PSA: Do not update AetherSX2 to latest version on Google Play Store, here's what you should know

AetherSX2 is a PlayStation 2 emulator for Windows and Linux operating systems. It is an open-source emulator that allows users to play PlayStation 2 games on their computers.

It is built on the same codebase as PCSX2, but it includes several improvements and optimizations that allow it to run more efficiently and accurately.

The project has been popular among the emulation community but was recently dropped by the dev after continuous harassment and development was indefinitely suspended.


AetherSX2 update issues

Now, AetherSX2 users noticed that the app has a new developer and got an update however, everything has gone downhill ever since (1,2,3,4,5).

Aethersx2 ads issue
Source (Click/tap to view)

It seems that the newly hired developer is highly motivated to generate revenue from the platform, evidenced by their immediate decision to incorporate ads into the previously ad-free application.

As a result, this move has been met with significant backlash and criticism from the community.

Although some members may not be entirely opposed to the idea of ads, they would prefer them to be limited to basic ads within the menu, rather than intrusive interruptions during gameplay.

Moreover, there are growing concerns regarding performance issues and even malware resulting from these new ads.

Contains Ads Nope, yada, nein Why? Just why?

Honestly I’m fine with ads but making performance isn’t a professional thing it’s just shows your ego Thalereth

It’s no wonder that many people are voicing their disapproval and skepticism regarding this significant change to the platform.

Allegedly, the former dev is intentionally damaging the application due to resentment. This has resulted in the app displaying advertisements and performing worse than before:

Hey all. It seems Tahlreth (former AetherSX2 dev) has sabotaged AetherSX2 on the Play Store. The app now includes ads and also seems to run worse. So I’d suggest not updating the app or installing an apk we have hosted here of an older version.

To suppress the users’ voices, the new devs turned off the ability to review the app:

Aethersx2 reviews turned off
Source (Click/tap to view)

However, there could be a respite in the future for AetherSX2 users as other developers are starting to reverse-engineer the application.

How to backup the ad-free version of AetherSX2

You can backup the apk of the AetherSX2 ad-free version by following these steps:

1. First: disable auto update for the app in the Play Store (app page, 3 dots, uncheck auto-updates).
2. Enable developer mode in your device: clicl 5x “Settings – About device – Build number” and enable “USB debugging” in “System – Advanced – Developer options”.

3. ADB commands (randomstring* are examples):
$ adb shell pm list packages | grep aethersx2
== > AetherSX2
$ adb shell pm path
==> package:/data/app/~~randomstring1==/
==> package:/data/app/~~arandomstring1==/
$ adb pull /data/app/~~randomstring1==/
$ adb pull /data/app/~~arandomstring1==/
4. Reinstall later if needed with “adb install-multiple”

Also, if you have accidentally updated the app, here’s a way to download the old versions of AetherSX2.

That said, we’ll keep tabs on further developments and update this article as and when something noteworthy comes up.

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated Spotify section so be sure to follow them as well.

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Karanjot Sidhu

A computer science engineer who loves tech and won't stop talking about it. Apart from being a nerd, i love gaming and watching movies in my free time.