Mugen, often styled as M.U.G.E.N., is a 2D fighting game engine. It’s unique in that it allows players to add characters and stages, in addition to menu screens and custom selection screens. Mugen also has a loyal and approachable community of users.
Countless user-created characters are available for free download and use, ranging from custom versions of existing characters to completely original creations. If you’re looking for new characters to refresh your roster of fighters, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get into it.
Add a Character to Mugen
As befitting its an open platform status, Mugen allows all players to add custom-made characters to the roster. You can create or download them from the internet. In either case, you’ll have to modify some game files to make your characters playable. Let’s see how you’ll be able to add a character to Mugen.
First, you should either build or download a character that’s compatible with Mugen. For the purposes of this article, we’ll cover the download route as character creation would deserve an article of its own. Also, we’ll assume that you’ve already downloaded and set up Mugen.
There are many places where you can get more characters. Mugen Archive  is where a large number of players get theirs. The site’s Download section features several subcategories like Capcom, Video Game Universe, SNK, and others. Mugen Archive also allows you to upload your creations for other players to use. Mugenfreeforall.com  is another popular resource.
Select the category and the player that you want from the list and click the Download button. This example uses Young Ryu by Lord S.
You can open the character file if you want to preview its contents. If it’s a ZIP file, simply double-click it. But if it’s a RAR file, you can open it via 7-Zip or WinRAR. Next, extract the contents of the file.
You’ll see that a character file contains several files in its folder. However, the most important one is the .def file. In order for the import to work, the .def file and the character folder have to have the exact same name. If you’ve downloaded Young Ryu like we did, the extracted folder will be named YRyu. The .def file must then be named YRyu.def for this to work. Modify the filename as necessary.
Some folders also contain several .def files. If that’s the case, you should match the name of the base file with the folder. In the case of Young Ryu by Lord S, everything’s OK as long as YRyu.def matches the folder name.
Next, head over to the folder where you installed Mugen. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be in the Program Files folder, so you may have to look elsewhere. What you’re looking for is the Char folder under Mugen. Paste your new character’s folder into the Char folder.
After that, go up a level and find the Data folder. Enter it and search for the Select.def file. Right-click on the file select Open with from the drop-down menu. Pick Notepad from the list of available programs.
Search for the Characters section inside the file. That’s where all the available characters are listed. When you find it, add YRyu to the bottom of the list. You can type it in, but it is better to copy and paste the character’s folder name. A mismatch will result in your character not showing up in the game. Save the changes to the file and close it.
Also, if your character’s folder contains several def files, make sure to amend the entry to include the name of the character you’d like to use. Let’s say that you’ve got YRyu.def and YRyuEvil.def in the YRyu folder. If you’d like to use the former, type YRyu/YRyu into the Characters section of the Select.def file. For the latter, use YRyu/YRyuEvil instead.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Select.def contains many comments, which start and end with semicolons. Write your character’s name on a line that doesn’t begin with a semicolon or it’ll be considered a comment.
This step is completely optional. If you want to, you can also set the order of the characters shown in Arcade Mode when you launch Mugen. By default, Mugen’s Arcade mode gives you six opponents from the Order 1 class, one from Order 2, and one from Order 3.
For example, if you’d like to assign YRyu to the second order, you’d add “, order=2” next to the name. It should look like this:
NOTE: Mugen allows you to order your characters from 1 to 10. The game would then randomly choose between characters of the same order.
Adding a new character to Mugen might take a few of minutes including minor edits of the configuration files. However, it’s easy once you’ve tried it a couple of times. May the best fighter win!
Did you find this method to work well enough? Is there anything else about Mugen that you’d like us to cover? Let us know in the comments below.