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Some of MiSTer's cores have the capability to apply cheats in-game. The cheats are in a specific format and are automatically pulled from's website when you run the downloader script. These cheat files have specific rules that govern how they can be used.


Cheats should be stored in: cheats/system/ where system is name of the core like NES, SNES, Genesis, etc...

So, for example:

cheats/NES/Taboo (USA).zip for the NES ROM Taboo (USA).nes

The filename of the zip must match the ROM name exactly. Cheats will be loaded automatically when you load a ROM, and can be enabled and disabled from the menu in supported cores.

If the .zip cheat file does not match the ROM name, the cheat engine will automatically check the ROM CRC32 and select the appropriate .zip cheat file with matching CRC32 accordingly. ROM name matching has priority over CRC32 checking.

Individual cheats are in .gg format and should be stored in zip files.

How to use Cheats with CD-ROM images

Since CD-ROM images are large, the MiSTer purposefully doesn't do CRC32 hash checks for CD images. You will need to place the cheats you want into the same folder as your cue/bin or CHD file, in order to use cheats with it. Typically the cheat-matching with your CD-ROM image is done by matching the filename of your CUE/BIN, CHD, or ISO with the filename of the cheat zip file. The Playstation core uniquely allows for this method and has an additional method to load the cheat based upon the internal Game ID (e.g. SCUS-94163). Please note, if the cheats do not load, then check the following:

  1. The cheat zip file is in the same subfolder as the desired CUE/BIN, CHD, or ISO.
  2. The filename of the zip file is identical to the filename of the CUE/BIN, CHD, or ISO.
  3. (for the PSX core only) The Game ID of the desired game matches the target Game ID of the zip file.

If cheats for the CD game do not work when everything else looks correct, it is possible your version of the game is wrong.

Making your own codes

All types of cheat codes for 16 bit systems and earlier can be decoded into four pieces of information: An address, a compare value, a replace value, and usually a flag to say if the compare value is used or not. The format for a gg file is in binary as 4 32 bit integers in little-endian byte order.

For example, if the Address is 0xFF1CA0 and the compare value is 0xB5 and the replace value is 0xFF, the file would look like this:

01 00 00 00 A0 1C FF 00 B5 00 00 00 FF 00 00 00

The first four bytes are little-endian 0x00000001 for "compare enabled", the second four are little-endian address, third set are compare value, and fourth is replace value. Note that not all codes use a compare value.

For cheats with multiple codes, simply add another 16 bytes at the end of the file in the same format as the first.

You can decode game genie codes into these values with tools like this: