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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: 13.01.2020

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 or 0syscall6

Conclusion
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 3.71-3.73 H-ENCORE²
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 3
Allow playing games requiring (up to) 3.73 4 4
Can reinstall firmware and hack
TLS 1.2 Support 5 5
Support (NoNpDrm or NoThemeDrm) Retail Themes
Support Custom Themes
Can play all PSP/PSX Games6
Can play NoPsmDrm Games
Can Play Vita-only titles on PSTV8
Support decrypted contents in /patch/ 9 9 9
Support custom epilepsy warning on boot 10 10
Support custom boot splash11
Support using decrypted OS modules
Support Chovy PSPemu Hack12
Support FW Downgrade13 14

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 hackable FW already, memory card is used at least once in order to install hack, then create internal ux0 with IMCUnlockLite

4Using Compability Packs or reF00D or 0syscall6.
5Using iTLS-Enso.
6Using Adrenaline
8Using DolcePolce
9Using RePatch through /RePatch/ directory. Note: 3.60 supports it natively in /patch/ directory, although for consistency sake, rePatch usage is recommended.
10Using CustomWarning
11Using Custom Boot Splash
12Using Chovy-Sign
13Using Modoru(Applies to 3.61-3.70)
14Using Forked Modoru(Applies to 3.71-3.73)

Conclusion
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 upgrading or downgrading to 3.60 ENSO or 3.65 ENSO for permanent hack on boot, most features you can use and having FW that are supported by most if not all scene devs. IF YOU ARE ON 3.71-3.73, USE FORKED MODORU. IF YOU ATTEMPT TO DOWNGRADE FROM 3.71-3.73 USING ORIGINAL MODORU IT SOFTBRICKS THE CONSOLE!

@Electric1447

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Electric1447 commented Mar 29, 2020

split 3.67-3.70 to 3.67-3.68 & 3.69-3.70 as they use different hacks and homebrew compatibity on 3.69+ is not really good.
I'll fork this file and make the changes feel free to merge/pull.

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