Black Mesa

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Black Mesa
Black Mesa cover
Crowbar Collective
Release dates
Windows Early access
Linux Early access
macOS (OS X) TBA[1]
Black Mesa on MobyGames
Black Mesa on Wikipedia
Half-Life 1998
Sven Co-op (unofficial mod) 1999
Half-Life: Opposing Force 1999
Half-Life: Blue Shift 2001
Codename: Gordon 2004
Half-Life: Source 2004
Half-Life 2 2004
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch 2004
Half-Life 2: Lost Coast 2005
Half-Life Deathmatch: Source 2006
Half-Life 2: Episode One 2006
Half-Life 2: Episode Two 2007
Portal (series)
Half-Life: Decay (unofficial port) 2008
Half-Life: Alyx 2020
Black Mesa (unofficial remake) EA

Key points

An unofficial remake of Half-Life in the most recent version of the Source engine.

General information

Official website
Official Discord server
Unofficial Half-Life Wiki
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Icon overlay.png
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (see notes)
DRM-free on Linux when run directly from executable.
All versions require Steam DRM.
The original standalone mod release 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[edit]

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

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

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

Save game data location[edit]

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.[2]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game general video settings.
In-game general video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Use -w XX -h YY parameters to force a custom resolution.
HUD is not centered.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
75-90° (horizontal based on Hor+ from 4:3); use fov_desired XX in the console for higher values (up to 120). To change viewmodel/weapon FOV subscribe to this addon.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use the -window -noborder parameters.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Xen update replaced previous AA methods with FXAA. Compatibility bit 0x000000C0 can be applied in nVidia Inspector to use MSAA and SGSSAA without many graphical artifacts. Vision gets blurry when water is on screen or certain reflective effects.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 300 FPS; use the +fps_max XX parameter.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
Rendered image uses SDR color space. In-game HDR option refers only to HDR Rendering.

Input settings[edit]

In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game mouse/gamepad settings.
In-game mouse/gamepad settings.

Toggle crouch[edit]

Add script to autoexec.cfg[3]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>/bms/cfg/.
  2. Open autoexec.cfg and add this:
    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 and enter exec autoexec.

Audio settings[edit]

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.
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. [4]


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Dialogues only.
Fan translation, download here.
Fan translation by «ZoG Forum Team». For Steam-version and mod-version – audio or text + audio


In-game multiplayer settings.
In-game multiplayer settings.

Multiplayer types

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

Connection types

VR support[edit]

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

Issues fixed[edit]

Black screen while in fullscreen mode (Windows 10)[edit]

NOTE: If an adaptive sync monitor is used, set it to run in windowed mode if possible. This is an option for G-Sync at least.

Very poor performance on AMDGPU kernel driver (Linux)[edit]

It is possible to run the game without starting Steam by running
Remove the included[6]
  1. Go to [SteamLibraryDir]/steamapps/common/Black Mesa/bin
  2. Remove
Run the game in Steam Native environment[citation needed]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Shader Model support 2, 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)


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

Enabling the console[edit]

Options menu[citation needed]
  1. Go to Options, select the Keyboard tab and click on Advanced.
  2. Check Enable the developer console and open the console by using ~.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Vista
Processor (CPU) 2.0 GHz Dual Core
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 15 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce GTX 200 series
ATI Radeon HD 4000 series
512 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 14.0
Processor (CPU) 2.0 GHz Dual Core
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 15 GB
Video card (GPU) 512 MB of VRAM
OpenGL 3.0 compatible