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Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura
Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura cover
Troika Games
Sierra Entertainment
Release dates
Windows August 21, 2001
Metacritic 81
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time, Turn-based
Perspectives Bird's-eye view, Isometric
Controls Point and select
Genres RPG
Themes Fantasy, Industrial Age, Steampunk
Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura on HowLongToBeat
Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura on IGDB
Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura on MobyGames
Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura on Wikipedia

Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura is a singleplayer and multiplayer bird's-eye view and isometric RPG game.

General information

Terra Arcanum Forum - a large fansite Community Discussions Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
SecuROM 4 DRM disc check.
Patched to official patch v1.0.7.4.
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
A demo is available from and

Essential improvements


Official patch Not needed for the release.

Multiverse Edition

Complete overhaul with all the patches listed in this article, as well as others, bundled together in one installer that offers a lot of options.
For a widescreen monitor, it is recommended to use a 1366x768 resolution. Higher values can make the UI and dialogue difficult to see.
Arcanum Multiverse Edition [ENG] by the Multiverse Team.

Unofficial patch

Highly improved townmaps and soundtracks (from the vanilla 128kbit/sec to 320 kbit/sec) can be found alongside this patch.
Not compatible with older savegames.
200611 (2.0.2) by Drog Black Tooth. Highly recommended bug fixes.

High Resolution Patch

If you are unable to pan the camera past the edge of the screen with the high resolution patch enabled, add -scrolldist:0 -scrollfps:70 to the target line in the shortcut of the game.
The High Resolution Patch is already included in the Unofficial Arcanum Patch. For a separate installer check out 1.5 by Drog Black Tooth. Allows any user-set resolution, UI tweaks, larger fonts.

Game data

Game options
Game options

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\arcanum.cfg[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/500810/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\modules\Arcanum\Save\[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/500810/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


Video options
Video options


Set windowed mode[citation needed]
  1. Download and install the unofficial patch
  2. Add -Window in the target line of your Arcanum shortcut
If the game stops responding with windowed mode[citation needed]
  1. Go to the installation folder and find ddraw.dll and rename it to draw.dll.old or something like that.
  2. Launch the game and this should solve the problem with the game not responding.


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
For hotkeys, see here.
Mouse acceleration
No option. Follows Windows default behavior.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support


Sound options
Sound options

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Effects, voice and music
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Grand Fix Download and Readme
Fan translation, download.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
LAN play
8 Co-op, Versus
Online play
8 Co-op, Versus
The official WON service has been shut down.

VR support

3D modes State Notes
Game is 2D only. Play 2D with DGVoodoo2 and vorpx default DGVoodoo2 profile.

Issues fixed

Files not installed properly

Recommended to avoid default installation folder, as this can lead to issues where certain files are not properly installed.
Run installed as administrator[citation needed]

When running the installer, be sure to right-click on the .exe, and select "Run as Administrator".

Loading screen freezing

Freezing known to happen on systems with multi-core CPUs.[citation needed]
Set CPU affinity[citation needed]

Setting CPU affinity should solve this problem. Create a shortcut, and in the shortcut's "Target" field, insert %WINDIR%\System32\cmd.exe /C start "ARCANUM" /D "C:\ARCANUM" /high /affinity 1 "C:\ARCANUM\arcanum.exe" Be sure to replace C:\ARCANUM with your actual Arcanum installation folder. If needed, you can add additional command-line parameters to the end.

Graphical issues

Set target field[citation needed]

Adding -no3d -doublebuffer to the end of your Arcanum shortcut's "Target" field.

Delete or rename ddraw.dll[citation needed]

Delete or rename ddraw.dll.

Performance issues

Modify the SierraLauncher.ini file[citation needed]
  1. Go to the installation folder
  2. Open SierraLauncher.ini
  3. Find Game1Cmd= and replace line with Game1Cmd= -no3d -doublebuffer -scrolldist:0 -scrollfps:70
Use Aqrit's DDrawFix for Infinity Engine games[1]
  1. Download
  2. Open the archive and navigate to wined3d
  3. Extract the contents of the folder to <path-to-game>/Arcanum
  4. If prompted, click yes to replace ddraw.dll

Launches with black screen

If you use third-party tools like Rivatuner Statistics Server (RTSS), deactivate it.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
DirectDraw 7.0
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Multiplayer WON (World Opponent Network) Was shut down in 2008

System requirements

Operating system (OS) 95, 98, ME, 2000
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium II 300 MHz
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1.2 GB
Video card (GPU) VGA capable Card
8 MB of VRAM


  1. 1.0 1.1 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. 2.0 2.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/500810/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (500810) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.


  1. Fix for slowdown on Windows 10 - last accessed on May 2023