vHBL Guide: Working homebrew on your 3.69 or 3.70 Vita!
Tue Dec 18, 2018

Despite the fact there is no released expolit for them, you can still install some homebrew on Vita firmwares 3.69 and 3.70. In this guide, I will show you how to do that, as I could not find a single good tutorial online about this, despite vHBL itself being old news at this point. This will be a pretty long guide and mostly text-only.

NOTE: vHBL will allow you to install ONLY PSP homebrew. It will not allow you to install Vita-native homebrew, nor run "Backup" games, however there is still a large library of homebrew and emulators available that will run with it.

Prerequisites

Getting an exploitable PSP game

If you already have any PSP titles on your Vita, skip this step.

In order to install vHBL, you will need any PSP game or demo to exploit. If you don't already have one, you can either buy a cheap PSP game from PSN, or download a free PSP demo which will work just as well although requires a PS3. I used the LocoRoco Midnight Carnival demo.

To download PSP demos, you will need access to a PS3. Use the PS3 store to download a copy of the demo, and then transfer it to the Vita through the content manager. I don't own a PS3, so I used a borrowed PS3 to download the demo)

Setup

To create the vHBL bubble you need to backup the PSP game or demo to your PC.

Open the content manager on the Vita, and connect to QCMA like you normally would. Select to transfer from the Vita to your PC, and transfer the PSP game or demo you got earlier. You now have to create the bubble.

Creating a vHBL bubble

  1. Find your account AID. This is found as a folder name in [Backup Location]/PGAME/<AID>.
  2. Get your package decryption key. This can be found by putting your AID into this site.
  3. Download PSVimgtools and the VHBL Bubble Data.
  4. Extract the VHBL archive, and copy the VHBL01234 directory to [Backup Location]/PSAVEDATA/<AID>/.
  5. Copy the game folder from the backed up PSP game (which should be [Backup Location]/PGAME/<AID>/<GameID>/game) into the psvimgtools folder.
  6. Extract the image with psvimg-extract -K <Your Key> game/game.psvimg data. Both the input and output directories can NOT have spaces in the path!
  7. Replace the PBOOT file (which should be in data/ux0_xxxx/PBOOT.PBP) with the one from the VHBL archive.
  8. Re-create the image with psvimg-create -n game -K <Your Key> data new.
  9. Copy the game.psvimg and game.psvmd files from the new directory back into where you got the original image from.
  10. You now have a working vHBL bubble! Transfer it back to your Vita and start installing some homebrews.

Packaging and transferring homebrew

Now you have vHBL installed, but it's useless. You need some homebrew to run. There are sites offering pre-packaged homebrew intended to run with vHBL, but in this guide I'm going to show you how to package your own.

  1. Get some PSP homebrew. There's lots out there. Any homebrew that is compatible with HBL is compatible with vHBL.
  2. Make sure that EBOOT.PBP file is directly below the homebrew app's folder, like DOOM/EBOOT.PBP.
  3. Zip the folder using the "store" compression method. (not the contents of it, the folder must be in the zip). Make sure that you use the "store" compression method! If you don't it WILL NOT work!
  4. Rename the output zip file to INSTALL.ZIP, and move it to a new folder in the [Backup Location]/PSAVEDATA/<AID>/ folder. I like to name these folders after the homebrew but it doesn't matter.
  5. Refresh the QCMA database, and open content manager on the Vita. Choose to transfer from the PC to the device, and transfer the homebrew, which should appear as a PSP game save data.

Installing homebrew

  1. Open your vHBL bubble, and you will see the wMenu. There are alternative menus, but I'm not going to get into installing those in this guide.
  2. press the L button, and select the homebrew you have transferred that you wish to install.
  3. Wait for the installation to finish.
  4. Now when you restart vHBL, that homebrew will be available to run!

Uninstalling homebrew

To uninstall homebrew you just delete it from the vHBL directory. This can be done using the PSP Filer program, or something similar. Some custom menus have this feature, but that is beyond the scope of this guide.

Final notes

I hope this guide was informative. Leave a comment if you have any corrections to make.



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