Installation and execution of 3DGE

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How to install 3DGE (Windows XP SP3 and higher)

  1. Download and Install the newest version of 3DGE (stable: 2.1.0 Test3, devbuilds: 2.1.0 DRDTeam Builds).
  2. Extract all files from 7Z/RAR to a new directory.
  3. Use a compatible IWAD. If two DOOM IWADS are found, 3DGE will attempt to load them both. While this works in good faith with DOOM and DOOM II/TNT/PLUTONIA, it will not work correctly with HERETIC. Per Se, it will attempt to load all data together. This can be used to play DOOM's game inside of Heretic, and vice versa, though with unexpected results. Alternatively, you can set the DOOMWADDIR environment variable to point to the directory in which the IWADs are kept.

How to start 3DGE

  • Depending on what version of 3DGE you have, the executable name might be different. Starting with 1.36F, the name will always be "3DGE".exe.

To play an unmodified game, simply double-click 3DGE.exe, or a shortcut to it, or call it from a command line.

For playing mods, you need to tell 3DGE to load the relevant mod files. Since 3DGE does not integrate a frontend for choosing mods, the following are just a series of standard methods to open an executable with one or several files as parameters. These methods are for Windows; for Linux or Mac OS X you will have to extrapolate.

Using a frontend

This might be the best method. Select a frontend and install it. Instead of starting 3DGE directly, start the frontend. This will let you select which mod to load and set additional command line parameters as well. Said frontend should come with documentation.


The simplest method. Select the mod files to load, and then drag and drop them over 3DGE's executable. If the mod files are not in the same directory as 3DGE, you will need to open a file manager window in each directory. You can also drag the mod file over a shortcut to the 3DGE executable.

Send to

Add a shortcut to 3DGE in your SendTo folder. Depending on the version of Windows you use, the path to the SendTo folder may differ. In XP, it is in C:\Documents and Settings\<userid>\SendTo. In Vista or 7, it is in %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo.

Simply add a shortcut to 3DGE in that folder, and now you can right-click->send to->3DGE any file you want. You can edit the shortcut to add command line parameters to it as well.

Note that you may need to set Windows Explorer to show hidden and system files for it to accept to show you the SendTo folder.

Open with

In Windows Explorer, select Tools -> Folder Options, then under "File Types" associate the file types wad with 3DGE.exe. (If .wad is not listed in the "Extension" column, click on "New" to create it.) Once this is done, you can double-click on a wad file and it'll launch 3DGE with that file automatically. If the file type is associated with several programs (for example, 3DGE and other source ports), then use right-click -> Open With to select 3DGE.

Shell extension

You can create shell extensions in Windows Explorer to make new context menu entries. As for the "Open With" method, select Tools -> Folder Options, then under 'File Types', select the wad extension (if it is not already present, create it), then click on "Advanced" near it. Click "New..." to create a new action. In the "Action" field, describe what you want the shell extension to display, for example, "Play with 3DGE". In the "Application used to perform action" field, place an instruction for the shell extension to activate, with the full path to 3DGE.exe (between quotes if there are spaces in a directory name), followed by -file "%1".

Right clicking on WAD files should now list whatever you marked earlier in the Action field, and should perform the action listed in the second field. Again, you will have to do this for each file type.

With the command line

A simple command line window can be shown with Start->Run (or the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut). Click on "Browse" to find 3DGE.exe, and then you can add command line parameters as needed; for example to load "foobar.wad" from the same directory, simply add "foobar.wad" after 3DGE.exe on that command line.

Another possibility is to open a command line window. With Vista or 7, hold shift while right-clicking in an empty area of the 3DGE folder, or on the 3DGE folder itself. The "Open command window here" option will appear. You can now type your command line with the appropriate parameters, as explained above.

With batch files

You can create batch files for combinations of mods and other command line parameters that you use often. Just type the command line in a text file, rename it with a .bat extension, and then you can double-click on the batch file.

Note that you may need to set Windows Explorer not to hide known file extensions in order to actually change a text file's extension from .txt to .bat.


3DGE supports those naming conventions so you don't need the IWAD in the directory to play the game.


When 3DGE begins to load it sets up the required environment and checks for possible errors. You can see remnants of this in the console when the TITLEPIC is displayed.

To access this log,

  • Open up EDGE2.LOG for general information.
  • For advanced users, DEBUG.txt is also generated.

DDF Folder Setup

NOTE: Supported games each have their own DDF folders (doom_ddf, her_ddf, rott_ddf, etc)!

When 3DGE is extracted, you will notice that there are a few folders, suffixed with _ddf. These folders tell 3DGE how to load all of the Doom Definition File, Radius Trigger Script, and COAL gamecode.

Some mods have their Data embedded in the WADfile, or in another folder not named "doom_ddf". The mods that do not do this will need their doom_ddf folders renamed. Alternatively, you can set the path of your (original or modified) DDF files with the -DDF parameter.

Regardless, 3DGE will need access to the original ddf folders at all times, unless the mod is a Total Conversion or a separate game, which incorporates what 3DGE needs at run-time. Alternatively, you can self-contain the script LUMPS.