F.E.A.R.

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F.E.A.R.
F.E.A.R. cover
Developers
Monolith Productions
Extraction Point TimeGate Studios
Publishers
Sierra Entertainment
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Engines
Lithtech Jupiter EX
Release dates
Windows October 18, 2005
Reception
Metacritic 88
IGDB 81
F.E.A.R. on HowLongToBeat
F.E.A.R. on IGDB
F.E.A.R. on MobyGames
F.E.A.R. on Wikipedia

Warnings

GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).
F.E.A.R.
F.E.A.R. 2005
F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate 2007
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin 2009
F.E.A.R. 3 2011
F.E.A.R. Online 2014

Key points

Master servers for multiplayer were shut down on December 19, 2012. See FEAR Combat Community.
The multiplayer component (F.E.A.R. Combat) is free to download and continues to be supported by the community.
Features an in-game benchmarking system. (It is not accurate to in game performance)
Potential performance issues on modern machines, See Low Frame Rate.
Potential graphics issues on modern nVidia GeForce only, use the Dx9->Dx11 Wrapping.

General information

Official manual
GOG.com Community Discussions for game series
GOG.com Support Page
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Community Discussions (Extraction Point)
F.E.A.R. Combat Community

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SecuROM 7.00.00.0128 DRM, 5 CDs or 1 DVD.
Windows
GamersGate (unavailable)
Requires online activation
SecuROM PA DRM
Windows
Gamesplanet
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Ultimate Shooter Edition.
Windows
GOG.com
DRM-free
Multiplayer executable creates dormant SecuROM files.[1]
Windows
Green Man Gaming
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Windows
Steam
Icon overlay.png
Complete Pack also available. SDK need fixes on registry.
Windows
The GOG.com and Steam releases include both F.E.A.R. Extraction Point and F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate
The GOG install removes SecuROM, GameSpy, and Punkbuster. GOG is 15.6GB [136 files], Steam is 16.5GB [161 files]. [2]
Additional weapons, instant action levels, and a bonus mission are only in the console versions. Also, content added in F.E.A.R. Files, a Xbox 360 port of expansion packs, are not present on PC.[3]

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Extraction Point Demo (standalone) (German website, but demo is in English)
Windows
Perseus Mandate Standalone, work without original game.
Windows
Not available for sale in Germany due to German censorship laws.

Essential improvements[edit]

Patches[edit]

Latest version is 1.08.

Community patch[edit]

The FEAR multiplayer master server was shut down on December 19, 2012. The community has developed an unofficial patch for the game and is offering new FEAR Combat CD keys for free. The latest version of the community-supported FEAR Combat client and new CD keys can be obtained from the Fear Combat Community website or lastremain.de.

Skip intro videos[edit]

Skip intro videos via native config tool
  1. You can navigate to the game's folder, open the Config.exe, move over to the Options tab and tick the disable movies box here to skip movies easily.
Skip intro videos[4]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open settings.cfg.
  3. Add a new line: "DisableMovies" "1"

Notes

This doesn't skip the first splash screen which acts as a loading screen.

F.E.A.R: HD Textures v1.1[edit]

AI upscale texture pack that has been processed to aim for stability and upgrading textures that practically improve visual quality
Includes an installer that allows you to between a more stable basic installation and a full installation
Does not support Extraction Point yet and will not support Perseus Mandate
Completely replaces some textures with new ones

Game data[edit]

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

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %PUBLIC%\Documents\Monolith Productions\FEAR\settings.cfg
%PUBLIC%\Documents\TimeGate Studios\FEARXP\settings.cfg
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/21090/pfx/[Note 1]
Key bindings are stored in %PUBLIC%\Documents\Monolith Productions\FEAR\Profiles\Profile000.gdb and %PUBLIC%\Documents\TimeGate Studios\FEARXP\Profiles\Profile000.gdb

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %PUBLIC%\Documents\Monolith Productions\FEAR\Save\Profile000\SinglePlayer
%PUBLIC%\Documents\TimeGate Studios\FEARXP\Save\Profile000\SinglePlayer
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/21090/pfx/[Note 1]
F.E.A.R. has 10 save slots, plus 1 quicksave slot and 1 autosave slot. Additional save slots can be made by creating a new player profile. There is no ability to replay completed levels other than loading a manual save.

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game general video settings.
In-game general video settings.
In-game advanced video settings (for CPU).
In-game advanced video settings (for CPU).
In-game advanced video settings (for GPU, 1/2).
In-game advanced video settings (for GPU, 1/2).
In-game advanced video settings (for GPU, 2/2).
In-game advanced video settings (for GPU, 2/2).

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Widescreen fix is required for the Extraction Point expansion only (STEAM and GOG VERSIONS).
Set custom resolution[citation needed]
  1. Click the Settings symbol on Steam and then Manage\Browse Local Files
  2. Doubleclick the FEARXP folder, and right click on the FEARXP.exe application and click on Properties
  3. Click the Compatability tab and tick the Disable fullscreen optimizations box and hit Apply
  4. Run the game once from Steam and then quit once you reach the main menu. This will generate the settings.cfg file
  5. Go to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Monolith Productions\FEAR
  6. Open settings.cfg with a text editor.
  7. Change the "ScreenWidth" "640" and "ScreenHeight" "480" lines to match your resolution.
  8. Save your changes and set the file to read-only.

Notes

For some versions, settings.cfg for the Extraction Point expansion is located at C:\Users\Public\Documents\TimeGate Studios\FEARXP

4K Ultra HD[edit]

In-game FSAA setting must be set to Off before enabling 4K resolution, otherwise you will be stuck in a black screen. If this happens, reset resolution via settings.cfg. If you need AA at 4K, see Anti-aliasing (AA).
F.E.A.R maintains 1:1 HUD scaling at all resolutions (i.e. there is no HUD scaling). This has the benefit of keeping HUD elements sharp, but they also may become very small on high-density monitors, such as 4K monitors sized below 30". Use this fix corresponding to your chosen resolution to increase the HUD size: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=180211741

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

This game uses vertical FOV. See FOV Calculator for help.
Set custom FOV[5]
  1. Go to the game's directory:
    • Base game: \FEAR
    • Extraction Point: \FEARXP
  2. Create a file named autoexec.cfg with a text editor.
  3. If using a widescreen resolution add this line: "FovYWidescreen" "XX.00" where XX is the vertical FOV value. If using a non-widescreen resolution use "FovY" "XX.00"

Windowed[edit]

FSAA is unavailable in windowed mode. See Anti-aliasing (AA) for an alternative.
Set windowed mode[citation needed]
  1. Go to the game's directory:
    • Base game: \FEAR
    • Extraction Point: \FEARXP
  2. Create a file named autoexec.cfg with a text editor.
  3. Add "Windowed" "1" on a new line.

Anti-aliasing (AA)[edit]

The Soft Shadows option will have no effect if the FSAA option is enabled.
MSAA solution (Nvidia only)[6]
  1. Open the game and disable the FSAA option.
  2. Download and run Nvidia Profile Inspector.
  3. Search and open the game profile.
  4. Set Antialiasing Compatibility to 0x004000C1.
  5. Set Antialiasing Mode to Override any application setting.
  6. Set Antialiasing Setting to 8x Multisampling or your desired level of MSAA/CSAA.
  7. Apply changes. Do the same for the Extraction Point expansion.

Notes

May have a very negative performance impact even on modern systems.
Alternatively, SMAA is available through an injector.

Input settings[edit]

In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game mouse settings.
In-game mouse settings.
In-game joystick axis map settings.
In-game joystick axis map settings.

Audio settings[edit]

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

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Effects, speech, music
Surround sound
Up to 7.0 output.[7] May require DirectSound 3D restoration software.
Subtitles
Subtitles are too small at high resolutions; see Small subtitles.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Pauses on loss of focus.
EAX support
EAX 2, EAX 4.0.[8] EAX sound examples with HRTF mod and ALchemy The Russian version has problems playing some dialogs in EAX, a fix here[3].

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
French
German
Retail only. For digital version download from DeutschPatch or CompiWare. Includes Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate.
Italian
Retail only. For digital version download from See here for the Steam version translation.
Hungarian
Retail only, which is called Gold Edition and includes Extraction Point. Language files available here.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation for Extraction Point, download.
Russian
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Spanish
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Polish
Local retail only. Patch for digital release here.

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
Disable game crosshair by turning the transparency all the way down and then enable 3DVision 3D crosshair (Ctrl+F12). Any depth adjustments must be done via KB shortcuts, as the Nvidia pyramid's scroll wheel will not work.
vorpX
G3D, DirectVR
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.
Devices Native Notes
3RD Space Gaming Vest
Novint Falcon

Network[edit]

Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play
Versus
Online play
Versus, Co-op
Master server is offline; use FEAR Combat Community version (mirror [4] lastremain.de). For co-op install Coop Warfare mod, co-op server with all SP levels - fearcombat-coop-server.

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Matchmaking
Peer-to-peer
Dedicated
Self-hosting
Dedicated server software available for Windows and Linux.
Direct IP
You need to create a shortcut to the game, write the command +join ip:port in the parameters. Then launch the shortcut.

Ports

Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 27888
UDP 27888
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues unresolved[edit]

Long save times[edit]

When playing the game, exiting and launching it again without logging out of Windows, saving can take very long. To work around that, log out and back into your Windows profile (or restart your computer) before re-launching the game.[9]

Issues fixed[edit]

TweakGuides has created a comprehensive guide for fixing issues in this game. It can be found https://tweakguides.pcgamingwiki.com/FEAR_1.html here].

Slow loading level and aero disabling[edit]

Fix slow load level and spontaneous shutdown aero interface
  • Install game and addons only on Windows XP, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.[10]
  • Also you can use 4gb_patch for game and addons Extraction Point, Perseus Mandate.[11]

Notes

Occurs only on Windows Vista and Windows 7, because of the special graphic stack WDDM.
Using Windows 8.1 or 10 significantly reduces the launch time of the level, perhaps this is due to improvements in the WDDM graphics stack.[12]
Despite the fact that this patch increases the limit of used memory from 2GB to 4GB, the game doesn't need this much, but it does noticeably increase the launch speed of the level.
This patch is not compatible with the original game from Steam and F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin.

Control key settings are not assigned[edit]

Keyboard settings reset to unassigned when you restart the game
  • Run the game as Administrator

Flickering textures on modern systems[edit]

Use dgVoodoo2 wrapping
  1. Download this: Latest stable version for regular usage.
  2. Unpack on folder with game from MS/x86 folder, only d3d9.dll
(nVidia only) Enhancing the in-game AA to SGSSAA may solve this issue as well. (further testing is required)[13]

Broken shadow rendering on Nvidia graphics[edit]

Fix shadow corruption[14]
  1. Download this: registry tweak.
  2. Run ON_DisableVidMemVBs.reg before you start playing F.E.A.R. to fix shadow corruption.
  3. Run OFF_DisableVidMemVBs.reg after playing F.E.A.R. to disable the tweak. This is needed because this tweak has an extremely negative performance effect for other games. If you don't care about performance in other games, you can leave it on constantly.

Soft Shadows doesn't work combined with FSAA[edit]

Use alternative AA solution[6]
This is due to the features of the engine and the artificial limitation of the simultaneous use of anti-aliasing with soft shadows, since they can cause graphic artifacts on the shadows.

Small subtitles[edit]

Turning on large subtitles for non-4:3 resolutions has no effect.
Small subtitles[15]
  1. Download this patch.
  2. Extract FEARL_1920.Arch00 into the installation folder.
  3. Open Default.archcfg in Notepad and add FEARL_1920.Arch00 at the end of the file as a new line.
  4. For Extraction Point navigate to FEARXP sub-folder and add ../FEARL_1920.Arch00 to Default.archcfg under ; FEAR XP ARCHIVES.
Fix for 1440p and 4k (only base game) resolutions[16]
  1. Download one of the archives, for your desired resolution, and extract to the installation dir.

Black screen on ATI/AMD video cards[edit]

Black screen on ATI/AMD video cards[citation needed]
  • If 'Soft Shadows' and 'Pixel Doubling' are enabled this will result in black screen, on some ATI/AMD videocards. Disable said graphical options to fix the problem.

Can't hear any dialogue[edit]

Enable/install Windows Media Player[citation needed]
  1. Windows XP or N/KN versions: install Windows Media Player.
  2. Relaunch the game. If problems persist, ensure Windows Media Player is enabled:
    • Vista and later: open the Start screen/Start menu, type OptionalFeatures.exe and press Enter.
    • Windows XP: press Win+R, type appwiz.cpl and press Enter, choose Add/Remove Windows Components.

No Torch Glitch[edit]

No Torch Glitch[citation needed]
  • At the beginning of Interval 03 - Escalation - Infiltration, the player must wait until they have control of the character before changing maps with the maphole command otherwise the torch will not be carried through for the rest of the game.

Can't hear any gunshots[edit]

Install Creative Alchemy[citation needed]
  1. Install Alchemy.
  2. If using a non-Creative sound card, use Alchemy Restriction Remover as well.

Low frame rate[edit]

Frame rate may drop to around 20-30 FPS after a few minutes of play.
Use DirectInput FPS Fix
  1. Download the DirectInput FPS Fix.
  2. Extract into <path-to-game> for the main campaign.
  3. For the Expansion extract it into <path-to-game>\FEARXP
If you are still having frame rate issues.
Borderless fullscreen mode[citation needed]
  1. First make game into windowed mode. See Windowed.
  2. Then use Borderless fullscreen mode.
Disable Soft Shadows
  • Go into settings in game and disable Soft Shadows.
Soft Shadows are a taxing feature even today on some lower-end machines.
Changes the look of the game.
Compatibility mode[citation needed]

Set Windows XP SP3 compatibility mode on the executable.

Additionally, you can also install a more recent set of libraries used by the game.
Update libraries[citation needed]
  1. Install RuntimePack.

Crashes[edit]

Game won't start/maps not loading[17]
  • When hosting a LAN game as a Listen server the game may hang at the map loading screen with the progress bar stuck at 0%. This can be resolved by hosting the game as a dedicated server and then joining with the FEAR Combat client.
Startup Crash on Windows 10[citation needed]
  • Set game's compatibility mode to Windows XP (Service Pack 2). If it doesn't help try "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" also. RMB on FEAR.exe => Properties => Compatability => Disable fullscreen optimizations
"Disconnected from server" when playing singleplayer
  • This only happens in Extraction Point. When the game crashes with this message while trying to load a level, set texture detail to medium (not maximum) and try again.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 8, 9
Shader Model support 1.1, 2
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows

Middleware[edit]

Middleware Notes
Physics Havok
Audio EAX Unified
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer GameSpy
Anti-cheat PunkBuster [citation needed]

Official SDK[edit]

The Steam version includes the SDK with the game.[18] Make sure you read instructions

DevMode[edit]

DevMode gives the ability to use the debug keys and to load any map, including a few demo levels.

Dynamic flashlight[edit]

Makes the light cast from the flashlight dynamic[citation needed]
  1. Download the mod here.
  2. Open Default.archcfg
  3. Add the line LC_FlashlightMod_WIDE.Arch00 or LC_FlashlightMod.Arch00 to the end of the list.
  4. Check the file as read only.

Notes

Does not work on both expansions.

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 2000
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 1.7 GHz
AMD Athlon XP 1600+
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 17 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce Ti 4200
ATI Radeon 8500
64 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 1.1 support
Sound (audio device) 16-bit DirectX compliant sound

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 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>/21090/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (21090) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.

References