Mupen64Plus is an open-source, cross-platform, plugin-based Nintendo 64 emulator capable of playing many games. It is an update to Mupen64. Its developers elected to move away from Zilmar's plugin spec and developed their own set of plugins, so plugins from other N64 emulators will not work in it. It also has a RetroArch/libretro port under active development.
- Latest release
- Windows builds - Frequent Windows builds of Mupen64Plus, bundled with every plugin. It is recommended to use the i686-pc-mingw32 build if on 32-bit Windows, or x86_64-w64-mingw32 if on 64-bit. Just go to the "Downloads" tab and click "Download Repository," and it will let you download both builds in a zip file.
- Mupen64Plus FZ - Beta port of Mupen64Plus to Android. Currently the best N64 emulator since Mupen64Plus AE stopped getting updated.
- OS X SVN builds
Mupen64Plus lacks a GUI, so it may be difficult to use without using a front-end. It is run either directly from the command line with arguments, or by dragging and dropping ROM files onto the executable.
Unlike every other N64 emulator, Mupen64Plus uses its own plugin spec, so it is not compatible with any plugins except those specifically ported to its spec.
By default, Mupen64Plus applies a ton of audio buffering, causing extremely delayed audio, more so than most other emulators. This can be mitigated by lowering the buffer settings in the mupen64plus.cfg file, though putting it too low will cause audio crackling. For improved audio latency and sync, consider using mupen64plus-libretro through RetroArch.
- M64Py is highly recommended for a Mupen64Plus frontend. Not only does it come with everything set up, but it also comes with every plugin developed for the emulator. This is great, since it's very hard to find some of the plugins without compiling them from the source code. Sadly it's not perfect, since the input config utility doesn't work with some gamepads.
- First create this directory:
- Copy all the .ini and .cfg files into this folder, then create a folder in there called "save".
- To play games, you can do the following:
- Drag and drop your ROM onto mupen64plus.exe.
- Alternatively, associate .n64/.z64/.v64 files to mupen64plus.exe via Default Apps, then double-click the ROMs to play them.
- You can change plugins and settings by editing the mupen64plus.cfg file.
Recommended plugin setups
Mupen64Plus has its own set of plugins which are incompatible with plugins used in other emulators. Here is an overview of recommended setups.
- Video: Glide64mk2
- RSP: cxd4-ssse3
- Glide64mk2 is just Glide64 with additional tweaks and enhancements for use with Mupen64Plus. The cxd4 plugin is a port of BatCat's RSP plugin for Project64. You will need to enable "DisplayListToGraphicsPlugin" in the cxd4-ssse3 settings for this to work. This appears to be the best combination for use with most games, though toasters may have performance issues. If the mk2 variant is too slow, try regular Glide64.
Best performance and graphics
- Video: Rice
- RSP: rsp-hle
- These are Mupen64Plus's default plugins. Rice's Video is a plugin used on other N64 emulators, most known for its support for hi-res texture packs, now enhanced for Mupen64plus. It also has support for bilinear, trilinear, and anisotropic filtering, texture scaling, and up to 16x MSAA. It is not quite up to Glide64's level, but it does well enough for many games and is quite fast. The default RSP plugin appears to be just an enhanced port of vanilla Mupen64's RSP. Use this combination if you have a lower end PC and can't handle the Commonly Used setup.
- Video: z64
- RSP: cxd4-ssse3
- z64 is a port of z64gl, a low-level emulation video plugin for N64 emulators. It comes with its own accompanying z64 RSP, but cxd4 (a port of BatCat's RSP Interpreter plugin) appears to be more accurate and very well optimized. This setup is capable of playing difficult games like Rogue Squadron with very few graphical glitches, and faster than on Project64 to boot.