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 How to earn trophies in pre-owned Vita games
Platinum advice
PlayStation Vita PS Vita, thumbnail 1
If you try and play a pre-owned PlayStation Vita game, you'll get a rather alarming message from Sony. Here's what it says:

"You cannot earn trophies in this application. Only the first player to use an application can earn trophies. To earn trophies, you must link the Sony Entertainment Network account of the first player to use this application with the PS Vita system."

At first, it sounds like a sneaky piece of digital rights management from Sony, which in one fell swoop could cut off CEX, sink eBay, and demolish the pre-owned shelf in your local GAME. Because, if you can't get shiny digital trophies in a game, what's the point in even playing?

All hope is not lost, though. It's actually quite easy to get trophy functionality back in a pre-played game, as long as you know what you're doing. Follow our guide, and you'll be racking up Platinums in no time.

Here's the message you'll get if you try to load a pre-owned game on Vita. Sounds scary, but we'll sort it out in no time. Click 'No' to return to the system's main menu.

We're going to format the pre-played card. To do that, return to the main menu (right) and touch and hold the screen for two seconds. This lets you rearrange icons, set a new background picture, and add more panes to your start screen.

Also, each icon has a little "…" bubble to the top right. This lets you see information on a game, delete unwanted demos, and, most usefully, format pre-played cards.

We're going to wipe Gameloft's goblin basher Dungeon Hunter: Alliance.

deputy editor Will Wilson played it before me, thus locking me out of earning trophies. Hit the "..." and click 'Delete'.

Here's the screen you want to see: "All data related to this application will be deleted." This will delete any save games on the cartridge, and reset trophy privileges. Tap 'OK'.

Now, load the game again, and it will switch over to the Sony Entertainment Network account currently associated with the system. You can then earn trophies to your heart's content.

Oh, and it won't delete the previous player's trophies, so you don't have to worry about shafting the poor shmuck who sold his games to CEX.


Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 28 February 2012
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Feb 2012
Post count:
Bluntboyjon | 21:05 - 28 February 2012
what happens if i accidently hit yes before hand then went back and deleted it before playing the actual game? Cause i mean not to sound childish but i love earning trophies
May 2009
Post count:
chanandler | 22:41 - 28 February 2012
And what happens to your game save if you do this? Me and my son both have a Vita and want to play each others games but not buy two copies of everything. If I delete the files doesn't that delete the game save as well so I won't be able to come back to it at a later date?
May 2010
Post count:
Mark Brown | 12:56 - 29 February 2012
Hey guys

To answer your question, chanandler: Yes, this will delete the save game, too. Sorry, but only one of you will get to earn trophies! I'm sure that will be a fun family discussion.

Bluntboy. You can do this at anytime and it doesn't matter if you hit Yes, but it will delete your savegame so you'll have to start from the beginning.
Feb 2012
Post count:
AuthorX | 16:57 - 29 February 2012
I've seen some arguing going on because of this post, can you please clear something up? Is this necessary for PS Vita games that save to the Vita memory card, or only for games that save to the game card's own memory?

Most of the Vita games that have come out save to the Vita's memory stick, but I believe that Dungeon Hunter: Alliance has its own internal memory, and the save file moves with the game card. If so, that would explain why deleting the save is necessary to earn trophies on another account.
Mar 2012
Post count:
gonnell | 16:34 - 1 March 2012
can you backup saves on your pc incase you delete it and want to play it later?
Mar 2012
Post count:
thebanditking | 17:16 - 1 March 2012
You should be able to back up the saves via the content manager app on the vita to a PS3 or using the content manager program on your PC/Mac then erasing the card to reset trophy privileges should not be an issue because you can always delete the card again when the other user is done and restore your data. At least that should work, I have not tested it yet
Mar 2012
Post count:
SpanishPeacock | 11:21 - 2 March 2012
Awesome tip/guide. Literally joined the site to say I'll be passing this information along and looking forward to sharing any tips I can figure out.

PS. I sent a quick guide of how to transfer your PSP Saves to your Vita. If anyone needs to know before you guys get a guide up, PSN/SEN is SpanishPeacock.
Mar 2012
Post count:
ff11ikaku | 22:39 - 7 March 2012
i did this and it still wont let me start anew or anything...
Mar 2012
Post count:
hardblade | 05:14 - 20 March 2012
I did this on a game I purchased at a local GameStop. This worked perfectly, I've already earned a few trophies from said game.
May 2012
Post count:
tapia354 | 00:25 - 31 May 2012
you saved my life i got a used uncharted golden abyss and i couldn't earn trophies thanks :)
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