Black Mesa

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Black Mesa
Black Mesa Cover.jpg
Release dates
September 14, 2012
Black Mesa at Steam Charts
Black Mesa at SteamDB
 Black Mesa at Wikipedia
Half-Life 1998
Half-Life: Opposing Force 1999
Half-Life: Blue Shift 2001
Half-Life: Decay (unofficial port/mod) 2001
Half-Life: Source 2004
Half-Life 2 2004
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch 2004
Half-Life 2: Lost Coast 2005
Half-Life Deathmatch: Source 2006
Half-Life 2: Episode One 2006
Half-Life 2: Episode Two 2007
Black Mesa (unofficial mod) 2012

This page is for the unofficial Source engine mod. For the original, see Half-Life. For the Source remake, see Half-Life: Source.

Key points

Advantage Runs on low end hardware.

General information

More information Official website
More information Black Mesa Forum
More information Black Mesa In-Game Issues Forum
More information Black Mesa Wiki
More information Unofficial Half-Life Wiki


Source DRM Notes Keys
Developer website DRM-free Free download.
Information All versions require Steam and the Source SDK Base 2007.

Essential improvements[edit]

Maps left out of the game[edit]

Several maps weren't ported to Black Mesa, but the following user mods add them to the game:

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]


Save game data location[edit]

Windows <path-to-game>\SAVE

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud Unknown
GameSave Manager Native

Video settings[edit]

Graphics option Option Notes
Widescreen resolution Native
Multi-monitor Native
Field of view (FOV) Native
Windowed Native
Borderless fullscreen windowed Hackable Launch the game with -window -noborder parameter
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Native
Anti-aliasing (AA) Native
Vertical sync (Vsync) Native
High frame rate Native No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[1]

Borderless fullscreen windowed[edit]

Fix -window -noborder

  1. Right-click on the game in your Steam library and select Properties.
  2. Select Set Launch Options and enter: -window -noborder.
  3. Press OK and launch the game.
Information If you experience stuttering, disable Windows Aero.

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native
Mouse acceleration Native Default is off. Can be toggled with m_customaccel from console
Mouse input in menus Native
Mouse Y-axis inversion Native
Controller support Native
Full controller support Unknown
Controller remapping Unknown
Controller Y-axis inversion Unknown

Audio settings[edit]

Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native Game and music.
Surround sound Native 7.1 support.
Subtitles Native
Closed captions Native Further improved by this user patch.
Mute on focus lost Native


Language UI Audio CC Notes
English Native Native Native
Italian Native Impossible Native
Spanish Native Impossible Native
Norwegian Native Impossible Native
German Native Impossible Native
Finnish Native Impossible Native
Turkish Impossible Impossible Native Fan translation, see Turkish.


Information A Turkish fan patch is available here.

Issues fixed[edit]

Lagspikes and performance issues[edit]

Information Major lagspikes and stuttering with 100% usage of core 1, and less on the remaining cores.
Disadvantage Unable to select anything in options menu regarding Multi-core rendering (no options to select).

Fix Quadcore CPU Affinity

Information Possibly only works with quad-core CPUs.
Information Windows 8 users need to go the details-tab instead of processes.
  1. Go to Task Manager.
  2. Click the processes tab.
  3. Find the hl2.exe process.
  4. Right click > Set Affinity... > select all cores but one

Fix Game Not Opening

  1. Install Source SDK Base 2007.
  2. Try opening the game again, it should work this time.

Purple and black broken textures[edit]

Information A generic fix for this issue can be found on our Source engine page.

Issues unresolved[edit]

'Could not load library client'[edit]

Information A large thread has been created to attempt to fix this issue. No conclusive fix has been found yet.
Information Some users report this fix works.
Disadvantage This error occurs at launch.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 6, 7, 8, 8.1, 9
Shader Model support 2, 3
64-bit executable Impossible


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok Heavily modified variant.
Audio Miles Sound System
Cutscenes Bink Video

Source SDK Base 2007[edit]

Fix Source SDK Base 2007

Advantage The Source SDK Base 2007 is a Engine:Source tool which is available to all users for free.[2]
  1. In the Steam client, go to Game Library.
  2. Click 'All Games' drop down menu next to Search Bar.
  3. Click on Tools.
  4. Find Source SDK Base 2007 and select install.
  5. Run the Black Mesa installation.

Console commands[edit]

Information Games running on the Source engine can utilize Source Engine Console Commands for various tasks.

Fix Enabling the console in Source games

  1. Launch the game
  2. From the main menu select Options
  3. Select the Keyboard tab
  4. Click the Advanced button
  5. Check the box next to Enable developer console (~)
  6. Click Apply


Information Press ~ to open the console.
Information Some commands may first require you enabling sv_cheats. You can do so with sv_cheats 1.
Disadvantage Users without a US keyboard could experience some problems.
Information You can also have the console open by default on launch by following this guide:

Fix -console

  1. Find the game in your Steam Library
  2. Right-click the game name
  3. Select Properties
  4. Select Set Launch Options...
  5. Input -console
  6. Press OK
  7. Launch the game

Launch options[edit]

Information View this Steam Support Article regarding launch options as well as the relevant Valve Developer wiki page for further information and a list of useful Source engine launch options.

Fix Enabling a launch parameter

  1. Find the game in your Steam Library
  2. Right-click the game name
  3. Select Properties
  4. Select Set Launch Options...
  5. Input your selected launch options and separate each command with a space
  6. Press OK
  7. Launch the game

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS)
XP, Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) Pentium 4 3.0 GHz, or AMD processor Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or AMD equivalent.
System memory (RAM) 1 GB 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
8 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI 9600
NVidia 6600
Shader model 2.0 support
ATI X1600
NVidia 7600
Shader model 3.0 support
Information Hard drive space required does not include the Source SDK 2007.


  1. New 120Hz Games Report
  2. Black Mesa torrent file with updated trackers - r/gaming on reddit