Texture packs

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For when original low-res sprites or ugly muddy pixellated textures don't cut it anymore, there are some emulators which allow for texture replacement - so that you can play your old games with shiny HD/4K textures to go with HD rendering. It's nice to play more of the retro games in the style of Super Mario All-Stars, the Ducktales remaster, or the N64 Zelda remakes.

Only problem: It's not as widely supported among emulators. This may be slowly changing, though. You'll need to get (or make) a texture pack in addition to the ROM. Goes without saying the game logic won't be altered. Also, this doesn't actually change the data inside the ROM proper, making this enhancement emulator-specific.

Currently, 2D sprite replacements are not as popular, so much of what's available among replacement packs are quite bland in the same fashion as Final Fantasy 6's iOS "remake" or RPG Maker stuff, but they're meant to be a proof-of-concept, no more. As of 2018, 2D sprite replacements have improved in quality with the release of several excellent 8-bit to 16-bit packs for NES.

Sprite Replacement (2D)[edit]

Example of Castlevania 30th Anniversary

NES[edit]

  • Mesen has support for HDNes HD packs and has made several improvements to it. Also includes HD Pack Builder that can be used to create new HD packs. Most newer packs only work on Mesen and not on HDNes.
  • HDNes an emulator that allows you to overlay custom sprites at 4X resolution over in-game NES sprites. These custom sprites are in true color without any of the palette restrictions inherent to the NES (alpha + 3 colors picked from around 50 possible colors). It can also do music replacement.

Notable sprite replacements packs[edit]

SNES[edit]

No emulator support this at the moment, (yet). Feature request for bsnes-hd: Add custom sprite/texture dumping/injection support

Game Boy[edit]

  • GBE+ Works just like HDNES, with custom resolutions up to x10. Can be used to colorize monochrome GB games this way when used with x1 sprite replacements. Doesn't have a stable release yet.
  • GameOBJ Based on the Unity3d GB Emulator code "UnityGB". It replaces GB graphics with 3D objects and the result is... unique, certainly worth it. Video here and here.

Sega Master System[edit]

  • HiSMS - Master System emulator with sprite replacement in HD resolutions.

Texture Replacement (3D)[edit]

Nintendo Switch[edit]

  • Ryujinx has a LayeredFS mod system which is found under "Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Ryujinx\mods\contents\" followed by the game's ID. This folder can be accessed directly by right-clicking the game title and selecting "Open Mods Directory". Texture packs can be placed in this folder.
  • Yuzu has a very similar LayeredFS mod system, which is found under "Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\yuzu\load".

Notable HD texture packs[edit]

Nintendo 3DS (Citra)[edit]

  • WIP

Notable HD texture packs[edit]

  • Henriko Magnifico (multiple games) Link
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: Link
  • Super Mario 3D Land: Textures

Dedicated forum: Link

Citra Community Posts: Link

Nintendo 64[edit]

  • Project64 - You will need a plugin such as Glide64, Rice, or GLideN64 to replace textures. GLideN64 is the only plugin that can do widescreen hacks and custom textures at the same time, though it has a high system requirement.
  • Mupen64Plus (standalone PC version) - Both Glide64 (and GLideN64) and Rice plugins support texture replacements, though not enabled by default. To enable the custom textures, change "LoadHiResTextures" to true and "ghq_hirs" to 1 in your mupen64plus.cfg. Note that the custom texture related features are removed from RetroArch port of Mupen64Plus. Custom Texture folder location:
Windows XP and older:
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Mupen64Plus\hires_texture
Windows Vista and newer:
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Mupen64Plus\hires_texture
Mac, Linux, and others:
~/.local/share/mupen64plus/hires_texture
  • Mupen64Plus AE - This Android fork of Mupen64 also have texture replacement, but only on Rice plugin. The setting file does have "ghq_hirs" for Glide64, but changing it to 1 has no noticeable effect. Custom Texture folder location:
Google Play Free Version:
/sdcard/Android/data/paulscode.android.mupen64plus.free/data/hires_texture/
Google Play Donate Version:
/sdcard/Android/data/paulscode.android.mupen64plus/data/hires_texture

Notable texture packs[edit]

Dedicated forum: Link.

GameCube/Wii[edit]

Example of WW HD UI
  • Dolphin has a game-specific directory somewhere under "Documents\Dolphin Emulator\Load\Textures" with your game's ID (check the ISO properties to what it is) where you can put your custom sprites. Under "Graphics", go to the "Advanced" tab and enable "Load Custom Texture", then set "Texture Cache Accuracy" to "Safe". While running, it will replace that texture when the game loads it with the image files under that directory. Texture packs for Dolphin come as tons of image files to put in that directory.

Notable texture packs[edit]

GameCube[edit]
Wii[edit]

Dedicated forum: Link.

Dreamcast[edit]

Notable HD texture packs[edit]

PlayStation[edit]

Both DuckStation's texture-replacement-PR and beetle-psx-hw-libretro (mednafen_psx_hw_libretro) support this feature but it's still work-in-progress/experimental and incompatible with each others implementation.

Notable HD texture packs[edit]

  • WIP

PlayStation 2[edit]

Dedicated forum: PCSX2 HD texture pack group (This group is to collect HD texture packs for the PCSX2 emulator, since there's no centralized location for them right now.)

Notable HD texture packs[edit]

Direct MediaFire links originate from this thread (which also contains additional packs): Link

PlayStation Portable[edit]

  • PPSSPP has a game-specific directory under "user\Documents\PPSSPP\PSP\TEXTURES" with your game's ID (check the ISO properties to what it is) where you can install texture packs. Under "Tools", go to the "Developer Tools" and enable "Replace Textures". PPSSPP Texture packs consist of textures in .png format, and a textures.ini file.

Notable HD texture packs[edit]

PlayStation Vita[edit]

Notable HD texture packs[edit]

External Links[edit]