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

Warning for game developers: PCGamingWiki staff members will only ever reach out to you using the official mail address.
Be aware of scammers claiming to be representatives or affiliates of PCGamingWiki who promise a PCGW page for a game key.

Star Wars: Dark Forces

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the original 1995 game. For the 2024 remaster, see Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster.

Star Wars: Dark Forces
Star Wars: Dark Forces cover
Disney Interactive Studios
Release dates
DOS February 15, 1995
Mac OS (Classic) June 1995
Windows (DOSBox) September 16, 2009
Linux (DOSBox) January 20, 2015[1]
macOS (OS X) (DOSBox) March 19, 2018[2]
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, Shooter, FPS
Themes Sci-fi, Space
Series Star Wars: Jedi Knight
Star Wars: Dark Forces on HowLongToBeat
Star Wars: Dark Forces on IGDB
Star Wars: Dark Forces guide on StrategyWiki
Star Wars: Dark Forces on MobyGames
Star Wars: Dark Forces on Wikipedia
Star Wars: Jedi Knight
Subseries of Star Wars
Star Wars: Dark Forces 1995
Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II 1997
Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Mysteries of the Sith 1998
Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast 2002
Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy 2003
Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster 2024

Star Wars: Dark Forces is a first-person shooter set during the original Star Wars trilogy, and is the first game in the Jedi Knight series.

In late 2022, version 1.0 of The Force Engine was released, a reverse-engineered port allowing for native widescreen, high resolutions, and vertical aiming with the mouse. The game has an active modding community, centered around the DF-21 website and it's Discord server.

General information 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)
See Run retail version without the CD on how to bypass the disc check.
Mac OS
Pre-packaged with DOSBox.[3]
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Not available for sale in Germany.
macOS (OS X)
DRM-free after installation through Origin client (notes may include more details)
Included with EA Play Pro. Currently only visible in the EA App's Browse menu.
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Can be played without Steam. Pre-packaged with DOSBox 0.73.[4] Update to 0.74 for better performance and some color issue fixes.
macOS (OS X)
GamersGate (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
macOS (OS X)
Gamesplanet logo.svg (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
macOS (OS X)
A demo containing an earlier version of the first level is available. A longer demo which includes the finalized versions of the first 3 levels was also released.[Note 1]
The original icon, which isn't used in the Steam version of the game, is available here

Essential improvements


The DOS version has no patches (the Install.exe listed on the official support page is not for this game).
The 1.2 Update patch fixes some issues with the MacOS Classic version.
Official German Patch adds missing translations and voice files.

Unofficial patches

Dark Forces Community Patch (2022) has over 100 fixes and quality of life improvements.

The Force Engine

Reverse-engineered source port of Dark Forces made by the same author of DarkXL that includes QOL improvements
GPU rendering with widescreen and high resolution support (up to 4K)
Full mouselook support
In-game saving and quicksaves available from any point in the game
iMUSE and dynamic music implemented

DarkForces Custom Launcher

Note!! this is now superceded by The Force Engine please use that instead.

Multi-featured Launcher which has a guide.
  • Runs Dark Forces and custom community-made missions
  • Automatically updates new missions as they are added to
  • Includes Dark Forces DeHacker.

Dark Forces DeHacker

All of the following features are completely optional and DeHacker can be used only as configuration tool replacement instead of the buggy original setup executable - see "Configuration setup" menu.
  • Enables vertical mouselook and allows for higher controls customization
  • Runs the game and setup program without the CD
  • Fixes infinite loop bug in General MIDI and Roland music drivers
  • Increased mouse sensitivity by 4 times
  • Documentation in DARKINFO.TXT file with a complete list of all reserved keyboard keys, command line options, and cheat codes
Step-by-step guide

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\JEDI.CFG
Windows <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Mac OS (Classic) Macintosh HD/System Folder/Preferences/Dark Forces Preferences
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Linux <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/32400/pfx/[Note 3]
Config file is not human readable. A partial explanation on how to edit it can be found here.
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\DARKPILO.CFG
Windows <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Mac OS (Classic) Macintosh HD/System Folder/Preferences/Dark Forces Pilots
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Linux <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/32400/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


In-game options menu.
In-game options menu.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
DOS version runs at 320x200 (see the DOSBox page for more information) and Mac OS (Classic) version runs at 640x480.
See The Force Engine for widescreen support.
See The Force Engine.
See The Force Engine.
4K Ultra HD
See The Force Engine.
Field of view (FOV)
See The Force Engine.
Toggle with Alt+ Enter if using DOSBox.
The Force Engine supports windowed mode.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Use The Force Engine.
60 FPS
Up to 72 frames per second. [5]
120+ FPS
The framerate is uncapped on The Force Engine if Vsync is turned off. Game logic runs at 145 ticks per second.[5]
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.


Control options in INSTALL.EXE.
Control options in INSTALL.EXE.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Use INSTALL.EXE (KEYCONFI.EXE in the demo) or SETUP.EXE. Mouse settings cannot be changed in the demo. Some keys cannot be mapped. See fix below, or use The Force Engine.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Some menus only work with mouse.
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Game lacks vertical-look for mouse. See hack below for adding it, or use The Force Engine.
Controller support
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
Through DosBox
Xbox button prompts
Impulse Trigger vibration
PlayStation controllers
Generic/other controllers
Button prompts Input settings icon - Generic Controller.svg
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M
Designed for keyboard and flightstick.

Modern control scheme + v-look for mouse (DOSBox)

Use Dark Forces Plus, compilation of DOSBox keymapper files and GlovePIE script.[6]
Could use FreePIE as alternative to GlovePIE.
GlovePIE and FreePIE are Windows programs; they do not work on Mac or Linux.


Sound card and MIDI options in setup.exe. Suggested settings for DOSBox shown.
Sound card and MIDI options in setup.exe.
Suggested settings for DOSBox shown.
Sound channel settings in setup.exe.
Sound channel settings in setup.exe.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Uses stereo output with some 3D spatial effects.[7]
See The Force Engine.
Closed captions
See The Force Engine.
Mute on focus lost
For DOSBox change the priority background value in the DOSBox configuration file.
Royalty free audio
Uses audio from the original Star Wars movie trilogy.
General MIDI audio
This game supports the MT-32 and General MIDI for music.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation by «ENPY Studio»

Issues unresolved

  • The MIDI tracks BOSS-05.GMD, BOSS-08.GMD, BOSS-10.GMD, BOSS-11.GMD and BOSS-14.GMD (inside SOUNDS.GOB) never play during the game when the corresponding boss is fought against. This is known to be true about the DOS retail release and is an iMUSE issue.
  • One sector in "Mission 3: Anoat City" is messed up, preventing access to two energy unit pickups. Its corridor can be entered by setting the hub switch to setting 2. The inaccessible sector is on the right just inside the sewage corridor, showing up with the map cheat or a level editor.
  • Two Ceiling Turrets in "Mission 4: Research Facility" are missing their bases.
  • Some of the Ceiling Turrets have their base set to have the Turret logic. Nothing happens unless the corresponding map gets edited.
  • A fan in "Mission 4: Research Facility" has its grate set to use the Fan logic. Unless the map is edited, the grate stays still.
  • There is a non-functioning elevator in "Mission 9: Nar Shaddaa" in the room with the first Trandoshans. Its sector is messed up and inaccessible, preventing players from going back to the starting area without sitting on a mine or cheating.

Issues fixed

Game randomly changes colors

Change output method to DirectDraw or OpenGL[citation needed]
  1. Go to the Dark Forces installation folder.
  2. Edit dosbox.conf
  3. In the [SDL] section, change output=surface to output=ddraw or output=opengl (whichever works best)
  4. Save your changes.

Game appears stretched horizontally

Fix incorrect aspect ratio[citation needed]
Dark Forces is designed to run at 320x200, but with a 4:3 aspect ratio. To set this, do the following:
  • Go to the [render] section of the DOSBox configuration file and change aspect=false to aspect=true.
  • If you are using Boxer, you can also use the View - Use 4:3 Aspect Ratio item in the menu.

Run retail version without the CD

Run without the CD[8]
  1. Perform a full install within DOSBox.
  2. Copy the CD.ID file from your Dark Forces CD, to the folder you have mounted as DOSBox's C: drive.
  3. Use a text editor to open the DRIVE.CD file in your Dark Forces installation folder. It should contain one letter. Change it to C and save it.
Disables the ability to change configuration in the setup.exe (says you must install the game first).
Create a dummy folder[citation needed]
  1. Perform a full install within DOSBox.
  2. Copy the CD.ID file from your Dark Forces CD, to a new folder (which you will later mount as drive D).
  3. Copy the BOOTMKR.EXE and IMUSE.EXE from the CD or the installation folder to this new folder (the IMUSE.EXE must be in a \Dark sub folder to be detected by the configuration utility).
  4. Mount the folder as drive D, then play!
Slightly more involved than the above fix for simply the ability to use the configuration utility.
Significantly leaner than having an ISO mounted to access setup.exe (Steam version).
Files can be mistakenly deleted using the "Remove modules" option, marking files as read-only is recommended.

Update Steam DOSBox version/Run without Steam

Run without Steam[citation needed]
  1. Install the game through Steam.
  2. Download the latest DOSBox version.
  3. Run the installer and point it to the Dark Forces installation folder.
  4. To run Dark Forces without Steam, run dosbox.exe directly. To run with Steam, launch as usual.

Ice Glitch using DOSBox

When playing the game in DOSBox you will find that you get stuck in the ice in the Robots Facility level
Set your cycles amount to fixed 40000
You can do this in DOSBox config or pressing Ctrl+F11 / Ctrl+F12
You try to grab the Ice Shoes before you get stuck in the ice. If you got stuck on the ice and can't grab the Ice Shoes, try moving the mouse quickly to get unstuck

Enable Steam overlay

Change DOSBox output method to OpenGL[citation needed]
  1. Go to the Dark Forces installation folder.
  2. Edit dosbox.conf
  3. Change output=surface to output=opengl
  4. Save your changes.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
OpenGL 3.3 See The Force Engine
Software renderer
DOS video modes MCGA, VGA


Middleware Notes
Audio iMUSE For music


DarkXL is heavily outdated at this point and it's not recommended to use it anymore, as it has been surpassed by The Force Engine.
Enables playing the game in modern Windows. Supports high resolutions, with enhanced visuals and proper mouselook.
The Original version of the project, however, is no-longer in active development, and the most-recent alpha version has some unresolved issues such as missing cutscenes, no music during cutscenes, a float/noclip function bound to the F key that cannot be rebound, and other issues that require workarounds to correct. However, the game can still be completed in this form. (see Getting started with XL Engine).

The author of the Xlengine/DarkXL port LuciusDXL has, as of May 2020, restarted the project as The Force Engine concentrating on Dark Forces and Outlaws games. This is due in part to Blood and Daggerfall having other complete projects/ports available. More information is available on his blog post here.

Dark Frontend

Dark Frontend is a utility that allows easier launching of mods and levels. Installation (of both the launcher and the mods you intend to use with it) isn't exactly the most straight forward; includes a digital manual (readme.exe), reading it is recommended before using. It has been superseded by Dark Forces Custom Launcher, but unlike its successor, it is a native DOS program and can directly in DOSBox.

System requirements

The Force Engine requires an OpenGL 3.3-capable GPU.
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 5.0
Processor (CPU) Intel 386DX 33 MHz
System memory (RAM) 8 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3.5 MB
Video card (GPU) MCGA, VGA
Full hard-drive installation requires 67.4 MB.[9]
Operating system (OS) 2000, XP, Vista
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 486
System memory (RAM) 16 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 80 MB
Video card (GPU) DirectX 5.2 compatible
Sound (audio device) 16-bit sound card
Mac OS
Minimum[10] Recommended
Operating system (OS) MacOS 7.1
Processor (CPU) 68040 or PowerPC
System memory (RAM) 8 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 5 MB (Minimum Install)
Video card (GPU) 256-color 13" display
Controller Keyboard and mouse
Other CD-ROM drive required


  1. Any references to "the demo" on this page refer to the first demo.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 File/folder structure within the installation folder reflects the path(s) listed for DOS game data.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data:


  1. LUCASFILM ON GOG.COM: Wave II continues. - - last accessed on 17 May 2023
  2. STAR WARS™: Dark Forces :: Compatibility Patch Update - Steam Community - last accessed on 2019-05-04
  3. List of GOG games using DOSBox, page 1 - Forum - - last accessed on 17 May 2023
  4. Star Wars: Dark Forces · AppID: 32400 · Steam Database - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  5. 5.0 5.1 Verified by User:SirYodaJedi on 2022-12-21
    Discussed with TFE developer on Discord:
    Dark Forces tick rate vs frame rate discord citation.png
  6. - last accessed on 17 May 2023
  7. Verified by User:SirYodaJedi on July 21, 2018 using General Midi (VirtualMIDISynth) for Music and Sound Blaster 16 (DOSBox emulation) for Digital Sound Effects.
  8. - last accessed on 17 May 2023
  9. Verified by User:SirYodaJedi on 2023-01-12
  10. Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995) Macintosh box cover art - MobyGames - last accessed on 2023-01-12