PCSX2 XLink Kai Setup

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XLink Kai is a multi-platform and peer-to-peer LAN tunneling service which enables users to play local area network and ad-hoc multiplayer games on their consoles online with people all over the world. XLink Kai was first released in 2003, supporting the Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube at launch, with PSP, PS3, Xbox 360 and others support arriving soon after.

As of the DEV9 overhaul started by the PCSX2 team, the Playstation 2 emulator has added support for DHCP interception and bridged adapter support allowing for communication between the emulator, other PS2s on your network and the XLink Kai client!

Using PCSX2 and XLink Kai you can play supported PS2 games with players around the world regardless of what platform they're using.

XLink Kai Home Page - https://teamxlink.co.uk
XLink Kai Status Page - https://status.teamxlink.co.uk/
Popular on XLink Twitter Bot - https://twitter.com/PopularOnXLink
Team XLink Official Discord - https://discord.gg/UyyjNpa
Supported Games List - https://www.teamxlink.co.uk/supported-games

Getting started

To install, configure, and play PS2 games on PCSX2 and XLink Kai there are a few requirements:

Supported Games

There are 56 games with the system-link feature for the PS2. To see if the game you want to play is supported please check the supported games page. Be sure to check the game's compatibility with PCSX2's compatibility list

Creating an Account

To begin, you'll need to register for an XLink Kai account and download the program. Click on 'Get your XTag' on the XLink Kai home page and fill in your details, then click Register. You then need to verify your email address and consent to the XLink Kai data collection policy (GDPR compliance). Please be sure to read the Acceptable Use Policy.

Installing XLink Kai

Follow the installation guide for your Operating System:

(Linux guide coming soon!)

Installing and Configuring PCSX2

Note: These instructions are Windows specific but are applicable to macOS and Linux excluding the installation of NPCAP.

Let's get started!

  1. Download the latest nightly PCSX2 release from the PCSX2 Nightly Releases page
  2. Download the latest NPCAP release from https://nmap.org/npcap/ as of writing the latest version is npcap 1.60
  3. Install NPCAP and accept the default options. If you had previously installed WinPCAP as part of the XLink Kai installation NPCAP will replace WinPCAP. XLink Kai will function normally with either WinPCAP or NPCAP.
  4. Extract the PCSX2 7-zip file.
    PCSX2 Guide 1.png
  5. Follow the instructions in in the PCSX2 documentation to extract the BIOS from your PS2 console. Place that BIOS file in Documents/PCSX2/BIOS folder or place it in the folder of your choosing
    PCSX2 Guide 2.png
  6. Start PCSX2 and open System > Settings > BIOS If you get a code execution error you need to install the Visual C++ Redistributable from here
    PCSX2 Guide 3.png
  7. Select the BIOS you placed in the BIOS folder in step 4 then click Network & HDD and move on to the next step.
    PCSX2 Guide 4.png
  8. Select Ethernet Device Type and set it to PCAP Switched and select the appropriate ethernet device you want to use, then hit Close
    PCSX2 Guide 5 v3.png
  9. Click Add Game Directory..., then select the directory that you store your games, for this guide I will be using Star Wars Battlefront II
    PCSX2 Guide 6.png
    Note: The example below shows Star Wars Battlefront II to access the network menu. The official network disk will also work but the use of the menu to obtain the MAC Address is currently required, please reach out to the PCSX2 devs to perhaps have the MAC Address listed in the network menu!
  10. Open the Game or Network Disc of your choosing.
    PCSX2 Guide 7.png
  11. In the case of Battlefront 2 you can create profile and navigate to the network menu to get to the network disk settings, I will skip this part and go straight into the network menu
    PCSX2 Guide 8.png
  12. From here you click Add Setting and select the appropriate memory card slot of what card you want to use.
    PCSX2 Guide 9.png
  13. Now, move over right one menu and hit Triangle ButtonIcon-PS2-Triangle.png to move into the advanced settings menu.
    PCSX2 Guide 10.png
  14. Now we have finally obtained our PS2 mac address, using this we can proceed to visit the XLink Kai IP Calculator to obtain the information required to be input into the network menu. Input the last 4 characters of your MAC Address and press Calculate IP Address to obtain the information needed to move on to the next step
    PCSX2 Guide 11.png
  15. Now, close out of the menu that you are in on PCSX2 to go back to the Hardware Settings screen, move over right till you see the IP Address Setup screen and select Manual
    PCSX2 Guide 12.png
  16. Move over right one screen and enter the information you obtained in the IP Calculator in the IP Address Entry menu.
    PCSX2 Guide 13.png
  17. Move over one more screen and input the Primary DNS listed on the IP Calculator
    PCSX2 Guide 14.png
  18. Proceed to the Connection Test menu and let the test run, it will succeed. After this move over to the Name the Setting screen and input the name you desire, after this, move over one more screen and press X ButtonIcon-PS2-Cross.png.
    PCSX2 Guide 15.png
  19. Now, exit the network menu and reopen the game you wish to play!

You are now configured to play LAN capable PS2 games using PCSX2 on XLink Kai!

Playing a game on XLink Kai

  1. Start XLink and log in.
  2. Start PCSX2 and load a game with LAN support off of a DVD or other format, either is fine. This guide will use Star Wars Battlefront 2 as an example.
  3. Click Game Arenas at the top
    PCSX2 Kai 1.png
  4. Navigate to the Battlefront 2 arena using the directory on the left.
    PCSX2 Kai 2.png
  5. In Battlefront 2 press START ButtonIcon-PS2-Start.png.
    PCSX2 Kai 3.png
  6. Choose your player profile and Press X ButtonIcon-PS2-Cross.png.
    PCSX2 Kai 4.png
  7. Choose Multiplayer from the main menu and Press X ButtonIcon-PS2-Cross.png.
    PCSX2 Kai 5.png
  8. Choose LAN and Press X ButtonIcon-PS2-Cross.png.
    PCSX2 Kai 6.png
  9. You should now choose Join or Create, depending on what you want to do.
    PCSX2 Kai 7.png
    If you do not see or cannot join/host any matches make sure there are other players hosting/joining a match and check the metrics tab to confirm your PS2 console is detected.
    PCSX2 Kai 8.png
    If your PS2 is not listed check your PCSX2 network settings, make sure XLink Kai was run with administrator rights and that it was allowed in your computer's firewall (if applicable). If you still have trouble please seek help on our Discord chat
  10. Join a match and play! Happy gaming!

Finding players

If you are having trouble finding other players to game with please join our Discord chat and use the various game-specific channels. There are also several fan-run discords that host regular game nights.