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Portal

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the 2007 puzzle-platform game. For the unrelated 1986 game, see Portal (1986).

Portal
Portal cover
Developers
Valve Corporation
Portal with RTX Lightspeed Studios
Publishers
Valve Corporation
Russia Buka Entertainment
Portal with RTX Nvidia
Engines
Original Source 2007
Current Source 2013 Singleplayer
Release dates
Windows October 9, 2007
macOS (OS X) May 12, 2010
Linux May 2, 2013
Reception
Metacritic 90
IGDB 80
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Platform, Puzzle, Shooter
Art styles Realistic
Themes Sci-fi, Contemporary, North America
Series Portal
Portal on HowLongToBeat
Portal on IGDB
Portal guide on StrategyWiki
Portal on MobyGames
Portal on Wikipedia
Subseries of Half-Life
Portal 2007
Portal 2 2011
Portal 2 Sixense Perceptual Pack 2013
Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative (unofficial mod) 2014
Portal Stories (series)
The Lab 2016
Bridge Constructor Portal 2017
Moondust 2018
Aperture Hand Lab 2019
Aperture Desk Job 2022

Warnings

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.

Portal is a singleplayer first-person platform, puzzle and shooter game in the Portal series.

General information

GitHub Issue Tracker for Portal and other Source-based games
Steam Community Discussions

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Steam
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
DRM-free when launched directly from the executable with -game portal command line argument.[citation needed]
Portal Bundle also available.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
A demo is available.
Soundtrack is available for free with purchase here.
Does not include the 14 bonus levels present in the Xbox 360 arcade version. However, modders ported over the levels, and have released them.[1]

Monetization

Type Notes
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.

Microtransactions

Type Notes
No microtransactions Game does not contain microtransactions.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Portal with RTX Brings full Vulkan ray tracing support[Note 1], DLSS, DLSS Frame Generation and more detailed models with support for physically based rendering[3] by utilizing NVIDIA’s RTX Remix AI-assisted modding tool. Released on December 8, 2022.[4][5]
Windows

Essential improvements

Skip intro videos

Use -novid command line argument[citation needed]

Peixoto's patch

Has currently no effect on the latest version of Portal.[6]

Forced resolution allows in high resolution without shrinking the HUD\menus. Supersampling anti-aliasing is also possible.

Game data

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

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Steam <path-to-game>\portal\cfg\
Windows HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Source\portal\Settings
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location

System Location
Steam <path-to-game>\portal\save\

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud
Approx. 1 GB available.
Settings will sync too, except graphics settings.

Video

In-game general video settings.
In-game general video settings.
In-game advanced video settings. Avoid touching this panel in the Portal with RTX DLC.
In-game advanced video settings. Avoid touching this panel in the Portal with RTX DLC.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
4K Ultra HD
Some text may be too small, see this thread.
Field of view (FOV)
Values between 75° and 110°[7] (up to 120° using fov_desired or via Gamepad UI) horizontal can be set via ingame slider.[8] For higher values use this guide.
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
For newer versions, update then set to "Run in a window (No Border), otherwise set launch options to -windowed -noborder.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Up to 8x MSAA and up to 16x QCSAA. SGSSAA available with flag 0x004010C1.
High-fidelity upscaling
DLSS 2.5
DLSS and DLSS Frame Generation are supported only when playing Portal with RTX DLC.[4][5]
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Double buffered [9]
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Capped at 300 FPS. Frame rate cap can be changed by changing fps_max in the developer console. Framerates of 1000 and above will cause issues without sv_cheats set to 1.[10]
High dynamic range display (HDR)
Rendered image uses SDR color space. In-game HDR option refers only to HDR Rendering.
Ray tracing (RT)
Full Ray tracing when playing the game through Portal with RTX DLC.[5]
HBAO also available with flags (increasing in strength from left to right) 0x00000014, 0x0000002C, 0x00000006 and 0x00000008.

Input

In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game mouse/gamepad settings.
In-game mouse/gamepad settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Remapping
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
Full controller support
Use the Controller UI Mod (recommended for older version/non-Vulkan cards, optional for Steam Deck/2022 versions) for a console style menu that can be navigated with a controller. Use the console command exec 360controller to automatically setup Xbox controller support (if not already configured at startup).

Later versions (including the "beta/deck_test" branch) added Steam Input API support and Controller-centric UI (Vulkan supported card required[11], otherwise use the X360 UI mod) designed for both Steam Deck and any Gamepads[Note 2]. Gamepad UI can be enabled with -gamepadui Command line argument.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
Xbox button prompts
Supported via Steam Input API.
Impulse Trigger vibration
PlayStation controllers
PlayStation button prompts
Supported via Steam Input API.
Light bar support
Adaptive trigger support
DualSense haptic feedback support
Connection modes Wired, Wireless (Bluetooth), Wireless (Bluetooth)
[12]
Tracked motion controllers
Generic/other controllers
Both Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Generic Gamepads are supported via Steam Input API.
Button prompts
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller button prompts are supported via Steam Input API.
Additional information
Button prompts
Use Controller UI Mod (for old version only) to get a choice of button prompts such as Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3/4, Switch, and more. Otherwise use Controller-centric UI with Steam Input API.
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Supported via Steam Input API.

If using the old version/Legacy XInput mode: Controller rumble can be brought back by downloading an updated version of the SDL2 runtime binary (choose Runtime Binaries x86) and replace it with the one in <path-to-game>\bin.[13] This works for any Source engine based game.
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M

Audio

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

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Over-all game volume and separate music slider.
Surround sound
7.1, 5.1 surround sound, 4 speaker surround. 7.1 output may require DirectSound3D restoration software.
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
"Silence the audio while the game window is in the background" check box.
EAX support
Set snd_legacy_surround 1 in console, 4 speakers in options, and use DSOAL for binaural HRTF mixing.
Royalty free audio

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Belarusian
Fan translation, Steam Workshop. In testing stage.
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
French
German
Hebrew
Fan localization by Hebrew Adventure. Details here.
Hungarian
Fan localization by YinSasin (incl. Dubbing, Subtitles, Graphics). Download here.
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Added in latest updates.
Russian
Spanish
Swedish
Turkish
Fan translation. Download here.

VR support

3D modes State Notes
vorpX
G3D, DirectVR
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.
Headsets
SteamVR
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer (compatibility list).
Oculus VR (LibOVR)
See Oculus Rift.
Windows Mixed Reality
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer.
Devices
Tracked motion controllers
Traditional controller
See Input for details.
Keyboard/Mouse
Novint Falcon

Oculus Rift

Enable Oculus Rift support[14]
  1. Find Portal in the Steam Library.
  2. Right-click and select Properties.
  3. Choose Set Launch Options....
  4. Add -vr and press OK.
  5. Close the window and relaunch the game.

Issues fixed

Missing crosshair

cl_drawcrosshair 1[citation needed]
  1. Open the console in-game (Default key is ~).
  2. Input cl_drawcrosshair 1 to show the crosshair. Similarly, cl_drawcrosshair 0 can be used to hide it.

Notes

The console might need to be enabled in the game settings.

Portals are rendered incorrectly or lack any effects

Run the game in DirectX 9 or higher[citation needed]
The game may have defaulted to DirectX 8, causing portals to be rendered without effects.
  • Add -dxlevel 95 to the game's launch options to run the game in DirectX 9, then remove it after running the game once or the in-game video options will keep resetting back to the defaults.

"Node Graph Out of Date. Rebuilding..." error in Still Alive levels

Download pre-built graphs[citation needed]
  1. Download this file.
  2. Extract Portal-StillAlive from the archive into <Steam-folder>\steamapps\sourcemods\.
  3. Launch the game.

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9 Has compatibility levels for Direct3D 8 cards.
OpenGL 2.1 OS X and Linux only.
Vulkan
Undocumented officially. Enable Vulkan for base game using the -vulkan command line argument, however it's enabled by default when playing the Portal with RTX DLC.[15] Works via DXVK translation layer.[16][17] Windows[18] and Linux only.[citation needed]
Shader Model support 2, 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows
macOS (OS X)
This 32-bit-only macOS game does not work on macOS Catalina (10.15) or later.
Linux

Middleware

Middleware Notes
Physics Havok Heavily modified variant.
Audio Miles Sound System
Input SDL
Cutscenes Bink Video Used for startup videos and in-game movies.

Console commands

Games running on the Source engine can utilize Source Engine Console Commands for various tasks.
Enabling the console in Source games[citation needed]
  1. Launch the game.
  2. From the main menu, select Options.
  3. Select the Keyboard tab.
  4. Click the Advanced button.
  5. Check the box next to Enable developer console (~).
  6. Click Apply.

Notes

Some commands may first require you enabling sv_cheats. You can do so with sv_cheats 1.
Many servers will not allow you to play with cheats enabled, or will disable them upon entering the server.
Users without a US keyboard could experience some problems.

Launch options

View the relevant Valve Developer wiki page for further information and a list of useful Source engine command line arguments.

Disable the radios from the Portal 2 ARG ("Transmission Received" achievement)

Before Portal 2 was announced, Valve ran an ARG that cryptically hinted at a sequel through an update in Portal. For users who have already completed the game, the update added a radio to find in every single level and carrying them all to the end to be vaporized caused them to emit shrieking noises. These noises could be decoded into pictures that seemed to hint at Portal 2, which was later confirmed. Since the ARG serves no purpose anymore other than to obtain the achievement itself, the audio that these radios play to alert you to their presence may be distracting. These radios can be disabled with a command.
Disable via console[19]
  1. To enable the console, follow these intructions.
  2. Type portal_disable_radios 1 into the console.

Notes

Won't take effect until the next map is loaded.
Disable via autoexec.cfg[20]
For the Portal RTX mod, use the portal_rtx\cfg directory instead of the portal\cfg directory.
  1. Head to <path-to-game>\portal\cfg.
  2. If autoexec.cfg does not already exist, create a new txt file named autoexec and change the txt part to cfg.
  3. Open autoexec.cfg with a text editor.
  4. Type portal_disable_radios 1 and save the file.

Notes

This will ensure the radios are disabled at game startup.
Disable via Steam Deck UI (PC)[21]
  1. Right click on Portal in the Steam Client and click properties.
  2. Add -gamepadui to the launch options and launch the game.
  3. Click on options and set Post-game radios to disabled (use or arrow keys).

Notes

Will keep setting after removing -gamepadui from the launch options.
Using -gamepadui on Portal RTX completely breaks the game.

Portal with RTX lower presets

Portal with RTX DLC has very limited options to lower the graphical settings for the added ray tracing features. This results in limited performance on (older) ray tracing capable hardware.
Workaround: add more (unofficial) presets[citation needed]

Mods

Portal: Still Alive

Ports over 14 Xbox Live Arcade exclusive bonus test chambers (and "Challenge" versions of them), which were based on Portal: The Flash Version Mappack, over to the PC-version with improved lighting and various improvements.
Also includes the original Portal: The Flash Version Mappack, made by Hen Mazolski.
Also includes a mockup of the cut escape ending of the Still Alive bonus chambers. And adds the “GLaDOS Voice Map” by Hen Mazolski.

Still Alive as Bonus Maps

The same as above, but in a form of a bonus maps, like in the original Xbox Live Arcade release.
Doesn't includes bonuses from original mod, like The Flash Version Mappack or GLaDOS Voice Map.

Quality of Life Mod

Includes Portal: Still Alive campaign.
Additionally adds few new models and normal maps for some objects, re-implements a missing Glados voice line, over 70 materials have been given new or unused reflections and the viewmodel and playermodel have received updates as well.

Various fixes

System requirements

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 1.7 GHz
AMD Athlon XP 1700+
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 3
ATI Radeon 8500
128 MB of VRAM
DirectX 8.1 compatible
Must be run without Steam to play on XP and Vista.
macOS (OS X)
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 10.5.8
Processor (CPU)
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8 series
ATI Radeon X1600
Intel HD Graphics 3000


Notes

  1. Thus requires a GPU with Vulkan support and VK_KHR_ray_query Vulkan extension support.[2]
  2. While it partially works on XInput/Legacy Mode, it's best suited for Steam Input API mode.

References

  1. Portal: Still Alive for PC - last accessed on 17 May 2023
  2. Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-12-08
    Confirmed with content of hl2.d3d9.log.
  3. [Read First] Portal with RTX FAQ - Steam Discussion Forum - last accessed on 2022-12-08
  4. 4.0 4.1 Portal with RTX | 4K NVIDIA DLSS 3 Comparison Video - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-11-29
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Portal with RTX - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-09-20
  6. Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-09-20
    Checked on September 2022 with DX9 version of the game and Peixoto's patch v0.10.8
  7. Originally 90° before 2022 patch
  8. Field of View - Valve Developer Community - last accessed on 17 May 2023
  9. Black mesa vsync is double buffered - last accessed on 2024
  10. 1000+ fps: tf2 breaks. But turning sv_cheats on fixes it.. for some reason? - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-09-20
  11. Verified by User:kr0tchet on 2022-07-08
    The game will crashes if launched without Vulkan supported cards. Users can use the former X360 UI mod (now hotfixed for the 2022 patch) instead.
  12. Verified by User:Al2009man on 2022-05-05
    Tested on DualShock 4 V2 and DualSense Controller while Steam Input is forcefully disabled.

    As of this writing: Left/Right Joystick does not work if Steam Input (under Legacy mode) is enabled.
  13. Verified by User:Al2009man on 2022-05-05
    Seems like this method no longer works on Steam Deck branch.
  14. "Portal 1 - steampipe beta Active for Rift now!" - Oculus Rift Developer Forums - last accessed on May 2023
  15. Portal vs Portal with RTX: tested on 4080, 4090, 3060, 3080, RX 6800 XT - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-12-08
  16. NVIDIA RTX Remix: Create & Share #RTXON Mods For Classic Games - last accessed on 2022-12-08
  17. Portal Gets A UI Update For The Steam Deck - The Gamer - last accessed on 2022-12-08
  18. Verified by User:kr0tchet on 2022-04-03
    dxvk_d3d9.dll exists in game directory (Windows only)
    dxvk_d3d9.dll exists in game directory (Windows only)
  • Verified by User:Scottvordem on 2023-01-16
  • Verified by User:Scottvordem on 2023-01-16
  • Verified by User:Scottvordem on 2023-01-17
    An in game option to toggle these radios exist only in the Steam Deck UI