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Ultimate Vita Comparison (Firmwares & Rips vs Dumps)

Due to so many misinformation, false claims and confusion that goes around the web I've decided to make this quick comparison of all most known backup enabling tools, hackable vita firmwares and which one you should be using and why.
Date of last update: 05.05.2019

NoNpDRM Rips vs Dumps

NoNpDRM Rips Vitamin / MaiDumpTool Dumps
All original files untouched
Support Retail DLCs
Support Ripped (NoNpDRM) DLCs
Support Dumped (Vitamin/Mai) DLCs 1
Can be updated from pkg or livearea
Does not have saving issues
Does not introduce game breaking bugs
Support console suspending
Support Game and DLC Modding 2
Support Eboot Modding 3
Can be Dumped/Ripped on All Hackable Firmwares
Can be converted from Rip to Dump or Dump to rip
Are supported by NPS, developers and the community
Support custom manuals and changelogs 4
Can be be played on FW lower than required one 5

1 2 4Using RePatch
3Using RePatch+FAGDec
5Using Compability Packs or reF00D

STOP using Dumped Games and tools for dumping all together. Those tools are obsolete and broken to their cores, due to the way how they work. Eboot and Modules are altered in order to keep everything together, which introduces a handful of bugs. For best Vita Experience use NoNpDRM rips.

Firmware comparison

3.55/3.57 MEMEKAKU 3.60 ENSO 3.65 ENSO 3.67-3.70 H-ENCORE/TRINITY
Permament Hack on boot
Allow Homebrew and Plugins
Can use SD2vita/PSVSD/USB drive as main storage
Have PSN Access
Activate Console & Allow PSS Downloads 1
Doesn't require memory card on FAT console 2 3 3
Allow playing games requiring (up to) 3.68 4 4
Can reinstall firmware and hack
TLS 1.2 Support 5 5
Support (NoNpDrm or NoThemeDrm) Retail Themes
Support Custom Themes
Can play PSP/PSX Games6
Can play NoPsmDrm Games 7
Can Play Vita-only titles on PSTV8
Support decrypted contents in /patch/ 9 9
Support custom epilepsy warning on boot 10 10
Support custom boot splash11
Support using decrypted OS modules

1This is recent change. No one can tell why SONY allowed 3.60 hacked consoles to use activation servers again. Use with caution on 3.60.
2Using MLTHaKu
3Only if:

  • Used MLTHaKu on 3.60 -> IMCUnlockLite to create internal ux0 -> 3.65 OFW Update(+h-encore +3.65 enso installer) OR 3.68 OFW Update(+h-encore)
  • While being on 3.65/3.68 already, memory card is used at least once in order to install hack, then create internal ux0 with IMCUnlockLite

4Using Compability Packs or reF00D
5Using iTLS-Enso, web browser ONLY.
6Using Adrenaline
7Only on original ux0 (memory card or internal)
8Using AntiBlacklist/Whitelist
9Using RePatch through /RePatch/ directory
10Using CustomWarning
11Using Custom Boot Splash

Your best option are ENSO firmwares, but depending what FW you had factory installed you might be limited to 3.68 h-encore only.
Personally, I do suggest 3.65 ENSO if possible.

Vita Downgrader has been released! Now, if you have hackable 3.67-3.70 vita, you can use Modoru to downgrade your vita back to supported ENSO firmware like 3.60 or 3.65 (as long as your Factory FW is at 3.65/3.60 or lower.)

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