How to install and play original Doom on Mac

Doom was originally developed for MS-DOS operation system and there is no official port for the current version of macOS. But we can play this game on Mac thanks to the effort of the community. There is a free and open source GZDoom game engine which can run Doom on macOs smoothly. This tutorial will give you detailed instructions on how to do this.


What is Doom?

Description

Doom — is the first game in the Doom series, immortal classics, technologically and graphically groundbreaking all that existed before. First multiplayer / deathmatch shooter originally published on December 10, 1993, in North America for MS-DOS operation system.

Incredible work of graphical and sound artists: Adrian Carmack has sculpted by hands all demons and even objects, audio effects & music composed by Bobby Prince still sounds great and stays to haunt forever.

This is a true piece of art in computer games with mechanics that are still used in all 3d person shooters.

You can officially buy this game on Steam or GOG today. By doing this you are invited to one of the oldest game communities, which kept the game alive for more than 25 years. Members continue to develop engines, mods, applications, and tools, which enable you to play Doom on basically any device with a display and any operating system – all you need to have is the WAD data file with all game resources (which contains maps, sprites, sound and music files etc).

There are tons of maps, megawads and global mods aiming to improve the original atmosphere or bring something completely new in terms of setting and gameplay.

What platforms has Doom been ported to?

Let's do a little retrospective of Doom during the last 25 years. Here is the list of all official ports sorted by date of publishing:

  • MS-DOS — December 10, 1993. Initial release.
  • Linux — 1994. Port to Linux was made by Dave Taylor (id Software programmer).
  • Sega 32X — November 21, 1994. Developed and published by Sega.
  • PC 9801 — 1994
  • Atari Jaguar — November 28, 1994
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) — October 26, 1995. Published by Williams Entertainment and developed by Sculptured Software
  • PlayStation 1 — November 16, 1995. Published and developed by Williams Entertainment. Spent 6 months in development.
  • Microsoft Windows 95 — August 25, 1996
  • 3DO — 1996
  • Sega Saturn — March 31, 1997
  • Acorn Archimedes — 1998
  • Game Boy Advance — October 28, 2001
  • Xbox — October 5, 2005
  • Xbox 360 — September 27, 2006
  • iOS — October 30, 2009
  • PlayStation 3 — October 16, 2012

How to play Doom on Mac today?

To run Doom on modern macOS you need to install third-party software, which was developed by game community specially for this purpose. Also, you need to buy original Doom to copy WAD-file.

GZDoom — is a primary fork of ZDoom (which is no more in development) and is a modern source port, which supports advanced hardware (OpenGL) and enhanced software rendering capabilities. Its sister port QZDoom is a test bed for new experimental features. GZDoom also comes in vintage and modern versions depending on the hardware you have. In most cases, you want to install the modern version. If it won't run then try vintage one.

In addition to Doom, this engine supports Heretic, Hexen, Strife, Chex Quest, and even games created by fans like Harmony and Hacx. So you can play the whole family of idTech 1 engine games.

Play user created mods, made possible by engine's advanced mapping features and the new scripting language called ZScript. You can even make your own mod.

Download and install GZDoom

  1. Go to the download page of ZDoom official website.
  2. Download modern version for Macintosh: ZDoom engine download page
  3. Go to Downloads directory and mount GZDoom dmg file, just double click on it: Downloaded GZDoom installation dmg file
  4. To install GZDoom copy GZDoom.app file to Applications directory by drag and dropping: Mounted dmg file

Don't run GZDoom right now because we still need to place WAD-file of the original Doom into Library folder.

Download and copy WAD-files

You can buy Doom on:

  • Steam — if you use Steam only on Mac then you will not be able to download Doom files using Steam application because the game doesn't support macOS. But you can use Windows client to do this. There is also a way to make Steam download game files for other platforms (including macOS). Please check these instructions.
  • GOG — the same thing here. You will need to run installation exe file on the Windows system to get needed files. Also, you can install Wine.

Ok, you got the WAD game file:

Doom 2 WAD file

Open Finder and go to folder ~/Library/Application Support (press Shift+Command+G and paste the path then press Enter):

Go to folder in Finder

Create new folder gzdoom and copy WAD file inside it. Now we are ready for the first launch of Doom.

Run Doom

When you run GZDoom.app in Applications folder then a console window with initialization log will appear, just wait few seconds:

Doom 2 initialization process inside GZDoom

Then a menu will appear so you can start playing. But before you start let set keyboard controls and video options because default settings are not very good.

Doom 2 main menu

Setup video mode and graphical options

Go to Options then Set video mode. Here are a few very important options:

Option Description
Render mode
  • OpenGL-accelerated — best quality, smooth textures and lightning, but looks pretty different from the original picture.
  • Doom software renderer — looks pretty like original Doom, but with higher resolution.
  • True color sw renderer — the same as Doom software renderer, but with no limits on the amount of colors, so no stepped light gradients.
  • Softpoly renderer — looks better because there will not be any perspective distortions.
  • True color softpoly — the same as softpoly renderer, but without color limits.
Fullscreen Allows playing in windowed mode.
Aspect ratio Allows playing on modern monitors including 21:9 aspect ratio. Affects the list of available screen resolutions.

Screen resolution can be set by columns at the center. Select resolution mode with arrow keys and press Enter to apply. Current resolution is marked with yellow color:

Doom 2 video mode

Setup controls

Go to Options then Customize controls then set buttons like this:

Action Keys
Fire Mouse1
Secondary fire Mouse2
Weapon reload R
Use / Open E
Move forward W
Move backward S
Strafe Left A
Strafe Right D
Jump Space
Crouch Ctrl
Strafe Left A
Run Shift

Now go to Options then Mouse options. Here is a configuration to get mouse controls like in modern games:

Option Value
Enable mouse Yes
Turning speed 2.5
Mouselook speed 0.5
Always mouselook On
Invert mouse Off
Lookspring Off
Lookstrafe Off

Run Freedoom

The Freedoom is a completely free content first-person shooter game. You can use it to play if you don't have original Doom Wad files. id Software released the source code to their classic game, Doom, under the GNU General Public License. This means that the program code that powers Doom is free. Freedoom complements this with free levels, artwork, sound effects, and music to make a completely free game. Freedoom is 3 games in 1, consisting of two single-player campaigns and one set of levels for deathmatch.

Download Freedoom Wad files, copy them to ~/Library/Application Support/gzdoom and you are ready to go. Now if you run GZDoom then you will get a loader window to select which WAD file to use:

GZDoom loader

The Freedoom project has already succeeded in creating a complete set of replacement textures for the original Doom games, as well as a large number of extra resources like sound effects, graphics, animations, etc. All of the Freedoom material can be freely redistributed, modified and reused without restriction provided credit is given to the project.

Freedoom gameplay

Run Heretic, Hexen and other Id Tech 1 Games

How you may guess you can run any other Id Tech game: just buy it and copy WAD file to GZDoom folder in the library. All compatible WAD files will be recognized and added to the loader window. Please remember that each game has it's own configuration file so you will need to set controls and video options again for each game.

Heretic gameplay


13 january 2019 1 october 2019 14819


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Add a Comment

Comments

PizzaBoi2086 · September 17, 2019 01:58 AM  
Excellent advice, used it for the CD for the Mac and it works like a charm.
aiden · September 14, 2019 07:39 PM  
i dont think my dad understands