IWAD

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For more information on this article, visit the IWAD page on the Doom Wiki.

An IWAD - short for Internal WAD - is the main resource file for a Doom-engine game, containing all the game's original sounds, levels, and graphics. ZDoom needs an IWAD file in order to play; without one the ZDoom engine has no game data to use.

Supported IWADs

Notes:

  • Some file names are links to a page on the DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngDoom Wiki where you will find checksums for known versions of the concerned file.
  • Some files have conflicting names; ZDoom provides you with possible aliases. Note that an IWAD is actually identified by its content rather than its name.
Game Name File name File aliases Notes and download links
MiniDoomLogoIcon.png Doom (Shareware) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom1.wad Free download: Doom shareware at Doomworld/idgames
Doom (Registered) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom.wad Commercial game
Ultimate Doom DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom.wad doomu.wad Commercial game
Doom "BFG Edition" DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom.wad bfgdoom.wad, doombfg.wad Commercial game included with DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngDoom 3: BFG Edition (New from 2.7.1)
Freedoom: Phase 1 freedoom1.wad freedoomu.wad Free download: official site
MiniDoom2LogoIcon.png Doom II DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom2.wad Commercial game
Doom II "BFG Edition" DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom2.wad bfgdoom2.wad, doom2bfg.wad Commercial game included with DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngDoom 3: BFG Edition, also loads DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngnerve.wad (New from 2.7.1)
Final Doom — TNT: Evilution DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngtnt.wad Commercial game
Final Doom — The Plutonia Experiment DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngplutonia.wad Commercial game
FreeDM freedm.wad Free download: official site
Freedoom: Phase 2 freedoom2.wad freedoom.wad Free download: official site (development version 2490324 only)
French Doom II doom2f.wad Commercial game, patch available at Doomworld/idgames
MiniHereticLogoIcon.png Heretic (Shareware) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngheretic1.wad Free download: Heretic shareware at Doomworld/idgames
Heretic (Registered or Commercial) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngheretic.wad Commercial game
Blasphemer heretic.wad blasphem.wad, blasphemer.wad Free download: official site
MiniHexenLogoIcon.png Hexen (Demo) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pnghexen.wad hexdemo.wad, hexendemo.wad Free download: Hexen demo at Doomworld/idgames
Hexen (Full) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pnghexen.wad Commercial game
Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel DoomWikiLogoIcon.pnghexdd.wad Commercial game, requires Hexen
MiniStrifeLogoIcon.png Strife (Teaser) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngstrife0.wad Free download: Strife teaser at Doomworld/idgames
Strife (Full) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngstrife1.wad strife.wad Commercial game no longer sold, also loads DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngvoices.wad
MiniChexLogoIcon.png Chex Quest DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngchex.wad Commercial game no longer sold
MiniChex3LogoIcon.png Chex Quest 3 DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngchex3.wad Free download: official site
MiniAction2LogoIcon.png Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngaction2.wad Free download: official site
MiniHarmonyLogoIcon.png Harmony v1.1 DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngharm1.wad Free download: official site
MiniHacxLogoIcon.png Hacx v1.2 DoomWikiLogoIcon.pnghacx.wad Free download: official site
Hacx v2.0 hacx.wad hacx2.wad Free download: WIP download thread
† Freedoom up to v8.0 used to be distributed with the same IWAD names as Doom and Doom II (doom.wad and doom2.wad), and it also used to come with a limited version emulating the shareware version of Doom, using IWAD name doom1.wad. ZDoom already supported non-conflicting aliases freedoom, freedoom1, and freedoomu. In January 2014, the Freedoom team decided to officially use distinct IWAD names as an effort to move away from "IWAD replacement" and into "separate game with its own identity", settling on the IWAD names freedoom1 and freedoom2. ZDoom only required the addition of the freedoom2 alias to fully support newer versions of Freedoom.

ZDoom will detect any of those present in its search path and let you choose at startup which game to play (if it doesn't, see the FAQ). In addition to them, some "total conversion"-type mods, such as Wolfenstein 3D TC, can be played as their own IWAD; however since they are not detected as such by ZDoom, you need to use the -iwad command line parameter.

In order to play a custom level designed for any of the above games you have to have that particular game's full IWAD (loading PWAD with shareware, demo or teaser versions is disabled). If you do not have the necessary IWAD, or if you have an old, unpatched version of the IWAD in question, you will get an error message on startup. (But often old versions are accepted too.)

The IWAD file(s) should be placed into the same directory as the ZDoom executable. You may also configure other directories for ZDoom to search in the zdoom.ini file. On Linux, the directories $HOME/.zdoom and /usr/local/share are checked by default. Finally, if you have bought Ultimate Doom, Doom II, Final Doom, Heretic, or Hexen from Steam, ZDoom is able to find the IWADs directly in the Steam folder and you do not need to move or copy them to ZDoom's folder.

Obtaining IWADs

As noted aboved, some IWADs can be downloaded freely; however most "full" games are not and must be bought from one of the following sources:

Steam
This store offers downloadable versions of Ultimate Doom, Doom II: Hell on Earth, Final Doom, Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders, Hexen: Beyond Heretic and Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel; as well as the Master Levels for Doom II which is a set of PWAD, not an IWAD.
Warning: following the release of DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngDoom 3: BFG Edition, the Master Levels are no longer available to purchase individually but can be bought as part of the Doom Classic Complete Pack.
Note: The version of Hexen: Death Kings available on Steam is not patched. You need to download and apply the Death Kings 1.1 patch first. (The "readme.txt" file it tries to patch has been renamed readme-dk.txt by Steam, but is not important.) All other IWADs from Steam are fully patched.
Amazon.com, eBay.com, etc.
Second-hand copies of the original games can be found on such sites. While less reliable than the official Id Software and Steam stores, they are the only remaining sources for legitimate copies of Strife: Quest for the Sigil and the original Chex Quest.
Flea markets, used-games bins in brick-and-mortar stores, etc.
It's mostly a matter of luck, but they can still sometimes be found this way.

See also