How to download and run Doom


Information icon.svgNote: This article is not a general troubleshooting guide for any of the operating systems listed below. It assumes that your hardware and existing software is set up correctly; even then, it probably does not pertain to every possible configuration. If you are having computer problems, please seek help wherever you would normally seek help.

The central experience of the Doom community is playing the game. If you have never played before, this guide will help you get started.

You will need a computer, game console, or mobile capable of running Doom. Doom can run on a very wide variety, but this article is intended to cover the basics and assumes common hardware and operating systems of the present. For information on how to run Doom on obsolete hardware, see Doom on legacy systems.

Most of the Doom games are not available for free, with the exception of the demo versions of the original Doom and Doom 3. As an alternative, Freedoom provides wholly-free games with the full support to play mods on top of it. This article will focus on the Doom games only.

Downloading Doom[edit]

For computers: and Steam[edit] and Steam are two digital distributors that sell Doom games. The games are cheap, and are frequently on sale. For newcomers to the series, and not wishing to overspend, Doom II provides the widest support for community mods and online play. Doom 3: BFG Edition serves as a good introduction for the entire franchise.

With the exception of two Mac storefronts for Doom 3, all digital distributions are for the Windows operating system only. Instructions for running on Mac and Linux follow in the text.

Doom classic[edit]

The Ultimate Doom On Steam On
Doom II On Steam On
Master Levels for Doom II Bundled in Doom Classic Complete below Bundled with Doom II above
Final Doom On Steam Bundled with Doom II above
Doom Classic Complete On Steam "Buy Series" option on Ultimate Doom or Doom II page

Mac and Linux users: the installation files for the versions may be extracted with the innoextract program. The Steam versions can either be installed via Windows Steam under Wine or via the SteamCMD program. Once extracted or downloaded, look for files named *.wad in the directories, these are the main game files you will need to use to play. Specific file names to look for are doom.wad, doom2.wad, tnt.wad, and plutonia.wad.

Doom 3[edit]

Doom 3 (original) On Steam (Windows) On Aspyr Media (Mac) On MacGameStore (Mac)
Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil On Steam; expansion pack to Doom 3, and requires ownership of the above game on Steam.
Doom 3 Pack, the two above combined On Steam
Doom 3: BFG Edition On Steam

Mac and Linux users: For the original Doom 3 and Resurrection of Evil releases on Steam, you will need to run the Windows version of Steam in Wine to download the games and obtain the CD keys, the latter can be found by clicking the game in your Steam client library list, and then clicking on "CD key" in the large game info window. The game is usually runs well via Wine, but instructions for native clients follow below for those with a preference for such.

RBDOOM-3-BFG is an option for playing Doom 3: BFG Edition on Mac and Linux, however few ready-made packages are available for it. Debian 9 and later includes an rbdoom3bfg package, but it is lacking in most other operating systems.

For computers: demo versions[edit]

For the original Doom, the demo, typically termed shareware, is mirrored in an archive: doom-wad-shareware_1.9.fixed.orig.tar.gz. On Windows, you may need to install a program such as 7-Zip to extract it. Mac and Linux should be able to handle it normally.

Doom 3 demos were released on Windows, Linux, and OS X. You should still be able to use the installers and play them normally on current systems: D3Demo.exe for Windows, for Linux, doom3macdemo.dmg for Mac.

For consoles: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3[edit]

Look for Doom, Doom II, or Doom 3: BFG Edition with the console's store menu. The games should be available for purchase and download like other titles on the systems.

For mobile: iPhone, iPad[edit]

The Ultimate Doom is available via the AppStore, titled DOOM Classic.

Running Doom[edit]

Ultimate Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom[edit]


The and Steam distributions come pre-configured with Doom in DOSBox. It works for the original experience, although it can be a bit poor for controls and for performance. As an alternative, you can take the following steps for a native version:

  1. Download and extract it to somewhere such as your Desktop or Documents folders.
    If you downloaded the shareware version, place doom1.wad in the folder with Chocolate Doom.
  2. Run chocolate-doom-setup and configure the game to your preferences. See Setup on the Chocolate Doom wiki for complete documentation.
  3. Click Save parameters and launch DOOM to start playing; or use Warp to select specific games in case you have multiple.


  1. Check your packaging software for chocolate-doom and install it. It is available on all major Linux distributions.
  2. Copy a game WAD file to either your home directory, or /usr/share/games/doom; the latter will probably need to be created with root privileges on the system. These files should be stored with all-lowercase names; doom2.wad, not DOOM2.WAD, for example.
  3. Look for Chocolate Setup in your desktop menu or app drawer, or run chocolate-setup from the Terminal. Configure the game to your preferences; see Setup on the Chocolate Doom wiki for complete documentation.
  4. Click Save parameters and launch DOOM to start playing; or use Warp to select specific games in case you have multiple.


  1. Download chocolate-doom-2.2.1.dmg, open it, and drag the package to Applications as displayed.
  2. Open Chocolate Doom as you would any program (e.g. from "Applications" on the Dock).
  3. Click Configure, then click the Set button for one of the games you downloaded above. If it's the shareware version, use the Doom button.
  4. Locate the corresponding WAD file on your hard drive, highlight it, and click Open. Repeat for any additional WAD files, then click Close.
  5. Choose a game from the upper drop-down list.
  6. Optionally, click Run Setup Tool... to configure the game, including setting a playable display mode.
  7. Click Launch to begin playing.

Doom 3[edit]


Once you have Doom 3 installed via Steam, in its original or BFG Edition release, you are already good to go. Simply launch the game via Steam or a shortcut and have fun.


  1. Download and mark it executable, either through your GUI file manager or chmod +x on the command line.
  2. Run the file and install the engine. If you are on a 64-bit OS, note this is a 32-bit program, seek out your distribution help for getting 32-bit software to run properly.
  3. Copy the base/pak000.pk4, base/pak001.pk4, base/pak002.pk4, base/pak003.pk4, base/pak004.pk4 files from your Steam Doom 3 installation to the location you installed the Doom 3 engine in the previous step, retaining their location under base
  4. Copy the d3xp/pak000.pk4 file in the same manner, if you bought Resurrection of Evil as well, likewise retaining its location under d3xp
  5. Launch Doom 3 via your desktop menu, app drawer, or from the Terminal with the doom3 command.


  1. If you purchased the native OS X version, follow the vendor's instructions for installation and launch. Unless your system is fairly new, be prepared to reduce resolution and disable some graphical features to get a playable frame rate.

Beyond the basics: Doom classic[edit]

This how to article has purposely oversimplified the process of running Doom. In its long history of modding and open source nature since 1997, there are multitudes of possibilities for obtaining Doom on physical media, old consoles, and other formats. There are also a near-endless supply of engine ports to other operating systems and devices, both historic and modern. We have focused on running the game with Chocolate Doom, an engine that expressly eschews enhancements and new features, presenting the game exactly the same as the original DOS version, only fixed to run on new systems.

Enhanced ports[edit]

With the open source nature of the Doom engine, most derivatives, commonly known as source ports or just ports, focus on removing limitations of the original game, adding features, making graphical enhancements, and improving support for modding. A few of the most popular enhanced ports are:


Mods, also commonly known as WADs or PWADs, are widely available, with the idgames archive providing the largest and most active resource for obtaining them. If you continue to use Chocolate Doom, since it lacks extra features, you will have to look out for entries that say they support doom.exe, doom2.exe, or vanilla Doom. Many mods will require the use of an enhanced port and will dutifully make note of that as well. Limit-removing or Boom mods can run in most available ports, otherwise you will have to use the specified port.


Doom has an active multiplayer base to this day, often with the support of mods and with enhanced ports. While Chocolate Doom has multiplayer capabilities, it is both extremely limited in game modes (as was the original), and lacks a permanent online player base; playing multiplayer with Chocolate Doom will almost certainly require setting up a game with friends.

The most popular ports for playing online multiplayer, all of which with an active player base are (in alphabetical order):

For a more complete guide, please see How to play Doom online multiplayer.