.: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.

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Xash3D FWGS v0.18 Update!

New DSP System introduced in this update.


  • Re-Added: rewritten gamepad support.
  • Re-Added: rewritten sound effects, DSP.
  • Added: server ping in Internet Games/LAN Games section of menu.
  • Added: build identification, such as: fork build number, build os, build architecture and commit.
  • Added: gamepad GUI configuration. NOTE: this will not work in cs16-client, until it's not be updated.
  • Added: multiplayer model preview now rotating by mouse and keyboard.
  • Added: Sys_Warn: show messagebox non-critical, but important errors
  • Fixed: transition animation. Backported from cs16-client menu branch.
  • Fixed: broken keyboard if Xash3D built with SDL2.0.4.
  • Fixed: FindEntityInSphere behaviour
  • Fixed: common bugfixes.
  • Fixed: improved studiomodel renderer.



  • Added: MinGW support, partial 64bit support
  • Added: Advanced crashhandler


  • Finally ported.


  • Added: native EGL backend.
  • Added: native OpenSLES sound backend.
  • Added: gamepad backend.
  • Added: certificate check in release builds.
  • Added: new icons!
  • Added: new launcher design!
  • Added: game directory picker
  • Added: autoupdater.

NOTE: All 64-bit builds are experimental, only half-life supported, may have bugs with save/restore

You can download updates from GitHub or ModDB's download section.

CS16Client v1.0 release!

CS16Client v1.0 release!

Xash3D Android 18 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 14 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 43 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!

Xash3D Engine v0.95 Features

Xash3D Engine v0.95 Features

Feature 22 comments

It's just a copy of information from Xash3D Readme (xash-en.chm, with minor editing). In a most part, the information is up to build 1905.

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 491)

I'm having alot of trouble with running the app on my android, the app installs, and all the files are on my found, and have been identified as to their location, but when I run the app, it just shows the menu options-no background or anything help. Help!!!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

Add anti-aliasing option for win32 plz if it is possible and other cool graphic stuff

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Qwertyus Creator

You can force anti-aliasing for Xash3D (hl.exe) in your video driver's settings. In Xash3D only anisotropic filtering option is working (gl_anisotropy cvar, use values 2-4-8-16).

Reply Good karma+1 vote

There you are, i was expecting you, i had A question down there, plz answer!

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Qwertyus Creator

You can open it in-game, lol.

Reply Good karma+1 vote

Thats not what i meant! I mean how do i open bsp with 31 version using bsp viewer/bsp editor! Please Made the program to open bsp with 31 version! And infact i can't open bsp INGAME with 31 version because its always crashes whenever i open it!!!!!!!

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A small question: i saw the audiocore is complete re-written, and i want to adapt the Sound DPS to my Quake engine, can somebody of the devs give me a little help on this? I dont know much about audio coding ;)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

The DSP effects/audiocore was rewritten in the SDL fork of Xash3D. You can find the fork source here:


I'm unsure how you can adapt it inside your Quake engine and you should probably ask on there, but hopefully that will help.

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Any idea how to open map with 31 version? (ex: PARANOIA 2 Savior, XashXT)

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GoldSrc 2

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104 votes submitted.

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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™

Lowest Rated (5 agree) 1/10

The writers of this engine don't care about copyright at all. The engine is riddled with valve code, some from the hl sdk, possibly some from the hl2 beta leak... Bottom line, it's illegal.

Note: this review was written on 12/29/13, and may not reflect how the code is later...

Dec 29 2013 by Danfun64

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