How to Enter Cheat Codes on the PlayStation 2 Controller

Use cheats for PlayStation 2 games on the PS2, PS3, and PS4

Close up of PS2 controller

Craig Forsyth / Flickr / CC by 2.0 

All cheat codes for PS2 games require the use of the PlayStation 2 controller. Since cheat guides often use shorthand to describe codes, become familiar with the various buttons, triggers, and analog sticks on the original DualShock 2 controller. You can also enter PS2 cheats with the PS3 and PS4 controllers.

Information in this article applies to all controllers made for the PlayStation 2 including unofficial controllers.

How to Enter Cheat Codes on the PS2 Controller

The image below shows the original official DualShock 2 controller released by Sony for the PS2. There are dozens of official controllers for the console, but they all have the same basic layout.

PS2 controller labeled with numbers

Use the guide below along with the image to decipher cheat codes you come across online:

  1. Buttons L1 and L2 are also referred to as left-shoulder buttons in cheat codes. The button in the front is L1, and the back button is L2.
  2. Buttons R1 and R2 are also referred to as right-shoulder buttons in cheat codes. The button in the front is R1, and the back button is R2.
  3. The directional pad is sometimes referred to as D-Pad in cheats. This is the most common directional input method for cheat codes.
  4. The X, Circle, Triangle, and Square buttons are used for most cheat codes. The Circle button may sometimes be represented as the letter "O" in cheat guides.
  5. The Select button is occasionally used to enter cheats.
  6. The Start button, or just Start, must sometimes be pressed before you can input codes.
  7. The Left Analog is often called the Left Thumbstick. In some cheats, you can use the left analog to input directions, but it's easier to use the directional pad.
  8. The Right Analog is often called the Right Thumbstick. In some cheats, you can use the right analog to input directions, but it's easier to use the directional pad.

    Although it is not labeled, some PS2 controllers have a button underneath Start and Select that toggles the analog controls on and off. This button is never used in cheat codes, and it can cause cheats that require the thumbsticks not to work if pressed.

    How to Use PS2 Cheats on the PS3 and PS4

    Many games originally released for the PS2 are playable on the PS3 and PS4 through PS Now and the PlayStation Store.

    The DualShock 3 and DualShock 4 controllers have all of the same buttons as the PS2 controller in addition to a few new ones. Therefore, you can enter codes the exact same way as you would if you were playing on the PlayStation 2 using the original DualShock 2 controller.