WiiFlow Lite Setup Full Tutorial

Discussion in 'Wii - Tutorials' started by Danimalzpwn3, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. Danimalzpwn3

    Danimalzpwn3 Advanced Member

    Oct 12, 2019
    United States


    • Initial Setup:
      Step 1:

      To start off I am assuming you guys have already have been able to install the Homebrew Channel onto your Wii or vWii using your method of choice. If not, refer to here. Here is a newer guide I found that is a quick rundown how to properly hack your Wii. You MUST have Homebrew in order for this to work!

      Also I am assuming that you already loaded the IOS to the back USB port so that the Wii or Wii U can read your USB. if not you can find how to here (Wii and vWii have different CIOS, make sure to download the correct one!)

      You must have an SD card and/or an external drive of some sort. Can be a Hard drive, flash drive(reported to have issues but I have used a 256 GB flash drive on my vWii and hasn't given me any issues. I used this tutorial on how to load the CIO'S for your drive), SSD, you name it. For this purpose I will be using my 64 GB SD card and 256 GB Flash drive. You MUST have CIOS's if you are loading from a USB or HDD.

      Make sure both drives are FAT32 format. If drive is too big, download a software that will force format your SD into FAT32.

      In my case, my USB Drive will hold all my games (Your own copies) and SD card to hold all my other files.

      Step 2:

      Download WiiFlow Lite here and click and drag both files into the root of your SD (If you already have an apps folder, open it and place the folder inside).
      SD Card Root
      Download Abz Master Piece Pack from here. (It's advised to NOT use it due to being outdated! Use at own risk! Here is my Masterpiece Pack updated to v5.3.0 beta 14)

      Once downloaded, Navigate to ROOT://WiiFlow folder and extract plugins, settings, and source_menu.
      WiiFlow Copy
      Copy and paste into WiiFlow Lite folder.
      Copy Image

      This will create the source menu when you press on B(on the Wii remote) in the Wiiflow app(This is the source_menu from Abz, If you like it like this, make sure to download the Abz Masterpiece Pack and extract his source_menu folder.

      Now you have the shell of wiiflow installed.

    • Main Setup:
      Step 3:

      The next step is to download the home brew applications to run and test your Wii ISO'S and GameCube ISO'S. I would recommend for Wii to use Configurable USB Loader and for GameCube games, to use Nintendont (configurable USB loader is needed to be downloaded if you want to test your ISO's, if you don't need the test, disregard downloading but Nintendont MUST be downloaded in order to play GameCube games)

      Follow the same steps of downloading and dragging and dropping the contents of apps folder into your SD card apps folder and the main files into the ROOT of the SD.

      On your USB, make it nice and organized. Split your emulators by their intended systems. For gamecube, do ROOT://games/GAMENAME/game
      GameCube ISOS Location
      For Wii Games I would use Wii Backup Manager. All you have to do is drag your legitimate ISO and have it transfer and format the games for you so it is readable and playable by the Wii or vWii.

      The backup manager will convert your ISO's into .wbfs files, and it will put it into a format that is readable by wiiFlow.

      These two names can most likely be changed, but for sake of simplicity, I would keep them at these names.

      Now plugging the USB into the system, you notice that it is not reading any files. As default, WiiFlow scans for files on the SD card. In WiiFlow, On the bottom right hand corner, press the gear icon to enter the settings menu, and select game partitions. From here set Wii Partition GameCube and plugin(this allows all your other games from other emulators to run from USB) partition to USB1.

      Then go to your GameCube section, and choose a game, press on the gear icon located to the right. Select for GameCube Loader Nintendont, widescreen patch on, Wii U (If this applies to you) on, and Emulate MemCard Enabled.
      Gear Icon
      For Wii Games, some games might not run due to the ISO being from another country, so make sure to select the patch country strings to on in the settings of the Wii ISO'S.

      The nice part about Wii and GameCube games, is that you can just download all the banners. When you see the cover flow, press the gear icon on the bottom right, select Go on Download covers and banners (WARNING make sure that you are connected to WiFi) and select Download for each option.
      Banner Download
      Congrats! your Wii games should be displayed here and working and your GameCube games! There are some settings you can play around with inside of the Homebrew app Nintendont. From here now it depends on what type of emulator you would like to use and a bit more configuration. Abz and Danimal Masterpiece come pre-loaded with many different plugins for your choosing, but many that are not found there like Game & Watch, you must find custom .dol's for.

      Step 4:

      Now I will show you how to add emulators from plugins that can be found already located in the plugins file.

      For instance, lets do the NES emulator. Each plugin has attached to itself a magic number. The magic number is important so that wiiflow can call that specific file, location, and other files in order to execute the program specifically intended for in this example NES. Currently, I am using the application FCEUGX to emulate my NES games. Using Notepad++ right click the fcegx.ini file, and edit it.
      Notepad Side of Fceugx
      This is how my file is setup. A rundown, the displayname is the name of the application you are using and what the name of the emulator you are using. The magic is the specific number associated to this specific emulator. The coverfolder is the location of your box art (All covers for different emulators, you will have to download by hand and upload for each title!), I will get more into it a bit later. The .dol file should be kept the same but this is the file in the same folder in which wiiflow uses to boot from when you select the game. Filetypes is associated with the extension of the file of your rom/game. For ex: metroid.nes The file extension is .nes in this case. The console cover id is set to Nintendo but I don't mess with this. The cover color changes the color of the box covers. Bannersound sounds are files that are used by wiiflow to use when the game boots up. Its that sweet jingle of the system when you select the game (Later I will show how to make custom ones). Arguments is a default that should not be messed with, but it allows wiiflow the basics of finding the locations of your files so it provides the specific path format.

      For romdir, we must first create a location for our files to be read from. In my class, my roms are located on my USB drive. On the ROOT of the USB create a new folder. In my case, I named this folder to fceugx. Then I upload all my .nes files into a folder I created called roms, so all of my roms directly associated with this emulator. I also added the saves files so that the games can be saved there. The romdir in this case would be fceugx/roms and this allows wiiflow the path and the location of the rom files needed for this specific plugin.
      Emulator Location
      Here I changed the names to what I want to see on the wiiflow side of the titles on the flow. ***WARNING*** some emulators like PS1, NEOGEO, MAME, etc. changing the file name will not allow the game to be played, so if you notice the game isn't playable, just change the name back (It is advised to change the names in the custom_titles.ini file tutorial here or using the titles found in databases in the ROOT://wiiflow/plugins_data folder).

      Now wiiflow looks for the displayed title first in custom_titles.ini then in .xml and finally the actual filename not including the extension.

      The naming of file will be important for cover/box art. You must find all box art and cover art online here. There is a large collection on here but if you do not find the one you need, just download paint.net, photoshop, or paint, and just download a random one and edit it to your liking. (Make sure to look around on the comments of the thread, some people have linked more files, they just haven't been uploaded to the master list like for example Game&Watch)

      In order for the cover art to be read, you must specify the location where it is located, and the name must match exactly to the rom name and including its extension.
      CoverArt Location

      As you can see from earlier, the coverfolder was set to NES so the folder I am using is called NES. From there each image has the name of the game + the extension. For example, Duck Hunt is the game name but it has to be "Duck Hunt.nes.png"(Not including the "") to be readable as a cover. The .nes extension of the rom MUST be included in order for wiiflow to read it!

      Now go to wiiflow, press the home button on the Wii remote, and press reload cache. This will update the covers and cache it so that it loads much quicker next time you log on.

      If you change a file image just go to the cache folder and delete the cache image that you are changing, and the image located in the covers, then reload cache in wiiflow.

      Step 5:

      For some games, there is no game associated with a plugin like Game & Watch. In this case, we need to find a custom .dol online. In these cases, finding a .dol through Retroarch is your best bet. Retroarch uses cores in order for it to run specific games, and many emulators are being pushed onto Retroarch due to the great outcome for games working on the platform.

      We have to find our .dol files online for instance gw_libretro_wii.dol, which can be found here with many other files. We must now create a .ini file for it respectively and edit the file using HXD. A well created explanation of how to do this trick can be found on Wiimpathy's page (THIS ONLY WORKS for Retroarch .dol files!)

      When you edit the file, you can place the file into SD:\wiiflow\plugins\retroarch-wii\ folder and wiiflow will call these .dol files in the .ini file from here.

      Each .dol file needs a corresponding configurable file. To make an configurable file, I would copy and paste an already used one, and rename it to whatever you renamed the retroarch.cfg to. From there you must create a custom magic number that is not being used by any system (Use a Text to Hexadecimal Converter Ex: 4e444453 converted to text is NDDS for Nintendo DS.) Also a custom .ogg can be created and linked here so that you hear the start up. Both the .ogg file and .ini need to be located in SD:\\wiiflow\plugins\
      As you can see:
      Magic Number
      my custom magic number is 59876549. I created this one to only be used for this this specific emulator. It is advised to use the next magic number from the last one. Meaning increment from the before one ex: 1000 to the next value to be 1001. With simplicity this allows for easier troubleshooting when problems arise. In my case, I chose a random number and it can cause issues in the future if I do not keep track. A better hex to use would have been 4726574E which in text value expresses G&WN for Game & Watch Nintendo.

      You can use a converter to convert a YouTube video into .mp3, then convert the .mp3 file to .ogg using this website.

      Clip the audio file to your liking using audacity.
      Youtube.mp3 and Audacity
      Make sure to change your ROM directory to match what it will be on your USB and same process with uploading cover art.

      One last step is to edit the platform.ini file located in SD:\wiiflow\plugins_data

      You must open this file and as seen:
      Platform.ini Magic
      place the magic number equal to the system. You must also set a specific cover flow (some cover flows can be sideways, long ways etc.) as seen:
      Platform.ini Sourceflow

      Now your emulator is set to be able to be used!

      Step 6:

      Setting up cores for MAME can be quiet difficult and a pain to handle. But, Wiimpathy has made it easy for us to download cores A-G here and H here. The reason why we have so many cores comes down to where each game has a specific core to where it needs to be tied to in order to work. Here you can check each games compatibility list and connect the correct core to each one(WARNING! Some games are not listed here, you will have to find which core it works in!)

      To setup, make sure to place all mame2003core#.dol into ROOT:\\wiiflow\plugins\retroarch-wii folder, and place all core#.ini into the ROOT:\\wiiflow\plugins folder. From here each core has a specific magic number assigned to it.

      I found it best to name on the root MAME, then inside that folder to name ROMS, then separate folders for each core (I added my csp1 and csp2 here as well) as seen:
      Core ROMS Setup
      Now from there place your ROMS into the indicated folder. From there, like how I wanted all my games to be located in the same arcade section, when adding a button, I added multiple magic numbers seen:
      Multiple Magic
      Separation through commas, allows you to add multiple magic numbers per button, and when you check it out on the system end, all the games will be located in 1 library titled "MAME" yet when played, the corresponding core is selected.

      CSP1, CSP2, and FBA can all be found in the retroarch folder downloaded earlier.

    • Graphic Setup:
      Step 7:

      Now its time to edit the source_menu.ini to have your custom buttons (if you want a cool theme with different button styles skip to step 9)

      From here download the source menu editor.
      Source Menu Editor
      When you run the java file, select your wiiflow folder in your SD card. From there a gui will show you how your buttons look. You can change the button locations, delete some, add some etc. In order for the buttons to work, make sure to link the specific magic number associated with each specific emulator(WARNING! Do not use this method on sourcemenu's if you are using hyperspin)

      Step 8:

      Editing coverflows can be a pain but are best done on the Wii or vWii side. When you change the coverflow in the settings, it will change the settings for all the emulators in that same style. For example, you edit the cover flow layout of Wii, it will change gamecube and any other emulator that is equal to _sourceflow in platform.ini. In order to change it make sure to turn off locking sourceflow in the settings option on the Wii, then on the top left corner, clip on the 1 to change it to the next flow. Now changing this flow and keeping it specifically for that emulator will only change that one.

      Here you have the power to change the titles, how they flip, how everything looks, moves etc.

      Step 9:

      Make sure to cache all your covers from each system, this allows the covers to boot up as quickly as possible.

      You can also change or add background music to your wiiflow background. Make sure to dump your music file that is .ogg into the music folder located in SD://wiiflow/music
      Background Music

      If you find any games you do not want you can simply delete them by pressing on the game, then pressing the 'X' icon and confirming deleting the game. It will only delete the one you have selected.
      Delete Game
      Some emulators like NeoGeo for instance, has a bios file called neogeo, and it can be read by wiiflow as if it is a game and appear in your library. The simplest way of getting ride of it is by going to your categories and placing all files you want to be invisible into category one. Then click on the the categories 1 check box twice until you see a red 'X' then close out of it. All files placed into this category will have disappeared. Do not fear! They are safe and still there. If you want to see them again, simply go back into the settings and uncheck the box and it should be back.
      Step 10:

      Themes are a great addition to where you are able to upload pre-made or your own themes to make your wiiflow to look nicer, smoother, or add a bit of fun.

      My current theme is Rhapsodii Shima by Tetsuo Shima (v5.2.0 does not support the full version of this elegant theme. Custom backgrounds for each console + custom box cover sizes will not be present. Make sure to be on v5.3.0 beta 14 in order to have the most up to date theme) It is a very nice slick, clean cover flow that makes everything look beautiful and elegant. You can look around and find many on the forum and upload them by following their specific setup. Make sure to change your theme from default to "theme" you want in the settings.

      ***WARNING*** Some themes will be broken if you use the sourceflow editor downloaded from WiiFlow Wiki. Make sure you edit the files. For instance for Shima's theme, there are .ini files located in ROOT:\\Wiiflow\source_menu\(file).ini These .ini files are the locations for each button present in each category for example arcade.ini refers to all the arcade systems you see sliding in the arcade menu:
      Arcade.ini Location
      Here you can remove buttons so you have less, or even add more via editing the .ini file using Notepad++. If you are creating a new button make sure you increment by the next button (i.e: last button is Button_0 next would be Button_1) and update the photos of the image, the magic, source location (usually plugin), etc.
      The images will be pulled from the same location as your .ini file. So either make one, or find the corresponding .png file to your system.
      PNG file Location

      • Hakaishi Rhapsodii link
      • Tetsu Shima Rhapsodii Shima link (FYI Danimal Master Pack is WiiFlow v5.3.0 beta 14. Update to Wiiflow beta version in order to use ALL of the theme)
      Rhapsodii Shima
      • Fledge 8bit playground, orchid, violet, carbonik, and carbonik Abz link
      Fledge Themes

      Step 11:

      Last but not least are Channel Forwarders. Looking online you can find a channel forwarder for Wii and vWii. Here is the vWii forwarder These forwarders can be installed using a WAD manager here or others will work.
      vWii Channel Forwarder

    • Common Issues Troubleshooting:
      My ROMS on my USB are not being read!
      When I upgrade to anything higher than v5.2.0, my wiiflow breaks!
      Every time I run a Wii game, it black screens!
      I don't have enough time to do all of this I need a quick masterpack!
      My GameCube games wont work!
      I don't know if my Wii ISOS work!
      My box covers wont show up for my ROMS
      Using notepad is so unorganized and is so messy!
      I changed a ROM name and now it doesn't work!
      My Retro Arch ROMS wont work!
      I need a specific core but I cant find it!
      My games have no startup sound effect!
      My covers are not fitting correctly!
      I don't like the theme I have, I want a new one!
      I want all the files onto one device!
      My Willflow forwarder doesn't look nice/ doesn't work!
      Where can I get more wiiflow information?
      My Covers are taking forever to load!
      I have a different problem!

    Thank you:
    • Thank you to @fledge68 for this great homebrew application and the constant updates!
    • Thank you to @Wiimpathy for the trick to edit retroarch .dol files to work with wiiflow and uploading so many cores for us as a community to use.
    • Thank you to @Tetsuo Shima for the custom theme, very smooth and elegant, and for the compatibility list for MAME cores!
    • Thank you to @mastershoes for the large compilation of cover art and box cover for wiiflow, really makes it a masterpiece in the end, and the compatibility list for MAME cores!
    Here is the wiiflow wiki that is the same to wiiflow lite (which is a fork that is up-to-date. Support is gone for the original wiiflow)

    Read up upon Fledge68's wiiflow lite support, updates, and general information here.

    Youtube Video:
    Hoping to do it this Thanksgiving week, or after December 16th! Depending how time permits!

    Recommended Packs:
    Many retroarch cores and missing systems compiled by Wiimpathy here, here, here, and here

    I am attaching my personal SD + USB/HDD files for wiiflow and other apps. Most of what someone wants as in basics are all here + a little extras. I am using Tetsuo Shima's theme, I modified some .pngs as well. If you dislike the modded themes by me, just re download Tetsuo's theme from his page, and replace everything that comes in the pack. My file is located here Danimal Master Piece (here the hyper-spin source_menu is used, this all must be edited within the .ini files, CANNOT use source_menu editor on this! it will break!)

    Feel free to asks question and asking for help on here. More than happy to help! What can really help is if you download SysCheck here ,throw it into your apps folder and run it in Homebrew channel, and include all the information presented in there with your question, the best solutions will be provided knowing some information about your system.

    Update Log
    Last edited by Danimalzpwn3, Nov 18, 2019 at 3:57 AM
    KiiWii, almmiron, demonfish and 8 others like this.
  2. Tetsuo Shima

    Tetsuo Shima GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Oct 29, 2008
    Great guide! I only wish to correct you on 2 little things.
    I'm pretty sure that you meant Retroarch. USB configurable loader has nothing to do with emulation.
    Also, Nintendont isn't emulation in a true sense. It uses the wii/gc retro compatibility via hardware and not by software emulation.

    The other thing is about adding magic numbers for new emulators.
    It's true that magic numbers have to be unique, but it's better to follow a little naming convention, otherwise if everyone creates his own magic numbers and starts sharing them with the community, it could create incompatibilities with other people setups that created their own.
    So, it is worth to mention that magic numbers are hexadecimal. When converted to ASCII text they form a 4 letters word which should somehow indentify the emulator.
    Also, Wiiflow uses magic numbers for other things too, like platform.ini and wiiflow backgrounds, so it could be dangerous to mess with them.
    So, for Nintendo Game and Watch the magic number you suggested is not following this rule (59876549 converted to text means nothing). I think it would be better to use something like 4726574e which means G&WN (Game & Watch Nintendo).
    Last edited by Tetsuo Shima, Oct 24, 2019
  3. Danimalzpwn3

    Danimalzpwn3 Advanced Member

    Oct 12, 2019
    United States
  4. Wiimpathy

    Wiimpathy GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Mar 3, 2010
    Nice to have documented and explained the latest plugin setup. A bit of nipticking if you don't mind.

    - Flash drive. There are hundreds messages reporting issues with this. A lot of flash drives are unreliable with homebrews in general. I've never understood why it's not in big bold letters in faq and guides.

    - The cover naming is confusing especially for Windows users. WiiFlow wants 'MyGame.extension.png'. Generally in Windows, the file extension is hidden. This one has caused a lot of issues too, a little warning in the wiki woud have helped.

    - Renaming the games directly isn't really recommended. You have 2 alternatives to rename them :
    1. By editing custom_titles.ini.
    2. Using the title found in the available databases from plugins_data.

    #2 is a recent addition. Now Wiiflow looks for the displayed title first in custom_titles.ini then in xml and finally the real filename.
    Apparently it's also used in categories.
    But as you said, in all Arcade emulators(mame,fba), the games won't work if renamed.
  5. Danimalzpwn3

    Danimalzpwn3 Advanced Member

    Oct 12, 2019
    United States
    @Wiimpathy Thank you for the advise and great feedback! I added all you said in and some more links for directions on CIOS in order for flash to work (atleast on VWii), section of extensions and how to name them properly, Editing custom_titles,ini, titles in database file, and order of file reading. Added also a section of how to hide certain bios's that can appear if the extension is the same as the libraries extension.
    demonfish and alexander1970 like this.
  6. ca032769

    ca032769 GBAtemp Fan

    Jan 11, 2012
    United States
    Riverside, CA
    The download link for the Abz Master piece pack link doesn't seem to be there anymore.

    Clicking on your link, then "Download Link for v4.1.4 Beta Pack Rev 937 + Extracted Pack Folder Here" gives me the following:

    This URL has been excluded from the Wayback Machine.
    alexander1970 likes this.
  7. Danimalzpwn3

    Danimalzpwn3 Advanced Member

    Oct 12, 2019
    United States
    @ca032769 sorry about that try the link out now!
    alexander1970 likes this.
  8. KaiFun4Ever

    KaiFun4Ever Member

    Oct 26, 2019
    Just created a new account to say thanks! I needed this guide. Just bought a used wii and pretty late into the game.

    On step 3 why would i need a CFG usb loader when i already have wiiflow lite to play my wii games?
  9. Danimalzpwn3

    Danimalzpwn3 Advanced Member

    Oct 12, 2019
    United States
    The only reason why I install them is to check to see if the Wii iOS’s work. Honestly, they are mostly for testing purposes to make sure your games work. I’ve kept them on and they haven’t caused issues, but if you want to minimize space, then yes you can either skip that step, or delete them!

    For example let’s say in Wii flow the games do not work, you don’t know if it’s the ISO’s or Wii flow. Having another loader allows you to go test in it and see if the game runs, that means some Wii flow settings are not working, but if it doesn’t work, then the ISO is bad
    Last edited by Danimalzpwn3, Oct 26, 2019
    ca032769 and KaiFun4Ever like this.
  10. matt!

    matt! GBAtemp Fan

    Nov 20, 2009
    Thanks for the guide. It's still too much for me to attempt right now.

    Is there a plan for something like Masterpiece Pack but with latest emulators, Rhapsodii theme, and tier setup?
  11. Danimalzpwn3

    Danimalzpwn3 Advanced Member

    Oct 12, 2019
    United States
    @matt! hmmm..... At the moment there is no Masterpiece Pack out other than Abz. I could include my files online, with raw folder locations, and what I have setup. If that's something people would like I'm more than happy to. I'd need to clean it up and add all the latest stuff. However some basic stuff of adding your owns ISOS, artwork and making sure paths follow would still have to be done on your end.
    demonfish likes this.
  12. Danimalzpwn3

    Danimalzpwn3 Advanced Member

    Oct 12, 2019
    United States
    @matt! Check back onto the last section of the page, I added a Master Piece Collection. Should work for your basic needs.
    demonfish and matt! like this.
  13. FancyNintendoGamer567

    FancyNintendoGamer567 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Feb 13, 2017
    United States
    Wouldn't it make more sense if this was in Wii - Tutorials?
    fledge68 likes this.
  14. Danimalzpwn3

    Danimalzpwn3 Advanced Member

    Oct 12, 2019
    United States
    @FancyNintendoGamer567 I honestly didn't know where to put it. It is homebrew emulation due to multiple emulators being show and used via wii flow and homebrew applications, on the other hand it is a tutorial of how to do emulation. I really don't know which would be best :rofl2:
  15. KaiFun4Ever

    KaiFun4Ever Member

    Oct 26, 2019
    Any known compatibility issues with the emulators when using wii remote plus especially the newer models? Currently my wiimote plus doesnt work with AnyTitle Deleter and im starting to regret buying it :(
  16. banjo2

    banjo2 little man

    May 31, 2016
    United States
    gamer armchair
    WiiMod (Lite?) works with MotionPlus, iirc.
    KaiFun4Ever likes this.
  17. KaiFun4Ever

    KaiFun4Ever Member

    Oct 26, 2019
    Im using YAWMM for that so i can confirm it works. I mean emulators for example nes, snes, mame, nintendont. Or does it work within wiiflow lite?
  18. Danimalzpwn3

    Danimalzpwn3 Advanced Member

    Oct 12, 2019
    United States
    The controller works depending on which emulator you use. In Wii flow most of your Wii controllers should work. When it comes to individual emulators, it’s what the emulator creator made Possible to support
    KaiFun4Ever likes this.
  19. fledge68

    fledge68 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Jan 30, 2012
    United States
    @Danimalzpwn3 by the way its not wii flow its wiiflow. one word.
    Danimalzpwn3 likes this.
  20. Danimalzpwn3

    Danimalzpwn3 Advanced Member

    Oct 12, 2019
    United States
    @fledge68 thank you for the feedback! I changed everything that had them as two words to 1 oops!
    demonfish and fledge68 like this.
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