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ZDL is a simple but user friendy and feature rich cross-platform launcher originally written by BioHazard. It has had several modifications and updates since its first launch.

Many versions of ZDL exist (from newest to oldest):

  • Accensus' simplified remake of ZDL AceCorp Launcher (Windows only)
  • Lcferrum's updated Qt version ZDL 3-1.1
  • QBasicer's Qt version ZDL
  • WildGoose's update ZDL 3.1a (link to binaries dead, mirrors: 1, 2)
  • Biohazard's original ZDL 3.0d (link to binaries dead, file lost)

Launching features

  • Source port: If you need to run a WAD in an older version of ZDoom or you want to use another source port such as GZDoom, no need to switch around all your config files, just select a port from the list you create and play.
  • Game IWAD: You can keep track of your IWAD collection and easily select one for the source port.
  • PWADs and Patches: You can load external files such as WADs, DEH/BEX patches, CFGs and archives (ZIP, PK3, PK7, etc.). Any file can be added to the list by clicking "add" or by dragging the files onto the external files list.
  • Warp and Skill: ZDL will scan the currently selected IWAD for maps or you can type in your own map name.

Multiplayer Features

ZDL can start and join multiplayer ZDoom games by using the multiplayer drop-down panel. It includes these options:

  • Game type: Select either single-player, deathmatch or cooperative.
  • Hosting options: Choose to host a game or join a game with the "host" box.
  • DMFlags and frag limit: There are fields for both DMFLAGS and DMFLAGS2 as well as a quick control for the frag limit.

Other Features

  • Saving/loading configurations: Once you set up ZDL the way you like it, you can save to configuration to a .ZDL file. These files can be loaded back into ZDL by way of the loading dialog or by associating them with ZDL and running them from your file browser. If the option to launch from ZDL files is selected, you can use .ZDL files in a similar way to batch files. For mod authors, you may want to package a .ZDL file with your ZDoom mods to help the end user play your mod with the optimal settings automatically.
  • Shell integration: You can associate .ZDL, .WAD, .DEH and .BEX files with ZDL to load configurations and insert wads and patches into the PWAD list easily, you may also drop several wads onto the ZDL executable. Use this with Doom Builder to add extra customization capabilities to your test sessions.


ZDL has had many versions and upgrades throughout the years. A brief version history:

  • ZDL 1.5, Mar 12th, 2005 (Biohazard, first known version)
  • ZDL 2.0, Jul 15th 2005 (Biohazard)
  • ZDL 3.0, Dec 2nd 2005 (Biohazard)
  • ZDL 3.0d, Dec 10th 2005 (Biohazard, last version)
  • ZDLSharp, Jul 15th, 2007 (QBasicer, made from scratch)
  • ZDL 3.1, Nov 20th 2007 (Risen, forked from Biohazard's version)
  • ZDLSharp, Jan 20th, 2008 (QBasicer, last version)
  • ZDL 3.1a, Mar 16th, 2009 (Wildgoose, forked from Risen's version)
  • qZDL, Apr 16th, 2012 (QBasicer, made from scratch)
  • ZDL, Jun 8th, 2012 (QBasicer, renamed qZDL to ZDL)
  • ZDL, May 16th, 2014 (QBasicer, last version)
  • ZDL 3-1.0, Feb 6th, 2019 (Lcferrum, forked from QBasicer's version)
  • ZDL 3-1.1, May 2nd, 2019 (Lcferrum, last version)

External Links