|Current developer(s)||Project64 Team|
Project64 is an open source, plugin-based Nintendo 64 emulator.
- Public releases
- Nightly builds
- Unofficial dev builds
- Use with caution, as EmuCR does not test them and sometimes bundle old, deprecated plugins, if at all.
- Unofficial bundle
- This package includes PJ64 1.6, PJ64 2.1 and various other plugins.
It first came out as a purely experimental emulator by developers zilmar and Jabo. It quickly revolutionized the N64 emulation landscape. For many years afterward, it was considered to be the best N64 emulator, with only Mupen64 and 1964 posing any real competition. By version 1.6, it was touted as being not only highly compatible but also the most stable of the lot.
However, upon announcing the development of version 1.7, the project became closed off to most of the public. The only way to keep up with the latest developments was to donate $20 to obtain beta testing privileges. However, there were several development version leaks, most of which turned out to be unstable, prone to crashes, and full of performance and compatibility regressions, which cast doubt upon the competency of the developers. Upon Jabo's departure from the project in 2011, most people came to regard Projec64 as being stuck in development limbo, if not completely dead.
In 2013, however, zilmar, now the lone developer of Project64, released version 2.0, including its complete source code. Quickly afterward, version 2.1 was released. However, these versions proved to be a mixed bag in comparison to the older, long-standing 1.6 release, and even the leaked 1.7 betas in some respects. Several compatibility issues were fixed, and the interface was cleaned up, but the default plugins were largely inferior to earlier iterations, and even the core itself saw compatibility regressions in some games. And though the source had been made public, there was no public repository for developers to contribute fixes or pull requests, resulting in the project to becoming dormant again.
In 2015, zilmar created a public Project64 repository on GitHub, at last opening the gates for public contributions. Development picked up at break-neck speed and has yet to cease. Many of the issues with earlier versions of Project64 have now been fixed. It has been mostly ported to 64-bit, and there is even an effort underway to make it more portable and eventually work on non-Windows platforms.
Malware and nagware
Up to version 2.2, the official installer for PJ64 included opt-out malware in the installer. In July of 2016, the malware was removed from both the source code and installers. However, version 2.3 introduced a benign but irritating nagware screen that pops up when launching PJ64 after starting it multiple times, which grows more persistent with successive launches as a forced waiting period is installed. This can be disabled by modifying
project64.cfg to appear as follows:
[Support Project64] Run Count=-1
Alternatively, you can type "thank you from project64" as the notification code.
Windows 10 BSOD
Following the stable release 2.0, Windows 10 users had a high likelihood of encountering a BSOD upon attempting to run Project64. This was fixed before the release of version 2.3, so Windows 10 users are encouraged not to use versions 2.0–2.2.
- Main article: Recommended N64 plugins
Uses Kaillera or AQZ.