To play XBOX360 downloaded games like the ones here on sharethefiles.com you firstly need a modded XBOX360 machine able to play game backups. This can either be done by a modded firmware or using some kind of modchip (like JTAG). Most people use a basic modded firmware where the best (imo) right now is the iXtreme LT+. How to mod your XBOX360 in the first place is a hole other guide material but tutorials can be found at http://www.ixtreme.net.
When you use a modded XBOX360 you run the risk of being banned by Microsoft either by the firmware being detected or by games being detected as backups. If your machine detects any discrepancies it will trip different "flags" which will cause the machine to be banned upon next connection to Xbox LIVE. Flags can be triggered even when only playing backups offline. So if you wanna be 100% sure not to get banned you should remain offline after the point of modding. If banned you will no longer be able to use your harddrive or Xbox LIVE with that machine.
The best way to avoid flags getting triggered (both when using Xbox LIVE and not) is to use the newest firmware and to make sure your games are STEALTH so they dont get detected as backups. If you never plan to use Xbox LIVE again you don't have to worry to much about this, but I think it's better to be safe than sorry, so everytime you download a XBOX360 game you should validate that it is a proper STEALTH game. This can be done easy by using abgx360.
abgx360 can both validate and correct backups by comparing your version to a online database of games. A guide to its use follows below but first a little info to users of older firmware versions.
XBOX360 games is from different security evolutions called WAVEs. The newer the game the higher the WAVE number (newest evolution right know is about WAVE11). If you use older firmwares you will not be able to play some of the newer games with a higher level than WAVE4. Here's a list of firmware versions and which WAVE level they can handle:
- IF you are on iXtreme 1.5 or below, Wave3 games will not boot for you and thus Wave4 games and above will not either. In this case, YES you need to update your firmware!
IF you are on iXtreme 1.51 (Hitachi), then ANY wave will boot fine, including Wave4 however you must be EXTRA careful as you are not protected against corrupt or incorrect video partitions. This is one of the many reasons to always use abgx360. If a game is fully verified, playing it on iXtreme 1.51 is just as safe as playing it on iXtreme LT - this includes Wave4 games.
IF you are on iXtreme 1.51 (BenQ/LiteOn/Samsung), then YES you need to update your firmware!
IF you are on iXtreme 1.6, you can ALSO play Wave 4 and above games, however you need to use a special activation disk to do so. This was added to the firmware specifically for this eventuality - the disk activates "one-shot-boot" mode, essentially it allows iX1.6 to boot any game you insert into the drive, even if its not properly stealthed. You simply insert the disk into the drive, let it spin up (it will say "play DVD"), then swap in your Wave4 game. You will need to do this each time you want to play a Wave 4 (or above) game. Don't worry, if the game has all the necessary stealth data, then iX1.6 will still use it, so if you boot a VERIFIED Wave4 game using this method, you should be just as safe as you were booting a verified wave 3 game. A guide to using the ACTIVATE disc can be found in later in this sticky.
Some of the newest games also use something called AntiPiracy 2.5 (AP25) which is a type of disc copy protection used as an added security measure by Microsoft (came in use around the end of 2010). Only the newest firmware can handle these games. It however depends on the dashboard version of your Xbox360 if AP25 is implemented or not on your machine, but some games force dashboard update to run. You need iXtreme LT+ firmware (or a Samsung drive which doesn't check/implement AP25 information) to use AP25 protected games. Earlier released games can get AP25 protection added later by Microsoft through game patches.
A list of which games use AP25 can be found here including more info on AP25:
http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=728912 (direct link to AP25 list: http://bit.ly/ap25list).
When stealth checking your game abgx360 also checks for, and fixes, AP25 patch data to make the backup game work with AP25.
A backup game's stealth data consist among other things of patched Security Sector data. This patching data (SS/DMI) is specified in 2 evolution versions called SSv1 and SSv2. SSv2 arrived about the sametime as AP25 and is recommended for use in all new backup games when using the LT/LT+ firmware. Some newer backups games are however still released with SSv1 because an older ripper (Kreon) is used.
These SSv1 games can be patched to SSv2 for added stealth protection by using Mousepatcher 2.0 - a guide for this procedure is added later in this thread ("Patching from SSv1 to SSv2 for added stealth protection"). The SSv2 patching could preferably be performed before stealth checking/fixing with abgx360. More info about SSv2 and how to tell which version is used in your game is also explained in the mentioned post later in this thread."
Using abgx360 to validate stealth
On to the abgx360 guide. The current version is 1.05 (the GUI still says 1.02 but the CLI window should display 1.05) and can be downloaded here. Besides downloading the program itself it is also adviced to download "1st-11th Wave - abgx360_video_waves_1-11.rar - 699 MB" at the same time but it can also wait till needed (when facing corrupt/incorrect video data - explained later in guide)
After you have downloaded and installed abgx360 you can extract the contents of "1st-11th Wave - abgx360_video_waves_1-11.rar" (if you downloaded it) to your StealthFiles folder belonging to the program. To find out where your StealthFiles folder is, open abgx360 GUI and press Ctrl+F (and click Yes to have it opened for you).
Setting up abgx360:
After installing abgx360 you should create a default settings file with the following options. The settings will then be loaded automaticly when the program starts.
Start abgx360 GUI and go to the Options pane:
Besides the enabled options above you can also enable the following 2 options but its only extra control options which usually is not needed:
- "Check for AnyDVD style game data corruption"
- "Include the CSV"
Now go to the AutoFix pane and use same setup as below:
If you're using an old iXtreme 1.4 or below you should enable the following option aswell but not if your firmware is newer:
- "Adjust SS v1 angle 359 for iXtreme < v1.4"
Finally go to the Misc pane and set Splitvid:
Now save the settings by using menu File > Save settings or use shortcut CTRL + S.
In the Save settings naming box that shows up you need to name the settings Default so they load automatically:
You're now ready to validate and fix the optimal stealth of your backup XBOX360 games.
Validate and fix stealth of XBOX360 game using abgx360:
After you have downloaded and usually unpacked a XBOX360 game you'll have the game file that you wanna validate. It's normally an ISO file but can also be other formats.
Start abgx360 GUI and focus on the Input area at the top. First check that File(s) is chosen in the dropdown and then click the Browse... button to the right of the text box.
You then browse to the game file you'll want to validate and select it. It is also possible to check several game at once if you chose Directory in the dropdown (and enable "Recurse subdirectories when using Directory Input" on the Options pane) and lastly its possible to validate (but not fix directly) already burned games but chosing Burned DVD in the Input dropdown.
In my example i'm gonna validate and fix a single game, in this case Assassin's Creed II:
After you browsed to the game file (in this example AC2.ISO) and chosen it, you simply click the big LAUNCH banner in the bottom of the program.
If you only want to validate/report problems and not change the game file by fixing them you can enable the Disable Writes check box next to the Input dropdown.
When you click LAUNCH an CLI report windows opens:
You're looking for ALL GREEN. I've marked the sections of interest above. If anything is shown as YELLOW abgx360 will try to fix the problem and after completion it is advisable to press LAUNCH again to make sure all YELLOW issues have been resolved.
abgx360 also validates and/or creates a .DVD file for your game with the corret layerbreak used for burning the game as explained later in this guide.
If you didn't download "1st-11th Wave - abgx360_video_waves_1-11.rar" earlier you might sometimes encounter an error of the following type:
- Failed to find or open 'Video_1914211B.iso' (No such file or directory)
This is a very large video partition that isn't hosted on the database...
You will have to find it elsewhere and put it in your StealthFiles folder
or alternatively get the self-extracting archives that contains a colletion of all of the Video files you might need.
The Video files can be found here (scroll down).
You should now be ready to burn your validated XBOX360 game by following the burning guide later in this sticky.