Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura

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Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura
Arcanum:Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura cover
Troika Games
Sierra Entertainment
Release dates
Windows August 21, 2001
Metacritic 81
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time, Turn-based
Perspectives Bird's-eye view, Isometric
Controls Multiple select, 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

Key points

Greatly improved experience on newer systems thanks to unofficial mods.

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.
Icon overlay.png


A demo is available here (German site, scroll down to download).

Essential improvements[edit]


Official patch[edit] Not needed for the release.

Multiverse Edition[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Game options
Game options

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
No option. Follows Windows default behavior.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.


Sound options
Sound options

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


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Local retail version only.
Fan translation, download.
Grand Fix Download and Readme

Issues fixed[edit]

Files not installed properly[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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

VR support[edit]

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

Other information[edit]


Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes

System requirements[edit]

Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium II
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.