FreeSpace 2

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FreeSpace 2
FreeSpace 2 cover
Linux Ryan C. Gordon
Interplay Entertainment
Release dates
Windows October 1, 1999
Linux September 16, 2012
macOS (OS X) October 18, 2012
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person, Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS, Shooter, Vehicle combat
Vehicles Space flight
Art styles Realistic
Themes Sci-fi, Space
Series Descent
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
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Oversized DRM
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. Aside from bug fixes and optimizations, it includes improved graphical capabilities, and deeper mod support using new functions, support for the Lua scripting language, and the Knossos Launcher for mod management. It has also resulted in 8 standalone games made so far.

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


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.[2]
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.


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


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 via this download or 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.[3]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bitARM 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).