Command line option reference

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Breakdown Note: This article should be broken down to multiple articles so that each one covers a more specific topic. Remember to categorize!

Note: Some of these options are obsolete as of version 1.9.8
Editor Note: These should be separated into their own articles for more in-depth discussion. For example: -file. This article should be an alphabetic quick reference in table format, with a single-sentence description for each option, and a link to the article with the more detailed information. Multiple trivial options can be put in the same article, but redirections should be provided so linking to individual options is possible.
Option Aliases Description
-def F Load a definition file during startup.
-defs F -d Load multiple definition files during startup.
-file F -f, -iwad Load data files during startup.
-game Specify a game mode for the initial game session.
-glfinish Makes an extra call to glFinish() before swapping GL buffers. ATI workaround.
-icd N Override CD audio with audio plugin N.
-imusic N Override Music audio with audio plugin N.
-isfx N Override SFX audio with audio plugin N.
-libdir F Defines the directory from which dynamic libraries are loaded.
-noanifilter Completely disable anisotropic filtering.
-noautoselect Disable automatic game selection.
-nodoomwaddir Disable processing of the DOOMWADDIR environment variable for resource paths.
-nodoomwadpath Disable processing of the DOOMWADPATH environment variable for resource paths.
-noframe Disable the frame around the main window in windowed mode.
-noinput Disable all device/controller input (including the keyboard).
-nosteamapps Disable location of IWAD resources from the platform specific SteamApps directory. (1.14 ⇒)
-notexnonpow2 Disable the use of non-power-of-two textures (textures will be resized as necessary during load).


General options


Response file. The given file is read and its contents are inserted to the command line, replacing the option itself. E.g. "@args.rsp".


Stop processing options. Anything after this is discarded. Useful in response files.

-verbose (-v)

Be more verbose with console messages. Two "-verbose" options gives even more messages (e.g. "-v -v").

-userdir P (-ud)

Sets the working directory. By default the engine uses the current working directory (the one in which it was started). Relative paths in "-game" and "-gl" are not affected.

-basedir P (-bd)

Defines a custom path to the base directory. The base directory should be equal to the root of the Doomsday install directory. Path may be defined either absolutely, or relative to the library install directory (e.g., on Windows this is the bin/ subdirectory of the Doomsday install directory, so the default basedir is one level upward ../).

-stdbasedir (-sbd)

Use the standard base directory (the default).

-savedir P

Changes the directory where savegames will be placed. The default is savegame.

-out F

Redirects output to the given file. By default all messages are printed to Doomsday.out.

-file F (-f, -iwad)

The -file option is used to load data files (e.g., WAD, PK3, LMP) from the command line. See: file (Option)

-vdmap F F

Creates a virtual directory mapping. Takes the source and destination directories as parameters. For example:

-vdmap "D:\Games\MyAuto" "C:\Doomsday\Data\jDoom\Auto"

See: Virtual directory mappings

-maxzone N (-mem)

Note: This option is obsolete in the 1.9.x series.

Specify how much memory will be allocated for the game (N bytes). E.g. to allocate 32Mbs:

-maxzone 32m

-playdemo F

After initialization loads the given demo file F (which resides in the Demo subdirectory), plays it and then quits.

-timedemo F

After initialization loads the given demo file F (which resides in the Demo subdirectory), plays it in singletics mode (i.e. as fast as possible), displays frame count information and quits.


Disable Windows system keys (Alt-Tab etc).


Don't initialize mouse.


Don't initialize joystick.

Configuration options

-config F (-cfg)

Specifies the CFG file to use (for example jDoom.cfg). When the game is quit, console variable values and key bindings are written to this file.

-parse F (-p)

After initialization reads the given file and executes the commands in it (by treating each read line as a console command). You can give more than one file as the parameter.

-cparse F (-cp)

Same as "-parse", but executes the commands before anything is initialized (right after console variable values have been read from the default config file). You can give more than one file as the parameter.

-command S (-cmd)

After initialization executes the console command "S". Note that if the command includes whitespace characters it must be quoted. E.g. to execute the command: echo "Hello world." you must use the option: -command "echo ""Hello world.""" More than one command can be given as a parameter, either as separate command line options ("-cmd S S S") or separate console commands ("-cmd "S; S; S"").

Multiplayer options

Options for a server


Run in dedicated mode. No graphics or sounds will be initialized. The game will run in a text mode console.


Start running in server mode right after startup, using TCP/IP as the network protocol.

Options for a client

-id ID

(NEW in 1.9.0-beta5) Sets the client ID number. This option overrides the Client.ID file.

-id 0x2c79f3b1

-connect IP

Connect to a server running at the specified IP address immediately after startup, using TCP/IP. For example: "-connect". The port to use can be included: "-connect".

Graphics options

-gl F (-r)

Specifies the rendering DLL to use (drOpenGL.dll by default). This must either be just the file name (drD3D.dll) or the full path to the DLL (C:\Doomsday\Bin\drD3D.dll).

-bpp N (-b)

Specify the color depth to use. Defaults to desktop color depth. E.g. "-bpp 32"

-refresh N

Specify the refresh rate to use in fullscreen mode. Defaults to the current display refresh rate. E.g. "-refresh 75"

-window (-wnd)

Start the game in a window. By default the game runs in fullscreen mode.

-width N (-w)

Game window width or horizontal display resolution. The default value for this is taken from the vid-res-x console variable.

-height N (-h)

Game window height or vertical display resolution. The default value for this is taken from the vid-res-y console variable.

-winsize N N (-wh)

Game window width and height or display resolution.

-xpos N

Game window X coordinate.

-ypos N

Game window Y coordinate.

-nocenter (-noc)

Prevents the game window from being centered on screen.

-modeldir P (-md)

Uses the given search path instead of the one specified in the primary DED file.

-fontdir P (-fd0

Looks in the given directory P for the font files. Defaults to Data\Fonts\.


Use Windows' GDI fonts instead of the DFNs.


Don't initialize video.


Don't use hardware color settings (gamma, contrast, brightness).


At shutdown, don't reset color settings (gamma, contrast, brightness) back to the original values.

-gfxdir P

Sets the directory where Doomsday graphics resources are loaded. Defaults to Data\Graphics.



All letters, sprites, etc. will have black outlines.


If a masked texture has taller patches than the texture's height, the engine will resize the texture so that the largest patch will fit.

-paltex (-ptx)

Use paletted textures (if supported by the hardware).

-maxtex N

Set maximum texture size to N x N. E.g. "-maxtex 128" sets the maximum size to 128 x 128 pixels.


Allow using external resources with textures/flats whose data is read from a PWAD. By default, external resources are only used with textures from an IWAD.


Disable (external) high-resolution textures and flats.


Disable high-resolution patches and sprites.

-texdir P (-td)

Loads all high-resolution (PNG, TGA, PCX) textures from the given directory P. Defaults to Data\<Game>\Textures.

-texdir2 P (-td2)

Secondary high-resolution (PNG, TGA, PCX) texture directory. This directory is checked first, so it can be used to override textures in the normal texture directory ("-texdir").

-patdir P

Sets the directory where external resources for patches are loaded. Defaults to Data\<Game>\Patches.

-patdir2 P

Secondary directory for searching external resources for patches. This is checked first, so it can be used for overriding resources in the normal Patches directory.

-lmdir P

Sets the directory where light map resources are loaded. Defaults to Data\<Game>\LightMaps.

-lmdir2 P

Secondary directory for light maps resources. This is checked first, so it can be used for overriding resources in the normal LightMaps directory.


Use vertex arrays. Vertex arrays are usually enabled by default.


Disable vertex arrays. Try this when experiencing rendering errors.


Disable texture compression. Compression is enabled by default (if supported by the OpenGL driver).


Disable the SGIS_generate_mipmap extension. Try this when experiencing texture errors.


Allow using the software renderer if no 3D hardware acceleration is detected (or reported by Windows).

You need a video card that supports hardware accelerated 3D rendering. Most modern cards do. If Doomsday gives you an error message saying that

driver is not accelerated, use -allowsoftware

there are two things that might be wrong:

  • You have a video card that doesn't support 3D rendering.
  • Your OpenGL drivers are for some reason not reporting the hardware acceleration ability correctly.

There's no fix for case one, except to use the -allowsoftware command line option, which enables Doomsday to run (very slowly) in software rendering mode. In the second case, you can either try to update your OpenGL drivers or try the Direct3D renderer instead.


Debug: Writes Targa images out of all the textures that are loaded (mipmap level zero).

Sound options


Use dsCompat.dll, the DirectSound 6 sound driver.


Use the Dummy sound driver (does nothing).

-sfxchan N

Set the number of sound channels. 16 is the default.

-musdir P

Same as "-patdir" but for music resources.

-musdir2 P

Same as "-patdir2" but for music resources.

-sfxdir P

Same as "-patdir" but for sound effect resources.

-sfxdir2 P

Same as "-patdir2" but for sound effect resources.


Multiply the volume of all MIDI notes by two. The volume is still capped to the MIDI maximum of 127, though.


Ignore any errors that occur with EAX.


Do not set the primary sound buffer format. Try this option if you notice that the audio quality of other applications (including FMOD) degrades when Doomsday is running.


Disable EAX.


Disable sound effect pitch/frequency changes.


Disable doppler effect (with 3D sounds).


Don't initialize sound or music.


Don't use Windows' mixer (used for CD volume).


Don't initialize sound.


Don't initialize music.


Don't initialize FMOD

Plugin options

DeHackEd reader

-deh F

Applies the Dehacked patch F. You can give more than one F as arguments, e.g. "-deh first.deh second.deh".


Allows the processing of more than one DEHACKED lump. Otherwise only the DEHACKED lump that has been loaded last is processed. Does not affect the "-deh" option.

Developer option


Display lots of sound debug information.

-dump S

Writes the specified lump (S) into a file named (S).DUM and quits.


When a font is prepared it is written to a file named FONT(id number).DFN.


Prints the names of all the lumps in the loaded WAD files and quits.


Generates a PAL18TO8 palette conversion table. If you don't know what that means you don't have to worry about this option.