This paper presents an investigation of the effects of ported shroud (PS) self-recirculating casing treatment used in turbocharger centrifugal compressors for increasing the operable range. The investigation consists of computing three-dimensional flow in a representative centrifugal compressor with and without PS at various levels of approximations in flow physics and geometrical configuration; this provides an enabler for establishing the causal link between PS flow effects and compressor performance changes. It is shown that the main flow path perceives the PS flow as a combination of flow actuations that include injection and removal of mass flow and injection of axial momentum and tangential momentum. A computational model in which the presence of the PS is replaced by imposed boundary conditions (BCs) that reflect the individual flow actuations has thus been formulated and implemented. The removal of a fraction of the inducer mass flow has been determined to be the dominant flow actuation in setting the performance of PS compressors. Mass flow removal reduces the flow blockage associated with the impeller tip leakage flow and increases the diffusion in the main flow path. Adding swirl to the injected flow in the direction opposite to the wheel rotation results in an increase of the stagnation pressure ratio and a decrease of the efficiency. The loss generation in the flow path has been defined to rationalize efficiency changes associated with PS compressor operation.