The Nintendo 64 is a 5th generation gaming console released by Nintendo in 1996

EmulatorRom FolderExtensionBIOSController Config
Mupen64Plusn64.z64 .n64 .v64none/opt/retropie/configs/n64/InputAutoCfg.ini and /opt/retropie/configs/n64/mupen64plus.cfg
lr-mupen64plusn64.z64 .n64 .v64 .zipnone/opt/retropie/configs/n64/retroarch.cfg

Feb 22, 2021 RetroArch Open Hardware is our attempt to shake up this sector of the retro games market, and our effort to revitalize the DIY market and shift it away from proprietary solutions. Our first Proof of Concept hardware device is an N64 cartridge adapter that you connect to any device with a USB Type-C cable. The emulation frontend Retroarch is arguably the best N64 emulator out there, letting you run several different N64 emulators as “cores” (as well as letting you play PS1, SNES, Sega Genesis, and various other retro console games on your PC). Here, we’ll show you the best way to get Retroarch to run your N64 collection.

Emulators: Mupen64Plus, lr-mupen64plus, lr-mupen64plus-next

While the Libretro cores lr-mupen64plus and lr-mupen64plus-next have the convenience of RetroArch configurations and directly reading compressed zip files, standalone Mupen64Plus can be more performant. At least a Raspberry Pi 2 is required for viable Nintendo 64 performance, but performance is variable across all Pi hardware. High resolutions can impact performance greatly, so most emulators default internally to the low native N64 resolution.

lr-mupen64plus was abandoned some years ago, so is quite outdated. lr-mupen64plus-next is actively developed, but may be less performant as it has more accurate emulation.

For standalone Mupen64Plus you may choose between the video plugins available via the Runcommand menu. Different video plugins have different levels of performance and compatibility, but GLideN64 is the only one still under active development, and generally the most compatible. Raspberry Pi 0-3 have the option of mupen64plus-auto which automatically chooses a suitable plugin configuration for the current game.

ROMS

Accepted File Extensions: .z64 .n64 .v64 .zip

Note:Mupen64Plus standalone cannot directly load compressed zip files.

Place your Nintendo 64 ROMs in

Tweaks

Mupen64Plus

Auto-configuration

OptionDescriptionValue
mupen64plus_audioenable auto configuration of audio output path(0/1)
mupen64plus_hotkeysenable hotkey auto configuration(0/1)
mupen64plus_compatibility_checkenable compatibility check which alters game-related settings(0/1)
8bitdo_hackenable 8bitdo controller mapping hack(0/1)
OptionDescriptionValue
[Audio-OMX]OUTPUT_PORTAudio output path is Jack or HDMI. (will be overwritten if mupen64plus_audio is enabled)(0=Audio Jack / 1=HDMI)
[CoreEvents]Joy Mapping StopJoystick exit button. (will be overwritten if mupen64plus_hotkeys is enabled)JXBY/BZ or JXBY
[CoreEvents]Joy Mapping Load StateJoystick load state button. (will be overwritten if mupen64plus_hotkeys is enabled)JXBY/BZ or JXBY
[CoreEvents]Joy Mapping Save StateJoystick save state button. (will be overwritten if mupen64plus_hotkeys is enabled)JXBY/BZ or JXBY
[Video-GLideN64]EnableFBEmulationEnable framebuffer emulation. Games like Mario Tennis need this option to render framebuffer effects. Some games have glitches if this option is enabled. (will be overwritten if compatibility_check is enabled)(True/False)
[Video-GLideN64]EnableLegacyBlendingUse fixed-function pipeline instead of shaders for blending for speed. Some games have glitches if this option is enabled. (will be overwritten if compatibility_check is enabled)(True/False)

Scaling Mode

For Raspberry Pi 0-3, a bespoke SDL hint is used to scale a low resolution window up to full screen using the Pi's GPU.

SDL_VIDEO_RPI_SCALE_MODE=x

ValueDescription
0Window resolution is desktop resolution. This is the behaviour of SDL <= 2.0.4. (default)
1Requested video resolution will be scaled to desktop resolution. Aspect ratio of requested video resolution will be respected.
2Requested video resolution will be scaled to desktop resolution.
3Requested video resolution will be scaled to desktop resolution. Aspect ratio of requested video resolution will be respected. If possible output resolution will be integral multiple of video resolution.

You can use emulators.cfg to add custom resolution startup options. Default resolution options for Pi 0-3 are 320x240 and 640x480. Note that video plugin GLideN64 uses a native resolution scale factor parameter instead: --set Video-GLideN64[UseNativeResolutionFactor]=x

Controls

lr-mupen64plus

Official Mupen64Plus Website

lr-mupen64plus utilises RetroArch configurations

Add custom retroarch controls to the retroarch.cfg file in

For more information on custom RetroArch controls see: RetroArch Configuration

Mupen64Plus

Mupen64Plus configurations are automatically generated when you configure your controller for the first time in EmulationStation. They differ from the RetroArch configs listed above.

There are two main configuration files that can be modified:

Note: Some arcade Joysticks or non-analogue controllers may need the following tweak to the generated mapping:

To

Hotkey combinations and special buttons

KeyDescription
Hotkey + StartExit emulator.
Hotkey + Left ShoulderLoad state.
Hotkey + Right ShoulderSave state.
Left ThumbEnable memory expansion pak.
Right ThumbEnable rumble expansion pak.

Note: Hotkey and other buttons refers to those bound during Controller Configuration.

Video Tutorials

Contents

  • 2 RetroArch Requirements:

Introduction

The recent RetroArch update for the Nintendo Switch – often called RetroNX – adds a major feature to the already excellent multi-emulator Homebrew Application. The latest release adds CPU overclocking to the mix, meaning that the Tegra X1 SoC can be overclocked from its default 1000 Mhz clock to a staggering 1754 Mhz! Therefore, difficult to run cores like the Mupen64Plus, which is being used for Nintendo 64 games, now perform at nearly full speed, making the Nintendo Switch (almost) the perfect emulation device. This guide will show you how you can install the updated RetroArch.

RetroArch Requirements:

  • Custom firmware (Atmosphere/ReiNX/SX OS) with the Homebrew Menu installed
  • microSD Card
  • USB Type-C Cable

Once you’ve made sure you got yourself a hackable Switch with a CFW already installed you’re ready to follow this guide!

Getting the necessary files

To start with, head over to the RetroArch website and download the latest build for the Switch. Make sure to grab both the RetroArch.7z as well as the RetroArch .NSP files. We need to install the .NSP file to get the N64 core up and running, as this core requires more RAM than the HB Menu allows an app to use. By forwarding the emulator to the Switch’s home screen using the .NSP, we effectively bypass this limitation.

After downloading these files, power off the Switch and insert the microSD card into your PC. Copy the files from the RetroArch.7z folder (retroarch, retroarch.jpg and switch folder) to the root of your SD card, replacing any existing files.

Next, depending on the CFW of your choice, you have to copy the RetroArch.NSP file to:

  • SX OS: Root of SD, sxos folder or sxos>nsp folder
  • Atmosphere/ReiNX: Tinfoil>nsp folder

Installation

Now you’re ready to insert the microSD card back into your Switch and bootup the Switch using any RCM Payload Injector to get to the CFW. From the homescreen, open up the Album and, again, depending on the CFW you’re using locate the RetroArch.NSP file.

For this tutorial we’ll be using SX OS as an example. To locate and install the RetroArch.NSP file, scroll to the Installer section of the SX OS Menu and find the RetroArch Icon.

Now simply hit “A” and install the RetroArch.NSP file to either the internal NAND storage or external microSD card. For Atmosphere and ReiNX users, you have to open up the Album and then go to Tinfoil and install the RetroArch.nsp we copied before.

Configuration

After the installation is completed, you can return to the home screen and the RetroArch icon should have been added to the grid. Now, simply open up the RetroArch app and you will be greeted by the Main Menu interface, which looks a lot like the Switch Settings menu. To get straight to the overclock settings, search for “CPU Overclock” on the right hand side of the main menu. Once you’ve clicked on the CPU Overclock option, you can choose between six different CPU profiles, ranging from downclocking the CPU to 714 MHz all the way up to a massive overclock of 1785 Mhz.

After dialing in the max overclock, we have to fine tune a final setting before we can actually play our favorite games at (almost) full speed. Go back to the main menu and now select “Settings” in the left column. Open up the “Video Settings” and enable “Threaded Video”. This option will give the PS1 and N64 emulators just a bit of an extra performance boost.

Help With Controller Mapping N64 : RetroArch

Playing a Game

Before we can play our games, we have to select the core on which the game runs. In the case of Nintendo 64 ROMs, this is the Mupen64Plus core. To enable this core, go back to the Main Menu and go to the option “Load Core”. Then, scroll down until you see “Nintendo – Nintendo64 (Mupen64Plus)” and select this core.

Finally, we can locate the ROMs of the games we have placed on our microSD card. In my case, I’ve created a folder called “ROMS” on the root of my SD. Go back to the Main Menu first and click on “Load Content”. Then select the forward slash symbol (/) and select the folder you’ve placed your ROMs in. You will see the games compatible with the previously selected core listed here. Since I have transferred Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64, these ROMs show up for me.

Retroarch N64

Once you’ve selected the game you want to play, RetroArch will boot this game with the selected core (Mupen64Plus in this case). Now you can finally enjoy the best N64 games straight from your Nintendo Switch, enjoy!

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