FreeSpace 2

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FreeSpace 2
FreeSpace 2 cover
Linux Ryan C. Gordon
Interplay Entertainment
Release dates
Windows September 30, 1999
Linux September 16, 2012
macOS (OS X) October 18, 2012
FreeSpace 2 on MobyGames
FreeSpace 2 on Wikipedia
Descent 1995
Descent II 1996
Descent: FreeSpace - The Great War 1998
Descent 3 1999
FreeSpace 2 1999
Descent (upcoming) TBA

Key points

FS2Open is a modern source port for Windows, OS X and Linux.

General information Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions
Source Code and Modding Community


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
DRM details are not known
Icon overlay.png
All versions of the game can be played on OS X and Linux using FS2Open.
The original demo (an additional level not included in the final game) is freely available here.

Essential improvements[edit]


The latest retail patch is v1.02; digital distribution versions already include this.


Unofficial Linux port[edit]

An unofficial port of Freespace 2 is available here. The installer and the source code of the port itself is available. Keep in mind that the installer is not compatible with GOTY/Sim and non-English version.

FS2Open open source port[edit]

FS2Open is an open source port for Windows, OS X and Linux. It features improved graphics, mod support, mutli-platform support, improved mission scripting, lua scripting, optimizations, and various bug fixes.

  • Improved Graphics: FSO adds shader support to the Freespace's rendering pipeline to implement soft particles and other effects. Support for Normal Mapping, Environment Mapping, Glow Mapping, Skyboxes and soft shadows have been added.
  • Mod Support: Mods can now be installed and read without altering game files. Only a launcher is required to implement an installed mod, and multiple mods can be installed within the Freespace folder.
  • Multi-platform support: FSO enables Freespace to be run in Windows, OS X, Linux, and (experimentally) in FreeBSD. Multi-platform compatibility is maintained on all stable FSO releases.
  • Mission Scripting: FSO more than doubles the available functions (known as SEXPs) that can be used in mission creation, including in-game cutscene controls. It also allows the mission creator to disable Briefings and Debriefings or add Fictional text to the mission.
  • Lua Scripting: Lua scripting has been added to accomplish things that the regular functions cannot and also alter the state of the game outside of missions.
  • Optimizations: The FSO engine has been optimized to make more complex models and textures usable and improve CPU performance.
  • Bug Fixes: Since the beginning of the FSO Source Code Project (FSOSCP), over 2000 bugs have been reviewed and fixed or explained.

Community Support for FSOpen (FSO) can be found at Hard-light Productions. It's recommended to use Knossos Launcher for better mod support.


FS2Open helps install various popular mods including a port of Descent: FreeSpace - The Great War.

Game data[edit]

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

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/273620/pfx/[Note 1]
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\data\players[Note 2]
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game>/data/players
Linux <path-to-game>/data/players
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/273620/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

Launcher video settings.
Launcher video settings.
In-game detail settings.
In-game detail settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Use FS2Open.
Use FS2Open.
Use FS2Open.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
-fov flag in the Community launcher command line (format: -fov #.##). Community recommendations are for a value of 0.39.[1]
Under Dev Tools in FSO Community Launcher.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Run in fullscreen window under Dev Tools in FSO Community Launcher.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
FXAA option available in the FSO Community Launcher.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
The Vertical Sync option in the launcher under Game Speed.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Will need to disable VSync and perhaps enable Don't limit frames-per-second in the launcher under Game Speed. Then FPS will be completely unlimited.[citation needed]

Launch problems[edit]

If you're not using Freespace Open and the game only appears in a part of your screen, that means that your desktop resolution is too high. Set your desktop resolution to something like 1920x1080 and launch the game again. 4k is too high.

Input settings[edit]

Launcher joystick settings.
Launcher joystick settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Fully Re-bindable under the ingame options menu
Mouse acceleration
Unmodded Mouse is best use for precision work as it lacks the movement range for big changes in direction.[citation needed]
Mouse sensitivity
Controls sensitivity in-game and not in menus
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Optimised for Joystick as number of Axis support is limited, community fix for this using SDL is being developed but still under testing.[citation needed]
Full controller support
Controller remapping
In-game options menu alongside key bindings
Controller sensitivity
Joystick sensitivity and deadzone settings
Controller Y-axis inversion
Every axis can be inverted in the in-game menu
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Simultaneous controller+KB/M

Audio settings[edit]

Launcher audio settings.
Launcher audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Effects, Music, Voice. On/off toggle for Briefing Voice.
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
Community Launcher option under Basic Settings.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Included in Steam and GOG
Included in Steam and GOG
Retail only, but can be added to digital version with Freespace Open (Freiraum).

Many further fan translations via Freespace Open.


Launcher network settings.
Launcher network settings.
In-game multiplayer settings.
In-game multiplayer settings.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play
Online play

VR support[edit]

Devices Native Notes
Use FS2Open.[2]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)

System requirements[edit]

Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) 200 MHz
System memory (RAM) 32 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 400 MB
Video card (GPU) 3D accelerated graphics card
4 MB of VRAM
DirectX 3.0 compatible


  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>/273620/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (273620) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.
  2. 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).