How to Boost Yuzu Emulator Speed by Adding Shader Caches (Easy Guide)

how to add shader cache yuzu | Learn the secret trick to boost fps and eliminate stuttering when playing Switch games on yuzu with this easy shader cache guide. Dramatically improve performance now.
how to add shader cache yuzu

How to Boost Yuzu Emulator Speed by Adding Shader Caches (Easy Guide)

Are you struggling with low frame rates and stuttering when emulating Nintendo Switch games on yuzu? Adding shader caches can dramatically improve performance and eliminate lag - but many users find the process confusing. In this beginner's guide, we'll walk through the easy steps to download and use shader caches for a smoother, faster yuzu experience. Whether you're playing Mario Odyssey, Pokemon, or any other demanding Switch title, optimizing yuzu with shaders can take your gameplay to the next level. Let's boost those frames!

Understanding Shader Caches

First, what exactly are "shader caches" and how do they help yuzu run better?

In basic terms, shaders are small programs that help render graphics and visual effects in games. They control things like lighting, textures, and post-processing. When you first load up a Switch game in yuzu, the emulator has to compile all the shaders from scratch. This on-the-fly shader compilation is extremely demanding and causes stuttering, freezes, and big frame rate drops.

Shader caches solve this problem by saving pre-compiled shaders from other users. Instead of compiling shaders in real-time, yuzu can load optimized shaders instantly from the cache. This eliminates stuttering and provides a smooth, high-fps experience. It's like giving yuzu a head start instead of forcing it to learn everything from the beginning.

Adding a good shader cache is one of the best "performance hacks" to speed up yuzu. But how exactly do you go about installing and using shader caches for your games? Let's break it down step-by-step.

Downloading Shader Caches

The first step is getting your hands on a complete shader cache for the specific game you want to optimize. There are a few options for finding caches:

  • Official yuzu website - The yuzu developers host a growing library of shader caches for popular games like Super Mario Odyssey, Pokemon, and Smash Bros. These are high quality caches built by the emulator team.
  • Community forums - Yuzu user forums like Reddit often share shader cache links. These are created by regular users but can work well. Always virus scan downloads from unknown sources.
  • Build your own - You can create a shader cache by playing through a game yourself. This takes time and you'll experience stutters. Pre-built caches are ideal.

For this guide, we'll use the official Super Mario Odyssey cache from yuzu's website. Head to the Shader Caches page and click the download link for your game. Save the .bin file once downloaded.

Importing the Cache into Yuzu

Now that you have a shader cache file, it's time to load it into yuzu:

  1. Launch yuzu and make sure your Switch game is loaded. We'll use Super Mario Odyssey as an example.
  2. Click Emulation -> Configure -> Graphics.
  3. Under "Advanced", click the "Load" button next to "Disk Shader Cache".
  4. Browse to your downloaded .bin file and open it. This imports the shader cache.
  5. Make sure "Use Disk Shader Cache" is checked to enable the imported cache.
  6. Close the Graphics settings and start gameplay! The cached shaders will dramatically boost fps and smoothness.

It's that easy - yuzu will now tap into the pre-compiled shaders whenever you play that game. This bypasses the usual shader compilation stuttering. Keep in mind you'll need to import a new cache for each separate game.

Clearing and Managing Shader Caches

A few quick tips for maintenance and management:

  • Delete old shader caches you no longer use to save disk space.
  • If a game behaves oddly, delete its cache via "Remove" in Graphics settings. This resets shaders fully.
  • Cached shaders are saved automatically on exit. Disable "Save Disk Shader Cache" if you don't want this.
  • For full shader reset, delete the cache and clear the GL or Vulkan pipeline cache in Graphics settings.

Over time, your shader cache will build up and yuzu's performance will improve. Try adding caches for all your demanding Switch games. Just keep an eye on disk usage, as these files can get large.

Troubleshooting Issues

Shader caches are generally safe to use and require minimal setup. But here are some common issues and fixes:

Game crashes on launch - Make sure the cache exactly matches your game version. Delete it and find an updated cache. Outdated shaders often cause crashes. Stuttering persists - If performance is still poor, the cache may be low quality or incompatible. Try a cache from a different source. Visual glitches - Bad shaders can cause visual bugs. Remove the cache and scan for malware just in case. Revert to on-the-fly shaders. Large file size - Delete old caches you're no longer using if storage space is limited. Compress or move caches to external drives if needed. Can't find a good cache - For unpopular games, caches may not be available. You'll have to compile shaders manually by playing through normally.

Still having issues? The yuzu community sites are great resources for troubleshooting. Don't hesitate to ask for help!

Using Graphics Mods and Tweaks

Besides shader caches, there are a few other handy tweaks to boost yuzu speed and graphics:

  • Resolution - Lower 3D resolution significantly reduces GPU load. Try 720p or 50% resolution.
  • Vulkan API - Vulkan is faster than OpenGL in many cases. Enable this in Graphics settings.
  • Async GPU - Turning this on slightly improves performance at the cost of accuracy. Worth testing.
  • Mods - Graphics mods like resolution bumps can tax yuzu. Avoid heavy mods on weaker PCs.
  • CPU optimization - Overclocking and disabling background processes helps CPU-bound games.
  • Game ROM patches - Community mods like FPS++ improve internal game performance.

Experiment with different combinations of settings and mods for the best results. Shader caches should remain your top priority, but these tweaks also add up.

Achieving Full Speed in Yuzu

With the right settings and hardware, hitting full speed in yuzu is absolutely possible for many games. Here are some tips:

  • Shader caches - Caches are mandatory. Compile your own if needed. This is the best universal boost.
  • Vulkan - Leverages GPU power better than OpenGL in most cases. Try this first.
  • Resolution - Lower 3D resolution removes GPU bottlenecks. 720p or 50% is recommended.
  • CPU power - Recent Intel or AMD processors clocked at 4Ghz+ handle emulation well. Overclock if possible.
  • GPU power - Modern Nvidia RTX or AMD RX cards have the graphics muscle for yuzu. 8GB+ VRAM recommended.
  • Settings optimization - Tweak settings like resolution scaling, audio, anisotropic filtering to maximize performance.
  • Close background apps - Shut down other programs and processes eating CPU/GPU resources.
  • Game ROM mods - Mods like FPS++ and texture packs can boost in-game performance.
  • Update software and drivers - Use latest yuzu, GPU drivers, Windows/Linux updates for improvements.
  • Cooling - Better cooling allows higher CPU/GPU clock speeds. Clean fans and consider upgrading.

With the right combination of shader caches, settings, mods, and hardware you can eliminate stuttering and achieve a full 60 fps in many Switch games. It takes some trial and error but the results are worth it. Yuzu has come incredibly far in just a few short years.


That sums up our beginner's guide to speeding up yuzu by adding shader caches. While the emulator still requires some tinkering, this one simple trick delivers a massive performance upgrade. Stuttering and frame drops become a thing of the past. Just follow the quick steps to import caches for all your games.

Combined with graphics tweaks and hardware upgrades, yuzu can deliver silky smooth gameplay exceeding the real Switch. Emulation technology improves every day, so exciting times are ahead. But for now, grab some caches and enjoy your favorite Nintendo classics with speed and stability. Game on!

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