How to “downgrade” a PS4: full tutorial by Modded Warfare
Scene youtuber Modded Warfare has published an impressive tutorial video where he details a full “downgrade”* of his PS4. In the video, MW goes from 6.72 to 10.01, then downgrades back from 10.01 to 6.72.
PS4 Downgrade. Important notes and disclaimer (seriously, read this first!)
Now, to be extremely clear: this is nothing new or groundbreaking at this point, and a key point is that you can only go back to a firmware for which you have created a backup (of your own console). Furthermore, the initial backup is much easier to create if your console is Jailbroken, although it is possible to do on a “regular” console as well.
So, in other words, if you are on a unhackable firmware (e.g. 10.01 at the time of writing) and are hoping this will let you downgrade your console to a jailbreakable firmware, the answer is no, unless you did the preparatory work at a point where your console was jailbreakable.
From my perspective, this means the guide will most likely be useless to the vast majority of people who will find it, typically too late. However, it has tremendous value for multiple reasons. First of all, I’m not sure there existed such a detailed (and well made!) guide on how to do this until now. Secondly, we keep saying on this blog that downgrade of a PS4 is “technically possible, but…“, so now it will be possible to easily refer to MW’s video to explain why it’s at best difficult, and in most cases impossible. As Modded Warfare mentions, it might also have some value for people who are “blocked” on a non Jailbreakable firmware, but want to update to the latest and greatest so they can play online. These people can make a backup of their current firmware (in the hope it will be jailbreakable eventually) then update to the latest firmware. Last but not least, this could actually pave the way to easier downgrade methods at some point, in particular if some ambitious modders attempt to work on modchip solutions that wouldn’t involve any soldering.
With all of the above being said, assuming you want to back your PS4 up so you can “easily” go to a more recent firmware, then back to a Jailbroken console later on, here’s my honest piece of advice:
Buy a second PS4 and do not attempt to follow this downgrade guide.
Look, I’m not kidding, having two PS4s is probably a much more safer idea than attempting a downgrade, and unless you already have the necessary material, it actually might be cheaper too. (Give or take, there’s about $200 worth of hardware you need to own/buy for the downgrade). This might change in the future if the process gets easier, or if there are significant reasons to go back and forth (unbricking, for example), but for now downgrading a PS4 is extremely difficult with significant risks of permanently bricking the console, and is more of a technically impressive thing than a useful or cost-effective one.
With all of this being said, if you want to stay for the technically fascinating video, or for personal knowledge, you might be the right audience for this. At the very least, you might want to watch the video, if only to hear MW say “We’ll take multiple dumps” or “take a good dump” with a straight face 🙂
Note that the process is easier if you start with a Jailbroken PS4, and that’s what MW’s video describes.
Here’s what you need to prepare and execute the downgrade. It is recommended getting all of these tools (hardware or software) ready beforehand.
- Your PS4, running on the firmware you’ll eventually want to go back to
- This is important. This is a “restore backup” Downgrade method, and will not allow you to downgrade to a firmware for which you never created a backup initially. Using someone else’s backup will not work either!
- A Hardware flasher such as a Teensy 4 (this is required to get the SFlash0 from a non jailbroken console, and to copy it back during the downgrade process. Also required to dump the syscon)
- A heat gun (to desolder the syscon chip. This is required to back it up)
- A soldering iron
- A pair of tweezers
- A TQFP Board
- A 4 KOhm Resistor
- Some PCB Wires
- A Switching diode
- A USB to TTL Adapter
- A replacement syscon chip (the model you need to order depends on your motherboard,
- As I understand this isn’t required, but recommended, so you don’t have to constantly flash these chips
- Renesas E2 Lite programmer, or other flasher
- BwE NOR Validator, which will help you confirm your backup files aren’t corrupted (download here)
- an FTP Client such as filezilla
- HDD Raw Copy (to do a backup of the hard drive)
- Drivers for your usb to TTL adapter (e.g. drivers for CP2102 mentioned above)
- MW’s Pack file which contains required software for the glitching process
What you’ll need to backup to prepare for a PS4 Downgrade
The Following Data is what you’ll need to backup, then restore, to downgrade a PS4:
- Full backup of the console’s hard drive
- PS4 SFlash0 (NOR Firmware)
- SFlash0 is extremely easy to get from a Jailbroken console, as it is just a file you can copy from FTP
- PS4 Syscon
As a TL,DR, the idea is that you’ll back up the 3 pieces of data above, then should be able to go to a higher firmware, then revert. Modded Warfare’s video has, of course, all the details.
* Some folks on the scene really, really don’t like to call it a Downgrade, and prefer the word “Revert”, to really emphasize that you can only go back to a state that your console has been in before.