Anonymous edits have been disabled on the wiki. If you want to contribute please login or create an account.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl cover
GSC Game World
X-Ray Engine
Release dates
Windows March 20, 2007
Metacritic 82
Monetization One-time game purchase
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, Shooter
Art styles Realistic
Themes Eastern Europe, Post-apocalyptic
Series S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl on HowLongToBeat
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl on IGDB
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl guide on StrategyWiki
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl on MobyGames
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl on Wikipedia
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl 2007
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky 2008
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat 2009
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Lost Alpha (Unofficial) 2014
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl 2023


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

Key points

Installing Zone Reclamation Project is greatly recommended as it eliminates most bugs without modifying the game's experience.
Use the Multi-Patch to replace the GameSpy master server. The Steam version is already patched.
Large, dedicated modding community.[1]

General information

TweakGuides guide
Official forums Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
TAGES DRM or SecuROM 7 DRM, depends on region.
Russian copies use StarForce 4 DRM[Note 1].
All DRM methods are removed in later patches. Retail CD keys are redeemable on or Steam using the reclaim page. key
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
CD key
Serial key for multiplayer shown in the game's library entry.
Green Man Gaming
Icon overlay.png
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
CD key
Some CD keys can be redeemed on[4][5]
Games for Windows Marketplace (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
StarForce DRM for this game does not work on modern versions of Windows (see above for affected versions).

Essential improvements


Unofficial v1.0008 Patch

Compatible with Zone Reclamation Project.

Unofficial patch by "Codebro" that provides some fixes to the renderer and gameplay.


Although this is an official patch, it was recalled by the developers due to the extra bugs it caused. It should only be used to gain the optimal multiplayer experience from the game (most servers use v1.0006). Do not install this patch otherwise.
This is the version that Steam and GOG come with.[7][8]


This is the latest official patch for the game. It is best suited for Single Player.


Some mods only work with v1.0004. Only use this patch if those mods have no updated version that work with newer versions of the game.

Downgrading from v1.0006

A guide on how to downgrade a copy of the game to v1.0005 or v1.0004 can be found in the Community Discussions.

The Multi-Patch replaces the GameSpy master servers and optionally forces Vsync. The and Steam versions are already patched, however the Steam version of the game still has broken Vsync implementation, to fix this go opt-in, in the most recent beta branch.

Skip intro videos

Start game with -nointro parameter[9]

Zone Reclamation Project

Keeps the game as vanilla as possible.
Fixes many bugs present in final version of game.
Improved UI and controls.

Xetrill's Modified LuaJIT library

Users have reported increased performance, especially with script-heavy mods.
It can crash some more complex mods like those in the NS/Soup family.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows %PUBLIC%\Documents\stalker-shoc\ %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Stalker-SHOC\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/4500/pfx/[Note 2]
CD key, language and GameSpy ID are stored in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\GSC Game World\STALKER-SHOC

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %PUBLIC%\Documents\stalker-shoc\savedgames\ %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Stalker-SHOC\savedgames\
Steam <path-to-game>\_appdata_\savedgames\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/4500/pfx/[Note 2]
The save game data location can be changed by editing fsgame.ltx in <path-to-game>.

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.
Steam Cloud


Basic video settings
Basic video settings
Advanced video settings (Vsync and 60 Hz frequency not visible)
Advanced video settings (Vsync and 60 Hz frequency not visible)

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Some HUD elements may be stretched.
Some HUD elements may be stretched.
Gameplay is 21:9 but the HUD is 16:9 stretched.[10]
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
67.5° Vertical - See Field of view (FOV)
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use Borderless Gaming or similar software.
Note: The game prevents use of hotkeys, and tries keeping its window on-top.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Only functional on Static lighting. SSAA, up to 4x, but limits internal rendering resolution to 2048x2048. For AA use either SGSSAA which is available in Nvidia Inspector via 0x0000D0C1 flag or Dynamic Super Resolution from Nvidia/Virtual Super Resolution from AMD.[11]
Vertical sync (Vsync)
In-game Vsync option is broken.[12] Use the Multi-Patch to fix it.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[13]
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Field of view (FOV)

Install FOV Switcher[citation needed]
  1. Download FOV Switcher and extract it.
  2. Copy the appropriate exe file to the <path-to-game>\BIN folder and launch it.
To restore the settings to default, use the patcher again.
Install unofficial 1.0008 patch[14]
  1. Download unofficial 1.0008 patch.
  2. Replace XR_3DA.exe in <path-to-game>\bin.
  3. Run the game and open the console with ~.
  4. Enter fov x where x is the FOV you want to use (75, 90, 110 ect).
Manually patch xrGame.dll[15]
  1. Multiply your desired FOV by 2, eg. 45 degrees x 2 = 90.
  2. Convert the value to hexadecimal, eg. 90 = 5A.
  3. Open <path-to-game>/bin/xrGame.dll in a hex editor app (e.g. HxD).
  4. Search for the hex string "42 F0 A7 C6 3D", which should be found at address 53C59B if the game is unmodified.
  5. Change the value preceding it to the desired value, eg. "5A 42 F0 A7 C6 3D"


As a precaution, make a backup of <path-to-game>\bin\xrGame.dll before editing it.


It is highly recommended not to play online with the FOV hack installed.
Clipping issues are more noticeable.[16]


Controls menu
Controls menu

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Disable through console with "cam_inert 0".
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support


Audio menu
Audio menu

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
SFX and music only.
Surround sound
Up to 7.0 output[17]
fan made subtitles and cc (not compatible with ZRP)
Closed captions
fan made subtitles and cc (not compatible with ZRP)
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 2.0. HRTF can be used without any audio card with some modification. See Use OpenAL Soft's HRTF.
Royalty free audio

Use OpenAL Soft's HRTF

Replace OpenAL32.dll file
  1. Set up OpenAL Soft HRTF by following these instructions. Place soft_oal.dll to <path-to-game>\bin and rename it to OpenAL32.dll, replacing the existing one.
  2. Launch the game.
  3. Go to the Options→Sound and change the Sound driver to OpenAL Soft and restart the game.
  4. Open up the developer console using ~ and scroll up using the Page Up key, if the message says SOUND: OpenAL: Required device: OpenAL Soft. Created device: OpenAL Soft then the OpenAL Soft device is used and with it, HRTF mode as well.

Use Rapture 3D

Use Game Edition

Install Rapture 3D, put rapture3d_oal.dll and replace OpenAL32.dll in the game directory from. Choosing OpenAL in Sound options may be needed.

Rapture3D Game has only six predefined HRFT methods and will not allow raw ".mhr" files.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Some unimportant non-conversation speech is Russian.
Some unimportant non-conversation speech is Russian.
Fan translation.
Fan translation
Official polish voice–over translation
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation; download.
Fan translation based on original Russian and Ukrainian versions; available in both Cyrillic and Latin.
Fan translation, download.
Official translation patch from GSC, download. Already included in Steam version, and available as an extra on Duty, the military, mercenaries and the Monolith still speak Russian.


Multiplayer servers can optionally use BattlEye anti-cheat protection.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
Online play
32 Use the Multi-Patch to replace the GameSpy master server.

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 3783, 6515, 6667, 13139, 27900, 28900, 29900, 29901
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

VR support

Issues fixed

TweakGuides has created a comprehensive guide for advanced tweaking and fixing issues in this game.

"Unable to connect to master server" error

The GameSpy master server has been shut down; use the Multi-Patch.

Toggle aim down sights

Create AutoHotkey script
  1. Download AutoHotkey
  2. Copy the code to the clipboard (CTRL+C).
  3. Open AutoHotkey, go to File>Edit script, paste the code in Notepad.
  4. Change "Fallout4" to the "S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl" in the code (for other games, edit by title written in start bar of running game).
  5. Go to File>Reload Script in AutoHotkey.


AutoHotKey must be run as administrator to work.[19]

Mouse Delay

Set lighting to Static Lighting[20]

Key bindings lost every game restart

Change savegame/config folder permision
  1. Find folder:


In Vista and above, in:

%USERPROFILE%\Documents\Stalker-STCS\ or %PUBLIC%\Documents\

In XP and in CoP:

%PUBLIC%\Public Documents\

Just copy and paste these locations to the Windows address bar and press enter.

and RBM on folder>uncheck read only>apply for all>OK

Glitchy shadows using widescreen resolutions

Edit User.LTX[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.LTX.
  3. Change r2_sun_near to 20.. Value can go from 1 to 50 and experimentation with it might be required to avoid further shadow issues.
  4. Change r2_sun_near_border to 1..

Unofficial v1.0008 Patch crashing

When using this patch the game may freeze when going to the game's menu
  1. Open the console with ~
  2. Enter menu_fps_cap 0,[21] the default value is 60 if needed to revert the change.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
Shader Model support 1.x, 2, 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Physics Open Dynamics Engine
Audio OpenAL
Multiplayer GameSpy

Disable head bob

Modify User.LTX[22]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.LTX with a text editor.
  3. Change cam_inert to 0.
  4. Save the file and launch the game.


It can also be changed while in game using the console cam_inert X where X stand as a value, which you might want to translate into 0.1
Change sway/bob values
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\gamedata\config\misc
  2. Open effectors.ltx with a text editor.
  3. At the top will be values for amount of sway/bob for walking, running and limping.
  4. Changing run_amplitude to 0.0050 and walk_amplitude to 0.0040 works well.
  5. Save the file and launch the game.


Default values:
run_amplitude     = 0.0075
walk_amplitude      = 0.005
limp_amplitude      = 0.011

Enable FPS counter

Use command console[citation needed]
  1. Open the in-game console by pressing ~.
  2. Enter: rs_stats 1

Shorter load times

Start game with the -noprefetch parameter[citation needed]


The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series has garnered a dedicated following which includes a very active modding community, mostly in Russia, however translations are available for most of the popular mods (commonly found in the GSC forums). The best way to determine which type of mods you will enjoy is by first trying the vanilla game (with ZRP for bug fixes). Below are some basic recommendations.
Preparing the game for mods[citation needed]

To use mods with S.T.A.L.K.E.R., you will first need to edit your fsgame.ltx - file found under the installation folder.

  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Open fsgame.ltx with a text editor.
  3. Find line:
    $game_data$ = false| true| $fs_root$| gamedata
  4. Change it to:
    $game_data$ = true| true| $fs_root$| gamedata


If the mod comes with an executable, you may need to point it manually to the correct installation folder. If it comes as a file package, extract and copy the mod's contents into your gamedata folder.
To patch your mod or to add new ones on top, overwrite and merge your installation's gamedata folder with the new one.
Using Smart Mod Manager[citation needed]

Download the program at Codeplex. The program installs the mods from .zip or directly from the folder. It will warn you if there are issues with other mods combined; then you have to choose one of them.

  1. First select the game (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl or S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky)
  2. Set up the right language, version and folder of the game
  3. Go to the game tab and install mods from .zip or folder.
Enable/Disable mods also possible in the manager


Considered to be unforgiving in difficulty.
Revamps many game mechanics, including enemy AI and ballistics.

Shaders Max

May be incompatible with some other mods that alter shaders.
Many improvements in visual quality.
Can be combined with other mods to increase visual fidelity.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R Complete

Overhauls many game mechanics.
Fixes many bugs present in the original game using an old version of ZRP.
Many improvements in visual quality.
Comes with a simple installer.
Not compatible with newer versions of ZRP.


A compilation of mods including the Zone Reclamation Project, Old Weapons Renewal 3 for SoC, Photo Realistic Zone, Stalker Weather Overhaul, STALKER Shaders MAX 1.06, and FOV Switcher v17.
Lots of improvement in visual quality
You need to rename "wpn_ak74u.ogf" to "ak74u.ogf" to change AKS74u's world mode.

Autumn Aurora

Overhauls the graphics, sound and gameplay.
Built on the newest Zone Reclamation Project's core.
Redesigned AtmosFear for ShoC to match the autumn style.
Holds an official new Absolute Nature for ShoC.

Oblivion Lost

Like Lost Alpha it focuses on getting closer to the old Oblivion Lost which was planned by GSC back in the days
Total Freeplay, Improved A-Life, New Levels, Extended Main Storyline, Reality Enhancement and Graphics Improvement.

Priboi Story

Total conversion mod with new storyline.

Old Good S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Evolution

New locations and weapons. Intended to recreate a highly atmospheric Zone with the highest possible quality, stability of the game, rich gameplay and loyalty to the canons of the Sci-Fi genre.

Legend Returns

Set between the events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky. It includes a return to the atmosphere and general feeling of Shadow of Chernobyl, in addition to several new gameplay features, completely new questlines, a leveling system, and restored content from build versions of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 2000 SP4
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
AMD Athlon XP 2200+
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 6 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce FX 5700
ATI Radeon 9600
128 MB of VRAM
DirectX 8 compatible
Sound (audio device) DirectX 9.0 compatible


  1. This version of StarForce DRM does not work on Windows 8.1, Windows 10, or Windows 11.[2][3] For supported versions of Windows the StarForce driver may need to be updated manually using SFUPDATE.
  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>/4500/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (4500) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.


  1. Mods - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl Game - Mod DB - last accessed on May 2023
  2. Windows 8.1 support - StarForce Support
  3. Windows 10 support - StarForce Support
  4. - Forum - Reclaim your games. DRM-Free! - last accessed on 2022-12-06
  5. Verified by User:Aemony on 2022-12-06
    Based on testing in 2022 this still works, but probably requires a CD key purchased from an older batch from around 2015 or earlier.
  6. Fallout 3 - Games for Windows - last accessed on 19 August 2022
  7. GOG version - last accessed on May 2023
  8. Steam version - last accessed on May 2023
  9. Verified by User:Suicide machine on 2019-06-20)
  10. Imgur - last accessed on May 2023
  11. Verified by User:Vlad 54rus on 2021-07-20
    When increasing antialiasing setting step by step - "SSample:" in the console caps at 2048x2048. Activating antialiasing at higher resolutions (such as 2560x1440) seems to follow this cap and results in undersampling/blurry image
  12. - STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl Tweak Guide - In-Game Settings (Pt.2) - last accessed on May 2023
  13. New 120Hz Games Report - last accessed on May 2023
  14. - last accessed on May 2023
  15. Steam Community - last accessed on May 2023
  16. - last accessed on May 2023
  17. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up - last accessed on May 2023
  18. Verified by User:Averygoodperson on 2023-02-18
    In the gamedata file from the GOG version I found Czech localization files.
  19. @∞D AUDIO Wiki Master#3423 on the 3D Game Audio Discord server - last accessed on 2019-06-19
    "1. that Shadow of Chernobyl toggle aim tweak requires AutoHotKey to be run as Administrator. It will not work without it"
  20. Mouse Delay on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - last accessed on May 2023
  21. - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  22. - last accessed on 9 June 2023