An IWAD - short for Internal WAD - is the main resource file for a Doom-engine game, containing all the game's original sounds, levels, and graphics. ZDoom needs an IWAD file in order to play; without one the ZDoom engine has no game data to use.
- Some file names are links to a page on the Doom Wiki where you will find checksums for known versions of the concerned file.
- Some files have conflicting names; ZDoom provides you with possible aliases. Note that an IWAD is actually identified by its content rather than its name. Also, any archive format supported by ZDoom can technically be an IWAD.
|Game||Name||File name||File aliases||Notes and download links|
|Doom (Shareware)||doom1.wad||Free download: Doom shareware at Doomworld/idgames|
|Doom (Registered)||doom.wad||Commercial game:;|
|The Ultimate Doom||doom.wad||doomu.wad|
|Doom "BFG Edition"||doom.wad||bfgdoom.wad, doombfg.wad||Commercial game included with Doom 3: BFG Edition ( )|
|Freedoom: Phase 1||freedoom1.wad||freedoomu.wad||Free download: official site|
|Doom II||doom2.wad||Commercial game:;|
|Doom II "BFG Edition"||doom2.wad||bfgdoom2.wad, doom2bfg.wad||Commercial game included with Doom 3: BFG Edition, also loads nerve.wad ( )|
|Final Doom — TNT: Evilution||tnt.wad||Commercial game:;|
|Final Doom — The Plutonia Experiment||plutonia.wad|
|FreeDM||freedm.wad||Free download: official site|
|Freedoom: Phase 2||freedoom2.wad||freedoom.wad||Free download: official site (New from )†|
|French Doom II||doom2f.wad||Commercial game, patch available at Doomworld/idgames|
|Heretic (Shareware)||heretic1.wad||Free download: Heretic shareware at Doomworld/idgames|
|Heretic (Registered or Commercial)||heretic.wad||hereticsr.wad||Commercial game:|
|Blasphemer||heretic.wad||blasphem.wad, blasphemer.wad||Free download: official site|
|Hexen (Demo)||hexen.wad||hexdemo.wad, hexendemo.wad||Free download: Hexen demo at Doomworld/idgames|
|Hexen (Full)||hexen.wad||Commercial game:|
|Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel||hexdd.wad||Commercial game:|
|Strife (Teaser)||strife0.wad||Free download: Strife teaser at Doomworld/idgames|
|Strife (Full)||strife1.wad||strife.wad||Commercial game, also loads voices.wad: ;|
|Chex Quest||chex.wad||Commercial game no longer sold|
|Chex Quest 3||chex3.wad||Free download: official site|
|Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl||action2.wad||Free download: official site|
|Harmony v1.1||harm1.wad||Free download: official site|
|Hacx v1.2||hacx.wad||Free download: official site|
|Hacx v2.0||hacx.wad||hacx2.wad||Free download: WIP download thread|
|The Adventures of Square||square1.pk3||Free download: official site (New from )|
|† Freedoom up to v8.0 used to be distributed with the same IWAD names as Doom and Doom II (doom.wad and doom2.wad), and it also used to come with a limited version emulating the shareware version of Doom, using IWAD name doom1.wad. ZDoom already supported non-conflicting aliases freedoom, freedoom1, and freedoomu. In January 2014, the Freedoom team decided to officially use distinct IWAD names as an effort to move away from "IWAD replacement" and into "separate game with its own identity", settling on the IWAD names freedoom1 and freedoom2. ZDoom only required the addition of the freedoom2 alias to fully support newer versions of Freedoom.|
ZDoom will detect any of those present in its search path and let you choose at startup which game to play (if it doesn't, see the FAQ). In addition to them, some "total conversion"-type mods, such as Wolfenstein 3D TC, can be played as their own IWAD; however since they are not detected as such by ZDoom, you need to use the -iwad command line parameter.
In order to play a custom level designed for any of the above games you have to have that particular game's full IWAD (loading PWAD with shareware, demo or teaser versions is disabled). If you do not have the necessary IWAD, or if you have an old, unpatched version of the IWAD in question, you will get an error message on startup. (But often old versions are accepted too.)
The IWAD file(s) should be placed in a directory where ZDoom will find them. This includes the same directory as the ZDoom executable, as well as those pointed to by the DOOMWADDIR environment variable. You may also configure other directories for ZDoom to search in the zdoom.ini file. On Linux, the directories $HOME/.zdoom and /usr/local/share are checked by default. Finally, if you have bought a supported game from GOG.com or Steam, ZDoom is able to find the IWADs directly in their installation folder and you do not need to move or copy them to ZDoom's folder.
As noted aboved, some IWADs can be downloaded freely; however most "full" games are not and must be bought from one of the following sources:
- This store offers downloadable versions of Ultimate Doom, Doom II: Hell on Earth (bundled with Final Doom and the Master Levels for Doom II), and Strife. The Final Doom version offered is the later Anthology version, which fixes many mapping errors (such as the infamous missing key in TNT MAP31).
- This store offers downloadable versions of Ultimate Doom, Doom II: Hell on Earth, Final Doom, Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders, Hexen: Beyond Heretic, Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel, and Strife; as well as the Master Levels for Doom II which is a set of PWAD, not an IWAD.
- Warning: following the release of Doom 3: BFG Edition, the Master Levels are no longer available to purchase individually but can be bought as part of the Doom Classic Complete Pack.
- Note: The version of Hexen: Death Kings available on Steam is not patched. You need to download and apply the Death Kings 1.1 patch first. (The "readme.txt" file it tries to patch has been renamed readme-dk.txt by Steam, but is not important.) All other IWADs from Steam are fully patched.
- Amazon.com, eBay.com, etc.
- Second-hand copies of the original games can be found on such sites.
- Flea markets, used-games bins in brick-and-mortar stores, etc.
- It's mostly a matter of luck, but they can still sometimes be found this way.