IWAD

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For more information on this article, visit the IWAD page on the Doom Wiki.

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.

Supported IWADs

Notes:

  • Some file names are links to a page on the DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngDoom 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.

Commercial games

Game Name File name File aliases Notes and download links
MiniDoomLogoIcon.png Doom (Registered) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom.wad MiniGOGLogoIcon.png Buy on GOG.comMiniSteamLogoIcon.png Buy on Steam
The Ultimate Doom DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom.wad doomu.wad
Doom "BFG Edition" DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom.wad bfgdoom.wad, doombfg.wad MiniGOGLogoIcon.png Buy on GOG.comMiniSteamLogoIcon.png Buy on Steam — Part of DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngDoom 3: BFG Edition
MiniDoom2LogoIcon.png Doom II DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom2.wad MiniGOGLogoIcon.png Buy on GOG.comMiniSteamLogoIcon.png Buy on Steam
Doom II "BFG Edition" DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom2.wad bfgdoom2.wad, doom2bfg.wad MiniGOGLogoIcon.png Buy on GOG.comMiniSteamLogoIcon.png Buy on Steam — Part of DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngDoom 3: BFG Edition; also loads DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngnerve.wad
Final Doom — TNT: Evilution DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngtnt.wad MiniGOGLogoIcon.png Buy on GOG.comMiniSteamLogoIcon.png Buy on Steam
Final Doom — The Plutonia Experiment DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngplutonia.wad
French Doom II doom2f.wad No longer sold; a patch is available at Doomworld/idgames for the original English version.
MiniHereticLogoIcon.png Heretic (Registered or Commercial) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngheretic.wad hereticsr.wad MiniSteamLogoIcon.png buy on Steam
MiniHexenLogoIcon.png Hexen (Full) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pnghexen.wad MiniSteamLogoIcon.png Buy on Steam
Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel DoomWikiLogoIcon.pnghexdd.wad MiniSteamLogoIcon.png Buy on Steam
MiniStrifeLogoIcon.png Strife (Full) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngstrife1.wad strife.wad MiniGOGLogoIcon.png Buy on GOG.comMiniSteamLogoIcon.png Buy on Steam — Also loads DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngvoices.wad
Strife: Veteran Edition sve.wad MiniGOGLogoIcon.png Buy on GOG.comMiniSteamLogoIcon.png Buy on Steam — Also loads DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngvoices.wad
MiniChexLogoIcon.png Chex Quest DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngchex.wad No longer sold, originally distributed in cereal boxes.

Free-to-play games

Game Name File name File aliases Notes and download links
MiniDoomLogoIcon.png Doom (Shareware) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngdoom1.wad Doom shareware at Doomworld/idgames
MiniHereticLogoIcon.png Heretic (Shareware) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngheretic1.wad Heretic shareware at Doomworld/idgames
MiniHexenLogoIcon.png Hexen (Demo) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pnghexen.wad hexdemo.wad, hexendemo.wad Hexen demo at Doomworld/idgames
MiniStrifeLogoIcon.png Strife (Teaser) DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngstrife0.wad Strife teaser at Doomworld/idgames
MiniFreedoomLogo.png Freedoom: Phase 1 freedoom1.wad freedoomu.wad Official site
Freedoom: Phase 2 freedoom2.wad freedoom.wad Official site
FreeDM freedm.wad Official site
MiniBlasphemerLogo.png Blasphemer heretic.wad blasphem.wad, blasphemer.wad Official site
MiniChex3LogoIcon.png Chex Quest 3 DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngchex3.wad Official site
MiniAction2LogoIcon.png Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngaction2.wad Official site
MiniHarmonyLogoIcon.png Harmony v1.1 DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngharm1.wad Official site
MiniHacxLogoIcon.png Hacx v1.2 DoomWikiLogoIcon.pnghacx.wad Official site
Hacx v2.0 hacx.wad hacx2.wad WIP download thread
MiniSquareLogoIcon.png The Adventures of Square square1.pk3 Official site
MiniDelaweareLogo.png Delaweare delaweare.wad Official site

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.

Obtaining IWADs

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:

GOG.com
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).
Steam
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 DoomWikiLogoIcon.pngDoom 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.

Custom IWADs

Since version 3.2, GZDoom allows to define custom IWADs that can be detected without having to update the engine's own internal list. These custom IWADs need to have the .iwad or alternatively .ipk3 (not the traditional .wad and .pk3) extension, and they need to include an IWADINFO lump.

See also