General FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Single-Player       •       Deathmatch       •       Co-operative

The Project

What is Black Mesa?

Black Mesa is a total conversion of Half-Life 2, retelling the original game of Half-Life. Utilizing the Source engine and its endless array of possibilities and powers, Black Mesa will throw you into the world that started the Half-Life continuum and introduced Gordon Freeman, the gun-toting, bullet-dodging Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics. Check the About the Mod page for more details.

The Single-Player portion of the game was released exactly at September 14, 2012 - 8:47 AM MDT [1] (a reference to the time that Gordon Freeman is riding the tram), and the soundtrack was released two weeks before the actual game release date [2]. See the History of the Mod for more info about its development history.

Which version of Source is used in the Mod?

The Orange Box version (Source SDK 2007, used in Half-Life 2: Episode Two) [3].

However, for the upcoming Steam release, Black Mesa is being ported to the Source 2013 engine, which supports Valve's SteamPipe content distribution system and can be run on Mac OS and Linux [4], although the Black Mesa Dev Team currently has no plan to support Mac and Linux natively [5].

The retail version of Black Mesa will use an even newer, undisclosed version of the Source engine [6].

What I need in order to play Black Mesa?

The only requirement to play Black Mesa is to have Source SDK Base 2007 installed on Steam. If you don't have it installed when you try to launch Black Mesa, Steam will download it for you [7]. For more details, see the full list of System Requirements.

How much does Black Mesa cost?

Black Mesa is a free modification; the developers will never charge you for playing mainly because they wouldn't want to make people pay to play. As long as you have Steam installed on your computer, Black Mesa will cost you nothing. - To understand why there is now a free and paid version, Please visit our community forums, ideally, this dated thread to understand why we went retail:

However, Valve has granted the Dev Team permission to sell Black Mesa as a retail game on Steam. They will also continue to update and support the free mod version [8].

Download and Installation Information

How large is the download size?

The download size is 3.8 GB. When uncompressed and installed, approximately 8 GB [9].

Where can I download the mod?

Refer the Dowload page for a list of multiple mirrors and options for download.

Can I download it via Steam? / When will Black Mesa be on Steam?

Black Mesa has been accepted on Steam, via Steam Greenlight, but when the mod will be available in that platform is entirely up to Valve [10] (Valve Time, you know...).

What are the step by step installation instructions?

Please check the Installation Manual for detailed instructions on how install the game.


What's the current build number?

The latest build (revision) number along with overall statistics can be viewed here.

Will BM get regular updates like Half-Life 2 and Episodes if needed?

Patch support is planned. [11]

Will Black Mesa be ported to Xbox360, Mac or another platform?

At the moment Black Mesa supports only PCs powered by Microsoft Windows operating system [12]. The Source 2013 engine, to which the upcoming release of Black Mesa has been ported, supports both Mac and Linux, but the Black Mesa Dev Team currently has no plan to support Mac and Linux natively. However, they will release the mod's source code after the new version is released, so dedicated fans would be able to port it if they want to [13].

There is no plan for Black Mesa to come to consoles at this time.

So the single-player didn't have a public beta, but will the multiplayer?

Black Mesa: Deathmatch is likely to be released as a public beta, independent to its single-player counterpart [14]. However, we have no idea when this will be, as again it is a case of "when it's ready" [15].

How about the Co-Operative gameplay? Is it still in plan?

Co-op development is ceased at the moment [16]. It could potentially arrive after the release of SP, but would not be made by the Black Mesa official team. [17]

Is there any kind of Developer Commentary, like in Half-Life 2?

Commentaries were not included in the first release of the mod [18]. However it was confirmed that several developers were working on it [19], and they could possibly be included in future updates [20].

Is the team going to be working on other games once Black Mesa is complete?

Most likely, no. Other projects may be taken on by a portion of the original team, but more remakes are unlikely.

Also, the Black Mesa Team is not working on remakes of Opposing Force or Blue Shift. There already are other teams currently working on these remakes (for more info, please see their ModDB pages: Operation Black Mesa and Guard Duty, respectively).

The Single-Player Release

Can I finally see the revamped and top secret Xen?!?

No. In the first release you can play from the chapter Black Mesa Inbound to Lambda Core [21]. The game ends when you jump in the portal to Xen [22].

Would Xen be completely removed? / When it will be released?

No. Development on Xen is already underway and developers hope to have it finished up in a reasonable timeframe [23], but it's "still a ways off" [24].

So the mod will be released in a series of episodes?

Not exactly. The second part of the Single-Player will be released in the form of an update that adds the Xen chapters to Black Mesa. It will make the transition from Lambda Core to Xen seamless [25].

Offering Help

Which languages are provided in Black Mesa? May I help with translating the mod?

Currently Black Mesa supports only English for voices and subtitles in: English, Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian and Spanish.

There already exists a group of volunteers engaged in a mod translation project. For more detais, refer the Translation Topic in the forum.

The mod is free, I know... But I really want to give you money to help with the development. What can I do?

If you are still insistent on giving us money, see the donations page.

Some time in the near future, a retail version of Black Mesa will be coming to Steam alongside the free mod version. If you want to support the team, buy that version when it is released [26].

Jobs | Contact Us

Are you currently hiring <insert your field of development>?

Thank you for your interest in working with the Black Mesa team. While the Black Mesa team is not currently in a hiring mode, they are always on the lookout for new and exciting talent. If you have a gift, passion and drive to exceed all boundaries presented to you in a game development world, send us an email at [email protected] We will be expecting to see examples of your work so be sure to showcase your best assets by providing links to prior projects and screenshots of your work.

Due to the volume of highly qualified applications, management will not be able to respond to each individual applicant. Applicants will only be contacted if they have been chosen for an interview.

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Single-Player       •       Deathmatch       •       Co-operative
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