.:Xash3D Engine:.

Custom Gold Source Engine build from a scratch

Unkle Mike (aka G-Cont, aka Дядя Миша) - main developer
HLFX.ru & CS-Mapping.com.ua forum members - help, support, testing

CortexReaver, nemyax - English translation

Xash3D Engine has been tested for compatibility with many of Gold Source games and MODs. At this moment it should provide you an ability to successfully complete almost any existing singleplayer Half-Life mod without compatibility problems. Some mods can be not totally compatible, if they are too hardly modified or using some very specific or unstable features of Gold Source engine. Also multiplayer part of Xash3D engine is not fully completed yet because of lack of some important information and hidden source codes of Gold Source engine. So in most cases multiplayer mods should work good in a local or a LAN game, but some features can not work or work not exactly as under Gold Source engine. Check a detailed list of tested mods and a list of tested maps in "Features" section. A full list of Xash3D Engine features is also there, plus a guide on how to get work Half-Life and its' mods under Xash3D (in English and in Russian).


Since Xash3D is a Half-Life compatible engine, then all the innovations below will be given in comparsion with GoldSrc engine.

Basic limits.

Xash3D limits are not just higher than Half-Life ones, they also can be tuned in gameinfo.txt file.
- MAX_EDICTS is 600 - 4096 (versus 900 in Half-Life).
- MAX_TEMPENTS is 300 - 2048 (vs. 500).
- MAX_PARTICLES is 1024 - 8192 (vs. 4096).
- MAX_BEAMS is 64 - 512 (vs. 64)
Careful limits reduction can save RAM in mods which don't need many edicts. Also MAX_EDICTS parameter is broadcasted from server during a multiplayer session, it adjusts clients to new conditions automatically.

Other limits.

These limits are engine-hardcoded and can not be tuned by user.
- MAX_VISIBLE_PACKET is 512 entities (256 in Half-Life).
- MAX_MODELS is 2048 unique models (including sprites and bmodels)
- MAX_SOUNDS is 2048
- MAX_SENTENCES is 2048 (1534 in Half-Life)
- MAX_USER_MESSAGES is 191 (128 in WON Half-Life)
- MAX_TEXTURES is 4096 (2048 of them can be used for VGUI)
- MAX_MESSAGES is 2048 (1024 in Half-Life) (quantity of messages in titles.txt)
- Maximum size for indexed textures is 4096х4096 (vs. 512х512 in Half-Life)
- Maximum size for true-color textures is 4096x4096.

Limits for bsp-models.

- MAX_MAP_MODELS 1024 (256 in half-life)
- MAX_MAP_LEAFS 32767 (8192 in half-life)
Note: other BSP-model limits are specified by compiler tools and don't depend on the engine.

Realisitic lighting values on server.

Xash3D allows to get more accurate value of current lighting level, because it considers lightstyles and their current values. The player's lighting is taken directly from renderer and considers all lighting types, including entity light and dynamic light.

Improved decal save.

Half-Life supports decal save only on world surfaces and very rare on doors, elevators and other moving models. Xash3D saves decals on every brush model. Decal transition between levels is also maintained (implemented in Half-Life, but doesn't really work).

Entity patch technology support.

This technology allows to load entities from external .ent script file. This script can be produced by the external ripent.exe application or by engine's facilities by typing the entpatch command. If the command is entered when a map is loaded, a new entity patch will be created.

Various map formats support.

Xash3D supports following BSP-map formats: Quake 1, Half-Life, Half-Life Blue Shift. Besides, Quake 1 external bmodels are supported (medikit and ammo models). Note: it is recommended to play Quake 1 maps in Deathmatch Classic mod to prevent stuckness of player because of the difference between hull's sizes of Half-Life and Quake.

Hot resource precaching support.

Xash3D allows to precache models "on the fly" that helps to avoid nasty PF_PRECACHE_ERROR. Also Xash3D doesn't crash if a model or sound wasn't found.

Reliable changelevel.

Before switching to a next map Xash3D will analyze its state (without unloading the current map) and decides whether correct changelevel procedure is possible. In case of any error in a next map the engine will signal about it in the developer's console, and the changelevel will be aborted. The error message also contains troubleshoot tips that can make level designer's life easier, because such errors are most difficult to diagnose and fix.

Built-in credits.

To display credits and exit the game after, run the pfnEndSection command with oem_end_credits argument. The credits code is placed in menu.dll and can be changed by user at his discretion.

MOVETYPE_PUSH physics is more stable.

Xash3D entities behave more stable on moving platforms and don't shift away on sharp turns.

New MOVETYPE_COMPOUND physics type.

It allows to tie one entity to another, taking into account movement and rotation of the former entity. You can see an example in SDK - a crossbow bolt that correctly attaches itself to func_pushable, func_rotating, func_tracktrain and other brush models.

Console autocomplete support.

Xash3D has a powerful console autocomplete system that allows not just print command lists, but also describe all of them during the search. For more comfort you can type "makehelp" in the console, and the engine will generate help.txt that contains the list of all commands and variables with short descriptions. Map, movie, background track, cfg script, save, weapon (give command), sound (play command), game directory names input is also assisted by the autocomplete feature.

No parent directory restriction.

Most Quake engines are restricted to the parent directory with specific name, which doesn't matter when you make mod, but very uncomfortable when you make total game conversion and therefore replace the parent directory. Xash3D doesn't restricted to specific folder, and the parent directory is defined by the launcher. This way you can make your own game that doesn't depend on Half-Life.

Dedicated server has the autocomplete feature now, your command history can be saved.

Dedicated server has the autocomplete feature now, your command history can be saved.

Background maps support.

Background map is a map to be displayed as a menu background. You could see them in Half-Life 2. Xash has a simplier background map system - it doesn't depend on unlocked chapters (because original Half-Life has no chapters system) and it chooses the background map from the list. This list file must be named as chapterbackgrounds.txt and placed in scripts directory (if you don't have such directory, then just make it). Every list's entry is separated by new line. You can use any playable map as the background, but better don't use maps where player starts in a moving train, because it won't look good.

Lightstyle interpolation.

Turned off by default. Doesn't work with short sequences like switching on and off the light. It smooths light animation very well on long slow sequences like SlowStrobe or SlowPulse. Note: FPS rate may suffer from this option.

luma glowing textures support (Quake-style).

You can see such textures in original quake maps as glowing fields on a texture. Because this feature is caused by the Quake pallet's special features, the engine enables it for textures that have Quake or Quake2 pallet. This pallet is saved well after the simple conversion of wad2 files to wad3.

Improved model and sprite lighting.

Improved model lighting includes per-bone lighting from static and dynamic light sources, and it also includes correct model lighting on every stage of long sequence execution, when model goes far enough from its real location. The best example is forklift.mdl Sprite lighting is a correct lighting of all sprites that is rendered in additive mode and had "alphtest" during the compilation. For example, blood decals uses the world lighting and doesn't glow in darkness. Both sprites and models don't just use the world lighting, but also consider lighting of the closest brush model if there is one.

Player model display in the menu.

Instead of a usual player image you can see his 3D model in the menu and track all changes right on-the-spot.

  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
  • View media
Post article RSS Articles

Xash3D Engine has been updated to the version 0.99 with new build 3887, and you can grab it here: Moddb.com

This is pre-release version, which brings many changes, so if you interested in development of the engine, please try it now and comment what do you think, because there are more things to do before final release, and you have some time to test everything and help to make Xash3D better. As always, there are compiled binaries for Windows, full source code for the engine and tools, the list of changes and (a bit outdated) documentation about the engine, plus game dll-files with some additional improvements which should go into 'valve' folder to replace old ones.

This build provides many innovations, improvements and bug fixes. Due to numerous and significant changes, it still may contain some minor bugs and incompatibilities with some of previously tested Half-Life mods, so Unkle Mike decided to share this version on public to make sure, that final release will be rid of most of potential issues.

There are some of most noticeable changes:

  • Better predicting system and different improvenents for multiplayer / network. Please take a notice, that networking protocol has been updated too, so this build will NOT be compatible in multiplayer with servers / clients runned on previous builds.
  • Numerous changes in the engine and rendering system to make different things (like lighting, models, beams, sprites, decals, fog, particles, rendermodes etc.) look as possibly close as they look in GoldSrc (or even better).
  • Compatibility changes for Intel iGPUs (fixing of issues like 'red walls' and such).
  • Implementation of some additional features from Quake and DarkPlaces engines (aguirRe's TxQBSP 'broken' clipnodes, BSP2 format, alias models, external colored lighting, WAD2 format etc.). Some of changes were made for new Unkle Mike's project QWrap (it's a wrapper, which allows to play Quake and its mods directly via Xash3D Engine, without porting of any game content).
  • Implementation of boneweighting on studiomodels (which is intended to be in future a working feature in Paranoia 2: Savior or games / mods based on its code).
  • New mpeglib version to prevent some issues with MP3s.
  • Additional GoldSrc-like changes: software-only gamma, brightness (still called 'Glare reduction' in menu, but now works properly), 'MP3Volume' (instead of 'musicvolume') etc.
  • Different fixes/improvements everywhere (engine, file system, sound system, input, rendering, network, server, client, console, game menu).
  • Fixed compatibility or added a possible solution for previous issues in such Half-Life mods as Azure Sheep, Black Guard, Black Ops, Chemical Existence, Cthulhu, Friendship 2.0, Gunman Chronicles, Heart of Evil, PARANOIA, Poke646, Poke646: Vendetta, Stargate SG-1 Missions, Sweet Half-Life, They Hunger, Visitors etc.

Due to some of compatibility reasons Unkle Mike decided to remove the support of HD textures ('materials') from the engine. If you have some suggestions about that, please comment too.

If you have any troubles with using of Xash3D, please check this manual: Moddb.com

For questions about compatibility with singleplayer Half-Life mods / maps refer there (though the information may be outdated a bit): Moddb.com & Moddb.com

Pay attention, that Xash3D-based mods (such as XashXT, Paranoia 2: Savior, Quake Remake) are not compatible with build 3887 yet, because their game code is closely associated with old features of Xash3D Engine. So please wait until they are properly updated too.

Beta test of new engine version. Xash3D FWGS coming to iOS

Beta test of new engine version. Xash3D FWGS coming to iOS

Xash3D Android 6 comments

Xash3D FWGS 0.19 open beta testing. Conquering horizons: Xash3D FWGS for iOS.

CS16Client v1.0 release!

CS16Client v1.0 release!

Xash3D Android 23 comments

First stable and public version of CS16Client -- best Counter-Strike 1.6 Android port.

List of singleplayer Half-Life mods tested under Xash3D

List of singleplayer Half-Life mods tested under Xash3D

Feature 26 comments

The list has been updated on December 22nd, 2014. Xash3D Engine was tested for compatibility with most of singleplayer Half-Life mods and maps, and for...

Running Half-Life under Xash3D: user's manual (English)

Running Half-Life under Xash3D: user's manual (English)

Feature 80 comments

Hello, if you are new with how to use Xash3D Engine to run Half-Life and its' mods, this manual is for you. Just follow the instruction and have fun!

Add game Games
Xash3D Android

Xash3D Android

First Person Shooter

Fork of Xash3D engine that ported to Android. Allows play Half-Life out-of-box.

No Name

No Name

Third Person Shooter

This game is in early development and it is a common clone of GTA. If you would like to help, please contact me -kyp1998.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 692)

when the crowbar swings at nothing it plays 2 animations. i tried it in my half-life install and it doesn't happen there, and when i use the same dlls on xash it does happen.

furthermore i compiled the hl source code and replaced the dlls and the same happens, in hl no bug, but in xash it still happens, what leads me to believe is a bug on xash

other things:

opfor has the above bug with both wrench and knife, with same results

there's sound stuttering. its more noticeable when when the tentacles hit the ground on blast pit, and when there's a lot of explosions happening (like during the resonance cascade)
also, sometimes when too many explosions happens at once some don't play sound (don't know if is because of stuttering)

in xash singleplayer player model defaults to gordon.mdl, no player.mdl and if i change it to player it uses the helmet variant, no gordon face

using opposing force dlls on retail (hl gives you the same viewmodel bob, but using same dlls on xash gives you the old bob

"disable dsp effects" is not remembered, it resets when launching the game

the scientist that sends you to xen dialogue cuts randomly, files are ok, may be related to sound bug above, it's the only npc i saw with this problem

fade in doesn't work propertly, they happen too fast and then show the normal screen again before the load, happens when you're captured in the sp and also when falling to your dead on xen

often the console doesn't recognize commands, for example map gives me the error unknown command map. sometimes it works the second time and sometimes i have to close and reopen the console.
i didn't wrote the command with errors, because i just press backspace until all is gone and write again and still happens

tfc 1.5:

sniper rifle charging doesn't work propertly; holding mouse1 doesn't make the charging anim work propertly and there's no sound when firing

the engineer build menu doesn't work, trying to build gives you the error "build is read only", you have to use cmd build in the console for it to work.

NOTE: this applies to Xash3D, no FWGS

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

What I wouldn't give for the stability of OpenGL and the appearance of Software Rendering on vanilla HL

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes

Is there a chance you could add r_shadows as seen on old HL builds and Quake?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

When will Xash be updated/Fixed for ios 11? Due to old 32 bit code in the app I'm unable to install it on ios 11...

Reply Good karma Bad karma0 votes

When someone can give a device with iOS 11 for testing.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

excuse me, but how do I disable texture filtering? I tried gl_texturemode in the console, and it didn't work. the reason why I want to disable it is because I want to recreate quake I's look.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Qwertyus Creator

In previous builds there was an option:
gl_texturemode "gl_nearest_mipmap_nearest"

In latest builds this cvar is removed, so it's not working now.

Reply Good karma+1 vote

When Will the New Build be released? Your not just holding this behind,you're holding The Shaft mod behind.

Not to be rude by the way

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Qwertyus Creator

Next build will include global changes important for Paranoia 2, XashXT & multiplayer and for the engine on the whole. The process goes slow because there are a lot of things to implement and test how they work. It looks like the release will be ready not earlier, than to the end of April.

Reply Good karma+1 vote

tfc support? xs 1.6 PC client support?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

>tfc support?
>cs 1.6 PC client support?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.

Follow Report Profile
Xash XT Group
Send Message
Release date
Engine watch
Community Rating



112 votes submitted.

You Say


Ratings closed.

Highest Rated (5 agree) 10/10

Just awesome. What you did creating this engine cannot be described with any words.

Jan 28 2012 by ADTeam™

Embed Buttons
Link to Xash3D Engine by selecting a button and using the embed code provided more...
Xash3D Engine
15 of 440
Last Update
329 members
You may also like
Stingray Commercial
GameMaker Studio 2
GameMaker Studio 2 Commercial
RPG Maker VX Ace
RPG Maker VX Ace Commercial
CryENGINE 4 Commercial
id Tech 2
id Tech 2 GPL
Unreal Engine 4
Unreal Engine 4 Commercial