S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
Shadow of Chernobyl Box.jpg
Developers
Publishers
 
Engines
Release dates
Windows
March 20, 2007
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl at Steam Charts
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl at SteamDB
 S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl at Wikipedia
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl 2007
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky 2008
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat 2010
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Lost Alpha (Unofficial) 2014

Key points

Information Installing ZRP is greatly recommended as it eliminates most bugs without modifying the game's experience.
Advantage Large modding community.[1][2]
Information Use the Multi-Patch to replace GameSpy features that are being shut down on June 30, 2014.

General information

More information Official website
More information The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Wiki
More information GOG.com Community Discussions
More information GOG.com Support Page
More information Steam Community Discussions
More information Steam Users' Forums
More information Official forums
More information TweakGuides guide

Availability[edit]

Source(s) Store unlock Notes
Amazon.com Retail
GamersGate Gamersgate.png DRM: SecuROM
GOG.com DRM-free
Steam Steamicon.png

Best version[edit]

The GOG.com version is DRM-free and includes all languages except Polish; other versions only have selected languages depending on the digital distributor or purchasing region.

Essential improvements[edit]

Patches[edit]

Multi-Patch[edit]

The Multi-Patch replaces the GameSpy master servers and optionally forces Vsync. The Steam version is already patched.

v1.0005[edit]

Information This is the latest official patch for the game. It is best suited overall for Single Player as most multiplayer servers use v1.0006

v1.0006[edit]

Information Although this is an official patch, it was recalled by the developers due to the extra bugs it caused. It should only be used to gain the optimal multiplayer experience from the game (most servers use v1.0006). Do NOT install this patch otherwise

v1.0004[edit]

Information Some mods only work with v1.0004. Only use this patch if those mods have no updated version that work with newer versions of the game
Information For a guide on how to downgrade a copy of the game from v1.0005 to v1.0004, see Downgrading to v1.0004
Downgrading to v1.0004[edit]

Fix Downgrading to 1.0004Link

  1. Open the Registry Editor:
    • Vista and newer: open the Start screen/Start menu, type regedit and press Enter.
    • Windows XP: press Win+R, type regedit and press Enter.
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\GSC Game World\STALKER-SHOC
  3. If you can't find it there, search for "installvers".
  4. If there is no "InstallLang" value located here, you need to add a string and enter the language code you use (for the US version, this is "en").
  5. Install the 1.0004 patch from above links (choose the version corresponding to the main language used in-game) which will install the files into a THQ folder in your Program Files by default.
  6. Copy all these files into your STALKER installation's gamedata folder.
  7. If you encounter an error saying the patch can only be used for "[en]", then replace the aforementioned language value with whatever is it in the brackets in the error message.
  8. Delete gamedata.dbc and gamedata.dbd as these are 1.0006 only files.

Skip intro videos[edit]

Fix Start game with -nointro parameter

Modifications[edit]

The STALKER series has garnered a dedicated following which includes a very active modding community, most of which is based in Russia. Translations are available for most of the popular mods. The best way to determine which type of mod you will enjoy is by first trying the vanilla game out (with ZRP for bugfixes). Below are some basic recommendations.

Fix Preparing the game for modsLink

To use mods with STALKER, you will first need to edit your fsgame.ltx - file found under the game's install folder.

  1. Navigate to a folder, where the game is installed.
  2. Open fsgame.ltx with a text editor.
  3. Find line:
    $game_data$ = false| true| $fs_root$| gamedata
  4. Change it to:
    $game_data$ = true| true| $fs_root$| gamedata

Notes:

Information If the mod comes with an executable, you may need to point it manually to the correct installation folder. If it comes as a file package, extract and copy the mod's contents into your gamedata folder.
Information To patch your mod or to add new ones on top, overwrite and merge your installation's gamedata folder with the new one.

Fix Using Smart Mod ManagerLink

Download the program at Codeplex. The program installs the mods from .zip or directly from the folder. It will warn you if there are issues with other mods combined; then you have to choose one of them.

  1. First select the game (Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl or Stalker Clear Sky)
  2. Set up the right language, version and folder of the game
  3. Go to the gametab and install mods from .zip or folder.
Information Enable/Disable mods also possible in the manager

Below is a list of popular mods:

  • Zone Reclamation Project is a bug fix mod that tries to keep the game as vanilla as possible. Heavily recommended on a first playthrough.
  • Float32 adds many new features while increasing performance. It changes nothing about gameplay or looks (except high-quality effects) and is widely considered a must. It is also included in many large overhaul mods for SoC, so research first before trying to merge it with other mods.
  • Shaders MAX - is a mod that improves both looks and performance of the game. It includes Float32 as a component, along with other various shader mods. Be wary when trying to combine with other mods which may already contain their own shader improvements.
  • Complete Mod 2012 is one of the most popular but also controversial mods. It contains major bug fixes, A.I improvements, upgraded shaders, new higher resolution textures, sounds, music, weather and visual effects but also a large amount of important changes to the gameplay core that may spoil the STALKER experience for some. A list of changes can be found on its MODDB page.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

  Location 
Windows %PUBLIC%\Documents\STALKER-SHOC
Information CD key, language and GameSpy ID are stored in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\GSC Game World\STALKER-SHOC

Save game data location[edit]

  Location 
Windows %PUBLIC%\Documents\STALKER-SHOC\savedgames
Information You can modify the save game data location by editing fsgame.ltx in gamedata.

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud Impossible
GameSave Manager Native

Video settings[edit]

Basic video settings
Advanced video settings (Vsync and 60Hz frequency not visible)
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Native WSGF WS Silver.svg Some HUD elements may be stretched.
Multi-monitor Native WSGF MM Silver.svg Some HUD elements may be stretched.
Field of view (FOV) Hackable See Field of view (FOV)
Windowed Native
Borderless fullscreen windowed Hackable Use GameCompanion or similar software.
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Native
Anti-aliasing (AA) Impossible A slider is included but doesn't actually work.
Vertical sync (Vsync) Hackable In-game Vsync option is broken.[3] Use the Multi-Patch to fix it.
High frame rate Native No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[4]

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Fix Install FOV SwitcherLink

  1. Download FOV Switcher and extract it.
  2. Copy the appropriate exe file to the BIN folder inside of the installation folder and launch it.

Notes:

Information It's highly recommended not to play online with the FOV hack installed.
Information To restore the settings to default, use the patcher again.

Input settings[edit]

Controls menu
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native
Mouse acceleration Impossible
Mouse input in menus Native
Mouse Y-axis inversion Native
Controller
Controller support Impossible

Audio settings[edit]

Audio menu
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native SFX and music only.
Surround sound Native Up to 7.0 output[5]
Subtitles Impossible
Closed captions Impossible
Mute on focus lost Native
EAX support Native EAX 2.0

Localizations

Language UI Audio CC Notes
English Native Native Native Some unimportant non-conversation speech is Russian (e.g. jokes).
French Native Native Native
German Native Unknown Native
Italian Native Unknown Native
Polish Native Native Native Only available in Polish retail release. Not available digitally.
Russian Native Native Native Steam version only has Russian in Russian version.
Spanish Native Unknown Native
Turkish Native Impossible Native A Turkish fan patch is available here. (Mirror)

Network[edit]

Information Multiplayer servers can optionally use BattlEye anti-cheat protection.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play Native 32
Online play Native 32 Use the Multi-Patch to replace the GameSpy master server.

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Matchmaking Impossible
Peer-to-peer Native
Dedicated Native
Self-hosting Native
Direct IP Native

Ports

Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP (outbound) 3783, 6515, 6667, 13139, 27900, 28900, 29900, 29901

Other information[edit]

Optimal settings[edit]

Information An easy way to improve visuals and reduce random stuttering is to lower Vision- and Lighting distance, plus Object-Quality bar to around 50%. Again quality difference is minimal, but fps improves. Reducing the Grass Density a point or two also may help stuttering outdoors.

Remove head bob[edit]

Fix Edit User.LTXLink

  1. Open User.LTX with a text editor.
  2. Change cam_inert to 0.

Notes:

Information It can also be changed while in game using the console cam_inert X where X stand as a value, which you might want to translate into 0.1

Enable FPS counter[edit]

Fix Use command consoleLink

  1. Open in-game console by pressing ~.
  2. Type in: rs_stats 1

Shorter load times[edit]

Fix Start game with -noprefetch parameter

Shadow Glitch Fix[edit]

Information Altering this setting can fix a shadow glitch that usually occurs at widescreen resolutions.

Fix Edit User.LTXLink

  1. Open User.LTX with a text editor.
  2. Change r2_sun_near_border from the default 0.66 to 1.0.

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS)
2000 SP4, XP SP2
Processor (CPU) AMD Athlon XP 2200+
Intel Pentium IV 2.0 GHz
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400
System memory (RAM) 512 MB 1.5 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
10 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon 9600
Nvidia GeForce 5700
128 MB of VRAM
ATI Radeon X1850
Nvidia GeForce 7900
256 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible

References

  1. Stalker Mods, Stalker Maps, Stalker Downloads
  2. Mods - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl Game - Mod DB
  3. TweakGuides.com - STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl Tweak Guide - In-Game Settings (Pt.2)
  4. New 120Hz Games Report
  5. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up