Wolfenstein 3D Mods 101

To many, Wolfenstein 3D is considered to be the godfather of all first person shooters. While Wolfenstein 3D wasn’t the first game to be in first person, it was definitely the first game to incorporate a gun in the use of a first person perspective in a 3D environment.  Comparing Wolf3D to many of the modern shooters, the basics are still similar. You got your bad guys to kill, a general objective to accomplish, and the same first person perspective that many of us love. Wolfenstein 3D was also released on a staggering 14 different platforms, of all of them, the PC is the most popular.

Wolfenstein 3D

Wolfenstein 3D Running in DosBox

For those who choose to play Wolf3D on the computer, there’s a handful of Source Ports and thousands of mods for you to play and blow nazi’s away. [Ha that rhymed!]

Source Ports

  • Wolf4SDL

Wolf4SDL is an Open Source Port of Wolfenstein 3D in which the Simple DirectMedia
Layer Library that allows the game to be ported to different platforms easier. Beyond that, Wolf4SDL is the primary choice of most players and Modders alike due to alot of reasons, but I’ll list the most important.

Click the Image for Pixelized 1280x800 Awesomeness

  1. High Resolution Support – anything in 4:3 is supported.
  2. (Nearly) unlimited sound and song lengths, the original Wolfenstein 3D is limited to 64kb per song
  3. Optional integrated features for mod developers:  Wolf4SDL already contains the shading, directional 3D sprites,  floor and ceiling textures, high resolution textures/sprites,  parallax sky, cloud sky and outside atmosphere features, which can be easily activated in version
  4. Mods based on this don’t need Dos to run.
  • NewWolf

Put simply, NewWolf is an OpenGL Conversion for Wolfenstein 3D.  It also adds some awesome features like…

Blood Spatter. OOOoooohhh Shiny!

Look at that door!

  1.  The ability to change your resolution in-game
  2. Blood Splatter and Wall-Chunks (chunks that fall off the wall when shot)
  3. Traditional FPS controls using A and D for strafing
  4. 3D Model Support and High Res Texture Support
  • Other Notable Source Ports

  1. WinWolf3D
  2. Wolfenstein 3D – Redux
  3. WolfGL
  4. WolfGL 3D – This one is practically


Wolfenstein 3D mods seem to be the most under publicized mods ever. You never hear anything about them, but you know they exist. What else is really cool about Wolfenstein Mods is that they are as cross platform as the game is – as long as you have a way to play them on your favorite system. Namely the Sega Dreamcast which is still alive and kicking with homebrew releases and had a homebrew port of Wolfenstein 3D – and you know what that means – More Mods! Anyway… without further ado here are some of the coolest and best mods I found in about 2 weeks worth of research!

Before we begin, I would like to share with you what I think makes up a good Wolfenstein 3D Mod

1. Keep the Story Short
After playing 20+ Wolf3D Mods I found that Wolf3D Modders love to write, and alot. Personally, I believe in quality over quantity.

2. I wanna play a mod, not a maze.
I can recall several times in mods where I’m constantly seeing the same thing. This is partially because of the engine and it’s limits, but still it’s super annoying to get lost every time I play a mod, and it can really ruin an otherwise good experience.

3.Please Use Wolf4SDL. 
Even though NewWolf is my personal favorite source port which supports using WASD like a normal FPS. Wolf4SDL ensures you have a similar setup every time you play a mod, so there’s not much of – “I wonder if this mod will work”. Which is a good thing.

4. A Decent Difficulty Level
I’ve plaid mods that are so damn confusing i dont know which way is which, but when i cant beat a mod even on the granny difficulty level… give me a break!

5. Keep the Mod Length at a Medium
This goes hand in hand with my first and second points.

The Mods

Spear Resurrection by AreyeP [R.I.P.] –

This mod instantly made this list because I never felt like I was lost! It’s made on the Wolf4SDL Source Port so I had no trouble running it at 1280 x 800.  It’s just such a great experience with some of the mapping which was really great. It’s definitely a must-play!

Tristania by The Lambda Team

This Mod is based on the Gothic Metal Band Tristania, and is also very well made. I liked it for the pacing of the action, which felt really smooth. We start out in an open area with alot of room to adventure and as we go along we run into more and more baddies, which in turn makes this mod get slightly more difficult as we go along. Along with that it’s a total conversion with alot of work put into mapping and all of the texture work. Well done.

NewWolf w/ The High Res Texture Pack and 3D Models by Darkone and Bosco

I know I already introduced NewWolf as a Sourceport, but to me, it doubles as a Mod itself. With NewWolf we get to use the A and D keys we love to strafe – no holding down any buttons to strafe! Anyway, If you feel like playing thought Wolf3D again, I highly recommend you do it with NewWolf with the High-Res texture pack installed along with Bosco’s High-Res Models. It makes for a really awesome experience and slightly modernizes Wolfesnstein at the same time.

by Nembo

Unsung is a Wolfenstein 3D mod based on World War One’s trench warfare. You’ll be cleaning the Central Powers out of the trenches.  This mod is great because of it’s extra features and flashyness. Stuff like clips, reloading, animations, and like NewWolf – the ability to use A and D to strafe. Unsung is the Must Play out of all of these. Simply fantastic.

Overall there is just way too many mods for me to sift through. But those are a few of the ones I have liked. Otherwise, here’s a few sites you can visit if you want to find more mods.

Conversion Mods

(Mods for other games that turn it into Wolfenstein 3D)

Wolfendoom by Laz Rojas [Doom 2 Mod]

Wolfenstein 3D for Doom 3 by Benjamin Pulido

Wolfenstein 3D Total Conversion for Doom by afaDoomer


ReWolfenstein 3D for Source by S.D.A. [Ceased Development]

Wolfenstein 3D – Episode 1 Mission 1 for Half-Life 2 by Jimmy D

At the end of the day, Wolfenstein 3D is a game you should play at least once so you can really appreciate how far the first person shooter genre has come, and you should appreciate Wolfenstein 3D some more because of the many many mods available for it. To many it’s a staple and gaming and without it Modding nor Gaming could never have made it where it is today.

One comment

  1. wow, it’s clear that you did put in a lot of time and effort into this.
    i didn’t play games yet in 1992 when this game was released, i only came to the gaming scene in 1996 when Duke Nukem was just released. So that game is my first great fps gaming experience, in real 3D, (even when the engine of duke was also not really 3D).
    i did play the first Wolfenstein, but much, much, much… later, somewhere in 2005 or so. ANd by that time it was to hard to get excited by the layout and gameplay of this game.
    Still, i fully agree with your article, this game is the mother of all fps 3D games of today. And many young people are not familiar with this history of our games today, so it is a real good thing that you did publish this.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

%d bloggers like this: