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:

Option 1: Setting a Custom DNS (5.05 & 6.72 Only)

This option redirects the PS4 User Guide to @_AlAzif’s exploit/payload menu. Alternatively, you can just go to https://cthugha.exploit.menu on your PS4.

  • On the PS4, go to Settings > Network > Setup internet.
  • Choose Wi-fi or ethernet, then Custom Setup.
  • Choose Automatic IP address settings & Do Not Specify DHCP Hostname.
  • For DNS settings, choose Manual and set the following:
    • Primary DNS: 165.227.83.145
    • Secondary DNS: 192.241.221.79
  • Complete connection test and go Settings > User’s Guide. It should instantly open the exploit page in your browser.

Option 2: Self-Hosting the Exploit (5.05 & 6.72 Only)

Like the above method, this allows you to view a custom menu with exploits and payloads from your PS4 browser. However, this one is loaded over your home network and requires you to have a PC hosting the exploit page.

  • Download the PS4 Exploit Host .exe for Windows here: (x64 for 64-bit systems / x86 for 32-bit )
  • Run ps4-exploit-host.exe and note the IP address it displays.
  • In the DNS Settings, like shown above, set your PC’s IP as the Primary and Secondary DNS.
  • Go to the web browser and type in your PC’s IP.

Using the 7.02 Exploit to run HEN (7.02 Only)

If you’re on firmware 7.02, you’d be able to dump your own USA/PAL copy of Persona 5 Royal (up to version 1.01, which we’ll be using for mods). There aren’t as many fancy menus and options for this firmware yet since the exploit is new, so try out one of the below webpages on your PS4. You have to send your own payloads (other than HEN) over netcat via your PC.

Running HEN (5.05 and 6.72)

Once in the browser, simply choose your firmware and then HEN to start the exploit. Wait for it to say Press Circle to exit and do so (if you wait too long the browser/PS4 may crash). You will then see a series of messages reassuring you that the exploit was successful.

If the exploit fails or the system becomes unresponsive or crashes, you will have to hold down the power button until it turns off and try again. This may take a couple tries since the exploit isn’t completely stable.
Each time this happens, there is a small chance the storage may be corrupted (if it’s being accessed mid-crash/power cycle), which will be checked automatically at boot. Worst case scenario, if this happens, you will have to reinstall everything on the PS4 so be sure to back up important stuff before modding!

At the time of writing, the 7.02 exploit only has a 10% success rate, so expect to do this song and dance frequently. 6.72 has a better success rate but still isn’t as stable as 5.05, which is why it’s best to stay on the lowest possible exploitable firmware if you can help it.

Blocking Updates

To remain on an exploitable firmware and continue modding, so you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid Sony’s automatic firmware updates. When using a custom DNS, it should block Sony’s servers (which will prevent you from using PSN, but also prevent updates). If you’re self-hosting, you’ll either have to have your PC running ps4-exploit-host.exe on the same network the entire time you use your PS4, or block updates via the router that the PS4 is connected to. Here is a list of URLs to block.

For extra safety, you can go to Settings System > Automatic Downloads and uncheck everything. This should help prevent the system from downloading anything without your consent, but it’s still best to block updates via your network to be extra sure.

Dumping the Game (5.05/6.72)

See here for details on dumping a game from 7.02.
The next step is how we’re going to get our decrypted game files onto PC for editing. Attach your USB storage device to any USB port on the PS4 and navigate to 5.05 or 6.72 > Dumper. Make sure nothing else is running first.

Back out of the browser once you get a welcome message from the dumper and start the game. Leave it running in the background until the PS4 automatically restarts. This will signal that the dump is complete. You can then remove the external drive, attach it to PC and transfer the files over from the newly created CUSA08644-app and CUSA08644-patch folders. There should also be an empty CUSA08644.complete file outside the folder to certify that it is a complete dump.

Game ID varies by region:

  • JAPAN: CUSA08644
  • US: CUSA17416
  • EUROPE: CUSA17419

If you have a fake PKG of version 1.01 on your PC, you may skip this step. Use the information in this thread to extract the CPK archives required in the next step from the PKG.

Extracting CPKs

Like most Persona games, the files are contained in CriWare CPK archives. You should have the following ones dumped after the previous step.

The app folder’s USRDIR subfolder:

  • dataR.cpk (cross-platform game data)
  • ps4R.cpk (ps4-specific game data)
  • ps4_movieR.cpk (prerendered/animated cutscenes)

playgoR.cpk is full of duplicate files (for digital installation purposes) and is pointless to keep or extract.

The patch folder’s USRDIR subfolder:

  • patch1R.cpk (update 1.01 English/non-language specific files)
  • patch1R_F.cpk (update 1.01 French files)
  • patch1R_G.cpk (update 1.01 German files)
  • patch1R_I.cpk (update 1.01 Italian files)
  • patch1R_S.cpk (update 1.01 Spanish files)

The 1.01 update is necessary for modding. You will need a copy of the patch1R.cpk later, plus the cpk for any language you intend on using!

You can use this tool to fully extract the files from a CPK. Other CPK tools will not completely extract the files, as this special fork can decompress files marked with the ENCRYPT attribute.

Installing Mods

Download the Mod Compendium (if you don’t know how to do that, see this guide).
It comes with a few sample mods. For more, see amicitia.github.io.

Mods placed in your ModCompendium\Persona5Royal folder will show up in the program when you pick Persona 5 Royal from the dropdown. Activate them by checking their box.

Setup Before Building Your Modded PKG

Click the Settings button.

  • Supply the path to the base game’s Fake PKG. This is usually a 35 GB PKG file. This is required to produce a working update PKG.
  • Don’t forget to set the region to either USA, EUR or JP.
  • Check the Enable Compression box! This should prevent crashing. Some users report better luck leaving it unchecked, though. This part might take some trial and error.

For the USA/EUR versions…

  • Replace the 0-byte placeholder CPKs in the ModCompendium\Dependencies\GenGP4\{TITLEID}-patch\USRDIR folder with the ones you dumped earlier. This will help prevent crashes while playing the game.
  • The USA version includes patches to skip intros and load files from a new mod.cpk archive instead of patch1R.cpk. That way, the contents of patch1R don’t get overwritten.

For the EUR/JP versions…

  • The JP version has an intro skip patch, but the EUR version does not. Both versions also do not support the mod.cpk, so in both of these cases, to prevent crashing you must include the contents of patch1R as a mod.

Hit Build to produce a new modded update PKG for your PS4. It will already be backported to work with 5.05 regardless of the base PKG you have installed.

Troubleshooting the Mod Compendium:

  • Sometimes, when building your update PKG, you might get an error saying the base game PKG cannot be found. This is usually because the app_path in the .gp4 file did not get updated in time. It may take a few tries. Use a small mod like the Mod Menu to ensure that it gets overwritten. Be sure not to accidentally type in any of the cmd windows that pop up, as this will halt the process. You may need to edit the gp4 file in ModCompendium\Dependencies\GenGP4 yourself if this doesn’t work.
  • Some users have reported the Mod Compendium hanging on the “building/compressing CPK…” message. No output is created other than a mod.csv file. In this case the replacement CPK never gets made due to the CRI Packed File Maker process throwing an error and failing. Install .NET Framework  3.5 Service Pack 1.
  • If the cmd window stops making progress at about 80% while creating the PKG, feel free to close it. This is the point where the new PKG’s integrity is being verified by comparing it to the massive base game PKG, which is why it takes so long. It’s usually not necessary, but if you wait long enough, it will eventually complete. Subsequent builds should take less time.
  • When starting a New Game in P5R, if the game crashes with Error Code CE-34878-0 you may find success including the contents of update 1.01 in your new CPK as a Mod in the Mod Compendium. If you’re using Spanish/German/Italian/French as your system language, also replace the corresponding empty CPK in Dependencies\GenGP4\CUSA17416-patch\USRDIR with the actual one dumped from update 1.01.

Sending the PKG to PS4

Although you can just install your update PKG the same way as the following homebrew, using it may make it more convenient for you to mod the game without constantly swapping your USB hard drive between the PC and PS4.

PS4 PKG Sender can send the newly created update PKG from your PC to the PS4, and automatically install it. Afterwards, simply run the game with HEN to see the results. Note that you must install node.js to use it.

Place remote_pkg_installer.pkg on the root of your USB device, connect it to PS4 and (after running HEN) navigate to Settings > Debug Settings > Package Installer and choose the PKG.

Run the homebrew after it shows up next to your games and apps. Make sure you’re connected to the same network (note your PS4’s IP address found in the Settings > Network > Connection Status menu).

Enter that IP in the program, drag your modded PKG into it and hit Send. It may take a couple tries, usually works best for me if I right click the PKG name and hit Send All.

In about no time flat, the update should install and you can go check out the results! If you have any issues with this process, don’t be afraid to drop a query in our Questions & Answers forum. Likewise, be sure to share any mods you create for P5R in our Mod Showcase section!

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