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CustomArt (sometimes simply written as custom art) is a file organising feature that was used as early as NBA Live 2000 but gained popularity around the time of NBA Live 2003. It allows players to patch graphical elements of their game simply by placing updated art files in a specific game folder. This method is very user-friendly, since there is no need to touch the .viv files. The downside is that it can often increase loading times, especially on slower computers.

NBA Live 2003 and NBA Live 2004 require CustomArt to be enabled before it will work, however this step is unnecessary from NBA Live 2005 onwards.

Enabling Custom Art[edit]

CustomArt is enabled through the following steps:

  1. Locate xstartup.cfg in the main\cscripts folder within the main game folder folder. By default, the path will be C:\Program Files\EA Sports\NBA Live 2003\main\cscripts or C:\Program Files\EA Sports\NBA Live 2004\main\cscripts. In 64 Bit Windows, both games will be installed under the Program Files (x86) folder by default.
  2. Open xstartup.cfg using Notepad (if necessary, right-click the file and select Open with, then choose Notepad
  3. Locate the line customart 0
  4. Change this to read customart 1
  5. Save the changes and close the file.

Using CustomArt[edit]

Files are simply placed in a subfolder within the main game folder. In NBA Live 2003 and NBA Live 2004, this folder is called render. By default, the path to this folder is C:\Program Files\EA Sports\NBA Live 2003\render or C:\Program Files\EA Sports\NBA Live 2004\render. Within the render folder, the user must create new folder that reflect the names of the .viv files that contain the original art file. For example, cyberfaces are located in the xplayer.viv file, hence they must be placed in a subfolder labelled xplayer.

In comparison, the use of CustomArt in NBA Live 2005 onwards is much easier. All updated art files can be extracted to a subfolder within the main game folder called sgsm as long as they are not in .viv format. Patches that are distributed in .viv format (such as coach's cyberface updates) must be placed in their respective folder within sgsm (labelled coach, players, etc).

Many patches will either utilise an installation routine that will place the art files in the correct folder or include a readme document explaining the correct location to install the patch.