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[Other Tutorial] Playing Essentials games on Android using Joiplay


Pokémon Island Creator
  • 2,456
    • Seen Jun 15, 2024
    Edit: Newer Joiplay open games on zip/rar files. Removed this part.
    Edit 2: Newer Joiplay partially solves the Zlib::StreamError.

    What is Joiplay
    Playing Essentials games on Android using Joiplay

    Joiplay is an emulator-like (but technically not an emulator) for Android that runs games made on different platforms like Ren'Py, TyranoBuilder and RPG Makers, including RPG Maker XP. It has support for games that use MKXP-Z, including games made using Essentials (but not PSDK). This App exist since 2019 at least. Since Apple is very protective of iOS security, we will most likely never have an iPhone/iPad version.

    Thanks to youtubers, some fangames end up being sought after by many people who don't have a computer. Some of them, according to polls, end up being played more using Joiplay than Windows/Mac. However, it is not uncommon for this App to raise some issues for the players. Previously, Joiplay couldn't run games from zip/rar but current version does this.

    Don't download Joiplay from Google Play!
    Playing Essentials games on Android using Joiplay

    Initially Joiplay, as well as the RPG Maker plugin, were available on Google Play, but, since 2021, they end up being rejected for strange reasons. Google Play thinks interpreting games isn't a core feature of JoiPlay and Media Store API can be used for non-media files, which is completely wrong. Joiplay developers are unable to talk to Joiplay people to resolve this issue. The version at Google store doesn't support MKXP-Z and therefore doesn't run games made in Essentials version 19 or higher.

    The latest Joiplay versions are available at Patreon. It is not necessary to have an account, much less pay. To install the APK file, it is necessary to enable unknown sources files on Android.

    To install files from unknown sources before Android 8: Go to your Android Settings > Security > Unknown sources > Check.

    To install files from unknown sources on Android 8 and after: Go to your Android Settings > Apps & Notifications> Advanced OR three dots top corner > Special App Access > Install Unknown Apps > Select APK.

    Playing Essentials games on Android using Joiplay
    • If the tilesets (some or all) are messed up like in the screen, long press on game icon > Optimize maps.
    • If the game asks for RPG Maker XP RTP, download at the official link and select the file. Don't extract it.
    • For the game to run faster, export the content if Joiplay asks.
    • Do not run the game while stored on a SD Card/external storage.
    • Some devices may experience small issues with some sound effects don't playing, text mispositioned and FPS down at some parts, especially in games that need intensive performance.

    Playing Essentials games on Android using Joiplay

    The crash Zlib::StreamError on start happens on old Androids when using Joiplay versions after v1.11.006. The recent Joiplay versions fixed this in Androids version 9 or above. If the Android is below this version, this is solved using Joiplay v1.11.006 and RPG Maker plugin v1.20.05.

    If the specific game you are playing crashes somewhere, you can join the Joiplay Discord and talk to support. Don't forget to send the error screen and explain when it occurs. They might find a workaround to run the game or even create a patch and make the game fully compatible in a future release. I myself have already done this and I was assisted by the developer of Joiplay. Remember that the sooner you report, the sooner the issue can be resolved.

    Infos for devs
    Playing Essentials games on Android using Joiplay

    If you are a developer, in addition to guiding players on the use of Joiplay (and the RPG Maker plugin), you can report bugs and look for alternatives with support.

    Some features like HTTPLite don't work in Joiplay (when this guide was written HTTPLite works only on pre-release version). You can check if your game is running on Joiplay (just do a 'if $joiplay') and run a workaround or message about the unavailability, like turning off lights that can cause lag or even closing the debug menu, since Joiplay has a cheat menu.
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