.: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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Blog RSS Feed Post news Report abuse Latest News: XashNT in development

9 comments by Qwertyus on Sep 6th, 2014

Hi, all. There are some new information about the project. Currently the official (by Unkle Mike) work on development of Xash3D/XashXT has been slowed down for an indeterminate time, for the reason that another work has been started. Unkle Mike decided to switch his efforts on development of the new engine, XashNT. This engine will be a further continuation of Xash3D/XashXT, with a support of most usual modmaking tools, but now it will be much more farther from GoldSrc even before. It will be totally independent engine, intended exclusively for creating of new games. It will not support any of already existing Half-Life mods. Its' code will be totally rewritten.

The code of a rendering system will be based on GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language), this will make the new engine faster. New renderer will support all popular modern graphics enhancemets, as bump, parallax, water effects, daytime changes etc. Client/server part of code will be revised for better optimization. Also, with a refusal from support of GoldSrc now it will be possible to implement a fully working multiplayer system. Other planned features are: new map format (with a support of huge spaces, env_cubemaps and other things), new game physics (probably now without using of PhysX), extending of GoldSrc model format (old models will be supported too, but new models will also have some advanced features, as ragdoll etc.). Entity system for a first time will be the same as in XashXT.

When a pilot version of XashNT will be ready, a closed beta-testing will start. Members for CBT will be chosen personally by Unkle Mike (probably most of them will be only active game/mod developers, who already have appropriate projects based on Xash3D+XashXT and ready to move on the new engine, or skilled enough to experiment with it). If you have any ideas for the new engine, you are welcome to tell about them in the following thread (the forum is on russian, but you can use english easily):

Update from May 15, 2015:

Xash3D Engine has been updated to the build 3000, which is available now in Downloads section! Also don't forget about XashXT which is ready for your pleasure too!

Xash3D Engine v0.97, build 3000 (with extras)
Xash3D Engine v0.97, build 3000 (with extras)

XashXT v0.65 rev.1 (Xash3D mod & toolkit)
XashXT v0.65 (Xash3D mod & toolkit)

If you a new with Xash3D, please, check this manual about proper installing of the engine. XashXT should be installed in a same folder with the engine, as addon/mod for it (with its' own executable - xash.exe).

P. S. Useful information about compatibility of Xash3D and different singleplayer Half-Life mods and maps is in The list of tested Half-Life mods and in The list of tested Half-Life maps.

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Post comment Comments  (140 - 150 of 377)
andhieyusuf9 May 29 2014 says:

Does Xash3D can be used with ENBseries or SweetFX?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ryuq Jun 2 2014 replied:

Xash3d is open source, so you could "implement" effects like those from SweetFX easily (if you know what are you doing). And if you want ENB/SweetFX on OpenGL, just google "OpenGL EnbSeries" and there's will be library for it. But on my PC its lag's so much.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Qwertyus Creator
Qwertyus May 29 2014 replied:

Looks like these injectors are using Direct3D, but Xash3D only supports OpenGL (default) & Software. So they will not affect game graphics.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Caminonchis20 May 27 2014 says:

How i can run a Half-Life mod with XashXT features like weapon lag?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Qwertyus Creator
Qwertyus May 28 2014 replied:

How to play Half-Life with XashXT features:
1. Install Half-Life on Xash3D Moddb.com
2. Install XashXT as mod.
3. Open gameinfo.txt in XashXT folder ("xash") and correct lines:
startmap "demo_1"
trainmap "demo_1"
startmap "c0a0"
trainmap "t0a0"
4. Run xash.exe, select your difficulty (or training) and play!

If you want to play a Half-Life mod with XashXT:
1. Make sure this mod has no its' own DLLs (like cl_dlls/client.dll or dlls/hl.dll and such). If mod has its' own DLLs, it may be not fully supported by XashXT (or unsupported ever).
2. Install Half-Life on Xash3D Moddb.com
3. Install XashXT as mod.
4. Install that mod you want to play.
5. Copy all the contents from your mod's folder to XashXT ("xash") folder, EXCLUDING liblist.gam file. OR you can copy all XashXT contents to the mod's folder instead.
6. Open gameinfo.txt in that folder and correct lines:
startmap "demo_1"
trainmap "demo_1"
startmap "first_mod_map" (use map name from liblist.gam)
trainmap "training_map" (use map name from liblist.gam)
7. Run xash.exe, select your difficulty (or training) and play! OR (if you copied XashXT contents over mod's files) run that mod as usually (from a shortcut for hl.exe or by activating the mod via "Custom game" menu), select your difficulty (or training) and play!

+2 votes   reply to comment
Qwertyus Creator
Qwertyus May 24 2014 says:

Updated versions of Xash3D Engine & XashXT are already uploaded, so check the Downloads section!

+1 vote   reply to comment
Justus200 May 24 2014 replied:

And... downloaded. Thank you all very much.

I have a little question to add to this comment. Is there an easy way to scale high res decals from the materials folder without scaling the image down? My bullet holes are quite big and a litte bit unrealistic, but scaling the tga's down would decrease the quality extreme and eliminate the purpose of the bigger decal picture size.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Qwertyus Creator
Qwertyus May 25 2014 replied:

You can increase empty space (canvas) around bullethole decals. For example, if you have 256x256 decal - just increase invisible frame around bullethole up to 384x384. So your decal will look smaller in the game, but preserve its' detail quality.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Justus200 May 25 2014 replied:

The only thing i didn't tried yet. Works perfectly. Thank you!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Justus200 May 9 2014 says:

Hello, first I want to thank you for the great project Xash3D and sorry for my english.
I am a long time modder to the original Half-Life and really glad you made it possible to work with my favorite engine again (source and steam wasn't really my cup of tea).

To improve the project, I want to share 3 bugs I found and that have not reported yet, I hope.

1. My C++ skills are unfortunately nearly zero, so I use the Opposing Force DLL for more
monsters and weapons for now.
The latest build 2636 introduces a critical bug with these addon from gearbox (I use the original
WON version for everything). Every monster (even scientists) have heavy stuttering in their animations.
The game runs perfectly at 60fps but the monsters look like it was running at 5 to 15 fps. Everything
else runs fluid. In my old version from Xash3D (2402) everything worked fine.

2. HD decals from the materials folder have a transparency issue. I am aware of this bug since Xash3D
version 2402. Underwater you can see the invisible parts of the texture and this results in an ugly
box shaped decal. I believe this has something to do with underwater fog. Normal decals from the
decals.wad worked flawless underwater.

3. The hearing range of loud soundeffects is a bit to narrow und not like the original Half-Life range.
You can't hear for example explosions, even when you are relatively nearby. In the original HL you
can hear sounds from a more far away distance. This also persists since build 2402.

I hope this can be fixed. Keep up the good work!
Now my only dreams that come not true yet are bump maps like the HD texture support system and functioning multiplayer.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Qwertyus Creator
Qwertyus May 9 2014 replied:

Thanks for the report!
1. The bug is confirmed and will be queued for fixing.
2. I'm not sure, that your settings are right. If you are talking about decals from decals.wad, then to replace them properly you should make sure that 1) you have put all HD-decals in materials\decals folder, 2) every decal texture must be of 32-bit and have a proper alpha-channel. Also HL2 decals (24-bit textures with a grey background) are supported, but only as experimental feature (they aren't working properly for XashXT, for example), so maybe that problem is caused by using of such decals.
3. Xash3D has 2 parts in its' sound system 1) common sound system, 2) DSP effects. DSP effects are experimental feature and they may cause some problems with calculating of a range and a volume of ambient or weapon's sounds. So if you don't like a result of DSP system, make sure that you have checked a checkbox "Disable DSP effects" in audio menu (btw, it checked by default). If you aren't using DSP effects, but the problem is still existing for you, than let us know, maybe there is something to check more thoroughly.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Justus200 May 10 2014 replied:

Hi, thank you for your reply.
About 2: I mean HD TGA files in materials\decals\, but you are right. I use edited scorch marks from HL2 with gray background. My own bullet holes are made with real transparency and they work just fine underwater. I will edit the scorch marks to add real transparency then. Thank you very much!
About 3: I used the "disable DPS effects" function in Xash from the beginning. I fear the problem is something else. In the original HL, you can hear explosions from very far away (MP map bounce, nearly all the way over the canyon area), but in Xash only 20 to 30 meters (same map from the middle wall to a bid behind the small house).

I also found another strange bug in my Testroom today. Testet with Opposing Force. If you shoot the 9mmar weapon and look at a mirror (reflect texture), the v-model has two muzzle flashes. One normal and one under it. Testet with the original weapon and my mod weapon. This happens in build 2402 as well. In normal HL this bug doesn't occur.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Qwertyus Creator
Qwertyus May 10 2014 replied:

OK, we will try to test additionally that sound issue. What about mirrors, the bug doesn't happen for me. I'm not sure, that it's a bug of Xash3D. Possibly, it's a problem of the models that you're using (weapon model or player model). Also, you should have 1 muzzleflash from your firstperson view, and the second one is a mirrored muzzleflash from your thirdperson view, and it's not a bug ;)

+1 vote   reply to comment
Justus200 May 10 2014 replied:

Just double checked and it's no reflection. It happens even when not looking directly into the mirror and being away from it. The second flash has even a different sprite, muzzleflash1.spr (also used by the p-model), while the original flash uses muzzleflash2.spr (just in Opposing Force, in normal HL it is the opposite). I can see the player muzzle flash in the mirror plus the two on my gun. In slow motion the two muzzle flashes on the v-model are taking turns, but it seems the second flash occurs everytime when the player muzzle flash in the mirror is also shown.
Tested it with different weapon/player models. Happens only when a mirror is somewhat in my view. I don't know, this bug is not very critical, but strange.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Qwertyus Creator
Qwertyus May 10 2014 replied:

Ooops, I thought that you meant a second muzzleflash in a mirror, but it happens for viewmodel directly. OK, it will be checked for a fixing, thanks.

+1 vote   reply to comment
andhieyusuf9 May 27 2014 replied:

Sorry for barging in, but I want to ask something... I had imported some decals from Cry of Fear, and all of them use grey background. They work perfectly, but I want to convert them so they have alpha background using GIMP. The problem is i don't know how to properly converting them. Anyone can help?

+1 vote     reply to comment
andhieyusuf9 May 29 2014 replied:

Nevermind, found better decal which already has alpha channel.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Release Date
Released 2011
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88 votes submitted.

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Highest Rated (2 agree) 10/10

Very good work,Uncle Mike.

Jun 19 2011 by red-bear

Lowest Rated (3 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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