Categories group related pages by topic. They are a feature of MediaWiki, and thus exist on numerous wikis.

This page describes category organization specific to the Doom Wiki. For help with basic actions like navigation and linking, see Wikipedia's instructions, or the detailed tutorial in Wikipedia: The Missing Manual.


There is no step-by-step categorization algorithm; intuition and common sense always enter. Ordinarily, a closely related page already exists as a model, which may be found by navigating downward from broad categories. Otherwise the primary motive is reader comprehension, which may — at least occasionally — justify exceptions to any guideline below or any implemented precedent.

Category links are one navigation option among several, and therefore should not simply restate connections already shown in navboxes, prose wikilinks, or keyword searches. Taxonomically, categories are more likely to incorporate abstractions, such as software functionality or hobbyist activities, whereas navboxes tend to be rooted in particular events, such as the formation of a company or the release of a game.

In theory, the category hierarchy is unidirectional (no loops, no subcategorizations jumping back up to a much higher level) and largely stratified by general topic below the first level or two. These are human-driven criteria, unenforced by MediaWiki; anyone mass-creating categories should double-check for nonlinear relationships that could confuse readers.

Complete stratification is unrealistic because it would not reflect Doomers' behavior: one trend can easily cross domains. For example, Category:New features has a technical parent, because it involves code development, and a community parent, because the community uses the features to create new mods.

Within the namespaces below, every page should be categorized, but in other namespaces, no page should be. (Very rarely, a talk page enters an administrative category for bookkeeping purposes unrelated to the topic.)

Categorizing a page[edit]

If you create a page and are completely uncertain which categories apply, use none. This adds the page to a report for later review.

Unlike on Wikipedia, ordering of displayed links is irrelevant. The efficiency gained by transclusion and automated editing is valued much more.


Typically, multiple subject properties correspond to categories: a map has a title, a slot, a WAD, one or more authors, and may also be a secret map or include multiplayer enhancements or be named after a song.

The narrowest applicable category is often used to the exclusion of its parents (diffusion). On the other hand, it can be informative to "zoom out" to either a small or a large set of peers; for example, Grab is in Category:Exploitable bugs as well as Category:Errors and bugs. Biographical articles are always diffused.

Template-based categories are invisible in the wikitext. Before adding links to a new article, use preview mode to display these additional categories, to prevent redundancy or contradictions.

Redirects should almost never be categorized. An exception is when the alternate name is also the primary name in some narrower context, e.g. Hell Gate.


At minimum, one subcategory for content and another for copyright status will apply; the drop-down in the upload form populates these automatically. If your file matches none of the options, or additional information exists to override defaults (e.g. a Creative Commons license in PWAD documentation), upload it anyway and then edit the file page to replace that category or template. Supplemental groupings such as Category:Title screens must also be linked manually.


Category pages, like almost all pages, are freely editable. That said, if you change category membership at a high level of the "tree", be prepared to explain your reasoning. Category:Categories defines the apex of the tree and must remain uncategorized.

Unlike an image page, an image content category can have a parent outside the image area. For example, Category:PlayStation Final Doom screenshots is under Category:PlayStation as well as Category:Commercial port screenshots.


A sort key should be included when:

  • The title begins with a person's name; place the surname first per our generic American localization, e.g. John Romero includes {{DEFAULTSORT:Romero, John}}.
  • The title begins with a map slot; sort by the map name, or if untitled, the WAD name.
  • The title begins with "A ", "An ", "The ", or a non-English equivalent.
    • Exceptions are possible when a person's handle is used in place of a legal name, and that handle begins with an article.

Lists and outlines sometimes use the sort key "*" to place them at the top of an associated category listing.

Creating a category[edit]

It is never required to create a category before using it, because you can move up the hierarchy to a parent broad enough to contain the article. Therefore, unless you know exactly what you are doing, do not create a category only for the page(s) you have just submitted.

Conversely, although notability has proven difficult to define on this wiki, avoid categories which imply vast content additions e.g. "Zandronum players".

Categories are more difficult to rename or delete than articles, so ensure that typography and grammar are correct when first saved. Use plural or collective nouns to signify a set of things, e.g. "Category:Books" rather than "Category:Book".

Description text should be brief, without restating substantial article content. Citations are unnecessary unless an entity's name is in itself a known controversial subject.

Many categories have a corresponding umbrella article (e.g. Doom 3), but this is discouraged for brand new categories if it simply regurgitates article titles without additional data or narrative.

Categories for people should encompass only public, gaming-related activity, not personal or demographic characteristics.

Creating subcategories[edit]

Most often, we split categories as they grow too large to review and digest easily, rather than by representation of subtopics. Do not be overly systematic about collectively exhaustive divisions: if most of the new categories contain few or no pages, the overhead on navigation outweighs the aesthetic benefit of consistency.

Gameplay entities, such as enemies and weapons, are an exception and may be stratified as soon as source material is available.

Technical information[edit]

Categories can be added anywhere in markup, but conventionally they go at the bottom, so later editors can find them easily.

When many pages are categorized rapidly (e.g. modifying a popular template), links on individual pages change immediately, but the automated category listings can lag behind for minutes or hours. Wikipedia editors have developed workarounds for this, which are not recommended here due to limited server capacity.

On the Doom Wiki, templates and documentation pages are also categorized. This is a specialized and extraordinarily tedious activity, whose only real effect is to speed up maintenance tasks not directly adding or updating encyclopedia content. Most contributors never need such categories.