I have DOOM 1.9 [the shareware version] on a Windows 95 computer and I just beat Knee-Deep In The Dead. I know of a couple places to get other .wad files for DOOM, and I was wondering if all .wad files are compatible with all versions of DOOM, or would I need to get special ones, and if so, where can I get them?

  • You shouldn't be using Windows 95. If you insist on not using a newer version of Windows, you could play Doom using freely available Linux ports. Some (if not all) of these ports have "fully compatible" support of WAD containers. You can still obtain the official WAD files directly from id Software.
    – blee
    Mar 17, 2011 at 5:52
  • "I know of a couple places to get other .wad files." Hopefully you mean legitimate places. Just to be clear, this site does not condone piracy.
    – blee
    Mar 17, 2011 at 6:00
  • I have an XP box, but I kind of would like to be able to play on my 95. I already have some versions of the GPL DOOM engine installed there. I was just wondering if the wads that run on my other engines would run on my shareware version. Mar 17, 2011 at 22:40
  • yes, legitimate places. sites for custom wad writers to post their work Mar 30, 2011 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


I did a bit of custom WAD writing back in the day, and from what I remember there were only two big rules when creating your own custom WADs:

  1. You couldn't include any iD copyright material in your WAD: ie, no iD created sounds or graphics could be embedded inside your downloaded WAD (but you could link to the iD files in the original iD iWADs)
  2. Your WAD could only work with the full, commercial version of DOOM. You could not create a WAD that worked with the shareware DOOM version. And as a WAD writer the full commercial DOOM WAD was much better to link to as it had a much wider selection of textures, sound, etc than the shareware one anyway.

So, if the WADs were written by anyone who followed iD's rules, you won't be able to use them with your shareware version. But, come on, you can pick up the full version of DOOM or DOOM II for pennies these days (either new on Steam, or for about the same price second hand elsewhere).

Of course now that the DOOM engine has been released for free under the GPL you could theoretically run any WAD with that, but if the WAD you download is a pWAD (patch WAD) that attaches to the (still iD copyrighted) iWAD files as a patch (as many of them do) then you will need to buy a legitimate copy of the iD WAD to use with whichever DOOM engine you have. However for total conversion iWADs that replace all graphics and sounds and don't use any iD copyrighted material (like the original Star Wars DOOM or Aliens DDOM) then you could use any of the free DOOM engines available now.

  • Do you know of any of the GPL DOOM engines that will run under Win95? Mar 17, 2011 at 4:02
  • @Nate, Win95 - wow, didn't spot that in the original question. A very good source for the DOOM engine ports is here doomworld.com/classicdoom/ports have a look for one that fits your circumstances. Side-note, DOOM was famously the most tested game during Win95 development, so shouldn't have any compatibility problems, see this blog entry from one of Microsoft's Devs blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2010/10/06/10071954.aspx
    – GAThrawn
    Mar 20, 2011 at 12:34
  • 1
    But, come on, you can pick up the full version of DOOM or DOOM II for pennies these days That reminds me of an episode of King of the Hill where Hank said that their propane cost only pennies more. When the customer asked how many pennies, he reluctantly admitted several hundred. The cheapest DOOM on Steam is $3 (hardly “pennies”), and just forget about it on eBay.
    – Synetech
    Dec 27, 2012 at 17:03
  • 1
    @synetech I'm sorry, are you criticising my answer by claiming that $3 is expensive for a seminal piece of gaming history? Wow
    – GAThrawn
    Dec 29, 2012 at 0:39
  • Not at all. The first half of your answer that actually answered the question asked is just fine. I am only criticizing your choice of wording for the second part. By changing just the But, come on… with something like Alternately…, or even Of course… you could change the tone from being somewhat condescending (as though you expect everybody to be able to afford to just up and buy games at any moment) to genuinely helpful. (Also, changing for pennies to for next to nothing would make it more factually accurate.)
    – Synetech
    Dec 31, 2012 at 19:02

AFAIK you cannot use the Doom 2 or Final Doom wads with Doom 1.9. Also, given that you have the shareware, third-party wadfiles won't work either.

You can get all of the games on Steam for $34.95. You can also get all of the Doom games in the Collectors Edition Bundle from Amazon used.

I strongly recommend getting either and then using the Doomsday Engine instead of the classic Doom engine. Its cross platform and has lots of new perks.

Also, Doom is not abandonware, so its illegal to download the WADs without owning the game.

  • He did just say "other .wads" which could be mods, of which there are many excellent ones. Also lots of great Doom ports. I really enjoyed JDoom (for 3D visuals) and ZDoom (which keeps the games mostly the same, but adds a few nice new things). Mar 17, 2011 at 4:38
  • Good point. I added a note about PWAD files and the shareware version. Also, the Doomsday Engine is currently the most active port I'm aware of. jDoom was the old version of it.
    – Weegee
    Mar 17, 2011 at 12:09
  • 1
    "Abandonware" is a wishful-thinking status in many major legal jurisdictions. In reality, abandoned software is still illegal to distribute in most (if not all) Berne-convention countries. Dec 27, 2012 at 21:13

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