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Half-Life: Opposing Force

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Half-Life: Opposing Force
Half-Life: Opposing Force cover
Gearbox Software
1999-2005 Sierra On-Line
2005-present Valve Corporation
Russia (Half-Life 1 Anthology) Buka Entertainment[1]
Release dates
Windows November 19, 1999[2]
macOS (OS X) March 30, 2013
Linux March 30, 2013
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS, Shooter
Art styles Realistic
Themes Sci-fi, North America
Series Half-Life
Half-Life: Opposing Force on HowLongToBeat
Half-Life: Opposing Force on IGDB
Half-Life: Opposing Force guide on StrategyWiki
Half-Life: Opposing Force on MobyGames
Half-Life: Opposing Force on Wikipedia
Half-Life mods and fangames (series)
Half-Life 1998
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


The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.

Half-Life: Opposing Force is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person action, FPS and shooter game in the Half-Life series.

As of July 2013, among other fixes, Opposing Force was updated with SteamPipe integration, with its original soundtrack added back in-game.[3]

General information

GitHub Issue Tracker for Half-Life: Opposing Force and other GoldSrc-based games
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc DRM[Note 1].
Icon overlay.png
DRM-free with some exceptions (notes may include more details)
Later updates remove the DRM entirely, with the disc only being required for the Redbook-based soundtrack.
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
Half-Life 1 Anthology.
Icon overlay.png
macOS (OS X)
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
All non-Steam releases can be redeemed on Steam.

Essential improvements

Official retail patches

These are not needed for the Steam version as that already contains the latest version.

An archive of all official patches for Half-Life and its expansions can be found here

Higher definition models

The High Definition Pack[6] was created by Gearbox and first released alongside with Blue Shift on June 12, 2001. It was released for free on Steam on August 30, 2005, with a fixed version released a year later. This pack replaces most weapon and player/enemy models with higher polygon versions, substantially altering the style of some of them in the process. The option to enable the pack in-game is in the options menu, and the game must be restarted for it to take effect.

For the retail version of Half-Life and its expansions, the Official HD Pack can be found on PcGamingWiki.

For other options follow this guide.

Remade WON Menu

Opposing Force's main menu, among other parts, was heavily changed with the game's transition from the WON (World Opponent Network) system to Steam. A mod was released by Reddit user HowardHeyman. It restores the look of the original Opposing Force menus, but without text subtitles, animated backgrounds, nor various options windows to keep within the GoldSrc's assumed limits. The mod also adds main menu music from Opposing Force's own soundtrack. An alternate download link can be found here, on GameBanana.

The menu also adds the "Custom Game" feature that was present in the WON version, where the player could select from an in-game menu to switch mods in-game. This feature is disabled by default in the Steam release, as Half-Life doesn't have true native support to allow run time switching, and, according to Alfred, the engineering effort to fix the function is better spent elsewhere.[7]

Menus are 4:3 by default and cannot be stretched to fullscreen. In-game is untouched.

Enabling developer mode

Enabling developer mode will allow use of in-game cheats and various console commands.
Turn on developer mode[citation needed]

Use the developer 1 in console.


The developer console can be opened by pressing ~ (Note you may have to turn it on in the in-game settings). You can use the console command sv_cheats 1 to allow the usage of console commands such as god and noclip. Note that you might have to reload a save-game or do it at the main menu after enabling cheat-mode for certain commands to work.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Half-Life\gearbox\[Note 2]
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game>/Half-Life/gearbox/
Linux <path-to-game>/Half-Life/gearbox/
*.cfg store the configuration.
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Half-Life\gearbox\SAVE\[Note 2]
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game>/Half-Life/gearbox/SAVE/
Linux <path-to-game>/Half-Life/gearbox/SAVE/

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud


Video settings
Video settings

Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
Retail and pre-25th Anniversary Update Steam versions are Vert-. Increase FOV to compensate. See Field of view (FOV).
The 25th Anniversary Update version is Hor+.
Retail and pre-25th Anniversary Update Steam versions are Vert-. Increase FOV to compensate. See Field of view (FOV).
The 25th Anniversary Update version is Hor+.
4K Ultra HD
Both in-game and menu UI may become too small on displays with a high pixel density, see 4K Ultra HD for various fixes.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV)
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See Borderless fullscreen windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Steam version comes with anisotropic filtering turned on by default. Default is set to 16 samples. Lower-end systems might have it set lower by default. Can be customized with gl_ansio command (i.e. gl_ansio 16 means 16 samples anisotropic filtering).
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Steam version comes with 4x MSAA turned on by default. Lower-end system might have it turned off by default. Can be overridden from graphics card control panel. You can use -nomsaa command line argument to force anti-aliasing off. Enhanceable to SGSSAA on Nvidia systems.
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Triple Buffering.
Always on for the retail version.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
See High frame rate.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

4K Ultra HD

Assets are designed for 640x480, and UI may be too small at higher resolutions.
Increase font sizes[8][9]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\platform\resource\TrackerScheme.res in a text editor.
  2. Under "Legacy_CreditsFont", change "tall" as desired to change the size of the in-game credits font, used for the opening credits, level titles, and tutorial prompts.
    Recommended settings for a similar font size to that used in 640x480 are:
    • "30" for 720p or 768p
    • "40" for 960p, 1024p, or 1080p
    • "50" for 1200p
    • "60" for 1440p
    • "70" for 1600p
    • "80" for 2160p ("4K")
    • "120" for 2880p ("5K")
    • "135" for 3240p ("6K")
    • "180" for 4320p ("8K")
  3. Save the file.

Field of view (FOV)

When running at widescreen resolutions, adjusting the FOV is probably necessary.
Field of view[10]
  1. While in game, open the console (~).
  2. Type default_fov 106.270273206 and press Enter.

Borderless fullscreen windowed

-window -noborder[citation needed]
  1. Find Half-Life: Opposing Force in the Steam Library.
  2. Right-click the game name.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Select Set Launch Options....
  5. Input -window -noborder.
  6. Press OK.
  7. Launch the game.

High frame rate

Game is capped at 72 FPS (without Vsync) by default.
Set FPS limit[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Create a new file called userconfig.cfg.
  3. Add in the following lines:
  4. fps_max "<desired FPS value>"
    fps_override 1
  5. The fps_override 1 command disables GoldSrc's arbitrary 100 FPS limit.
  6. Save the file and launch the game.
  7. Disable Vsync in-game.


Doing this will break rope physics in the game, allowing the player to climb them but not swing. Swinging is sometimes necessary to progress and the fps cap will have to be turned back on.

OpenGL overbright lighting (Retail/pre-25th Anniversary Update)

Overbright lighting increases the rendering dynamic range, resulting brighter and more colorful visuals.
Overbright lighting normally only works on the Direct3D and software renderers.[11][12]
The 25th Anniversary Update fixed the overbright lighting and deprecates gl_overbright in favor of gl_use_shaders.[13]
Nvidia cards: Enable the GL extension limiter[14]
  1. Download and run Nvidia Profile Inspector.
  2. On the Half Life profile, set Extension limit to On. Apply changes.
  3. Go to <path-to-game>.
  4. Create a file called autoexec.cfg.
  5. Add new line gl_overbright "1".
  6. Save the file.


Doing this will disable multi-texturing, which has the side-effect of disabling detail textures, which may effect the appearance of other games and mods that share hl1.exe, including Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and Day of Defeat.
Doing this disables the Steam version's built-in MSAA. On the Half Life profile, change Antialiasing - Mode to Override any application setting and Antialiasing - Setting to the desired level of antialiasing (such as 4x [4x Multisampling] for a vanilla look, or 32xS [Combined: 2x2 SS + 8x MS] for maximum antialiasing).


Key map settings (Steam version)
Key map settings (Steam version)
Mouse/joystick settings (Steam version)
Mouse/joystick settings (Steam version)


Audio settings (Steam version)
Audio settings (Steam version)

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Use MetaAudio plugin with Steam version.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio
Red Book CD audio
Replaced with MP3 playback in the transition to SteamPipe.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Italian audio is only available in the retail version. See here for the Steam version translation.
Brazilian Portuguese
Mesa Preta Dubs.
For 25th Anniversary Update version use this localisation. For pre-25th Anniversary update use its older version.
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Fan translation by TSF, download.


Multiplayer settings (Steam version)
Multiplayer settings (Steam version)
For more information, see the "Half-Life Dedicated Server" section of our GoldSrc article.

Multiplayer types

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

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Direct IP
Open the console (~) and use connect followed by the IP and port.


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
UDP 6003, 7002, 27010, 27015, 27025
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

VR support

Headsets State Notes
See VR.
Oculus VR (LibOVR)
See VR.
Windows Mixed Reality
See VR.
Tracked motion controllers
Supports Razer Hydra.
See Input for details.
Traditional controller
See Input for details.
Novint Falcon
The official game-specific 3D Touch Add On is required.
Play area


Install Half-Life-VR Mod[15]
  1. Install Half-Life VR Mod into Half-Life's root.
  2. Take client.dll from the mod and put it in Half-Life: Opposing Force's \Half-Life\gearbox\cl_dlls .
  3. Add -game vr -dev -env -insecure -nomouse -nojoy +sv_lan 1 +sv_maxspeed 125 to Half-Life's launch options.
  4. Set opengl32.dll to Read-Only in root directory of Half-Life.
  5. Ingame, make Half-Life windowed.
  6. To play, Launch Half-Life and select Change Game in the main Menu, and choose Half Life: Opposing force.

Issues fixed

Run the game at screen refresh rate (Retail version)

The retail version of the game defaults to 60 Hz when running with Direct3D renderer in full-screen mode.
Use the -freq <rate> command line argument[16]
Example: -freq 120 forces a 120 Hz refresh rate.

Input Lag in Direct3D (Retail version)

On certain graphics cards, using the D3D renderer can result in severe input lag, even with disabled VSync.
Set gl_d3dflip 1 in the console[17]

No music playback (Retail version)

Switch from CD playback to MP3[18]
  1. Make sure you have updated Half-Life to v1.1.1.0 (see patch), adding MP3 playback support.
  2. (This action requires a Steam account and Steam platform installed to access the content)

Put the MP3 soundtrack of Half-Life Steam version (see here) into <path-to-game>\valve\media.

  1. Add ID3v1 tags to the MP3 files (see instructions here).
Burn the soundtrack on a separate CD
  1. Open the preferred CD burner utility program.
  2. Create a new audio project.
  3. Place a dummy file as track 1; since track 1 is data, the game skips it and moves straight to track 2.
  4. (This action requires a Steam account and Steam platform installed to access the content) Download the Half-Life soundtrack through steam (see here) And begin placing the soundtrack from 01 to 27.
  5. Burn the CD.

Main menu issues (Retail Version)

In modern versions of windows the menu is usually not seen in full screen in addition to crashing when loading the game.
Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 2)

Fatal Error - Available memory less than 15MB (Retail version)

Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP[citation needed]

Black screen on startup (Steam version)

Disable FBO rendering[19]
  1. Add -nofbo in the game's launch options.

Windows 7/Vista Performance Fix

In Windows 7 or Vista with modern hardware, some users may experience extremely low frame rates during gameplay.
Set HL.exe to high priority[citation needed]
  1. Open Half-Life.
  2. Press Ctrl+ Shift+Esc in order to open the Task Manager.
  3. Under the Processes tab, find HL.exe and right click it.
  4. Set its priority to high.

Performance issues with dynamic lights on Intel graphics (OpenGL)

Dynamic light sources being present, such as the flashlight or flickering lights, causes significant frame rate drops and lag spikes on Intel graphics.
Use this GLIntercept config[20]


As this method uses a custom OpenGL32.dll, it should not be used in VAC-protected servers.
Doing this also fixes overbright lighting.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 7 Lost with Linux update.[21]
OpenGL 2.1
Software renderer
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
[citation needed]


Middleware Notes
Audio Miles Sound System
Input SDL
Multiplayer World Opponent Network, Steamworks WON for retail, Steamworks for Steam.

Console commands

Games running on the GoldSrc engine can utilize GoldSrc Engine Console Commands for various tasks.
The console is enabled by default in GoldSrc games, press ~ to open it.

System requirements


Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP
Processor (CPU) 500 MHz
System memory (RAM) 96 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Video card (GPU) 16 MB of VRAM

Disc Version

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 133 MHz
System memory (RAM) 24 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 GB
Video card (GPU) SVGA, high color (16-bit)
16 MB of VRAM
Sound (audio device) Win-compatible soundcard
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) Snow Leopard 10.6.3
Processor (CPU) 500 MHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8
ATI Radeon X1600
Intel HD 3000
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 12.04
Processor (CPU) Intel Dual Core 2.8 GHz
AMD Dual Core 2.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8600/9600 GT
ATI/AMD Radeon HD 2600/3600
OpenGL 2.1 compatible
Sound (audio device) OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
Other (Graphic Drivers: Nvidia 310, AMD 12.11)


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[4] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[5]
  2. 2.0 2.1 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).


  1. [1] - last accessed on 2023-03-22
  2. Opposing Force Arriving This Week! (retrieved) - last accessed on 2023-06-02
    "Pick up your copy of Opposing Force in software stores across North America beginning Friday, November 19th or reserve your copy online at the Sierra Store."
  3. Opposing Force Hub (Steam) - Half-Life: Opposing Force update released - last accessed on July 30, 2013
  4. Not Loading in Windows 10; this will break thousands of - Microsoft Community - last accessed on 2017-01-16
  5. Microsoft - MS15-097: Description of the security update for the graphics component in Windows: September 8, 2015 - last accessed on 2018-02-16
  6. Enabling the Half-Life Hi-Def Model Pack - last accessed on May 2023
  7. Alfred, Source Code Manager, GoldSource Engine GitHub, - Accessed 1/29/18.
  8. Increased Fonts For HL1 addon - Half-Life - Mod DB - last accessed on May 2023
  9. Verified by User:SirYodaJedi on 2020-03-04
    Figured out more vanilla-esque settings
  10. Verified by User:AlphaYellow on 2024-01-28
  11. VOGONS • View topic - Half-Life overbright compatibility - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  12. gl_overbright & OpenGL · Issue #230 · ValveSoftware/halflife
  13. 25th Anniversary Update: Overbright not working · Issue #3424 · ValveSoftware/halflife - last accessed on 2023-11-18
  14. Half-Life with OpenAL (EFX, Surround Sound, and HRTF!) : HalfLife - last accessed on May 2023
  15. Half Life DLC's Blue Shift & Opposing Force works in VR as well, here is how you get it to work with the updated VR Mod - last accessed on May 2023
  16. Command Line Options - Valve Developer Community - last accessed on May 2023
  17. - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  18. Half-Life WON (CD) does not have music :: Half-Life General Discussions
  19. Steam Community - last accessed on May 2023
  20. [citation needed]
  21. Steam HL1 5.1 sound - Steam discussions forums.