Return to Castle Wolfenstein

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Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Return to Castle Wolfenstein cover
Gray Matter Interactive
id Software
Multiplayer Nerve Software
Multiplayer Splash Damage
Mac OS (Classic) Westlake Interactive[1]
macOS (OS X) Westlake Interactive[1]
Mac OS Aspyr Media
id Tech 3
Release dates
Windows November 19, 2001
Linux March 16, 2002
Mac OS (Classic) April 29, 2002
macOS (OS X) April 29, 2002
Metacritic 88
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres FPS
Themes Europe, World War II
Series Wolfenstein
Return to Castle Wolfenstein on HowLongToBeat
Return to Castle Wolfenstein on IGDB
Return to Castle Wolfenstein guide on StrategyWiki
Return to Castle Wolfenstein on MobyGames
Return to Castle Wolfenstein on Wikipedia
Castle Wolfenstein 1981
Beyond Castle Wolfenstein 1984
Wolfenstein 3D 1992
Spear of Destiny 1992
Return to Castle Wolfenstein 2001
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory 2003
Wolfenstein 2009
Wolfram (unofficial game) 2012
Wolfenstein: The New Order 2014
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood 2015
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus 2017
Wolfenstein: Youngblood 2019
Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot 2019

Key points

Master servers for the multiplayer were shut down in February 2012. A mod, S4NDMoD, solves this problem by making the game use fans' master server.
Engine is open source with modern ports available; see Source ports.
Active modding community.

General information

Official Wolfenstein series site Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
CD key
Mac OS Launcher
Not available for purchase in Germany.[2]
Green Man Gaming
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Humble Store
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Not available for purchase in Germany.
Windows (unavailable)
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DLC and expansion packs

A standalone follow-up, Enemy Territory, is available as freeware.
The PS2/XBox port of the game included a prequel mission, Cursed Sands. Additionally the Xbox port featured DLC maps. Currently, there is no known way to play this content on the PC version. See here for more info.
Name Notes
GOTY Map Pack Sold with the Game of The Year Edition or downloadable as freeware.
Not officially packaged for Mac, though can still be used on it by manually installing PK3 files.

Essential improvements[edit]



Latest official patch for RtCW single player and RtCW multiplayer. Digital re-release already have the latest version installed.
Both the single player and multiplayer version are separate; they are not confine with each other (version 1.33 and after is only exclusives for muiltplayer).
  • 1.32 - Single-Player and Multiplayer
  • 1.41B - Multiplayer


  • Knightmare's 1.42d - Fixes various crashes and adds native widescreen support. It's only applied to the single-player version of RtCW.
  • Bradman's Mac OS X GPL port - An GPL port fixs that allowed the game to be played on OS X 10.7 "Lion" or later, due to the removal of Rosetta. It's designed to get around the fact that the original game was PowerPC only.

Source ports[edit]

Since the source code for Return to Castle Wolfenstein was released on August 2010, various engine overhauls and source ports have been created to enhance or modify the game in different ways.

Name Description
iortcw Based on ioquake3; adds modern features like VOIP and OpenAL, whilst being faithful to traditional gameplay. Commonly known source port in the community.
macOS (OS X)
Bibendovsky's RtCW An custom source port that's designed to play all RtCW games (single-player, multiplayer, Enemy Territory) into one.

Skip intro videos[edit]

Edit autoexec.cfg[3]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\Main\autoexec.cfg in a text editor.
  2. Add the following line to the file: seta com_introplayed "1".
  3. Save the file.

Game data[edit]

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

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Main\[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/9010/pfx/[Note 2]
wolfconfig.cfg contains single player settings.
wolfconfig_mp.cfg contains multiplayer settings.
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Main\save\[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/9010/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

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.

Display current frame rate[edit]

Edit autoexec.cfg[4]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\Main\autoexec.cfg in a text editor.
  2. Add the following line: seta cg_drawFPS "1".
  3. Save the file.
To disable, either remove the line or set the number to 0.

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Configure with iortcw and autoexec.cfg[5]
  1. Download and install iortcw.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\Main\autoexec.cfg in a text editor.
  3. Add the following lines to the file, and save.
seta r_customwidth "1920"
seta r_customheight "1080"
seta r_mode "-2"
seta cg_fixedAspect "2"

Alternative solution[edit]

Edit the configuration file
  1. Launch the game at least once then close it.
  2. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  3. Open wolfconfig.cfg with a text editor.
  4. Change the following lines to set the resolution.
    • seta r_customaspect "1"
    • seta r_customheight "XXXX" (where XXXX is your desired vertical resolution)
    • seta r_customwidth "XXXX" (where XXXX is your desired horizontal resolution)
  5. Change the following line to this value.
    • seta r_mode "-1"
This solution is Vert- (FOV will need to be increased to compensate), but does not require downloading 3rd party software.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Configure with iortcw[6]
  1. Download and install iortcw.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\Main\autoexec.cfg in a text editor.
  3. Add the following lines, and save the file. Change 110 to your desired FOV.
    • seta cg_fixedAspectFOV "0"
    • seta cg_fov "110"

Legacy method for customer FOV[edit]

Edit the configuration file
  1. Launch the game at least once then close it.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\Main\wolfconfig.cfg in a text editor.
  3. Change the following line to set the FOV.
    • seta cg_fov "XX" (where XX is your desired FOV)
  4. Add +set sv_cheats 1 to the game's launch options to prevent the custom FOV from being overwritten on a new level load.
This solution does not affect the weapon model FOV, but does not require downloading any 3rd party software.

Borderless fullscreen windowed[edit]

Configure with iortcw and autoexec.cfg
  1. Download and install iortcw.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\autoexec.cfg in a text editor.
  3. Add the following lines and save the file.
seta r_mode "-2"
seta r_noborder "1"
seta r_fullscreen "0"

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

Set with iortcw and autoexec.cfg
  1. Download and install iortcw.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\autoexec.cfg in a text editor.
  3. Add the following lines to the file and save it.
seta r_ext_texture_filter_anisotropic "1"
seta r_ext_max_anisotropy "16"

Anti-aliasing (AA)[edit]

Set with iortcw
  1. Install iortcw.
  2. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  3. Open wolfconfig.cfg.
  4. Set seta r_ext_multisample "4".
  5. Set seta r_ext_framebuffer_multisample "4".
MSAA values can range from 1 to 16. Going above 16 won't give any noticeable improvements.
Nvidia users can achieve SGSSAA using the "enhance" mode.
Force with Nvidia Profile Inspector
  1. Get Nvidia Profile Inspector.
  2. Select Return to Castle Wolfenstein profile.
  3. Set "Antialasing - Mode" to Override any application setting.
  4. Set "Antialasing - Setting" to 32xS [Combined: 2x2 SS + 8x MS].
This will also apply antialasing to transparency.

Frame rate (FPS)[edit]

Set with iortcw and autoexec.conf[7]
  1. Download and install iortcw.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\Main\autoexec.cfg in a text editor.
  3. Add the following line to the file, with your desired number:
    • seta com_maxfps "125"
  4. If you experience issues, you may also add these lines, with the same number.
    • seta com_maxfpsUnfocused "125"
    • seta com_maxfpsMinimized "125"
Without the last two lines, the frame rate will temporarily drop to the default value while the game is minimized or unfocused.
Stamina and weapon overheating bars logic are tied to the frame rate.

Vertical sync (Vsync)[edit]

Set with iortcw
  1. Install iortcw.
  2. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  3. Open wolfconfig.cfg.
  4. Set seta r_swapInterval "1".


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

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Disabled by default. Use cl_mouseAccel 1 in the console to enable.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.

Toggle crouch[edit]

Edit autoexec.cfg[8]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Main\
  2. Open autoexec.cfg with a text editor.
  3. Add the following lines (change c to whatever you want).
set duck "+movedown; set crouchToggle vstr stand; echo ^3Crouching...^7"
set stand "-movedown; set crouchToggle vstr duck; echo ^2Standing...^7"
set crouchToggle "vstr duck"
bind c "vstr crouchToggle"


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

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Stereo output only.[9] 7.0 with iortcw.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
For iortcw, see Mute on focus lost.
EAX support
iortcw has support for OpenAL Soft, which can be used for binaural HRTF mixing.[10]

Mute on focus lost[edit]

Set with iortcw
  1. Download and install iortcw.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\Main\autoexec.cfg in a text editor.
  3. Add the following lines. They are similar, so both are recommended.
  4. Mute the game when minimized: seta s_muteWhenMinimized "1"
  5. Mute the game when focus lost: seta s_muteWhenUnfocused "1"


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation.
RTCW fan translation
Unofficial translation by «Fargus Multimedia». Download: text, sound.
Retail version, download.

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
G3D, DirectVR
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play
Online play
Use rtcwcoop for co-op.

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Direct IP
Use connect [IP address here] in the console.


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 28960
UDP 27960
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues unresolved[edit]

Setup won't install the game[edit]

For the retail version, setup won't install the game if the selected disk drive has a capacity of more than 2TB.

Secrets and/or treasures not registered as found[edit]

Observed with GoG version using iortcw 64-bit: Loading the autosave from the beginning of the level and starting over, can help.

Issues fixed[edit]

Enlarged upper left corner of screen[edit]

Increasing the game resolution above 800x600 causes the upper left corner of the game to take up the entire screen. One reason is that game detects a 3dfx driver (possibly caused by nGlide).
Edit wolfconfig.cfg[11]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open wolfconfig.cfg.
  3. Change seta r_glIgnoreWicked3D "0" to seta r_glIgnoreWicked3D "1".

Frame rate drops on modern machines[edit]

Edit autoexec.cfg
  1. Open <path-to-game>\Main\autoexec.cfg in a text editor.
  2. Add the following line: seta r_primitives "2".
  3. Save the file.
This game is not coded/optimized to run on modern graphics cards, resulting in frame rate drops on some modern machines. This fix changes the method used to submit rendering draw calls.[12]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
OpenGL 1.1
Glide 2
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Use iortcw.
macOS (OS X)
32-bit requires Bradman's Mac OS X GPL port or iortcw.


Middleware Notes
Audio DirectSound OpenAL Soft in iortcw
Anti-cheat PunkBuster [citation needed]


These mods are made by the RtCW community to enhanced the gameplay with modern improvement.

Modernized Mods[edit]

Venom Mod - General improvement with updated textures, AI and shaders. Universal compatibility on Windows/Mac/Android with every RtCW mod/application.
RealRTCW - Based on iortcw source port. Overhaul improvement of RtCW; active update. Provides QOL features including:
  • New weapons; rebalanced weapons characteristics.
  • Rebalanced gameplay and overhauled AI.
  • New HQ textures, sounds and models.
  • Restored cut content.
Remade Weapons - Adds realism to weapons.
Realistic Sound Mod - Adds new sounds to weapons so that they're sounded accurately to their real-life counterpart.
Remade Icons - Updates UI and fixed icons windows.
Remade Hints - Updates UI and fixed hints windows.

MP Mods[edit]

S4NDMoD - Multiplayer-only mod that focuses on fixing exploits and adding necessary features to RTCW multiplayer. A list of features can be found here. Due to the master server being down, this mod is the best solution to make server browser work again.

Install iortcw[edit]

Download and install iortcw[14]
  1. Go to iortcw.
    • You can read more about this project here.
  2. Download the release for your system.
    • For Windows 64-bit, get
  3. Unpack the contents of the zipped folder to <path-to-game> to install it.
    • Run the game with ioWolfSP.x64.exe to launch the single player with the mod.
      • You can also rename this file to WolfSP.exe to launch the executable through GOG/Steam.
A save files are bit-specific. Save files from the 32-bit executable may not work with the 64-bit one.
This is a step in many guides on this page. It has its own section to avoid clutter.

Disable view bob[edit]

Edit wolfconfig.cfg
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open wolfconfig.cfg.
  3. Change seta cg_bobup "0.005" to seta cg_bobup "0.000".
  4. Change seta cg_bobpitch "0.002" to seta cg_bobpitch "0.000".
  5. Change seta cg_bobroll "0.002" to seta cg_bobroll "0.000".

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95 OSR2
Processor (CPU) AMD Athlon
Intel Pentium II 400 MHz
System memory (RAM) 128 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1.1 GB
Video card (GPU) 16 MB of VRAM
DirectX 8.0a compatible
Supported chipsets: 3dfx Voodoo 3 or higher, ATI Rage 128/128 Pro, ATI Radeon, Matrox G400, Nvidia Riva TNT and TNT2, all Nvidia GeForce chips


  1. 1.0 1.1 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).
  2. 2.0 2.1 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>/9010/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (9010) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.