Installing h-encore

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Required Reading

The h-encore exploit for the PS Vita (TV) allows for the installation of homebrew applications to your home screen. It is compatible with the firmware versions 3.65 to 3.73.

Note that the h-encore exploit chain is not “persistent” (meaning it does not remain installed after a reboot). This means you will have to run the exploit again after each reboot.

In addition to installing the h-encore exploit, we enable access to “unsafe” homebrew which gives extended permissions to homebrew applications. This idea could be considered analogous to the “administrator” mode on a computer.

If you are on firmware versions 3.65 to 3.68, you will be using the h-encore exploit, however if you are on firmware versions 3.69 to 3.73, you will be using the h-encore² exploit. The program we use to install the exploit to your console (finalhe) should sort this out for you.

If you have a PS Vita 1000, you must also have an official Sony memory card (of any size) to follow this guide. This restriction does not apply to the PS Vita 2000 or PS TV as those devices have a built-in memory card.

What You Need

  • The latest release of finalhe
    • If you are using MacOS or Linux you will be required to compile finalhe yourself
  • The Vitashell file manager for the PSVita


Section I - finalhe

  1. Copy the contents of the finalhe .zip file to a folder on your computer
  2. Copy the VitaShell .zip file inside the finalhe folder
    • Do not extract this file
  3. Launch finalhe on your computer
    • If you are prompted to allow finalhe network access through the firewall, do so
  4. Launch the Content Manager application on your device
  5. Select “Copy Content”
  6. Select “PC”
  7. Select the method you wish to use to connect to finalhe
    • If you are prompted to log-in to a PlayStation Network Account, do so
    • If you do not have a PlayStation Network Account, create one
  8. Select / register your computer if prompted
    • If you encounter a message instructing you to update, reboot your device and try again
    • If you still encounter this message, follow the instructions on Blocking Updates and try again
    • If you still encounter this message, enable Flight Mode in the System Settings and try again (this will not work on PS TVs)
    • If your device is not detected over USB, install QcmaDriver_winusb and try again

Section II - h-encore Transfer

  1. Select “Trim h-encore to ~13MB”
    • Only do this step if you are on 3.68 or below
  2. Select “Let’s GO!”
    • The exploit files will be automatically downloaded and prepared
    • This process will take some time
  3. Select “PC -> PS Vita System” on your device
  4. Select “Applications”
  5. Select “PS Vita”
  6. Select “h-encore” or “h-encore²” depending on which is displayed
  7. Select “VitaShell”
  8. Select “Copy”
  9. Select “OK”
    • The h-encore exploit will be copied to your device
    • This process will take some time
  10. Close the Content Manager application on your device
  11. Close finalhe on your computer

Section III - Configuring h-encore

h-encore² only has a ~25% success rate. It may take a long time to launch the h-encore² exploit.

  1. Launch the h-encore application while holding (R)
    • If prompted about trophies, continue holding (R) and select “Yes”
  2. If the exploit was successful, you will now see the h-encore bootstrap menu
    • If the exploit is stuck on a white screen, simply close the application (which will cause a crash and reboot your device), then try again
    • If it is still stuck, hold the power button down for over 30 seconds to force a reboot, then try again
  3. Select “Install HENkaku”
    • This will install the HENkaku exploit and enable homebrew access until the next reboot
  4. Select “Exit”

Homebrew applications such as VitaShell will remain installed after a reboot, however will give an error on launch until the exploit is applied.

Due to a bug concerning the PSVita interacting with GitHub, the “Download VitaShell” option is not working for the time being.

Section IV - Configuring HENkaku

  1. Launch the Settings application
  2. Navigate to HENkaku Settings
    • If HENkaku Settings is missing, select the “Reset taiHEN config.txt” in the h-encore bootstrap menu, then try again
  3. Check “Enable Unsafe Homebrew”
  4. Return to HENkaku Settings menu
  5. Close the Settings application

Continue to Downgrading to 3.60