Getting Started

Phantasy Star Online 2 can be installed via multiple methods, but for the sake of this guide, we'll only focus on 2 of them.

Various Methods of Installing PSO2

# Method Description
1 Via Torrent By installing a BitTorrent client and downloading the associated .torrent file in the BitTorrent client, you can download the setup files that are used to install the game.
2 Via the Tweaker By installing or downloading the PSO2 Tweaker, an 3rd party launcher that we've created, you can allow the Tweaker to download the game for you.
3 Via the Official Launcher Installing the game via the official launcher can be done as well. This guide however, will not cover on installing the game via the official stock launcher.
4 Copying the game from a friend By copying the game's installation folder from a friend (the folder in which PSO2 is installed) on to a large enough drive (at least 60GB or more), the game can be played without having to install the game. The drive must be formatted as either exFAT or NTFS, due to file size restrictions.

As stated before, this guide will only cover the Torrent and Tweaker methods of downloading & installing the game.


Torrent Method

First, if you haven't done so already, download the torrent for the setup installation files. You will need a torrent client to download the torrent. Popular clients include Deluge and qBittorrent.

For this guide, we'll be using Deluge.

Once you've installed a torrent client, you will then need to open the torrent inside of the torrent client itself. For Deluge, we can add the torrent by dragging and dropping the torrent into Deluge itself. For other clients, usually double-clicking the torrent file will do this, but if it does not, then you could click on File, then selecting "open/add torrent" in most torrent clients to do the same.

Opening the .torrent file inside of Deluge.
Clicking on add will start the download process.

Downloading the game

Upon opening and adding the torrent in your client, it will then begin the download process. Do note, that the speed of the torrent depends on your download speed to the server and how many seeders (people who are at- 100%).

Downloading PSO2!
Going, going, going!

Installing the Game

Once the torrent has reached 100%, it will start to seed. This means it is done and now helping others download. It is now time to open it and run the installer.

Downloading PSO2!
Torrent has finished downloading.

In Deluge, right-click the torrent named "PSO2_5.0001.0" and click on "Open Folder". Other clients can allow you to open the torrent's download location by double-clicking. Inside, you'll see a file named "PSO2E5JP_SETUPEN.exe" followed by a bunch of other files. You will want to open the exe file as administrator.

Folder

Upon running the installation setup, select your preferred language to run the setup on and click on "OK".

Folder
Folder

Click on "Next" on the next following setup buttons until you've reached where to install the game. Keep note of where you are installing PSO2, you will need it later.

Folder

Click on "Install" to begin the installation.

Folder

Once the installation has finished, uncheck the box here. And move on to the next step.

Folder

Downloading the game with the Tweaker

GUIDE COMING SOON!


Tweaker Setup

Now that you have downloaded and installed PSO2, this section of the guide will cover the various features of the PSO2 Tweaker as well as updating the game using the PSO2 Tweaker, provided by Arks-Layer.

Downloading the Tweaker

After PSO2 has been successfully installed, you will need to update the game by using the PSO2 Tweaker. Failure to do so will result in being unable to login and not being able to create your character.

First, we'll need to ensure that the requirements for the PSO2 Tweaker are met. You will need to have the .NET Framework 4.6.2 or later installed. You can download the version 4.6.2 installer here.

If you have already ensured that you have .NET Framework 4.6.2 or higher installed, you can now continue with the download of the PSO2 Tweaker. Click here to visit the Arks-Layer page and download the PSO2 Tweaker. Be sure that you've chosen the "Setup file" option and not the "EXE only" option.

choose
Download the Tweaker using this button!

Once installed, we will need to also set exceptions in our antivirus software. The reason for this is that most antivirus software use heuristics to identify possible unknown viruses, using certain patterns in behavior or how the program works. This means that the entire basis of how the Tweaker works gets it classified as a virus.

You may wonder, what does the Tweaker do to get it classified as a virus? Well, let's look over in what the Tweaker does in the first place. The Tweaker is an alternative launcher for the Japanese online RPG Phantasy Star Online 2. It is used to download updates and offers more features with optional patches to enhance the user experience. The Tweaker contacts the Arks-Layer server to request these patches and downloads them into your game's folder.

The Tweaker also allows you to download fan translation patches, which the Tweaker adds into the game itself. It's these things that virus heuristics wrongfully assume that the Tweaker is a virus.

You will also need to set exceptions for the game itself. PSO2 utilizes an anti-cheat software known as GameGuard, which utilizes rootkit behavior to scan your running processes and files. You cannot disable or limit GameGuard's access in any way or form, as PSO2 will close if it detects this.


Launching the Tweaker & Updating the game

Now, after setting exceptions in our antivirus software, open the Tweaker as administrator. You'll be greeted with a pop-up message similar to below, asking if you would like to open a guide on how to use the tweaker.

Tweaker Opened

Click on "No" and you'll see another message asking if you have installed PSO2 already. If you've been following this guide, click on "Yes" and you'll be asked to search for the location to where you installed PSO2, for a folder named "pso2_bin".

Tweaker Opened Tweaker Opened Tweaker Opened
Locate where you've installed PSO2 and select the pso2_bin folder. Then press OK.

After searching for the location where you installed PSO2 and selected the pso2_bin folder, you'll be greeted with the main Tweaker window. It should then start the automatic file checking service in which the Tweaker will analyze your install and check which are out-of-date, then generate a list of files that it will need to download and update.

Tweaker Opened
The main PSO2 Tweaker window.

Once it has finished file checking, it will then move on to the updater. The Tweaker will now download the files it needs to update your game. The speed of this is determined by your CPU speed.

Tweaker Opened
The VEDA System Updater, the Tweaker's updater for PSO2.

After you have successfully updated. The Tweaker will prompt you if you wish to install the English patch. Click yes to install it. If you click on no, but decide you want to install the English patch after all, you can click on the Gear Menu and click on "Install English Patch",

Tweaker Opened

Whether you have installed the English patch or not, you may now play the game as is by clicking on "Start PSO2". However, there are more features that the PSO2 Tweaker that you can enable and install. If you wish to configure your graphics settings, click here to jump to the Graphics Configuration section of this guide.


Tweaker Plugins & Features

The PSO2 Tweaker offers extra add-on plugins that enhance the overall gaming experience for PSO2. Things such as an Item Translator, or a built-in proxy for those who are affected by an IP block.

To access these plugins, click on the button labeled "Plugin Settings" on the tweaker.

Tweaker Opened
Click this button!

You will now be greeted by the Plugin Menu. A checked box means that the selected plugin has been enabled and an unchecked box means the plugin is disabled.

Tweaker Opened
The PSO2 Tweaker's Plugin Menu.

By default, the Block Translation, Item Translation, and Title Translations plugins are enabled. If you have installed the English patch when prompted, the Text Translation plugin will also be enabled.

Here is an overview of each plugin:

# Plugin Description
1 Block Translation Allows for the translation of the Block (lobby instance) names. SEGA has these handled server side, so this translates them for you.
2 Item Translation This plugin allows for the translation of the various in-game items you may encounter and use. The English patch only handles the in-game text, but the items aren't handled by the patch.
3 Telepipe Proxy This allows for users who are blocked by an IP Block, or other type of network interference (such as a country wide firewall or internet restriction). If no PSO2 Proxy URL is not configured, you will be routed to the Telepipe Proxy instead. More info on the Telepipe Proxy here.
4 Text Translation Dubbed the "Raiser" plugin by Arks-Layer, this plugin allows the fan translation patch to function. Disabling this plugin will make the game be in its default language of Japanese.
5 Title Translation Enables the use of translations for the various in-game overhead titles (achievements) you may randomly acquire through various tasks.
6 Reshade/SweetFX A graphic shader enhancement program. Not bundled with the Tweaker by default, however can be downloaded by clicking on the "Reshade/SweetFX plugin" button on the Tweaker's Plugin Menu.

After selecting which plugins you wish to be enabled, click on the "Save" button to save your settings and close the menu. Clicking on the Plugin Check button will check for updates on all plugins.


Graphics Configuration

To configure the graphic settings for PSO2, click on the button labelled "PSO2 Settings".

Tweaker Opened
The Graphics Settings menu.

Unlike other games, PSO2 has different preset graphics options that enable and disable certain settings. These settings do not allow you to customize them completely, except for the post-processing settings that you can enable from within the game itself.

Below are the following overview of the different settings that can be configured in the PSO2 Settings menu:

Video Settings
Play videos on lobby screens
Displays whether the in-game video ads in the lobbies play video or not.
Disable DirectX 9EX features
Uncheck to disable advanced DirectX 9 features.
Enable Coffee Brewing
See here for demonstration.
Game Resolution
Window Mode
Select whether you want Fullscreen, Virtual Fullscreen (Borderless Window), or Windowed mode.
Game Resolution
Select your preferred game resolution. Virtual Fullscreen ignores this and goes for the maximum supported resolution based on the primary screen set configured by Windows.
Max Framerate
Set your preferred max framerate as supported by your screen. You can even choose unlimited which functions the same as vsync disabled.
Text Size
This changes the scaling of the UI in-game. It's recommended that you don't touch this unless you have a smaller screen resolution lower than 1280x720. The higher the UI resolution, the smaller the UI will be. A custom setting can be selected if you manually edited the configuration file. (user.pso2)
Simple Render Setting
PSO2 uses different setting presets to display different graphic configurations. To play on low settings, with everything disabled, slide the slider down to 1. Maximum settings can be set by sliding the setting to 6, while medium settings can be achieved by selecting setting 3.
Shader Quality
Setting enables the quality of your shaders. Simple shaders disables all post processing effects, Standard is the default setting, while High Resolution displays all post processing effects. Standard and High Quality shaders also allow for them to be toggled on/off in-game. Simple disables this ability.
Texture Resolution
Selecting your texture quality determines how your in-game textures look. Compressed is good for very low end machines, Standard is the default, and High Resolution allows for a very near HD feel.
Audio Settings
BGM Volume
This slider lets you set the desired volume of the in-game music and concerts.
SE Volume
This slider lets you set the desired volume of the general sound effects.
Voice Volume
This slider lets you set the desired volume of the voices your character and other characters in-game.
Movie Volume
This slider lets you set the desired volume of the video ads in-game.

Once you have configured your desired settings, click on "Save Changes" to exit this menu.

Wrapping Up

Congratulations, you have successfully installed PSO2 and you are now ready to play the game. Check out our (Arks-Layer) Discord server located here. If this guide helped you, be sure to tell us!

If you encounter any issues, be sure to visit the Arks-Layer Discord Server located here: https://discord.gg/pso2 and join the channel #game-issues if you're having issues relating to GameGuard or weird in-game issues, or #tweaker-issues if you're having issues with the PSO2 Tweaker itself. Be patient however, everyone there is a volunteer and not paid or sponsored by SEGA in any way, shape or form.

If you encounter an issue (untranslated item/dialog box, possible weird translation) with the translation, also join the Discord and report said issue to the #translation-public channel.