Yuzu is a popular open-source Nintendo Switch emulator for Windows, Linux, and macOS. When you first run a game on Yuzu, it has to compile shaders while the game runs. This shader compilation can lead to stuttering, slowdowns, and lower frame rates. Using a shader cache allows Yuzu to load pre-compiled shaders, avoiding compilation and improving performance. In this guide, I'll show you how to easily add a shader cache to Yuzu.
How to Add Shader Cache to Yuzu Emulator?
Download the Shader Cache
The first step is to download a shader cache for the game you want to play. You can find shader caches for many popular Switch games on sites like /r/yuzu_shader_caches. Make sure to download a cache for the specific version of the game and Yuzu you're using. Save the downloaded .zip file somewhere easy to access.
Locate Yuzu's Cache Directory
Next, you need to locate Yuzu's shader cache directory. This is where you will place the downloaded shader cache file. To find the directory:
- Open Yuzu.
- Click on File > Show Yuzu Folder. This will open the Yuzu folder containing all config files and caches.
- Navigate to shader_caches inside this folder. This is where shader cache files need to be placed.
Extract the Shader Cache File
Now go back to the .zip shader cache file you downloaded earlier. Extract it and you should get a file with a .bin extension. This is the actual shader cache.
Copy or move this .bin file into the shader_caches folder you located earlier. Make sure the name matches the name of the game.
Load the Shader Cache in Yuzu
The final step is to load the shader cache in Yuzu. Here's how:
- Start Yuzu and open the game the shader cache is for.
- Right click the game and select "File > Load New Shader Cache..."
- Select the .bin file you added to the shader_caches folder.
- That's it! Yuzu will now load the shader cache instead of compiling new shaders. You should notice smoother performance and less stuttering. Enjoy your game!
Check for Performance Improvements
With the shader cache loaded, any shader compilation that would normally happen during gameplay should now be avoided.
Start playing the game and keep an eye out for performance improvements. You should notice:
- Less stuttering and smoother gameplay
- Faster loading times
- Higher, more consistent framerates
- Greatly reduced shader compilation warnings
- If you don't notice improvements, make sure you loaded the right shader cache for your game version. Different versions have different shaders.
Finding More Shader Caches
One shader cache is good, but you can add caches for multiple Switch games to maximize performance across your Yuzu library.
Great places to find more shader cache files include:
- Reddit (r/yuzu_shader_caches)
- Yuzu Discord server
- Game-specific forums and Discord servers
- Just follow the same steps above to add more caches. An active community keeps creating new caches for Yuzu games.
Adding a shader cache to Yuzu is easy and can really improve your experience running Switch games on the emulator. With fewer shaders compiling in the background, games should run faster with less stuttering.
I hope this guide clearly explains the steps to download, add, and load a shader cache file for Yuzu. Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!