Tutorial [TUTORIAL] Sourcing/Compiling/Adding Texture Packs to Mupen64Plus on Retroarch Switch

mattyxarope

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1. Setting Up Textures:
  • A) There are two different texture pack formats for modern texture packs:
    • a folder of raw PNG files that are usually separated into subfolders.
    • an HTC file which is essentially a cached version of PNG files that are combined into one file - This is the file type that is going to be used by Mupen64Plus on the Switch.
  • B) Sources for Textures:
    • Sources for texture packs (with some projects being raw PNGs, and others having precompiled HTC files): EmulationKing, Textures.Emulation64, Emutalk, and Emulation64.
  • C) Converting PNG Textures to HTC Files
    • If you decide to use a texture pack that has no precompiled HTC file you will need to convert it so that it is usable on Mupen64Plus. Here is shownthe process of converting PNG texture packs into HTC files.

  • NEW METHOD (Directly from Mupen64Plus!):
    • Place png files in /retroarch/cores/system/Mupen64plus/hires_texture
    • An HTC files will be generated on startup but there will be no indication so it will appear stuck on a black screen and the menu cannot open until done.
    • For HTS (File storage) both "Enhanced" HD options need to be on additionally (mupen64plus-EnableEnhancedHighResStorage = "True" and mupen64plus-EnableEnhancedTextureStorage = "True")
    • All settings for HTS / HTC must match with the settings it was created otherwise it will not load

  • OLD METHOD (Using a PC):
    • Download Project64.
    • Download the GlideN64 plugin.
    • Put the plugin in the GFX folder of Project64.
    • Within the menu of the program manually select GlideN64 to be used.
    • Direct the plugin to the 'hires_texture', 'cache', and 'texture_dump' folders.
    • Make sure that 'Save enhanced texture cache to hard disk' is checked!
    • Run the ROM.
    • Allow the textures to load, you should see yellow text loading each one.
    • Once the rom is running, close the program and wait a moment, as some of the larger texture packs take a few seconds to compile to the HTC file.
    • In the folder you set for 'cache', you will see an HTC file named after your ROM - note that this does NOT have to match the filename of the rom!.
2. Transferring the Texture Pack to Retroarch on the Switch:
  • A) Transferring the HTC file to Mupen64Plus:
    • Access your Switch's microSD card by either a card reader or an FTP program.
    • Take the HTC file you created in the 'cache' folder and transfer it to the folder 'cache' in Retroarch>cores>system>Mupen64Plus>cache (and if that folder does not exist, create it).
3. Enabling the Hi-Res Textures in Mupen64Plus:
  • A) Enable the Setting to Allow Texture Replacement in Mupen64Plus:
    • Start Retroarch by either using the NSP provided by Retroarch, The NSP forwarding method, or by using selecting it from the Homebrew Launcher while holding the R trigger (in SXOS) - this allows the program to use all available memory.
    • Load your N64 ROM
    • While the ROM is loaded, select the Quick Menu and go the Options tab for the core
    • Enable Use High-Res textures and Use High-Res Full Alpha Channel - note that I personally had to toggle these a few times after quitting Retroarch but they eventually worked.
    • Quit Retroarch and restart the program and rom
4. F.A.Q:
  • A) Larger Texture Pack Incompatibility
    • OBSOLETE INFORMATION (12/5/19)- Mupen64Plus NO LONGER HAS THIS LIMITATION Some texture packs larger than 1 gigabyte, such as the Majora's Mask N64HD Project, seem to approach the 1.5 gigabyte texture cache memory limit for Mupen64Plus. As such they seem to freeze (for me, at least). For this particular pack I have personally downsized some of the larger environmental texture folders by 33% and left other elements such as the UI, characters, effects, and other smaller folders untouched. This reduced the size to around 750 megabytes which works on the Switch, albeit with a long initial load time. Here is my reduced size version.
  • B) Does My Texture Pack File Name Have to Match my ROM File Name?
    • NO!, if Project 64 loads the textures and you use the identical ROM on your switch that you used to cache those textures into the HTC file, it will work regardless.
  • C) Do Dolphin Textures Work on Mupen64Plus?
    • NO!, only HTC files can be used. I don't believe that you can convert a PNG texture pack made for Dolphin's Virtual Console games to HTC without considerable effort.
Edit: I'm a new member so I can't post any hyperlinks. I have a version of this on the usual Reddit forums with the appropriate pictures and links for many of the steps, as well as my link for my reduced texture pack for Majora's Mask.
 
Last edited by mattyxarope,

Adran_Marit

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1. Setting Up Textures:
  • A) There are two different texture pack formats for modern texture packs:
    • a folder of raw PNG files that are usually separated into subfolders.
    • an HTC file which is essentially a cached version of PNG files that are combined into one file - This is the file type that is going to be used by Mupen64Plus on the Switch.
  • B) Sources for Textures:
    • Sources for texture packs (with some projects being raw PNGs, and others having precompiled HTC files): EmulationKing, Textures.Emulation64, Emutalk, and Emulation64.
  • C) Converting PNG Textures to HTC Files
    • If you decide to use a texture pack that has no precompiled HTC file you will need to convert it so that it is usable on Mupen64Plus. Here is great tutorial that shows how to convert PNG texture packs into HTC files. Essentially, this requires a computer running Project64 with the GlideN64 graphic plugin which reads the textures and caches them into the HTC file which allows it to run the ROM with the textures faster. This is the file we will be using on Mupen64Plus. The process is basically:
      • Download Project64.
      • Download the GlideN64 plugin.
      • Put the plugin in the GFX folder of Project64.
      • Within the menu of the program manually select GlideN64 to be used.
      • Direct the plugin to the 'hires_texture', 'cache', and 'texture_dump' folders.
      • Make sure that 'Save enhanced texture cache to hard disk' is checked!
      • Run the ROM.
      • Allow the textures to load, you should see yellow text loading each one.
      • Once the rom is running, close the program and wait a moment, as some of the larger texture packs take a few seconds to compile to the HTC file.
      • In the folder you set for 'cache', you will see an HTC file named after your ROM - note that this does NOT have to match the filename of the rom!.
2. Transferring the Texture Pack to Retroarch on the Switch:
  • A) Transferring the HTC file to Mupen64Plus:
    • Access your Switch's microSD card by either a card reader or an FTP program.
    • Take the HTC file you created in the 'cache' folder and transfer it to the folder 'cache' in Retroarch>cores>system>Mupen64Plus>cache (and if that folder does not exist, create it).
3. Enabling the Hi-Res Textures in Mupen64Plus:
  • A) Enable the Setting to Allow Texture Replacement in Mupen64Plus:
    • Start Retroarch by either using the NSP provided by Retroarch, The NSP forwarding method, or by using selecting it from the Homebrew Launcher while holding the R trigger (in SXOS) - this allows the program to use all available memory.
    • Load your N64 ROM
    • While the ROM is loaded, select the Quick Menu and go the Options tab for the core
    • Enable Use High-Res textures and Use High-Res Full Alpha Channel - note that I personally had to toggle these a few times after quitting Retroarch but they eventually worked.
    • Quit Retroarch and restart the program and rom
4. F.A.Q:
  • A) Larger Texture Pack Incompatibility
    • Some texture packs larger than 1 gigabyte, such as the Majora's Mask N64HD Project, seem to approach the 1.5 gigabyte texture cache memory limit for Mupen64Plus. As such they seem to freeze (for me, at least). For this particular pack I have personally downsized some of the larger environmental texture folders by 33% and left other elements such as the UI, characters, effects, and other smaller folders untouched. This reduced the size to around 750 megabytes which works on the Switch, albeit with a long initial load time. Here is my reduced size version.
  • B) Does My Texture Pack File Name Have to Match my ROM File Name?
    • NO!, if Project 64 loads the textures and you use the identical ROM on your switch that you used to cache those textures into the HTC file, it will work regardless.
  • C) Do Dolphin Textures Work on Mupen64Plus?
    • NO!, only HTC files can be used. I don't believe that you can convert a PNG texture pack made for Dolphin's Virtual Console games to HTC without considerable effort.
Edit: I'm a new member so I can't post any hyperlinks. I have a version of this on the usual Reddit forums with the appropriate pictures and links for many of the steps, as well as my link for my reduced texture pack for Majora's Mask.

Yeah tried this for a MM HD texture pack, didn't work. Pretty sure that's just my luck with hires texture packs and project 64 lol

still a great write up though. I suggest expanding tutorial here with specific steps on where things are or include images to guide others
 

mattyxarope

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Yeah tried this for a MM HD texture pack, didn't work. Pretty sure that's just my luck with hires texture packs and project 64 lol

still a great write up though. I suggest expanding tutorial here with specific steps on where things are or include images to guide others

Did you try and use my reduced size pack? I can't post or PM links but if you look at the SwitchHacks subreddit I've posted the same tutorial with links.
 

Adran_Marit

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Did you try and use my reduced size pack? I can't post or PM links but if you look at the SwitchHacks subreddit I've posted the same tutorial with links.

the pack was 400mb. Again this is more likely an issue with Me and PJ64 not liking each other when I use textures. Even just getting the game to load them in emulator is a PITA for me
 

Robert McCoy

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It worked and I can see the huge difference in the backgrounds and characters but...when people talk all the text is garbled looking to me.

handheld mode
legal nsp hbl forwarder
mupen64 plus (dynarec recompiler)
frame emu buffer off
threaded video on
shader nearest
bilinear off
latest nightly

Tried both mupen64plus and mupen64next (with frame dupe on)

Runs at full speed with casual frame drops in certain areas like when walking into a new place or when the game first loads which is expected but still the text looks FAR worse than without the HD texture pack. I tried both your reduced one and the original. GEEZ the original takes forever to load lmao

edit: i guess I'm just expecting too much out of the switch compared to seeing how it looks on the PC version screenshots.
 
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mattyxarope

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It worked and I can see the huge difference in the backgrounds and characters but...when people talk all the text is garbled looking to me.

handheld mode
legal nsp hbl forwarder
mupen64 plus (dynarec recompiler)
frame emu buffer off
threaded video on
shader nearest
bilinear off
latest nightly

Tried both mupen64plus and mupen64next (with frame dupe on)

Runs at full speed with casual frame drops in certain areas like when walking into a new place or when the game first loads which is expected but still the text looks FAR worse than without the HD texture pack. I tried both your reduced one and the original. GEEZ the original takes forever to load lmao

edit: i guess I'm just expecting too much out of the switch compared to seeing how it looks on the PC version screenshots.
Could you post a screenshot? I dont seem to be having this problem and my reduced size pack doesn't touch the text replacing files. When you tried the original did it load?
 

Robert McCoy

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Could you post a screenshot? I dont seem to be having this problem and my reduced size pack doesn't touch the text replacing files. When you tried the original did it load?

Yes it did load for me. Here is what the game text looks like.
 

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Robert McCoy

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Weird. I'm not sure. Mine definitely does not look like that. Have you tried using m4xw's config file?

uhm no lol. where can i find that?

edit: Found the cfg file on the dynarec beta thread lol. after using that, everything looks fine. the textures are loading correctly now.
 
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Robert McCoy

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so what exactly did you get rid of in your downsized pack? like am I going to get to the snowy area and be like woah it's all back to normal in this area lol
 

mattyxarope

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Can we add hd textures to gba or snes if theur are any using this?
As of now the cores for these two systems don't allow for texture replacement.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

so what exactly did you get rid of in your downsized pack? like am I going to get to the snowy area and be like woah it's all back to normal in this area lol
There were three areas (I can't remember exactly which ones they were) that had folders which were around 300mb a piece. I batch resized those three folders to 66% of their original size. The other folders were left untouched. You really shouldn't see a difference, especially in handheld mode.
 
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Robert McCoy

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As of now the cores for these two systems don't allow for texture replacement.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------


There were three areas (I can't remember exactly which ones they were) that had folders which were around 300mb a piece. I batch resized those three folders to 66% of their original size. The other folders were left untouched. You really shouldn't see a difference, especially in handheld mode.

that's good to know lol. I was worried you deleted whole areas or something. ALSO your username looks insanely familiar. Like. I swear I've seen something similar to it before on here.
 

mattyxarope

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https://github.com/gonetz/GLideN64/issues/1574

Use this link for GlideN64. This is the only one that work for me

EDIT:
I follow the tutorial but nothing is appearing in the cache folder for me. IF anyone did a super mario 64 texture pack can they share it thanks
Do the textures load when you begin the emulator? Do you have the option to cache textures checked in the GlideN64 options?
 

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Do the textures load when you begin the emulator? Do you have the option to cache textures checked in the GlideN64 options?

Yeah everything works fine. I have to put the HTC file inside the cache folder in mupen64 for it to load. The problem before was the I couldn't generate an HTC file
 
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