You just got yourself a new Playstation Vita, and are looking for a Custom Firmware solution? Then bookmark this page, as it will be kept up to date with the latest, greatest, and simplest solutions available.
PS Vita 3.71/3.72/3.73 (h-encore² and Modoru 2.1)
Firmwares 3.71/3.72/3.73 are hacked with the h-encore² exploit. You can also downgrade those firmwares with Modoru 2.1, for example to 3.65, or 3.60, in order to get the benefits of firmwares that have better hack/homebrew support (3.60 in particular)
If you have a PS Vita running firmwares 3.61 or 3.63, you will want to update it to 3.65, 3.67 or 3.68 before running h-encore.
If you own a PS Vita on firmware 3.60, we still recommend to stay on firmware 3.60 and run Enso/Henkaku as described below.
PS Vita 3.60 Hack (HENkaku)
HENkaku is the Homebrew Enabler for PS Vita 3.60, and one of the easiest way to hack your PS Vita, provided you’re on firmware 3.60. HENkaku lets you run Native Vita homebrews, as well as PSP homebrews through VHBL. See the following resources to install it and get started:
To install HENKaku, check our FAQ section (long story short: you need to visit the official page with your 3.60 PS Vita’s browser)
If your PS Vita is running on firmware 3.57 or lower, you can manually update it to firmware 3.60 in order to run the HENkaku hack. Beware to not use Sony’s automated update system, as it will update your PS Vita to the latest official firmware, which is not compatible with HENkaku. How to update your PS Vita manually to firmware 3.60.
There exist other hacks for lower PS Vita firmwares, but at this point we simply recommend you update to 3.60 as explained in the paragraph above, as pretty much everything that used to be possible on lower firmwares (including PSP homebrews and backups) is now doable on Firmware 3.60.
PS Vita Hack history
Historically, “PS Vita” hacks were limited to PSP hacks running within the PSP emulator on the console. Many hacks required you to purchase an “exploitable” game on the PSN when it gets announced. In 2012 alone, 8 such game exploits were released. In 2014, more than 50 were announced. In 2015, several vita exploit games were announced for firmware 3.36. We regularly announced names of new exploitable games on this blog, but this trend has pretty much stopped with the HENkaku release on firmware 3.60.