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From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Painkiller cover
People Can Fly
Retail DreamCatcher Interactive
Retail (Russia) Akella
Digital until 2020 THQ Nordic
Digital as of 2020 Deep Silver
Pain Engine
Release dates
Windows April 12, 2004
Metacritic 81
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres FPS
Themes Horror
Series Painkiller
Painkiller on HowLongToBeat
Painkiller on IGDB
Painkiller guide on StrategyWiki
Painkiller on MobyGames
Painkiller on Wikipedia
Painkiller 2004
Painkiller: Overdose 2007
Painkiller: Resurrection 2009
Painkiller: Redemption 2011
Painkiller: Recurring Evil 2012
Painkiller: Hell & Damnation 2012


GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).

General information

Painkiller Zone - A fansite for the series Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Community Discussions Gold Edition


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
SafeDisc v3 DRM[Note 1] internationally.
StarForce 3.04 DRM[Note 2] in Russian releases.
Black Edition
Gamesplanet logo.svg
Icon overlay.png
Black Edition
CD key
Black Edition. Serial keys for multiplayer available by request to GOG support team.[7]
Icon overlay.png
CD key
Black Edition
GamersGate (unavailable)
DRM-free after installation (requires an internet connection during installation)
GamersGate (unavailable)
DRM-free after installation (requires an internet connection during installation)
Painkiller Universe
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
StarForce DRM for this game does not work on modern versions of Windows (see above for affected versions).
Painkiller: Black Edition includes the base game along with the "Battle out of Hell" expansion.
Painkiller Universe includes the base game along with the "Battle out of Hell" expansion and Painkiller: Overdose.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Battle out of Hell


A free demo can be installed on Steam by using a direct link (allow Steam popup): steam://install/3210.

Essential improvements

Randomguy7's Fix Compilation

Install a mod[8]
  1. Download this patch.
  2. Unzip the contents into <path-to-game>.


Fixes slowdown on dual-core computers, FOV and HUD can be modified among other fixes.
Latest version includes fixes from the 1.66 unofficial patch
Both versions of the mod are available to those who prefer the older fix.
New version of mod updated to fix clipping issues in HUD elements.

Unofficial v1.66 Patch

Install a patch[9]
  1. Download the patch.
  2. Unzip the contents into <path-to-game>.
  3. (Optional) If you use languages other than English, download this file and extract the contents of the folder with your preferred language


The patch contains various fixes for broken item and enemy placements, level logic, enemy, weapon and tarot card behavior, text strings, audio issues, shaders, etc, while staying true to the original game.

Skip intro videos

Delete/rename video files[10]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Data\Movies\ in the installation folder.
  2. Delete or rename logo-dreamcatcher.bik, logo-nvidia.bik and logo-pcf.bik.

Game data

In-game HUD settings.
In-game HUD settings.

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Bin\config.ini[Note 3]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/39530/pfx/[Note 4]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\SaveGames[Note 3]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/39530/pfx/[Note 4]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


In-game general video settings.
In-game general video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Use Widescreen HUD Fix.
Use Widescreen HUD Fix.
Use Widescreen HUD Fix.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Use Widescreen HUD Fix or the fov number console command.
Use ThirteenAG's D3D9 Wrapper.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use ThirteenAG's D3D9 Wrapper.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Ingame MSAA disables support for overclocked refreshrates, use driver level antialiasing instead.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Can be forced through drivers but causes slowdowns at 60Hz when the player is being hit.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.


In-game control settings.
In-game control settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse smoothing; can be disabled in controls options
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support


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

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Master, (battle and ambient) music, sound
Surround sound
Up to 8 speakers[11]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
A3D, EAX 3[12][13]


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail and Steam only; download for version
Retail only; download.
Retail and only.
Retail and only.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
16 Versus
Online play
16 Versus
GameSpy services have been shut down;[14] see GameSpy for workarounds.

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 3455
UDP 3455
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.
This is the default port used. It can be changed in-game by the user

VR support

3D modes Native Notes
User created game profile, see vorpx forum profile introduction.

Issues fixed

Editor asks for CD-ROM

Hex patch executable[15]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\Bin\Editor\PainEditor.exe in a hex editor
  2. Go to offset 36C1
  3. Change 75 0C to EB 0C

Bypass GameSpy Installer

Rename or Delete the GameSpy Installer
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\GameSpy
  2. Delete or Rename ArcadeInstallPAINKILLER14c.EXE

Low frame rate on GeForce FX series and similar old cards

Disable Bloom
  1. Go to Advance Graphics settings and disable the Bloom option.

Game doesn't fill screen (Proton/Linux)

With Proton 6.3-8 and newer, the game occupies only a small area of the screen and may not be fully visible.
Use Proton 5.13-6 or older

In the Compatibility tab of the game's Properties window in Steam, enable the "Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool" option and select Proton 5.13-6 or older from the drop-down list.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 8.1, 9
Shader Model support 2, 3 Shader version 3 requires game to be patched to 1.61 (or higher)
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok 2
Audio Miles Sound System 6.6a
Cutscenes Bink Video 1.6g
Multiplayer GameSpy

Unlock all levels

Install "all levels" mod.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium III 1.2 GHz
Intel Pentium 4 1.6 GHz
AMD Athlon 1.2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 384 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2.6 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce2 GTS
ATI Radeon 8500
64 MB of VRAM
DirectX 8.1b compatible


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] 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.[2]
  2. This version of StarForce DRM does not work on Windows Vista or later.[3][4][5][6] For supported versions of Windows the StarForce driver may need to be updated manually using SFUPDATE.
  3. 3.0 3.1 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).
  4. 4.0 4.1 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>/39530/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (39530) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.