IMPORTANT: TheFlow has just tweeted out that downgrading with Modoru results in a softbrick! Refrain from downgrading for now! h-encore² also works on the just-released FW 3.72
When TheFlow released his Trinity Exploit for FW 3.69/3.70, he made it clear that it was probably going to be his last release for the PlayStation Vita. However, TheFlow seems to have a “Never Gonna Give You Up” policy when it comes to PSVita hacking and now, he’s released h-encore², a native hack supporting the previously-unhackable FW 3.71!
h-encore² – What is it and what should I know about it?
As its name suggests, h-encore² (squared presumably because it comes with the power of h-encore to the power of 2) is a native hack for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV consoles running firmware 3.65 to 3.71 meaning that the latest firmware for the PSVita is now natively hackable! By hacking your PSVita, you can run homebrew/plugins on it and make use of every other great feature that comes with HENkaku/taiHEN including easy save data backups, overclocking and more.
h-encore² uses Bitter Smile as it’s entry point so you don’t need to have a PSP game installed!
This is a summary of some important points regarding the hack:
Unlike the Trinity exploit chain, you don’t need a PSP game in order to run this hack since it exploits a native game!
If your PSVita is an OLED (Phat) model, you must have a Vita memory card in order to use the hack since it requires to install a game demo to run the exploit
PSVita Slim models and the PlayStation TV have 1GB internal storage and don’t require you to have a Vita memory card installed
The success rate of the exploit is around 25% which means that you may have to try running a few times before it works
While this isn’t a great success rate, it doesn’t really matter since you can always downgrade to FW 3.60/3.65 with modoru to get HENkaku Enso and not have to run an exploit yourself ever again
Like h-encore and Trinity, the hack needs to be reapplied every cold reboot if you’re running it on FW 3.67+ since these firmwares don’t support HENkaku Enso
Your PSVita needs to be linked to a PSN account (not activated) to make use of this exploit
As usual, some plugins/homebrew may not work on FW 3.71 since they might contain firmware-specific offsets
A pretty interesting piece of trivia is that h-encore² makes use of kernel vulnerabilities discovered by TheFlow more than a year ago and the base game is the same because Sony didn’t bother patching the Bitter Smile save data exploit!
The folks behind it are TheFlow (main developer) and Freakler (finding the crash in the demo and designing the h-encore² icon); other credits can be found in the GitHub link below.
How do I install it?
QCMA backup hacking is required for this one so if you want to take the lazy way out, wait a few hours for an update to an h-encore installer like auto-h-encore!
Like every other exploit since the original HENkaku for FW 3.60, h-encore² requires you to do some game backup hacking via QCMA so you should follow the guide below. As the process is pretty similar to that of installing h-encore, it’ll probably be only a matter of time a tool like auto-h-encore is released to make the process much quicker and mostly automated. If you simply can’t wait for a quick installer, you’ll need the following at your disposal in order to get it on your device:
A computer capable of running QCMA (i.e any computer running a still-supported version of Windows, macOS or Linux)
A PSVita running FW 3.65-3.71 linked to a PSN account
If your PSVita is running FW 3.60, use HENkaku and if it’s running FW 3.65-3.68, you should probably use regular h-encore as it has a better success rate
Around 30 minutes-1 hour of your time especially if you’ve never dabbled with PSVita hacking before
A Vita memory card if you have a Phat PSVita model as it has no user-accessible internal storage
The installation guide linked below
To grab h-encore² and break your PSVita/PSTV out of Sony’s jail, check out the link below and make sure you read the README as it contains the installation guide. You may also donate to TheFlow on Patreon (link below) or via PayPal/BitCoin (links in README).
In conclusion, I personally recommend downgrading to FW 3.60/3.65 using modoru so that you don’t have to reapply the hack every reboot and get the best possible homebrew compatibility on your device!
I'm a girl that's liked technology from day 1. Mostly interested in the PSVita/PSP scene but I've always modded my stuff when it's possible, that is :)Contact me via DM at @KawaiiAuroraA on Twitter if you have any questions/concerns about my articles or if you have any article requests.