MUGEN is a customizable 2D fighting game engine developed by Elecbyte in 1999. It allows users to easily create their own fighting games by adding characters, stages, and other content.
Some key things to know about MUGEN:
- Open source and free to download
- Supports sprites and pixel art
- Users can create original fighters or add existing characters from games/anime
- Tons of fan-made characters, stages, and mods available online
- Engine handles gameplay mechanics and physics
Table of Contents
- Getting Started with MUGEN
- In-Depth: Adding Characters
- In-Depth: Adding Stages
- Customizing Your MUGEN Roster
Getting Started with MUGEN
Here are the basic steps to install MUGEN and set up your first roster:
1. Download the Latest Version
Go to the official MUGEN website or a MUGEN fan site to get the newest build. Extract the ZIP file after downloading.
2. Configure Controls
When you first launch MUGEN, go to Options and set up your keyboard or gamepad controls. Define buttons for light, medium, and heavy attacks.
3. Download a Screenpack (Optional)
A screenpack customizes the look and feel of all menus and UI elements in MUGEN. Lots of great ones are available.
4. Add Some Stages
MUGEN comes with 1 default stage. Download fan-made stages you like and put them in the
5. Install Characters
Find fighter packs on sites like MugenArchive and add them to the
6. Edit select.def
This text file defines your roster and stages. Just add the folder name for new fighters/stages.
In-Depth: Adding Characters
Here is a more detailed guide to installing characters and getting them working properly in MUGEN:
1. Check Compatibility
Before downloading, check if the character works with your MUGEN version and screenpack.
2. Download and Extract
Get the fighter pack ZIP/RAR file and extract contents to your PC.
3. Rename Folder
The folder name MUST match the .def file name (e.g.
4. Move to chars Folder
Copy or cut the folder and paste it into MUGEN’s
5. Open select.def
data folder. Open
select.def in Notepad or similar text editor.
6. Add Entry
In “Characters” section, type the folder name on a new line, e.g.:
7. Save select.def
Save and close the text file after adding the entry.
8. Test in MUGEN
Launch the game and make sure your new character appears correctly!
In-Depth: Adding Stages
Adding stages works much like installing characters:
1. Check Files
Download the stage and check if has both a
.sff file included.
2. Rename Consistently
.sff filenames should be identical (e.g.
3. Put Files in stages Folder
Copy or move the
.sff into MUGEN’s
4. Open select.def
data folder, open
select.def with a text editor like Notepad.
5. Add Entry
In “Stages” section, type path on a new line, e.g.:
6. Save select.def
Save changes to
7. View in MUGEN
Launch game and pick stage in VS mode to test.
Customizing Your MUGEN Roster
Once you’ve built a solid starting roster, consider these customizations:
- Add character portraits – Better selects screen visuals
- Music packs – Custom BGMs for stages & characters
- Menu skins – Reskin character select/other UI
- Game modes – Survival, Time Attack, etc.
- AI patches – Better and fairer opponent logic
That covers the basics of installing fighters and stages in MUGEN. While it may seem complex initially, you’ll be customizing your perfect pixel fighting dream game in no time!
With an ever-growing content library and great portability, MUGEN is ideal for creating your fantasy 2D battle without coding a whole game from scratch.