How To Install and Add New Characters and Stages to Mugen Fighting Game Engine

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

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 stages folder.

5. Install Characters

Find fighter packs on sites like MugenArchive and add them to the chars folder.

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. Ryu.def and Ryu folder).

4. Move to chars Folder

Copy or cut the folder and paste it into MUGEN’s chars directory.

5. Open select.def

Navigate to 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 .def and .sff file included.

2. Rename Consistently

The .def and .sff filenames should be identical (e.g. KanzukiBeach.def and KanzukiBeach.sff).

3. Put Files in stages Folder

Copy or move the .def and .sff into MUGEN’s stages folder.

4. Open select.def

In the 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 select.def.

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.