Brad Harding edited this page Sep 13, 2018 · 10 revisions

As with all DOOM source ports, DOOM Retro doesn’t come with any actual maps. Before you can start using DOOM Retro, map data (in the form of an “IWAD file”) first needs to be obtained by purchasing an official release of DOOM or DOOM II, such as from Steam or Once you have a version of DOOM installed on your PC, you then need to let DOOM Retro know where these maps are. You can do this by using either the WAD launcher or the command-line.

The simplest way to start a game in DOOM Retro is to double-click on the doomretro.exe icon directly. A dialog box will open asking you “where’s all the data”. Navigate to where DOOM or DOOM II: Hell On Earth was installed and select one of the following IWAD files that DOOM Retro supports:

doom1.wad DOOM Shareware
doom.wad DOOM Registered or The Ultimate DOOM
doom2.wad DOOM II: Hell On Earth
nerve.wad1 DOOM II: No Rest For The Living
plutonia.wad Final DOOM: The Plutonia Experiment
tnt.wad Final DOOM: TNT – Evilution

DOOM Retro also supports the countless number of third-party WADs — called PWADs (or “Patch WADs”) — made by members of the DOOM community over the past 20+ years. PWADs need one of the above IWADs in order to work.2 To open a PWAD, click on it, and then CTRL-click on the IWAD from the list above that it was designed for. With the two WAD files selected, click the “Open” button.

If a PWAD is selected on its own, DOOM Retro will try to automatically open the IWAD it requires if both WADs are in the same folder, or if DOOM Retro has previously been shown where the IWAD is.

The next time DOOM Retro is run, the folder that you’ve navigated to before will open again.

Alternatively, you may want to create shortcuts for each WAD that you own. To do this, right-click on the doomretro.exe icon and then click “Create shortcut”. A new file called doomretro.exe – Shortcut.lnk will be created. Right-click on its icon and then click “Properties”. At the end of the text in the “Target” field, add the –iwad command-line parameter, a space, and then the full path of your chosen IWAD file. For example:

doomretro.exe -iwad C:\DOOM\doom.wad

To load a PWAD as well, use the –file command-line parameter, like in the following example:

doomretro.exe -iwad C:\DOOM2\doom2.wad -file C:\wads\brigandine.wad

Double-clicking on the shortcut’s icon will then load the WAD(s) with DOOM Retro.

1nerve.wad is actually a PWAD, but DOOM Retro will treat it as an IWAD. It requires doom2.wad to be present in the same folder.
2PWADs may not be used with DOOM Shareware.

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