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Alien Swarm

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Alien Swarm
Alien Swarm cover
Valve Corporation
Release dates
Windows July 19, 2010
Metacritic 77
Monetization Freeware
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, Shooter
Art styles Stylized
Themes Sci-fi
Series Alien Swarm
Alien Swarm on HowLongToBeat
Alien Swarm on IGDB
Alien Swarm guide on StrategyWiki
Alien Swarm on MobyGames
Alien Swarm on Wikipedia
Alien Swarm
Alien Swarm 2010
Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop 2017

Alien Swarm is a singleplayer and multiplayer bird's-eye view action and shooter game in the Alien Swarm series.

General information

Unofficial Alien Swarm Wiki
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Icon overlay.png
Free download.
All versions require Steam DRM.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\swarm\cfg\[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/630/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud
Syncs save games and settings.


In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
21:9 resolutions are selectable under the 16:9 resolution options. Position of HUD elements is incorrect.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Double and triple buffering.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
300 FPS cap by default. With console, can change "fps_max" up to 1000; use 0 for uncapped framerate.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.


In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
XInput only; open the console and enter exec 360controller_pc.[1]
Full controller support
Menus require mouse input.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
<path-to-game>\swarm\cfg\360controller_pc.cfg needs to be modified.
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
Open the console and enter exec 360controller_pc.[2]
Xbox button prompts
Impulse Trigger vibration
PlayStation controllers
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Generic/other controllers
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation by «Steam Translation – Russian» available here.
Fan translation available here.


For more information, see the "Source Dedicated Server" section of our Source engine article.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
4 Co-op
Online play
4 Co-op

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Direct IP
Open the console (~) and enter connect followed by the IP and port.


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 27014-27050
UDP 1200, 27000-27015
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

VR support

Devices State Notes
Novint Falcon

Issues fixed

Purple and black broken textures

A generic fix for this issue can be found on our Source engine page.

Crashes and overheating

  • CPU Overheating Issues: This threads walks you through running a simple stress test on your CPU to help you identify whether your cooling equipment is doing its job.
  • Fix for temp problems/crashing: This threads dictates how Vsync and multi-core rendering can be adjusted to eliminate problems relating to overheating and crasing. This tip can also increase performance.
  • Swarm.exe has stopped working: If you're having problems with Swarm.exe crashing, this Steam Support thread may help you if the problem's related to Shaderapidx9.dll. You can check if Shaderapidx9.dll is the cause of the problem by following the instructions on this thread.

Ping & Latency

  • Windows 7 Ping Spikes (Fix): This thread explains how to disable a network-throttling feature shipped with Windows 7. It's more likely to fix ping-related problems, but has been reported to improve frame rates.
  • WLAN Optimizer: If you play over a wireless connection, you may occasionally experience 'lag spikes' due to Windows checking periodically for new wireless networks. Using this program, you can disable the 'background scan' and improve your gaming wireless experience.
  • Hosting? Do everyone you meet a BIG favor. PLEASE!: When people connect to your listen server, their client has a "rate" setting. By default it is set at 20,000 (bytes/second). If you're home internet cannot upload 60,000bytes/second (3 people connected) then you're going to have to set a sv_maxrate, to limit each player's rate so that everybody gets their own dedicated chunk of bandwidth, instead of their computers fighting for a piece.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
Shader Model support 2, 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok Heavily modified variant.
Audio Miles Sound System
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer Steamworks

Console commands

Games running on the Source engine can utilize Source Engine Console Commands for various tasks.
Enabling the console in Source games[citation needed]
  1. Launch the game.
  2. From the main menu select Options.
  3. Select the Keyboard tab.
  4. Click the Advanced button.
  5. Check the box next to Enable developer console (~).
  6. Click Apply.


Press ~ to open the console.
Some commands may first require you enabling sv_cheats. You can do so with sv_cheats 1.
Many servers will not allow you to play with cheats enabled, or will disable them upon entering the server.
Users without a US keyboard could experience some problems.

Launch options

View this Steam Support Article regarding launch options as well as the relevant Valve Developer wiki page for further information and a list of useful Source engine launch options.
Enabling a launch parameter[citation needed]
  1. Find the game in your Steam Library.
  2. Right-click the game name.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Select Set Launch Options....
  5. Input your selected launch options and separate each command with a space.
  6. Press OK.
  7. Launch the game.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB (XP)
2 GB (Vista)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2.5 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 6600
ATI Radeon X800
128 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0 compatible
Shader model 2.0 support


  1. When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  2. Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data: