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HENkaku and Adrenaline install

HENkaku and Adrenaline bring full system level control of the Vita to the users, finally the Vita has been mastered and can be picked up where Sony abandoned it. So with these hybrid exploits giving over a highly DIY CFW experience ☺.

Quick Vita overview

The first console I ever tinkered with 'properly' was my PSP, so when the Vita was announced with all the features everyone asked for from psp2 (nicer screen, second analogue, touch) I knew I had to have it. Sadly it kind of fell by the wayside, there was hardly any good games coming out and the homebrew scene across all platforms is nothing like it used to be with the current age of Smartphones.

Existing exploits for the Vita were always pspemulator based. The Vita can play most PSP and PS1 games, and uses the internal PSP emulator to do this. So most exploits targeted these emulated games, to force the emulator to emulate homebrew and piracy, although this was not native Vita homebrew and could not make use of the new hardware.

There has been great efforts for native homebrew in the past, with Rejuvenate and VitaSploit being the main contenders - but HENkaku was the one to finally bring native homebrew to the dirty unwashed masses.

So not long afterwards (like, really soon afterwards), TheFlow released 'Adrenaline', a CFW patch for the internal PSP emulator. So now the Vita not only has full native homebrew, but also advanced PSP homebrew.

So if you're on firmware version 3.60 and you'd like to have homebrew/piracy, you're in extreme luck.

I'll be writing these steps assuming some basic knowledge and access to a PS3/PSN on your Vita.

Installing HENkaku

HENkaku is so amazingly easy to install. If you're looking to get up and running with Vita homebrew simply load up your browser and navigate to go.henkaku.xyz - and you're done.

If you're looking to get a bit more complicated and get the experimental version of HENkaku (you need this for Adrenaline) then instead shoot over to beta.henkaku.xyz.

You'll have to re-run this web-exploit every time you cold-boot your Vita (not from sleep!). With either of these installations you'll notice you now have a 'molecularShell' bubble on your Vita homescreen, this is a modified version of VitaShell which should protect you from messing a lot of things up.

Prepping HENkaku for Adrenaline

First thing to do is to get a hold on what you have right now, which is a HENkaku enabled Vita, running an FTP server, package installer and file manager (molecularShell). So load up molecularShell and press Start, which should present you with the HENkaku settings screen.

The key setting here is 'Enable unsafe homebrew' which will allow us to continue installing Adrenaline, but I personally recommend turning on all the other options to make things a lot easier. A lot of people complain that the PSN/version spoofing doesn't work and is useless, but it still works great for things like Content Manager version checking, which we'll be needing unless you want to do the QCMA 'cold-swap' trick.

Once those settings are done, close and re-open molecularShell and you should be able to see the full ux0: directory listing now. Press select to start the FTP server.

Setting up for Adrenaline installation

First, on your PC you'll need to download the following files:

Afterwards load up an FTP client and open the Vita FTP server as displayed in molecularShell. Navigate to ux0:/pspemu, make a directory called adrenaline. Once that directory has been created, open it up and transfer both of the files you just downloaded into the adrenaline folder.

The transfer should be pretty quick, then you can close the FTP connection in molecularShell, and navigate to the adrenaline folder on the Vita itself. You should be able to see the firmware file and vpk, select the vpk and continue with installation - ignore the unsafe warning. Once the installation is complete, you can delete the vpk file (Triangle for the menu).

Obtaining and transferring a base game

Adrenaline needs an entry point to the psp emulator to run off of. The easiest way for this to happen is to piggyback off of a PSP game, some games work better than others and there's a few factors like game size which are considered. For my pick of base game, I settled on Alien Zombie Death which was only £0.99, a couple of MB in size and works with anything I've tried so far.

How you get it onto your Vita is up to you, but I'd say by far the easiest way is via a PS3.

First load up the PS store on the PS3 and then purchase and download your game of choice, the game should appear on the PS3 menu under the 'games' column. Then you'll want to plug your Vita into the PS3 Vita via USB and start Content Manager on the Vita.

I'll skip the details instructions for the Content Manager, but you'll want to select PS3>Vita transfer and select your base game from the PSP/Other section - the copy should only take a few seconds.

Once that's done, check the game shows up on the Vita homescreen and you can consider yourself done with the PS3.

Installing Adrenaline

Now comes the easy part. On your Vita you should have an icon for EasyAdrenalineInstaller, load that up and you'll have a nice simple UI with one easy instruction: Install Adrenaline. Click it.

The Vita should show you a list of games, if you have a lot of PSP games installed you'll need to google the displayed codes so you can tell which game is which. Select the base game ID and continue.

Now the installer will take over and start installing Adrenaline over this game, it takes less than a minute and will prompt for a reboot when done. Once you reboot you'll need to re-install HENkaku! No data is lost during this process :)

Running Adrenaline

You'll notice there's now an Adrenaline icon on the Vita homescreen, that's it! HENkaku and Adrenaline are both installed and working together. On first boot of Adrenaline you'll have to go through an initial setup process, once that's done you can go back and delete the 661.pbp from earlier, or forget about it like I did until right now :)