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Vita Dumper Comparison
psvgamesd NoNpDrm Vitamin/MaiDumpTool
Dumps physical games
Dumps digital games, DLC, and updates
Compatible with legit DLC & updates
Saves usable on non-hacked Vitas
All original data untouched ❌❌
No problems saving after suspend ❌❌
Format can be converted to work with other tools
Installs physical games as bubbles
Dumps games requiring > 3.60
Works on firmware > 3.60
Plays games requiring > 3.60

Key points:

  • STOP using Vitamin/MaiDumpTool. Those tools were hacked together before taiHEN was ready and therefore depends on hacks around the fact that there was no kernel access. Game executable metadata was not preserved and creates lots of compatibility issues including corrupting saves while in suspend mode.
  • psvgamesd creates .psv files which will be the standard archival format for Vita games (like .iso or .nds but for Vita). These files are not trimmed or compressed and therefore will take a lot of storage to save. Until trimming/compression features are implemented, a way to use the best of both psvgamesd and NoNpDrm is to save your raw dumps on your computer (for backup) and when needed (like if you lose access to your cart), you can use psvgamesd to mount the image once, then use NoNpDrm to "install" it as a bubble (saving space) and finally delete the original .psv from your Vita.
  • psvgamesd allows you to backup your 3.61+ games for use if/once later firmware are hacked.
  • psvgamesd currently does not support backing up digital games but the .psv format will eventually be used to archive digital games as well. More information on the format is here.
  • When a .psv is mounted with psvgamesd, you can run any other tool (including NoNpDrm and Vitamin) on it, so until existing workflow (such as game translation) is upgraded to not depend on legacy dumps, it is always possible to go from .psv to any other format but not the other way around! You must dump the original cart to create a .psv!

Legal Disclaimer: I helped author the .psv format to help standardize the format for backup and archival but I do not endorse any method to circumvent DRM. This guide is provided for informative purposes only and does not serve to aid any party in circumventing DRM. I have not worked directly or indirectly on any DRM circumvention features.

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RaulDJ commented Sep 18, 2017

Thing is, neither psvgamesd nor NoNpDrm can decrypt the game files, right? So, at least for the moment, the only way to get decrypted and therefore moddable games is Vitamin or MaiDumpTool, is this correct?

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@RaulDJ Actually no, fan translations and undubs are possible through a loophole.

You can create a custom patch with the modded files and have the game run as normal, a more ideal scenario is having a tool like UMDGen but for .psv allowing modification of files in the .psv itself rather than a method taking up more space.

As it currently stands .psv is still the ideal format to use when archiving.

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RaulDJ commented Sep 19, 2017

@AlternativeZero Yeah sorry, I forgot that possibility. In my case I need to have my game updated so the only way I can mod it is to decrypt the patch and then modify it with my own files.

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@RaulDJ Unfortunately, games with a per-existing update need a bit of work to mod it, it's still feasible but it does make it a bit cumbersome.

Sadly there isn't a way to encrypt the files because that would make things much easier but it's early days of psvgamesd and NoNpDrm and I think given time some tools will be made to make this easier.

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RaulDJ commented Sep 19, 2017

@AlternativeZero Well, if it's a better solution to MaiDump, which I currently use, and the procedure is explained somewhere, I wouldn't mind spending some time doing it. I understand though that those decrypted files would need to be encrypted again in order to open them using psvgamesd or NoNpDrm, so there's still no real solution to this or is it?

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@RaulDJ I think it depends on the game, testing still needs to be done but so far several games have had undub and english patches made and they work fine with a combination of encrypted and decrypted files.

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RaulDJ commented Sep 20, 2017

@AlternativeZero Yes, I've seen people doing that and I could do it myself, but they "just" decrypt everything on the update except the patched eboot.bin, so as executable file they're using the included one that is in the game card itself. If you mix encrypted and decrypted files in the patch folder, decrypted ones are ignored by the game.
If I could decrypt the updated .bin file too I wouldn't have to use Maidump.

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The comments are from back in 2017, and the article seems to be from that time too.

What's the updates like, what is the current state?

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