Modding Persona 5 Royal on PS4 FW 5.05, 6.72 & 7.02

Foreward: I would like to extend a massive thank you to Pan-hime (@regularpanties on Twitter) for graciously providing me with a firmware 6.72 PS4 so that I can test and verify the following procedures myself, in addition to modding this game. Thanks to her, there is now a Persona 5 Royal section on the site, as well as P5R support for the Mod Compendium & In-Game Mod Menu.
Thank you to lipsum as well for the patches used for mod.cpk support, intro skip and more.

UPDATE 12/20/2020: Added info about modding P5R JP and USA, as well as firmwares 5.05 and 7.02 thanks to a recent exploit.
UPDATE 1/11/20201: Elaborated on CPK steps, updates regarding EUR support.

Prerequisites

To get started, the following are required.

  • A Playstation 4 on firmware 5.05, 6.72 or 7.02.
    This is currently the only platform you can mod P5R on.
    To upgrade from a lower firmware, see this guide.
    Try to stay on the lowest possible exploitable firmware (i.e. 5.05 or 6.72) for the best experience. Unfortunately, downgrading is impossible.
  • An FPKG (Fake PKG) of Persona 5 Royal. Sorry, you’ll have to find this yourself.
    This is required to install the game to dump files from and to create custom updates.
  • If you’re on 5.05, you’ll have to find a “backported” PKG. Sometimes this is in the form of a modded update that patches the game to run on a lower firmware. The update generated by the Mod Compendium backports the game to 5.05 by default.
  • A Windows PC. This is for running the software to mod/extract the game’s files and to produce an update PKG.
  • An External USB Flash Storage Device. This could be a hard drive, flash drive etc. for storing and transferring dumped data from PS4.
  • Mod Compendium version 1.6.1. With this program you can easily manage mods and build new PKG files to send to the PS4.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework  3.5 Service Pack 1.  This might be required to build the PKG file for some.

Hacking the PS4

To run fake packages, you need to be running HEN, which is a “homebrew enabler” that allows unsigned code to boot on the PS4. You can think of it like Henkaku on the Vita. This relies on a webkit exploit (a bug in the PS4’s browser) which has been patched after 7.02. Since 7.02, 6.72 and 5.05 also have kernel exploits, the web exploit can escalate user permissions– allows you to use homebrew apps that can decrypt and play unsigned copies of games, including fake update patches, which is what we will use to mod the game.

There are a couple ways of exploiting the firmware– set a custom DNS to point your internet traffic to the exploit page, or host it yourself over the local network. Either one is very easy:

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Modding Using HostFS on PCSX2 (P3/P4/SMT3)

In our previous guide on modding Persona 3 and 4 (PS2), it was mentioned you’d need to use paid software UltraISO to repack your modified files into a new, bootable ISO. Thanks to new patches by TGE, repacking ISOs– and even CVMs– is finally a thing of the past.

While this method should work on any device or emulator that runs PS2 games (as long as there’s hostFS support and a way to boot from an ELF), this guide will only focus on PCSX2.

The only prerequisites are:

This method does not require you to modify your ISO at all! Instead, we’ll be using a code patch that makes the game load files over the local network (your computer’s filesystem) rather than the archives in the ISO. This method is 100% free, and results are pretty much instant every time you change a file, even while the game is running. So it has several advantages over the old method, which could take around 10 minutes each time, even with optimal hardware.

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Loading Modded files in Persona 3/4 (PS2)

Note: If you’re using PCSX2, there is a brand new method that does not require UltraISO, CVM/ISO repacking or even executable patching. Click here for more info.

Due to their development cycle, Persona 3 and 4 share many similarities under the hood. The same graphics engine, file formats, and nearly the same directory layout. Most of what can be said for modding one can also be said for the other.

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Loading GMD Models and Animations in 3DSMax

Atlus’s new in-house graphics engine (used in Persona 5 and the Dancing games) has a new model format: GMD (sometimes called GFS). It’s used for everything from character models to objects to fields. They go right along with the new GAP animation format.

While TGE’s GFDStudio application for Windows can preview models and animations, you may want to export them to another program for rendering or editing. The current best method is to use the GMD Maxscript available here.

Prerequisites

  • An unencrypted dump of the game’s files
  • 3DSMax

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Adding Randomized Battle Tracks to Persona 5 (PS3)

If you haven’t yet familiarized yourself with modding Persona 5, check out this guide first! This is a more advanced follow-up to the EBOOT patching and BGM editing guides, so read those first as well.

Copying and Renaming ACB/AWB


You may have noticed that the DLC tracks that play when the protagonist is wearing a DLC outfit are not in bgm.awb, but each have their own ACB/AWB pair. Each includes 2 ADX tracks, a battle theme and a victory theme. Maybe you also noticed that patch.yml has a Randomized Battle music patch, which shuffles all of the DLC tracks (in addition to the main battle theme) and randomly picks one at the start of each encounter.
You can customize this even further by adding your own music tracks to the game, following the same format as the DLC tracks.

You can theoretically add an infinite number of custom tracks by copying, renaming and editing the contents of each ACB/AWB pair.

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