Status bar


The status bar is displayed at the bottom of the screen during gameplay and shows the player's status. The status bar can be removed from the screen by maximising the viewport, although it is still visible in automap mode. In the very first alpha version of Doom, the status bar framed the entire screen and was a visual representation of the player character's visor.

Doom games status bar[edit]

Status bar

In the Doom games the status bar is made of a cement-like texture overlaid with large red characters for key information, graphics for the face of the protagonist, and smaller yellow characters for additional information.

  • Ammo: The remaining ammo of the currently selected weapon, in large red characters.
  • Health: The player's health in large red characters. This can range from zero to 200 percent. If it is reduced to zero percent the player dies.
  • Arms: The weapons currently possessed by the player (except fists, chainsaw and super shotgun), in small yellow characters. These correspond to the keys pressed to activate them.
    • In deathmatch mode, the arms display is replaced by a frag display showing the player's current accumulated kills in large red characters. Further, the background color of the player face is changed to match the player's uniform color.
  • Graphics of the protagonist's face. This gives an immediate indicator of health and also reacts to events such as damage to the player. Specifically, if the player is hurt, the face turns and looks in the direction of the attack; a new weapon causes the face to grin briefly; and as health falls, the face becomes more beaten and bloodied. If the player has activated iddqd or the invulnerability cheat, or picks up the invulnerability powerup, the face has glowing golden eyes while idle. Gaining more than 20 points of health while taking damage will result in the Ouch face appearing.
  • Armor: The current amount of armoring that protects the player, in large red characters. This can range from zero to 200 percent (and, in versions of Doom prior to v1.2, a much larger value).
  • Graphics of the keys obtained by the player for the current level.
  • The remaining and maximum ammo for all four ammunition types (bullets, shells, rockets and energy cells), in small yellow characters.
  • When "spy mode" is used in cooperative multiplayer games, the status bar remains that of the "spying" player.


STDISK visible at level start-up
An example of a custom status bar. This example is taken from the PWAD A Fistful of Doom.

The status bar code in the Doom source code is responsible not only for drawing the status bar, but also performs the palette special effects when injured or picking up items, and detects the entry of cheat codes.

Pre-release versions of Doom showed messages to the player and multiplayer chat being performed inside the status bar. This was moved to the heads-up display; however, the Doom source includes leftover variables relating to "status bar chat" and the message display.

In the source code, ST_* is used as a prefix for files and functions associated with the status bar. This trend continues in the IWAD file, where graphic resources relating to the status bar begin with ST. The following resources are used for the status bar:

The main status bar graphic.
Small grey numbers used for weapons not yet possessed. The graphics for 1, 8, 9 and 0 are present but never used.
Large numbers, used for health, armor, frags, and ammo displays.
Negative symbol for large text.
Percent symbol for large text.
Small yellow numbers to indicate weapons possessed (also used for total ammo display).
Icons used for the key display.
Floppy disk graphic used when accessing the disk.
CD-ROM graphic used when accessing a CD-ROM.
The STBAR graphic includes a frags box. This box is overwritten by the STARMS graphic containing the weapons inventory when not in deathmatch mode.
Used as backgrounds behind the face graphics in multiplayer mode, with the color corresponding to the player's color.
Player face graphics.

Older versions[edit]

The setup above is valid for Doom v1.2 and later. In v1.1 and earlier, the status bar is composed of the following images:

Left part of the main status bar graphic, showing the ammo and health blocks.
Right part of the main status bar graphic, showing the frags box, the mugshot, the armor, keys, and global ammo blocks.
Left part of a status bar meant for the automap, showing the score. This is a remnant of abandoned design ideas from the pre-release versions.
Right part of the automap status bar, showing currently owned weapon. This too is development garbage.
A large box covering the right part of the automap, used to display messages. This can be seen in the beta, but was abandoned as well.
Weapon graphics, in the order shotgun, chaingun, rocket launcher, plasma rifle, chainsaw, BFG 9000, apparently created by shrinking the pickup sprites.

Heretic status bar[edit]

  • Life (or Kill in deathmatch)
  • Ammo
  • Keys
  • Artifacts' Inventory
  • Armor
  • Health Chain (equivalent to Doom's player face)

Hexen status bar[edit]

  • Life (or Kill in deathmatch)
  • Blue Mana (equivalent to ammo)
  • Green Mana
  • Artifacts' Inventory
  • Ultimate Weapon Pieces (Quietus, Wraithverge or Bloodscourge)
  • Armor Class (A.C.)
  • Health Chain

Strife status bar[edit]

Strife status bar

  • Armor type and amount
  • Health
  • Inventory items
  • Sigil pieces
  • Ammo type and amount

See also[edit]