Cutscenes on PS2 keep lagging? How to fix this problem

Hi guys, for ages now, I’ve had this problem with the PS2 (Note: We have a European, “Fatboy” style PS2, but the fix is pretty much the same for all of them, I gather) – any time we played a game with cutscenes (I play a lot of JRPGs so it’s pretty much every game) the cutscenes become unbearably slow to load.

Anyway, here are a few common solutions:

  • Use the “Settings” within your PS2 to go into “Diagnostics” mode. I think this supposedly tells it to “skip anything if it sticks for too long” but I’ve yet to see it work.
  • Use a disk cleaner. Might work if your PS2 is fairly new/well maintained, didn’t work for me
  • Take PS2 apart, take the disk tray apart and clean the disk reader – this worked for me

If you have another fix, please add it in the comments.

I’m going to talk about how my girlfriend Jo fixed it. She is a writer and doesn’t do a lot of DIY/Maintenance so you can do it too! It’s slightly tricky, but fear not, you just need the right tools.

Tools you need

  • Your PS2
  • Normal Screwdriver
  • Teeny Tiny Screwdriver (They sell them at large supermarkets for about £3)
  • Cotton Buds

Tools you might like to have but Jo didn’t use

  • Compressed air (Jo didn’t use this and I don’t know where to buy it, in some cases I’ve heard it’s BAD to use, but…use at your own risk)
  • Rubbing Alcohol/Surgical Spirit (Apparently they sell at some ASDA & Boots. It’ll be in the First Aid section. I’ve also heard you can use White Spirit, but once again, have heard that it’s bad…)

The Process

Disconnect your PS2 from the mains, take the disc out, remove memory cards and controllers.
I’d suggest doing it at a table but your lap is fine…
Anyway, it’s important to know that both the top AND the bottom of the PS2 can be removed.
To remove these, use your normal screwdriver to lift the little feet off the PS2.


Picture from here.

There are some little rubber feet on the very bottom and some raised slightly further up, so make sure you get them all.

Each little foot hides a secret screw – upscrew! They are long screws.

Set all this stuff to the side, don’t lose it.

Now, check around the casing and you should find some stickers. Remove them.

PS void sticker

Picture from here. I just used this one because he is using a fucking scalpel. If you own one, good for you, you might as well use it. If you don’t, they’re about a fiver on eBay.

Oh, by the way, this voids your warranty. If you still have a warranty on your PS2…Why?

Make sure you get the whole label because we had trouble at this next bit.

… open the PS2 up!! Try and gently pull it off, but it might need some persuading.

Now, some PS2s (I think American ones) you has to be really careful because there’s a connector cable as you pull it apart. Ours didn’t seem to have that? I don’t know if that was because it was European or what.

PS2 Lid

Image from here

It should look something like that.

Give in here as best a clean you can, especially the fan. Use compressed air or your cotton buds.

Now, you need to your your teeny tiny screwdriver to get the inner case off your disk bit.

PS2 Disc Tray Screws

Image from Here.

Now, be careful because apparently there is a crack/snapping noise and this is normal, but you don’t want to wreck it so be aware of the cables inside.

Give in here a bit of a dust clean too.

Now, get a clean cotton bud and if you have it, dab it in rubbing alcohol. We didn’t use this but you might get better results if you do. You want to rub the optical reader but not too hard for fear of it breaking. Just until it is less dusty/grimy.

PS2 Optical Reader

Image from here.

Now, put it back together and enjoy your smooth cutscenes!


  1. Jordan says:

    Thanks for this fix! I’m trying to keep my PS2 going as long as possible – probably out of nostalgia than anything else, lol!

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