|Note that, there are many scam sites that claim that custom firmware (CFW), downgrading, online jailbreaks, retail game unlockers, and online cheats are possible.|
Questions and Answers
What is Orbis?
- Orbis is PS4’s code name used internally by Sony when it was in development. Orbis is also the name of the native operating system of the PlayStation 4, a fork of FreeBSD version 9.0, released on January 12, 2012.
What is jailbreaking?
- Jailbreaking is, on a basic level, a term used when the console gets exploited to unlock various levels of the firmware that allows the access to many features previously accessible on a DevKit/TestKit (used by game developers and testers) to a consumer or to add additional functionality.
What can I do with a jailbroken PS4?
- After a successful jailbreak, you can:
- Install and play your game backups/disc games without needing a disc/license/PSN account.
- Access media apps such as YouTube, Netflix without the need of a PSN account.
- Access various homebrew and other fan-made tweaks to your favorite games such as useful applications, fan translations, undubs, emulators, 60FPS patches, etc.
- Make and install custom UI tweaks such as custom dynamic or static themes, removing and hiding useless apps from the homescreen, changing system sounds, etc.
- Access and install a fully featured OS like Linux to completely turn your PS4 into a PC.
What can’t I do with a jailbroken PS4?
- While the advantages are plenty, you will lose some functionality such as:
- Online play on most games. You can play online on some games by using custom servers, but that is more a bonus than something you should expect.
- All PSN features such as messaging, online trophy syncing, various PS Plus features such as online save data upload and other features that are dependent on PSN such as Spotify.
- Depending on the release date of the jailbreak, firmware and games, some newer games will not be available. Some games can be backported to work on older firmwares, but with mixed results.
- Jailbreaking, regardless of firmware version, is NOT permanent/persistent after reboot or shutdown. Do not compare it to PS3 or Vita, a CFW is impossible on PS4 currently.
How can I downgrade, if I’m not on a exploitable PS4?
- Downgrading is NOT possible with just firmware installs on normal PS4’s, only on TestKits and DevKits.
- There is a way to revert to a previous firmware ONLY IF the user has made backups of the sflash, syscon, and HDD and requires soldering skill.
- Why? Can’t I just swap HDDs, or put a lower firmware on USB and install it via Safe Mode?
- NO. The firmware is not just stored on the internal HDD. Part of the firmware is stored in a read-only encrypted soldered chip on the PS4’s motherboard that also keeps track on the installed firmware and restricts the install of a lower firmware. The reason, is to ensure the user stays on latest firmware and it also makes the firmware experience faster and easier than normal.
Why are newer games not available on latest jailbroken firmwares?
- Game backups can be made by either dumping or by knowing a unique, very hard to guess, decryption key. Most backups are made by dumping.
- Sony implemented a minimum firmware for both games and updates to games, forcing the user to update to launch the content. To dump a game, the user must have the game running, thus why a dump is not possible.
- As for the decryption keys, you will rarely see game backups being made from this method. This method might be better for updates, on which, a fpkg version of the update can be made with the decryption key, as some games will have the same key for both main game and updates.
What is the status of a PS4 jailbreak?
- 1.76, 4.05, 4.55, 5.05/5.07, 6.72, 7.02, 7.55, and 9.00 have been fully exploited and implemented. Exploits on some of these firmwares have been ported to “fill in” the gaps in releases. Most, if not all, firmwares between 4.05 and 9.00 can currently be jailbroken, the ones listed here are the “major” releases.
Are developers afraid of lawsuits like ones seen in the PS3 scene?
- Starting with the PS4, Sony officially began a bug bounty program on HackerOne for any security researcher to submit exploits to PS4, PS5, PSN, and other related services directly. As a result, exploit developers will be compensated and can request disclosure, making exploit finding and releasing legal and encouraged. Likely, we will not see a lawsuit like what had happened with GeoHot and Graf_Chokolo.
When was the first time the PS4 was jailbroken?
- On December 6th, 2015, a user by the name of CTurt published information about an exploit in the 1.76 firmware kernel that allows users to break out of the FreeBSD jail that the PS4 uses to contain processes. By the end of the month, the group Fail0verflow demonstrated that they could execute code by successfully running a modified version of Linux on the system. We have since seen several full exploit releases on higher firmwares.
How do I know if a console has an jailbroken/exploitable firmware version?
- Starting with January 2021, any brand new PS4 Pro and OG PS4 (fat) console are guaranteed to be on 8.03 or lower. PS4 Slims, while they are technically still being made by Sony, have a 60/40 chance to be on 8.50 or lower.
Q. How do I jailbreak my system?
- Refer to this guide by florinsdistortedvision or this guide by KiiWii.
Can I install Custom Firmware (CFW) on my console?
- It is extremely unlikely that CFW will make an appearance on PS4 in the same way it existed on PS3. As in the past with other devices, the keys which allowed creation of CFW were either leaked (Nintendo) or improperly generated (PS3/PSP).
I'm good at programming, how can I contribute?
- If you do have the technical knowledge and a exploitable PS4, check out this page and this page to learn how to use the exploits to gain kernel-level access, then search for new ones in more recent firmware. You can find more scene-related help on the PS4 Developers Wiki. If you are looking to contribute by making homebrew, check out the open orbis project on github. You can also watch this video series which helps explain how to use open orbis.
From a programming perspective, what is required to gain full system access?
- In simple terms, you need an exploit in userland (where an application or game can execute code) and an exploit in the kernel (the core of the customized FreeBSD operating system). Userland exploits so far have all been using the PS4 web browser (WebKit), though userland could be exploited through other system apps such as a photo viewer, video viewer, or game save. Kernel exploits rely on finding a vulnerability in the operating system functions, called Syscalls, in order to allow you to execute code on the operating system level.
What is the difference between Mira and HEN (GoldHEN)?
- Mira and HEN/GoldHEN are both payloads that share the same main purpose. They modify the firmware of a ps4 to give the user more control over their console. Namely, they give the user access to debug settings, allow game backups to played, and allow homebrew to run. Since the release of GoldHEN, general users should be using GoldHEN, while homebrew devs might need to use Mira.
- GoldHEN does this main task with a handful of other features. It is more lightweight than Mira and is therefore more stable on firmwares above 6.72. You can see its list of features here
Can I spoof my firmware version in order to play online with a lower firmware?
- You can not access the PlayStation Network without being on the current firmware. You can use Linux and access Steam, that may be some consolation. In the past, PSproxy has allowed you to do this.
Is [insert game title] playable on [insert your firmware] firmware?
Can I play games that require a higher firmware version than what I have?
- Yes, you can for instance play backups made on a 6.72 exploited system on a 5.05 by applying specific patches to the pkg files. See this list made by kiwi/defaultdnb to check what minimum firmware requirement a game needs. For updates, see OrbisPatches to check what minimum firmware requirement a game update needs.
Is it worth it to stay on a lower firmware?
- If you are on a non-exploited firmware and some day want to be able to run homebrew, it is recommended to stay on the lowest version possible. If you have the money to spare to buy a second console, that would be an option. If you are on an exploitable firmware it is best to stay on the lowest major release with some exceptions (the stable recommended firmwares are 5.05, 6.72 and 9.00). The higher you go, the harder it is to get the exploits to work. Do note, jailbreaks can be updated in the future.
How do I update to a newer version?
- Download the relevant update file here or here, copy it to a USB drive, then update your console with the downloaded .pup. For further instructions, see here.
Can I downgrade my console?
- Yes. Only under specific circumstances though. This method is commonly called a “firmware revert”. You can find information about that from this thread and this tweet. The main points are that you need to have backed up some data from your PS4 before you updated to whatever firmware you are on right now. Also this method requires some soldering skills and some extra equipment at the very least. A full explanation is a little beyond this FAQ.
How do I disable automatic updates?
- Disabling Updates: You can disable automatic updates by navigating to Settings → System → Automatic Downloads and Uploads, and uncheck “System Software Update Files” and “Install Automatically”. It may also be a good idea to turn off Internet connection while in stand-by mode under Settings → Power Save Settings → Set Functions Available in Rest Mode and uncheck “Stay Connected to the Internet”; or just disable the Internet altogether.
What other websites can I visit for PS4 information or resources?
- Here are some sites:
|Custom Firmware (CFW)||Firmware modified to add in extra features not present in original firmware (OFW).|
|Original Firmware (OFW)||Stock firmware released by Sony.|
|Kernel||The core of the operating system. Obtaining kernel-level code execution allows for great freedom and ability to run homebrew.|
|PKG||An installation “package” file that can be run from the XMB to install software on the PS4.|
|GP4||A file that is a blueprint to generate PKGs.|
|Signing||The process of setting a PKG file such that it appears to the PS4 as a normal, officially allowed package. All PSN games, updates, etc. are signed, and must be so for the PS4 to allow them to install.|
|Internet Relay Chat (IRC)||A popular form of real-time Internet text messaging (chat) or synchronous conferencing. It is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums, called channels, but also allows one-to-one communication via private message as well as chat and data transfer (including file sharing).|
|Peek / Poke||Peek is the generic term for a system call that lets you read a memory address. Poke is the the term for a syscall that lets you write to any memory address. They are required for backup managers to work properly. A userspace application can use these syscalls to dump out the entire memory space of the kernel, or patch the kernel as it is running.|
|SEN / PSN||Sony Entertainment Network, also known as the PlayStation Network (PSN) is the online PlayStation service.|
|Syscall||An operating system function. There is a limited number of these which can be called from an application or game.|
|Userland||The security level at which games and applications run to prevent major system modification.|
|XMB||Xross Media Bar - Graphical Interface User designed as a cross. Used on the OS on PSX, PSP, and PS3 and other Sony Products.|