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From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Heretic cover
Raven Software
id Software
GT Interactive
id Tech 1
Release dates
DOS December 23, 1994
Mac OS (Classic) 1999
Windows (DOSBox) August 3, 2007[1]
macOS (OS X) Source ports only
Linux Source ports only
Monetization One-time game purchase
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS
Themes Fantasy
Series Heretic
Heretic on HowLongToBeat
Heretic on IGDB
Heretic guide on StrategyWiki
Heretic on MobyGames
Heretic on Wikipedia
Heretic 1994
Hexen: Beyond Heretic 1995
Hexen II 1997
Heretic II 1998

Heretic is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person action and FPS game in the Heretic series.

Key points

The game's source code was released on January 6, 1999, by Raven Software under a non-commercial license. Its license was changed to GNU GPL v2 on September 2, 2008.

General information

Doom Wiki Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions
ZDoom forums - the majority of mods are first announced and released here


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Mac OS
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders.
Configured to run under DOSBox.
Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders.
Configured to run under DOSBox.
Windows (unavailable) Launcher
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders.
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders is the retail release of the game, adding two extra episodes.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Shadow of the Serpent Riders The 1996 retail store release of Heretic added two new episodes to the game. A patch updating the original registered version of Heretic to v1.3 along with the new episodes is available here (PCGamingWiki mirror). (Note: patch requires DOS compatibility or emulation such as DOSBox)
H!ZONE Although mostly just a shovelware map compilation pack (also containing maps for Hexen), it does contain some original commercial episodes for Heretic (9 single player and 3 multi). The levels include both new enemies (in truth they're just a reskin of existing ones) and textures. They also converted some of these original levels, "the top 95", to Hexen, though minus the artwork and no longer in episode format (individual levels). This add-on is considered unofficial.
Note that H!ZONE is not compatible with source ports due to it using a DOS program to overwrite the base game's data rather than loading as a WAD file; it overwrites episode 3. A fan made remake of the addon for ZDoom and ZDoom derivatives (GZDoom, LZDoom) is available at this thread.

Essential improvements


Patch 1.2 - Retail and shareware edition have different patches
Patch 1.3 - Shadow of the Serpent Riders upgrade patch; adds 2 new episodes to the original registered version of Heretic. Requires DOS compatibility or emulation such as DOSBox. (PCGamingWiki mirror here)

Mouse-look hack

Disable mouse in settings then run this. Source for hack available here.[2]

For DOS version only

Source ports

Since the release of the engine's source code, various source ports have been released. See the link above for more information on id Tech 1 source ports.

Most Doom/id Tech 1 source ports do not support Heretic.
Chocolate Heretic is the most faithful to the original DOS game executable, while its fork Crispy Heretic adds quality-of-life features and extended mod support. DSDA-Doom adds further quality-of-life features, making it a highly modern (but faithful) way to play.
ZDoom/GZDoom/LZDoom ports support loading Heretic WADs, but heavily unfaithful as they are geared towards advanced mods and are not recommended unless using mods that require those source ports.
Name Description
Chocolate Heretic Renderers available: Software.
A source port based on Chocolate Doom that aims to accurately reproduce the experience of playing the original DOS version Heretic. Renders at a low-resolution of 320x200 @ 35 Hz (automatically upscaled on higher resolution displays) and purposefully keeps the original game's limits. Strictly vanilla faithful; consider using Crispy Heretic for quality of life and mod compatibility enhancements.
macOS (OS X)
Crispy Heretic Renderers available: Software.
A limit-rising and double-resolution (640x400) off-shoot of Chocolate Heretic with visual and gameplay enhancements while remaining compatible with vanilla and Chocolate Heretic features. Includes widescreen support and high frame rate options. Highly vanilla faithful, but more mod-compatible than Chocolate Heretic.
DSDA-Doom Renderers available: Software, OpenGL.
Faithful to original game while adding major quality of life improvements (high resolution modes), as well as extra tooling for demo recording and playback for speedrunning. Fork of PrBoom+um which adds support for Heretic. Recommended launcher allows for easy custom WAD loading, and also supports Windows and macOS.
macOS (OS X)
ZDoom Renderers available: Software.
Limit-removing source port that has features such as high resolutions and all-new editing features for modders.
No longer maintained by the original developer.[3]
macOS (OS X)
GZDoom Renderers available: OpenGL (Default), OpenGL ES, Vulkan, Software - SoftPoly.
Based on the same code as ZDoom, except it also uses an OpenGL and Vulkan renderer. Nearly every mod should work with GZDoom, specifically ones that use special effects. A widescreen frontend pack created by Nash Muhandes is also included for v4.5.0 and onward. Highly vanilla unfriendly.
macOS (OS X)
LZDoom Renderers available: Software (Default - DirectDraw via D3D9 legacy), OpenGL.
A version of GZDoom designed for low end computers that supports older hardware and older software rendering. Defaults to Software rendering. It's fast software rendering mode is powered by D3D9s DirectDaw legacy compatibility mode. OpenGL - Hardware Accelerated renderer included. Replacement for QZDoom. Highly vanilla unfriendly.
macOS (OS X)

Roland SC-55 music packs

Soundtrack for Heretic recorded on an authentic SC-55 for use with a ZDoom based engine. Choose either OGG or FLAC; MP3 does not support proper looping.

Roland SC-D70 music packs

Soundtrack for Heretic recorded on an authentic Roland SC-D70 for use with a ZDoom based engine. Choose either OGG or FLAC; MP3 does not support proper looping.

Useful WADs

The following WADs are designed to fix some game data bugs or feature shortcomings of the game. They do not add any levels/change play style and thus are generally compatible with most user addons.

Minor Sprite Fixing Project - Repairs bad sprite offsets and other graphical errors normally encountered when viewing the player and npc sprites. Vanilla (DOS) executable compatible!
Widescreen fix - Repairs sprite cutoffs that occur when using certain weapons. Ideal for source ports.


A freely redistributable drop-in replacement of Heretic.wad (including Heretic-like assets and levels) is available called Blasphemer, forming a completely free and open source game.

Compare to the Freedoom project for the original Doom
Art assets from the original Heretic, such as the levels, sounds, music, and textures, remain under copyright, and require They can be purchased from Steam or copied from an original game disk.

Game data

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

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\base\*.conf[Note 1]
<path-to-game>\base\*.CFG[Note 1]<path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Microsoft Store
Mac OS (Classic)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2390/pfx/[Note 3]
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\base\*.HSG[Note 1]
<path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Microsoft Store
Mac OS (Classic)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2390/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud
Xbox Cloud


In-game video/audio settings.
In-game video/audio settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Source ports.
Supported by GZDoom.[4] See Source ports.
See Source ports.
4K Ultra HD
See Source ports.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Toggle with Alt+ Enter in DOSBox or its source ports, if supported.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See Borderless fullscreen windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See Source ports.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
See Source ports.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See Source ports.
60 FPS
Capped at 35 FPS;[5] for 60+ FPS, see Source ports.
120+ FPS
See Source ports.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
For GZDoom, use vid_hdr console variable.[6]

Field of view (FOV)

Depending on your choice of engine, you can usually change the field of view with a console command, or even in the options. Try fov <1-179> or gr_fov <1-179>.



Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
A source port is required. See Source ports.
EAX support
A3D 1.0 and 2.0 (no wavetracing) on wHeretic source port[7] Better on jHeretic with EAX 2 and A3D 3.0[8] (latter removed in 1.7.0)[9]
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
Use Doom Legacy.
LAN play
4 Co-op, Versus
Online play
4 Co-op, Versus
A source port is recommended for online play as it adds modern networking support and simplifies the process of finding games. Most major source ports (like Zandronum) also increase the max player limit (for Zandronum, the limit is 64)

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Requires source port.
Direct IP
Possible in source ports.

VR support

Issues fixed

Lag/Low FPS (DOSBox)

Modify the heretic.conf file[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\base.
  2. Open heretic.conf with a text editor.
  3. Set the fulldouble variable to false.
  4. Save the changes made to the file.
  5. Launch the game.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
A source port is required. See Source ports.
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Software renderer
See Source ports.
DOS video modes VGA
ExecutablePPC16-bit 32-bit 64-bitARM Notes
A source port is required for 64-bit. See Source ports.
macOS (OS X)
See Source ports.
See Source ports.
Mac OS (Classic)


Middleware Notes
Multiplayer DWANGO Defunct paid matchmaking service. Registered shareware & retail versions have support.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 6.2
Processor (CPU) Intel 386
System memory (RAM) 4 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 10 MB
Video card (GPU) VGA graphics card
Operating system (OS) 7, 8, 10
Processor (CPU) 1.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 35 MB
Video card (GPU) DirectX 9 compatible
Mac OS
Operating system (OS) 7.5
Processor (CPU) PowerPC
System memory (RAM)
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Operating system (OS)
Processor (CPU)
System memory (RAM)
Hard disk drive (HDD)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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).
  2. 2.0 2.1 File/folder structure within the installation folder reflects the path(s) listed for DOS game data. For the release, file changes in DOSBox are redirected to <path-to-game>/cloud_saves/ even if GOG Galaxy is not used (this folder contains all redirected files, so some files in the cloud_saves folder might be temporary files or other files that do not contain saves or settings).
  3. 3.0 3.1 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>/2390/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (2390) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.


  1. News - Legendary id Software games now on Steam - last accessed on May 2023
  2. - last accessed on May 2023
  3. ZDoom • View topic - ZDoom is Dead. Long live ZDoom. - last accessed on May 5, 2017
  4. ZDoom 2.5.0 changelog - last accessed on October 11, 2018
  5. VOGONS • View topic - Doom in DOS: Original vs Source Ports - last accessed on December 15, 2017
  6. ZDoom • View topic - GZDoom 3.5.1 Released - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  7. wHeretic - News Archive (retrieved) - last accessed on May 2023
  8. About: The Doomsday Engine - Doomsday HQ (retrieved) - last accessed on May 2023
  9. Doomsday Version History - Doomsday HQ (retrieved) - last accessed on May 2023