External shaders

From PCSX2 Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A shader is a piece of software that is used to do certain modifications of the GSdx graphic output. For instance, the production of appropriate levels of color or for post-processing effects.


Since January 2014, GSdx supports the use of an external file (shader.fx) as additionally loaded shader program, alongside with the FXAA shader. This feature is only available for Windows users with graphics cards supporting Dx10 or higher.

Installation and usage

Make sure you have GSdx version 0.1.16 or higher.

  1. Download your shader of choice (see list of shaders bellow).
  2. Extract the *.fx file inside your PCSX2 directory (where the main executable file is located). Note that from PCSX2 version 1.3.0 the shader should be placed in a special shaders folder instead of the root folder.
  3. Rename the extracted file to shader.fx (remember to back up the existing shader.fx file in case you will want to restored it later).
  4. Enable the external shader in GSdx using one of the three methods below:
    1. Enable the Use FX Shader checkbox in the GSdx settings.
    2. Press Home while in game.
    3. Add shaderfx=1 line to GSdx.ini.
Lightbulb.png Tip:
On low end systems the combined use of Fx Shader and FXAA and/or a high custom resolution can hinder rendering speed. Try to fiddle with settings until you find the one that better suits your need for a particular game.

Shaders download links

  • You can find a number of shader.fx files created by the community in this forum post.
  • KrossX shaders can be downloaded here.

GSdx FX by Asmodean

This is a collection of shaders included in GSdx.fx file. It's also associated with a configuration file GSdx_FX_Settings.ini that can be modified by the user. The collection is supplied by default with PCSX2 starting with version 1.3.0 (see the most recent development builds).

More information and downloads can be found here

Current effects include:


  • Bilinear Texture Filtering
  • Bicubic Texture Filtering
  • Gaussian Texture Filtering
  • Bicubic Scaling
  • Lanzcos Scaling

  • Blended Bloom
  • Scene Tonemapping
  • Gamma Correction
  • Texture Unsharp Mask
  • Pixel Vibrance
  • Local Contrast Enhancement
  • Colour Grading
  • PX Cel Shading

  • Scanline Emulation
  • Vignette
  • Subpixel Dithering
  • Px Border (MSAA Workaround)

Asmodean: "You can enable, or disable each effect, from inside the shader settings file. Everything is customizable. Settings are clearly sectioned, and labeled. Use the documentation comments inside the configuration file for instructions on each option. The default setup is enhancement settings (compliment/enhance the original game's image, without changing it's overall tone & feel) and pretty neutral, so people who don't want to play with the settings can just turn it on and use it."

Lightbulb.png Tip:
To get the most out of GSdx FX, try experiment by customizing settings and combining some effects together.


GDdx (in Direct3D 11 mode) is compatible with SweetFX post-processing effects suite.
Use SweetFX Configurator to install and configure it. Simply add PCSX2 to its GUI and click on Add SweetFX, the configurator is going to copy the required files automatically, you can remove them by clicking on the Remove SweetFX option at any time.

SweetFX Ingame hotkeys:

  • PrtScrn: Take a screenshot.
  • Scroll Lock: Toggle SweetFX ON and OFF.
  • Pause: Reload the SweetFX settings file (useful to change the the effects on the configurator and see the results while in game).