Installing & Running Descent 3

Some information here was originally provided by Suncho and other members of the community.
It is posted here for reference, given that a lot of guests seem to browse this site.

How to buy Descent 3?

It is now possible to buy Descent 3 on GOG again. Grab it @

I already have Descent 3, but can't install it from the CD (either due to damage or driver issues)

If you can't install it from the CD, you may need to purchase the GOG version which should install without any problems.
Alternatively you can find a Descent 3 'pack' provided by Thomas at his website (Dateiliste), which contains nearly every level and mod. You must own a copy of the game prior to asking.

When I launch D3 it keeps asking me to register?

This means you have an original copy of the game. Simply delete the 'ereg' folder in your Descent 3 directory.

Patch your game

Be sure to patch your game to the latest stable version (1.4) before playing. You will need to determine which version you are using first (US, EU or AUS).
You do not need to patch the GOG version of D3, it's pre-fitted with a custom 1.4 patch.

After that, it is highly recommended you install the 32-bit patch located here: ... ry=Patches
This will improve your texture rendering on modern GPUs. Alternatively, you could download the nGlide wrapper for 'emulated' 3DFX Voodoo drivers.

Command Lines

The following command lines are recommended with the 32-bit patch: -launched -usesmoothing -nomultitexture -himem -hividmem -subpixelcorrect -nocompress -nooutragelogo -nosparkles -nomotionblur -z32bit -framecap 60

What is the Unofficial D3 Version 1.5 Patch? Should I use it?

This 1.5 patch is unofficial, incomplete and unsupported. There are no guarantees for the patch's stability or functionality. The unofficial 1.5 patch is not compatible with version 1.4 nor is it compatible with the Mac or Linux clients. That being said, some players and game servers are using this unofficial beta patch as it does contain some playability fixes. Use at your own risk.

I have Windows. I don't know which patch to download, the patch isn't working, or I can't start Descent 3 because it will not recognize my CD in the drive. What do I do?

Try the following steps. If it still doesn't work, post your question here.

1. Download the D3 NOCD Version 1.4 Patch.
2. Double click on the file you downloaded.
3. When it asks you, type in the location where you installed Descent 3 (eg. C:\Games\Descent3)
4. After it finishes, the game should now work.

I have the Dual-Jewel version of Descent 3, and when I try to install any of the patches, the installation terminates with an error message stating: 'Old File Not Found'. What do I do?

The Dual-Jewel release (and some other more recent releases) of Descent 3 contains a slightly newer revision of the game that the patches are unable to recognize. To resolve this issue, please do the following:

1. First try installing the D3 NOCD Version 1.4 as described above.
2. If that didn't work, uninstall Descent 3 and reinstall it to the default directory.
3. Download and run d3_us_1.0_djfix.exe and extract it to the directory the game was installed to.
4. Install the most recent patch for Descent 3: d3_us_1.4_patch.exe

How do I find out what version of Descent 3 I am using?

The header at the top of the readme file states the version of Descent 3 that you are using. You can access the readme file by executing the readmeviewer.exe program in the Descent 3 install directory.

I keep getting a crash on level 10 in the same place (at the data uplink center.) What's up with that?

A: This is a problem with version 1.3.x of Descent 3. Try updating to version 1.4.

I'm getting a black screen when I hit play from the launcher! Whats up with that?

Try checking your video settings. If you are using Direct3D you might crash a lot, OpenGL is recommended.
3DFX is also an option with a glide wrapper (possibly the best solution for most setups)

I'm stuck on level x in place y!! Help!!

Try using your guidebot. Pressing F4 will bring up the menu. If you follow the guidebot you can get through most of the levels without too much trouble. There are a few puzzles and tricks the little fella can't show you though. If you are really stuck, check out the Moon's walkthroughs:

What about Linux and Mac players?

As far as I'm aware, GOG only provided a Windows version of the game. To run on Linux (with the Loki copy) you'll probably need a very old distro.
Mac support is also fairly limited, but you'd need to ask a Mac player! I'm not one :)

D3 can be installed under WINE, simply paste the installer into your Wine root and run.

Any other problems, just post them here.
The Expanse. Watch it!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 23 guests