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This article tells you how to install the full version of The Dark Mod. If you are installing one of the demos: Thief's Den or Saint Lucia, then you can ignore this page. Instead, follow the instructions here: Thief's Den Installation or Saint Lucia Installation.


You'll need to install the Doom 3 patch 1.3.1 otherwise the Mod won't run. Furthermore, the new BFG edition of Doom 3 does not offer mod support, so this is a no go.



At a minimum, you'll need a machine which is capable of running the Doom 3 game on comfortably high settings. The team recommends adding more RAM and a bit more CPU to the basic requirements, however, otherwise running the larger maps will be difficult.

Operating System

  • Windows (2000/XP/Vista/Win7)
  • Linux
  • MacOSX

Doom 3 Patch 1.3.1

In order to run The Dark Mod, you need to have the v1.3.1 patch for Doom 3 installed. See the download section below for links, please use these links as there are some bad versions of this patch floating around some sites. Steam copies of Doom3 will already have the correct version and do not need to worry about this.
  • Linux users: make sure that the install path for Doom 3 is all lowercase (e.g. /usr/local/lib/doom3).
  • Non-English Windows users: Some combinations of Doom 3 English and a non-English version of Windows can result in the patch installer having trouble or not offering an English option, please see this forum thread.

Hard Disk Space

A rough estimate of how disk space required is 3-4gb. As TDM is under continual development this is likely to increase slowly over time.
Breakdown of the estimate:
  • Doom 3 installation : 1.5 GB.
  • For the base TDM package you need another 2 GB.
  • Plus a variable amount of space you need for downloaded FM packages.
  • Plus a variable amount of space for screenshots, savegames, etc.
  • FM's (Fan Mission) sizes vary as they depends on the amount of custom content(models, textures etc) the FM author is packing in. Usually FMs are very small, if they're using the stock TDM content (1 to 10 MB). FM's with large amounts of custom content can be quite large (20-60mb+), all content however is pre-compressed. For more information please see Fan Missions for The_ Dark Mod.
  • Savegames vary in size, they can be a few MB per save depending on the size of the FM.
  • Screenshots depend on the screen resolution you're using (~2 MB per shot).


See the article Known System Configurations for a (hopefully growing) collection of system configurations and the corresponding user feedback.

Installing The Dark Mod

Install on Windows

You need a working and patched Doom 3 installation (non BFG edition) on your hard drive. These steps will assume that you installed Doom 3 in the folder C:\Games\Doom3. If you are using a Steam version of Doom3 please read this FAQ note.

  1. Create a darkmod folder in your Doom 3 directory, like this: C:\Games\Doom3\darkmod\
  2. Download the TDM Updater from one of our mirrors.
  3. Extract tdm_update.exe from the downloaded ZIP and copy it into your C:\Games\Doom3\darkmod\ folder.
  4. Run tdm_update.exe. The installer will connect to our download mirrors and start the download process.
  5. Be patient and wait. The download weighs about 1.7 GB will take a while.
  6. If you see error messages about corrupt files, please try to run the updater again, these massive downloads are sometimes failing.
  7. After installation, you'll find an executable tdmlauncher.exe in your darkmod folder, i.e. C:\Games\Doom3\darkmod\tdmlauncher.exe. Use this to start The Dark Mod.

Note for Windows 2000 users: please install the GDI+ redistributable package, as described here: TDM in Windows 2000

Install on Linux

  1. You need the native version of Doom 3 (non BFG edition) installed and patched to v1.3.1, see below for download links and install instructions.
  2. Since there is no 64 bit version of either Doom 3 or The DarkMod, on 64 bit systems you also need the 32 bit compatibility libraries installed. On some distributions like SuSE, these are included in the default installation, but on Kubuntu/Ubuntu you need to install the package called ia32-lib and all its dependencies. Otherwise, even the installer for Doom 3 will fail to run.
  3. Create a folder ~/.doom3/darkmod in your home directory. Mind the dot in the path.
  4. Download the Linux version of the TDM Updater and save it to ~/.doom3/darkmod/
  5. Extract tdm_update.linux: unzip
  6. Make tdm_update.linux executable: chmod +x tdm_update.linux
  7. Run the updater: ./tdm_update.linux It will connect to our mirrors and download the packages for you.
  1. If you get an error about GLIBCXX_3.4.9, delete or rename the files /usr/local/games/doom3/ and /usr/local/games/doom3/

Install on Mac OSX

  1. Ensure that Doom 3 (non BFG edition) is patched to v1.3.1 RevA (which provides native support for Intel processors), see below for links.
  2. It is recommended that the "Doom 3" program folder is installed into the Application Support folder (i.e. ~/Library/Application Support/Doom 3/). If Doom 3 is installed into a different location then additional steps will need to be followed.
  3. Download
  4. Move the resulting "darkmod" folder to the "Doom 3" folder (alongside "Doom" and the "base" folder).
  5. Within the darkmod folder, double-click the tdm_update_helper.command file to begin downloading the latest release of TDM (approx 2GB).
  6. Start The Dark Mod using the tdmlauncher_helper.command script in your ~/Library/Application Support/Doom 3/darkmod folder.

Using a custom Doom 3 location

Until idTech4 is open sourced, there is some dependency on the Application Support folder, where FMs are currently downloaded to. If the Doom 3 folder is not located within Application Support, you'll need to do the following to allow TDM to function as intended:

  1. Open up a terminal window (if you don't know how to do this, type 'terminal' into the SpotLight search bar and press 'Enter' to run the terminal application).
  2. Type the command cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Doom\ 3/ and press the 'Enter' key.
  3. Enter the command 'mkdir darkmod' and then 'cd darkmod' to change to the new darkmod directory.
  4. Create a symbolic link with the command ln /folder/darkmod/tdmlauncher.macosx tdmlauncher.macosx where /folder/ is the path to your "Doom 3" program folder.
  5. You should now be able to launch TDM by double clicking the tdmlauncher_helper.command script in your "Doom 3" program folder where TDM has downloaded.


export TDMDIR=`dirname "$0"`
exec "$TDMDIR/tdmlauncher.macosx" "$TDMDIR/../Doom 3"


export TDMDIR=`dirname "$0"`
cd "$TDMDIR"
chmod +x tdm_update.macosx
exec ./tdm_update.macosx 

Known issues

The automatic restart (when installing a FM, or restarting from the Graphics screen) currently fails to relaunch TDM v1.06 occasionally. If this happens, TDM will need to be launched manually by running the launcher program or script.

Alternative Download Methods

If you have troubles running tdm_update, you can see if this page helps you. Otherwise, you can also use other download methods to get a initial copy of the mod. Visit TDM Downloads.

Launching The Dark Mod

Use the tdmlauncher application to run The Dark Mod. This small application will take care of launching the Doom 3 process with the correct command line arguments. TDM Launcher is available for all supported platforms.

  • Windows: C:\Games\Doom3\darkmod\tdmlauncher.exe
  • Linux: ~/.doom3/darkmod/tdmlauncher.linux
    • Before it can be run the first time, you must make tdmlauncher.linux executable:
      chmod +x ~/.doom3/darkmod/tdmlauncher.linux
  • Mac OSX: ~/Library/Application Support/Doom 3/darkmod/tdmlauncher.macosx
    • Before it can be run the first time, you must make tdmlauncher.macosx executable:
      chmod +x ~/Library/Application Support/Doom 3/darkmod/tdmlauncher.macosx

Note: The tdmlauncher application will also be used by the game itself when installing/re-installing/un-installing FM packages, so please don't delete tdmlauncher.

Troubleshooting TDM Launcher

The tdmlauncher executable will generate a small logfile tdmlauncher.log each time it is invoked. The log file is located right next to the executable and might give some useful insight if the game fails to load.

Passing custom command line arguments

Some people like to have custom command line arguments to the game, which is supported by tdmlauncher. Open the dmargs.txt in your darkmod folder and add any arguments you'd like TDM Launcher to pass to the Doom3 command line.

First Startup

  • Please take your time to read through The Dark Mod Gameplay article to get familiar with the game.
  • TDM ships with a Training Mission which is designed to introduce you to TDM gameplay. You should start this mission first even if you've played stealth games before.
  • Adjust the settings in the menus, like screen resolution and gameplay settings.
  • See also the Performance Tweaks article to make TDM run a little bit faster if you're on a lower end machine.
  • If you encounter a problem please check the FAQ and failing that leave a post in the TDM Support forum.

Installing and Running Fan Missions

Fan Missions can be downloaded from inside the TDM menu. Go to "New Mission" and click on "Get new missions".

Alternatively, you can go to to get hold of mission packages available for The Dark Mod. Each FM is contained in a PK4 file, which contains all the files necessary to run the mission. Sometimes missions also have an optional _l10n.pk4 file, this contains the content for all other languages than English.

  1. Download the mission PK4 file - (IE7 may rename PK4s to zip, dont worry TDM looks for both pk4's and zip's).
  2. Drop the file into the fms/ folder, e.g. C:\Games\doom3\darkmod\fms\ or ~/.doom3/darkmod/fms
  3. Launch The Dark Mod.
  4. The mission should now be listed in your New Mission menu.
  5. Highlight the mission and select Install to install. TDM will automatically restart.
  6. Select New Mission and then Start this Mission on the upper left.

See the full article Installing and Running Fan Missions for a detailed explanation.

DoomConfig.cfg Howto

Game configuration settings are stored in the file DoomConfig.cfg but there is one in every FM folder as well as base and darkmod folders. Normally you just use the Settings menu but if you want to manually change or add any settings you should read DoomConfig.cfg to see how they all integrate together or you may lose some settings if you edit the wrong way.


See also