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Black Mesa

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Black Mesa
Black Mesa cover
Developers
Crowbar Collective
Engines
Source
Release dates
Windows March 6, 2020
Linux March 6, 2020
Reception
Metacritic 84
OpenCritic 85
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Shooter
Art styles Realistic
Themes North America, Sci-fi
Series Half-Life mods and fangames
Black Mesa on HowLongToBeat
Black Mesa on IGDB
Black Mesa on MobyGames
Black Mesa on Wikipedia
Subseries of Half-Life
Sven Co-op 1999
Synergy 2005
MINERVA 2013
Half-Life: Before 2013
Headcrab Frenzy! 2015
Prospekt 2016
Transmissions: Element 120 2016
Half-Life 2: DownFall 2017
Half-Life: Caged 2017
Entropy: Zero 2017
Half-Rats: Parasomnia 2017
Base Defense 2017
Half-Life 2: Year Long Alarm 2018
Halfquake Trilogy 2018
Hunt Down the Freeman 2018
Black Mesa 2020
Half-Life: Restored 2020
Half-Life 2: Genry's Great Escape from City 13 2020
Half-Life: Absolute Zero 2020
Amalgam 2020
Snowdrop Escape 2021
Requiem of Science 2022
Half-Life 2: VR Mod 2022
Swelter 2023
Wilson Chronicles EA
Half-Life Decay: Solo Mission TBA
Lost Squad TBA
Operation: Black Mesa TBA
Hard-Life TBA

Black Mesa is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person shooter game created in the Source engine, and an unofficial reimagining of the original Half-Life from 1998.

An incomplete version of the game was released as a free standalone mod on September 14, 2012, and consisted of only the earth-bound chapters of the campaign, and no multiplayer mode. The game was released commercially in Early Access on Steam on May 5, 2015 and included a multiplayer mode as well as made use of a newer version of the Source engine. On March 6, 2020 the finished version of the game was released.

General information

Official Discord server
Steam Community Discussions

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Steam
Icon overlay.png
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
The Linux version is DRM-free when run directly from executable.
Windows
Linux
The original standalone release from September 2012 is no longer available for download at the official website, but previously provided download links still work (1 2).
MP3s of the official soundtrack are available for free with the option to donate at the official website, as well as at Joel Nielsen's Website. Lossless formats are available for purchase from Bandcamp.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Steam <path-to-game>\bms\cfg\
<path-to-game>\bms\save\
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location

System Location
Steam <path-to-game>\bms\save\
Saved games cannot transfer between the mod release and Steam release. Use sv_unlockedchapters 15 in the console to unlock all chapters.[1]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud

Video

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

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Custom resolutions
Multi-monitor
HUD is not centered.
Ultra-widescreen
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
75-90° (horizontal based on Hor+ from 4:3); for setting FOV higher, see FOV. To change viewmodel/weapon FOV subscribe to this addon.
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
FXAA toggle.
Nvidia users can force a separate AA method on older builds using Nvidia Profile Inspector, see compatibility flags; this does not work as of the Xen update.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
300 FPS cap by default. See Refresh rate (Hz) for a higher or even unlocked FPS cap.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
Rendered image uses SDR color space. In-game HDR option refers only to HDR Rendering.

Refresh rate (Hz)

Use the -refresh ## command line argument to run at custom refresh rate[citation needed]
Use "fps_max XX" console command[2]
Allows for values up to 1000.
Use value 0 for uncapped framerate.

Custom resolutions

Use -w XX -h YY command line argument to set custom resolution[3]

Ambient Occlusion

Use Nvidia Inspector: Ambient Occlusion compatibility set to '0x00000014 (Left 4 Dead 2)'[citation needed]

FOV

Use fov_desired XX command in the console[citation needed]
Command allows values up to 120.

Input

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.
Input settings.
Input settings.

Toggle crouch

Add script to autoexec.cfg[4]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>/bms/cfg/.
  2. Open autoexec.cfg and add the following lines:
    alias t_duck "duck1"
    alias duck1 "+duck; alias t_duck duck2"
    alias duck2 "-duck; alias t_duck duck1"
    bind "ctrl" "t_duck"
    • Replace ctrl with desired crouch key.
  3. Launch the game and bring up the console.
  4. Type in exec autoexec.
  5. Press Enter.

Audio

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

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
4.0, 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound. 7.1 output may require DirectSound3D restoration software.
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Can be toggled in audio options.
EAX support
Set snd_legacy_surround 1 in console, 4 speakers in options, and use DSOAL for binaural HRTF mixing.[5]
Royalty free audio

Localizations

The language of the Subtitles is configured from the Audio Options of the game. The interface language is linked to the language of Steam.
Note: It can happen in some languages that the interface cannot be set to the desired language because steam does not support the language but if the subtitles because the game does allow you to configure them
Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Arabic
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hungarian
Indonesian
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Lithuanian
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Official translation.
Russian
Fan translation by «ZoG Forum Team». For Steam-version and mod-version – audio or text + audio
Spanish
Latin American Spanish
Swedish
Turkish
Ukrainian
Vietnamese

Network

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
32 Versus
Online play
32 Versus

Connection types

VR support

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Helix Mod: Black Mesa.
iZ3D
vorpX
G3D, DirectVR
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.
Devices Native Notes
Novint Falcon

Issues unresolved

Chromatic aberration always on

Chromatic aberration stays on even after disabling it through the video options. Its associate variable mat_chromatic_damage_enable doesn't work either.[6]

Main menu flickering

This is a known issue with the newer D3D11-based UI that couldn't be fixed.[7] It seems to happen with some versions of Nvidia drivers and not in others, and at random points won't bug out at all.[citation needed] It seems to happen when the game game is CPU-bound on both Proton as well as Windows.[8]
Workaround: apply the -oldgameui as a command line argument[7]

The game closes abruptly right after you hit play

Workaround: apply the -oldgameui as a command line argument[9]
Using this command-line argument, will force the game to boot with the legacy Source engine menu, which has been unsupported by the developers of the game since at least May 2020 and might contain bugs and missing features.[10]

Issues fixed

Flashlight not working on Intel GPU

On system using Intel GPUs, flashlight may not illuminate certain objects.
Override the reported graphics device to the ones supported by the game.[11][12]

Add -force_vendor_id 0x10DE -force_device_id 0x1180 command line parameters to the game's launch options. This will make the game reports the GPU as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 680.

The game may also fall back to Direct3D 9 with Shader Model 2.x. Which may cause some graphical features such as parallax mapping or Phong shading to be disabled. Force either D3D9 w/ Shader Model 3 or D3D9Ex with either -dxlevel 95 or -dxlevel 98 command-line parameters. Launch the game once then remove the corresponding parameters above to prevent the game from reset the settings on subsequent launches.

Very poor performance on AMDGPU kernel driver (Linux)

It is possible to run the game without starting Steam by running bms.sh
Run the game in Steam Native environment[citation needed]

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c, 9Ex
OpenGL 2.1 Linux only.
Shader Model support 2, 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows
Linux

Middleware

Middleware Notes
Physics Havok Heavily modified variant.
Audio Miles Sound System
Interface Qt v5.9.9
Input SDL, XInput SDL v2.0.4.0, XInput v9.15.779.0
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer Steamworks

Enabling the console

Set through options menu[13]
  1. Go to Options and click on Game.
  2. Set Developer Console to Yes.

DXVK translation layer

DXVK (Direct3D-to-Vulkan) can be used to improve the games performance.[14]

The game will stutter while the cache file is being generated for the first time.
Use DXVK on Windows[citation needed]
  1. Download the latest DXVK release Assets → dxvk-version.tar.gz
  2. Extract the dxvk-version.tar.gz archive
  3. Copy d3d9.dll from the x32 folder.
  4. Paste d3d9.dll into the game's bin folder at \SteamApps\common\Black Mesa\bin.
bms.dxvk-cache file will be created in the \SteamApps\shadercache\362890\DXVK_state_cache directory.
Linux: force game to use Proton instead of Native Linux version[citation needed]
DXVK is included in Proton.
DXVK runs faster than the native OpenGL renderer on Linux.[citation needed][dubious – discuss]

System requirements

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Vista
Processor (CPU) 2.6 GHz Dual Core
System memory (RAM) 6 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 20 GB
Video card (GPU) 2 GB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Support for Windows XP has been dropped as of 2016, while the game can be played on Windows XP, limitations imposed by the OS 4 GB memory limitations will most likely cause performance issue and out-of-memory crashes.
Linux
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 14.0
Processor (CPU) 2.6 GHz Dual Core
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 20 GB
Video card (GPU) 2 GB of VRAM
OpenGL 3.0 compatible

References

  1. Transfer savegame from the Free Black Mesa :: Black Mesa General Discussions
  2. Verified by User:Mr. obsolete 341 on 2021-11-22
  3. Resolution Issue? - Steam Discussion Forum - last accessed on 2022-09-24
  4. Toggle crouch? :: Black Mesa General Discussions - last accessed on 2022-09-24
  5. Black Mesa Xen w/ 3D spatial sound 🎧 (OpenAL Soft HRTF audio) 2020 New Year's special!
  6. Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-09-24
    Clearly visible at loading screen when you die when taking damage; game is then showing last frame where you clearly see chromatic aberration even though it was disabled in the video options.
  7. 7.0 7.1 My menu UI flickering so much and nothing is fixing it - Developer commenting on the bug - Redit - last accessed on 2022-09-24
  8. Version 1.10.1 - DXVK Github - last accessed on 2022-09-24
  9. i can't play black mesa - last accessed on 2022-09-24
  10. Frequently Asked Questions - Steam Discussion Forum - last accessed on 2022-09-24
  11. Black Mesa Flashlight bug
  12. Verified by User:Fudgesiclesxd on 2022-06-25
    Only on Windows version.
  13. Verified by User:Keith on 2020-03-12
  14. Vulkan performance on Windows is 15% faster than D3D9