Xash3D is a custom Gold Source build from a scratch. Xash3D overcomes obsolete Gold Source engine's limits and provides for you a new quality of gaming experience and modmaking capabilities, for example: higher limits for bsp-models, studiomodels scaling, realistic values of lighting on server side, entity patch technology support, support of additional map types, support of precaching "on the fly", support for using real HD-textures (up to 4096 x 4096 px) for maps, models, sprites and decals in any played mod and many other features...

Post feature Report article RSS Feed Running Half-Life under Xash3D: user's manual (English)

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!

Posted by Qwertyus on Aug 27th, 2012

How to get work Half-Life under Xash3D:

step-by-step instruction for anyone.

It is important to understand, that Xash3D is an independent game engine. It's not a mod for Half-Life, so to get work Half-Life under it, you have to make a separate installation of the game. Please follow these steps carefully and you won't confuse with anything.

1. Please install a Half-Life game properly at first. Currently, a full version of Half-Life can be purchased and activated via Steam. If you have a CD with an old WON version of Half-Life, you can use it too. But please remember, that it's recommended to update your WON version of the game with a patch to be prepared for running latest Half-Life mods also, not only Half-Life itself. If you are not sure about which the version of the WON game you have installed, just run the game and look at the right lower corner of the game menu screen. There are some numbers with your game version. If it's not a "v46/", please update your game. But you don't need to update your Steam version of the game with this patch. Use Steam update feature instead. Anyways, any Steam version of the game should be compatible and ready for running latest mods under Xash3D.

2. Download the latest version of Xash3D Engine. Currently, it's a build 2867 (v0.96). You can get it at the "Downloads" section. After downloading you will get a Xash3D_build2867_with_extras.zip file on your computer.

3. Now you have to create a separate folder for Xash3D installation. You can create this folder anywhere you want, but please don't create it inside that directory where your Half-Life is installed already (don't be a noob, LOL). It's better to use simple path to this folder and give it an appropriate name, something like "D:\Games\Xash3D". This folder will be your main Xash3D game directory.

4. Locate and open a folder with a basic Half-Life game content. For the WON version of game it can be something like "C:\Sierra\Half-Life\". You will see a "valve" directory inside. For the current Steam version of the game it can be something like "C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common\Half-Life". You also will be able to find a "valve" directory inside it. For the old Steam version of the game it can be something like "C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\" folder. It's not a game folder in fact, but it's a folder with a main game's archive - half-life.gcf, which is containing a "valve" directory inside. Unpacked "valve" directory with all of its content is essential for installing Half-Life under Xash3D, so you need to download and install any appropriate utility, which can help you to open half-life.gcf and to extract its' content. You can use a GCFScape program for this operation, for example (you can also check a sample on how to open GCF-files and extract their content here).

5. Copy the whole "valve" folder with all of its' content from your Half-Life game folder (for WON or current Steam version of the game) or extract it from your half-life.gcf (for the old Steam version of the game) directly into the main Xash3D game directory (which was created at Step 3). So after that you get something like "D:\Games\Xash3D\valve" with a basic game content. If you are using any Steam version of the game as a source, after copying (extracting) of "valve" folder also check inside "valve\sound\common" folder. There are some launch_*.wav files. Copy them to the "valve\media" folder (these sounds are required for Xash3D game menu, but they present in this folder only in WON versions of the game).

6. Proceed to extracting a content of the Xash3D_build2867_with_extras.zip archive into the main Xash3D game directory. At first, you will get 2 more archives: xash_build2867.7z and xash_extras.7z. 7z files are 7-Zip archives, which can be extracted with 7-Zip program or with any other appropriate archiver. Continue their extracting into the Xash3D directory with overwriting of any existing files (some files in the "valve" folder have to be replaced). Finally, you will get the Xash3D directory with "docs", "source code" and "valve" folders inside, plus files #hl.exe, hl.exe, Install Notes.txt, menu.dll, readme.txt, vgui.dll and xash.dll.

7. Now you almost ready to run the game. But firstly, create a shortcut for hl.exe (located in the Xash3D directory) and put it onto your desktop (or into the Programs menu, for example). If you want to enable a console in the game, you have to edit a properties of the shortcut (right-click the shortcut and select a "Properties" tab in pop-up menu). Check the "Target" field and add there parameter " -console" (with space, but without quotes) after hl.exe. Click "OK". There is also #hl.exe in Xash3D directory, which can be used to start a dedicated server for multiplayer game (if you are interested in this feature).

8. Start your game via the created shortcut. At the first time, game runs in a windowed mode and 800x600 resolution. After an appearing of the game menu you will be able to edit your game preferences (fullscreen mode, other video resolution, sound effects, controls etc.) via "Configuration" menu. Please note, that in the "Sound" menu there is a "Disable DSP effects" checkbox. It is checked by default (since the build 2015). It's because DSP is an experimental feature in Xash3D. It adds environment effects to the sound, but can cause some wrong sound effects in different situations. So enable it "on your own risk". If you have some HD-textures for maps, decals or models (previously placed in "valve\materials" folder), you also need to enable "Allow materials" checkbox in the "Video options" dialog screen to make the game use them.

9. If you want to play any Half-Life or Xash3D mod, you have to install it or extract its' content into a separate folder inside a main Xash3D directory (same as for the standard Half-Life game). Follow an instruction that is appended to a mod, but make sure that any mod (with all of its' content) was placed into an individual folder. Any properly installed mod can be selected and activated via "Custom game" menu. You can also create a custom shortcut to run any mod. Just create a copy of the shortcut for hl.exe and add in the "Target" field parameter " -game FOLDERNAME" (with space, but without quotes) after hl.exe. "FOLDERNAME" here it's a name of the folder where your mod is located. For example, to run Opposing Force (when installed) you have to add " -game gearbox" parameter after hl.exe. In fact, it's an all the same system, which you can use to run any mod under standard Half-Life.

10. Make sure you have read an additional information about Xash3D posibilities and features (which is containing in documents in the "docs" folder, plus in those text files in the main Xash3D directory). Some information is also avaliable here, at ModDB. Please read the details, before you ask about something, that you don't know yet.

Post comment Comments
Ichiman94 Aug 28 2012 says:

And I thought this was a basic knowledge that everyone knew, but it's nice for new users who haven't fiddled with modding. This is great!

+1 vote     reply to comment
~X~ Sep 7 2013 replied:

Basic knowledge these days... Is quite more 'basic' than this )

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jonelz Oct 11 2013 says:

i dont understand i did averything it saids,but i still dont understand wat should i do,should i put it to my hl directory or in a folder with a folder that doesnt even know where the system is,WAT SHOULD I DO?!!!!!.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Qwertyus Author
Qwertyus May 1 2014 replied:

I don't understand what's your problem. Most peoples who have read the article and followed these steps clearly understood what they should do.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Alex-Wolfenstein97 May 1 2014 replied:

yeah ... most people , myself included had no problem with getting the game up and running , but what i don't understand is HOW THE **** CAN YOU MAKE IT SO THAT THE TEXTURES FROM HALF-LIFE : GOLD - SINGLEPLAYER WILL ACTUALLY WORK !!!!! For the love of HL and for everything that is good in this world ! ... can someone explicitly tell me how to get these working ??? the docs don't really help as they just give you an ideea of what you have to do , but it's not really clear ! and a few other people have the same problem ... SO HOW THE HELL DO WE FIX THAT / GET IT WORKING ???

+1 vote     reply to comment
Qwertyus Author
Qwertyus May 12 2014 replied:

If anyone else is interested, read the comments below this article: Moddb.com

+1 vote   reply to comment
HorxeGaming756 Aug 6 2015 replied:

i have a problem with xash3D. I can't turn on look spring and look strafe options in configuration\controls\adv controls.

+1 vote     reply to comment
nerdenfromsweden Mar 31 2014 says:

the console wont work.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Qwertyus Author
Qwertyus May 1 2014 replied:

In a shortcut for hl.exe add -console and make sure there is no "secure 1" line in gameinfo.txt in your mod's folder. Delete this line if it's existing, or set to "secure 0". Also some mods can have console disabled by their developers with specific methods. It's not a fault of engine.

+1 vote   reply to comment
dooki51 Dec 9 2014 replied:

Where in the shortcut do I put -console? I don't know where it is and there's no "Object" perimeter.

+1 vote     reply to comment
LOCKJAWVENOM Dec 23 2014 replied:

If it means anything by now, I finally found out how to do it. After making the shortcut, go into the properties like he said. Go to the "target" box and after the filepath and its quotations, press space once and type "-console" there. "Console" should be all the way at the end and, once again, outside the quotations. Hope this helped if it's not too late lol.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Qwertyus Author
Qwertyus Dec 24 2014 replied:

By the way, yes, right name of that box in english version of Windows is "Target", so thanks you point this out (I have russian version of Windows where that box named "Object", so I've made a mistake writing the instruction above). Now mistake is fixed.

P. S. A sample of shortcut parameters (for those who still has any doubts).

1. If your path to hl.exe contains names without spaces it will look like this:
D:\Games\Xash3D\hl.exe -console -game gearbox

2. If your path contains spaces, then there will be quotes:
"D:\My Games\Xash3D Engine\hl.exe" -console -game gearbox

+1 vote   reply to comment
LOCKJAWVENOM Dec 24 2014 replied:

Glad I could help!

+1 vote     reply to comment
HorxeGaming756 Aug 24 2015 replied:

i can't turn on look spring and look strafe options. Also when i create a server it doesn't let me to go to adv options. Reply plzz i can't find any solution

+1 vote     reply to comment
earl1 Oct 22 2014 says:

they hunger works

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest Jan 29 2015 says:

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Qwertyus Author
Qwertyus Feb 6 2015 replied:

It does, read there: Moddb.com (including some comments below).

+1 vote   reply to comment
Uberwire May 25 2015 says:

Both hl and #hl only launches dedicated server.. i don't see the game.

+1 vote     reply to comment
HorxeGaming756 Aug 6 2015 says:

why in my xash3D the look spring and look strafe options are disabled and i can't turn them on?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest Aug 8 2015 says:

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HorxeGaming756 Aug 24 2015 replied:

i don't think so. You can't play on multi for now. Also what i don't understand is why when i create a server adv options are disabled??

+1 vote     reply to comment
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