
        • Set Resolution Scale to your monitor's resolution (Do not change Default Resolution, leave that at 1280x720).
          • You can raise/lower this if you have a particularly good/poor GPU, but if your CPU isn't up to spec no amount of lowering the resolution will improve your framerate.
        • Set Anisotropic Filter to 16x.
      • Click Save custom configuration.
  6. Optional - If you would like to play the game at 60 FPS or get a performance boost by disabling dynamic exposure, follow the instructions on the RPCS3 wiki.
  7. Optional - Download and install any mods you'd like from Nexus Mods. Here are some recommended mods:
  8. Optional - If you would like to play online, follow the instructions on The Archstones info page. Online play is not region locked when playing through RPCS3.
  9. Launch the game and get playing!

If you need help setting up RPCS3, you can get help on the RPCS3 Discord server. Just be warned, they won't help pirates either!