[PS Vita] Custom Firmware Tutorial (HENkaku Enso)

In this tutorial you will learn how to hack your PS Vita to be able to play homebrew games, emulators, and more to get the most out of your handheld console. We will be using the HENkaku and HENkaku Enso exploits.

UPDATE: As of July 1, 2018 h-encore has been released. This new exploit works with Vita firmwares 3.65 through 3.68. It is not a permanent hack (if you reboot your Vita you’ll need to re-run the exploit). h-encore can be made permanent by using it with HENkaku Enso ONLY on firmware 3.65. If your Vita is on 3.60 it can be updated to 3.65 to take advantage of 3.65 features. A separate tutorial for h-encore is coming soon.

What is homebrew?

Homebrew are games and other software which are not officially approved. For example, VitaDoom is a port of the classic game DOOM and mGBA lets you play Game Boy Advance ROMs. You can find more examples of Vita homebrew here.

Which PS Vita consoles are compatible?

HENkaku will only work on PS Vita’s that are on firmware 3.60 or lower. h-encore can be used with HENkaku Use this buying guide  for help on purchasing one. There is no exploit for 3.61 and above available and there won’t be one for the foreseeable future.

What is HENkaku and HENkaku Enso?

HENkaku is the first ever homebrew enabler for PS Vita and PSTV. Running homebrew on your Vita is 100% free using HENkaku. As long as you’re on version 3.60  (or can update to it) you’re good to go

HENkaku Ensō is the evolution of the HENkaku exploit. You could say it is an addon to HENkaku. Install it once after installing HENkaku and your Vita will be permanently hacked. No need to apply HENkaku again after each reboot.

What can I do with HENkaku?

HENkaku allows much more freedom than ever before possible with the PS Vita. It allows you to break free from the restrictions Sony set down such as:

  • Playing older games with emulators
  • Backing up your physical games and installing them to your memory card to play any time
  • Using a microSD card instead of Sony’s expensive propriety memory cards
  • Installing homebrew games and having them appear on your home menu
  • Playing PSP and PSX games via the Adrenaline homebrew app


Disclaimer: Using this kind of software comes with a risk. There’s always a small chance that your Vita may become bricked while following this guide. We will not take responsibility for any damages caused by the software, however keep in mind that these bricks are extremely rare nowadays.

Tip: Make sure your device is charged or plugged in before starting to avoid data loss or damage from an unexpected shutdown.

0. Determine your PS Vita firmware version

You can find this by going to the Settings application and tapping System and then System Information. Your version should be displayed at the top of the screen.

0a. Upgrading to 3.60 (optional)

Since only firmware 3.60 is supported, you can upgrade any Vita on a lower firmware version to 3.60 with these instructions. Be careful not to update to the latest version through official means or you will not be able to use HENkaku!

Simple Instructions

Set your DNS to and choose to update from Wi-Fi. Proceed only if the message says “A new version of the system software is available. Firmware 3.60 (変革 Compatible)”. That’s it!

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select “Network”
  3. Select “Wi-Fi Settings”
  4. If you are not connected to the internet, do so now. Select your current connection (there should be a green dot to the left).
  5. Select “Advanced Settings”
  6. Under “DNS Settings” choose “Manual”
  7. Under “Primary DNS” set it to
  8. Leave “Secondary DNS” blank. Make sure “Proxy Server” is set to “Do Not Use”. Press OK.
  9. Back out to the main settings screen. Select “System Update” and then “Update Using Wi-Fi.”
  10. If you get an error saying your system is up to date, that means either your Vita is on 3.60 already or your Vita is > 3.60 and is not supported by HENkaku
  11. Otherwise you will see a pop-up saying there is a new update. Make sure the message says “3.60 (変革 Compatible)”! If the message does not say that, do not proceed and try to repeat these steps to see if you missed something.
  12. After ensuring you are updating to “3.60 (変革 Compatible)”, proceed with the steps on screen to update.
  13. After updating to 3.60, you can follow steps 1-5 again and then set “DNS Settings” back to “Automatic” to restore your DNS settings.

1. Installing Henkaku

This part will guide you through installing HENkaku. The exploit will require you to relaunch the exploit on every reboot via the HENkaku website, but don’t worry, we’ll install Enso later, which doesn’t require this.

Installing HENkaku

  1. Open the Web Browser on your PS Vita
  2. Go to https://henkaku.xyz/go

MolecularShell and HENkaku should now be installed on your Vita.

Enabling Unsafe Homebrew

This will allow us to access the Vita’s internal memory and install homebrew which requires extended permissions.

  1. Open the Settings application
  2. Select HENkaku Settings
  3. Check Enable Unsafe Homebrew

ps vita henkaku enso

2. Installing HENkaku Ensō

Regular HENkaku requires us to relaunch the exploit every time your reboot. This can get annoying. This is why you should install HENkaku Ensō.

HENkaku Ensō will automatically install HENkaku on boot, making it the best solution to PS Vita homebrew right now.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Re-install Henkaku if you recently rebooted your PS Vita
    1. Open the Web Browser on your PS Vita
    2. Go to https://henkaku.xyz/go
  2. Open the Web Browser on your PS Vita and navigate to this page
  3. Click the following link to download HENkaku Ensō onto your Vita
  4. Open VitaShell and navigate to ux0:download
  5. Install enso.vpk
  6. Exit back to the home menu and open the Ensō application
  7. Press O to accept terms
  8. Press X to install Ensō
    • If it says os0 modifications detected, press X to install the 3.60 PUP

3. Installing Homebrew

Now we’ve got that out the way, we can start to download some homebrew applications to put on our Home Menu

  1. Open the Web Browser on your PS Vita and navigate to this page. Shortened URL: https://goo.gl/fTiUyN
  2. Download the latest release of VitaShell
  3. Download the latest release of Vita Homebrew Browser
  4. Open MolecularShell and navigate to ux0:download
  5. Install both of the homebrew applications you just downloaded
    • Make sure you still have unsafe homebrew enabled

You can now use VitaShell as your main file browser, and use Vita Homebrew Browser to download whatever homebrew you want.

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