84 ratings
[HOW TO] Patch Arcanum with UAP and other essential extras
By brandleesee
A step-by-step guide on how to use the Unofficial Arcanum Patch by Drog Black Tooth, thus, squashing predominant bugs in the vanilla version and then spice it up with convenient hacks and bolster difficulty for more seasoned players.
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Patching Arcanum with UAP

download link:

Use the mirror of your choice.

The downloaded file will be in the default folder, normally this is the Downloads folder.

Preparing UAP executable

Right-click on the file named UAP2.0.2.exe and click on Properties.

Tick the Unblock box.

Select the Compatibility tab from the top selection and tick Run this program as an administrator. Click OK.

Installing UAP

Double click on the UAP executable. And click Next.

Click on Browse and locate the Steam installation of Arcanum.

In my case, I install games on a separate hard disk.

It is imperative to select the second Arcanum folder. Click OK. Then Next.

Selecting components to install

In my opinion, it is best to install all options reason being that all selections including those of the Beta Content and Misc Mods have been rigorously tested throughout the years and Drog Black Tooth has personally curated them.

Should one not be convinced, tick only if the description seems reasonable.

Finishing with UAP

Untick Show Readme. The content of the document is the same as found in Drog's website so it's an unnecessary task to undertake.

Click Finish.

This completes UAP itself.
Enabling DDraw & Adapting Resolution

After installing UAP, the second Arcanum folder should contain a directory called HighRes.

Editing the configuration file

Within the HighRes directory is a settings file called config.ini. This houses settings that pertain to the game itself and how it will be rendered on screen. Open this file using Notepad. No fancy text editors are necessary.

Following is my configuration file in its entirety.

//Arcanum High Resolution Patch Settings //Basic: Width = 1280 // original: 800 - as per screen resolution Height = 720 // original: 600 - as per screen resolution BitDepth = 32 // original: 16 DialogFont = 2 // 0 = size 12, 1 = size 14, 2 = size 18 LogbookFont = 1 // 0 = size 12, 1 = size 14 MenuPosition = 1 // 0 = top, 1 = center, 2 = bottom MainMenuArt = 0 // 0 = black, 1 = fade to black, 2 = wood Borders = 1 // 1 = add borders to most UI graphics //Graphics: Windowed = 0 // 0 = fullscreen mode, 1 = windowed mode Renderer = 1 // 0 = software, 1 = hardware DoubleBuffer = 1 // 0 = disabled, 1 = enabled (unless windowed) DDrawWrapper = 1 // 1 = install DDrawCompat wrapper (for Windows 8+ - prevents sluggish speed) ShowFPS = 0 // 0 = no change, 1 = always enabled //Advanced: ScrollFPS = 60 // original: 35, max: 255 ScrollDist = 30 // original: 10, infinite: 0 PreloadLimit = 30 // original: 30 tiles, max: 255 BroadcastLimit = 30 // original: 10 tiles, max 255 Logos = 0 // 0 = skip Sierra/Troika logos Intro = 0 // 0 = skip the main menu intro clip

Notable settings are:
  • Width & Height entries - for Windows 10: Right-click on desktop --> Display settings --> Display resolution --> First value is Width, second is Height.

  • DialogFont & LogbookFont - My personal preference is to set them to their highest setting because if using high-resolution monitors, the text would look very small.

  • DDrawWrapper - is a source of frustration for many, see below.

Activating High Resolution

Double click on _install.bat. A command prompt window should appear and quickly disappear. The process is automatic so there is no more interaction unless an error occurs at which point you will have to press enter and start afresh this section.

Editing config.ini

When updating the config file, it is imperative to follow this procedure otherwise the changes in the config file may not be executed.
  • activate _uninstall.bat
  • edit config.ini
  • activate _install.bat

DDraw Alternatives

Before looking into other DDraw alternatives, it is imperative to disable the DDrawWrapper setting in the config file from 1 to 0. Check the above Editing config.ini section for instructions on executing the config file.


DDraw Unwrapped

Another possibility is to disable DDraw altogether. This comment states that on Windows 10 configuring the following settings as follows is enough for an enjoyable experience.
  • Renderer to 0
  • DoubleBuffer to 1
  • DDrawWrapper to 0

Concluding Remarks

Effectively, the patching part of the game ends here but I always spice up my install with some convenient hacks to make the game less torturous in certain aspects and challenging in others.

So, you may wish to stop here if you want to experience the game as intended, therefore, just a mostly bug-free playthrough. For those, who have been playing the game for a very long time and wish to eliminate some tedious workings, then I humbly suggest skimming through the following section.

Inactive Objects

Every object that is n tiles away from the PC is inactive, i.e. AI, animation, scripts, etc don't work that far away from the player, so the objects are frozen awaiting action. At extremely high resolutions (like 2600x1900) or with the infinite scrolling option it may be possible to see such inactive objects.

Steam Notes

The DirectDraw fix used in the patch is not compatible with Steam overlay, either disable the overlay (right-click on Arcanum in your Steam library -> Properties -> General -> uncheck "Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game"), or simply use the desktop shortcut created by the installer to run the game (but this will not log your playtime).

G-Sync Notes

The high resolution patch is not compatible with G-Sync and the game will not launch, please disable G-Sync before playing.

Windows 11

Besides DDraw, certain settings may ruin the experience of Arcanum on Windows 11. According to this comment, toggling hardware-accelerated GPU can help ameliorate such a situation.
Contents of custom
This section is about a single zip file that consolidates the mods and config files I use. It holds a curated list that avoids unnecessary grinding while scaling the difficulty in other aspects.

Download link:

The next step is to right-click and Extract all... in the common/Arcanum/Arcanum directory. It should overwrite some files.

This step is recommended immediately after patching the game with UAP. Once my file is extracted, please edit and experiment to your heart's content.

The following entries explain the contents of my zip file.

Weightless Hack

data/proto/008303 - data/proto/013081 - Key

Experienced players have definitely encountered this issue. Certain quests require the carriage of extremely heavy items. If not quests it's simply the armour or the amount of ammo carried that slows the player and followers to a crawl. No more! There are some goodies that let this ragtag group fly. (There is no mod that enables flight!)

Wooden Ring (008303 - and the Key Ring now cancel weight for any NPC or player having same in the inventory. Key ring for main character. Wooden rings for followers. Because acid attacks can destroy the rings, their HP has been increased to 500.

Improved item creation


Originally, the schematics produced a tiny amount of items and ammo. Now the schematics yielded a reasonable amount of items. I may have overdone it on the ammo.

If you feel that the amount produced is exaggerated, then just edit the last entry for each item as you see fit and restart the game.

Please do not give large numbers such as 9999 and 99999 because this will slow down the game significantly.

Better item availability at shops

data/rules/InvenSoure.mes data/rules/InvenSoureBuy.mes

InvenSource.mes has the items merchants display for purchase while InvenSourceBuy.mes contains the buyback scheme of the shopkeepers. When one is edited the other should reflect the same changes using the appropriate model.

The Starting Barter has been modified, too, to offer the best items in the game.

In order to access all items that a shop has to sell the player must first talk to the shopkeeper and access his wares then back away such that the shop is no longer visible - approximately a screen away - and sleep until morning or for one day. On re-accessing the shopkeeper's wares all items should now be available for purchase.

Because the player starts with a very small amount of cash, the God Mode background has a huge lump to purchase anything available constrained only by the space of the inventory.

Tech Manuals


data/art/item/ data/art/item/ data/art/item/ data/art/item/ data/art/item/ data/art/item/ data/art/item/ data/art/item/

Now, these manuals have artwork on their book cover to easily identify the discipline.

Customised selected Follower AI


Three characters have become ranged so that they can either concentrate on healing or being technologically aligned will not join the fray and thus reducing the chance of dying.

  • Virgil, now, does not join the fray. In my opinion, standard close-combat does not suit him. He stays far from the action and has his rate of defensive and healing spells casting increased.

  • Magnus is no longer a melee-focused character. This because being tech-aligned he is incapable of benefitting from Virgil's heal spell. To keep him away from battles he now specialises in firearms.

  • Sogg is my tank of choice. His minor affinity to heal using potions has been removed. He is now the most complete fighter-follower in the game... not counting Worthless Mutt.

  • Jayna has remained a healer but is an expert in firearms. The difference between her and Magnus is that she is focused more on healing than on shooting. Magnus is western all the way!

  • Raven is now also considered a healer. Her frequency in aiding teammates is less than Virgil's allowing her to fight as necessary.

  • Torian, Gar, Waromon & Sebastian no longer heal others letting them focus on the battle at hand.

Custom selected NPC & Followers Leveling Schemes


  • Guard has an improved scheme to offer a greater challenge to the player.

  • Pure Melee Dodge NPCs have had their scheme improved to remove any traits that did not let them focus on their natural inclination. Expect no mercy from these guys!

  • Virgil is now a prolific archer and at later levels a much more versatile wizard. He remains the party's main healer.

  • Magnus is now a ranger proficient in firearms.

  • Jayna is now a firearms user with the main responsibility of healing tech characters.

  • Zen Virgil has the same schematic as Virgil. I was unable to locate Evil Virgil's scheme.

Challenging Travel

data/dlg/00123M.dlg data/dlg/00124M.dlg data/dlg/00266OrcBanditDialog.dlg data/scr/00123M.scr data/scr/00124M.scr data/scr/00266OrcBanditDialog.scr data/scr/288die.scr data/scr/03007OrcBanditDialog.scr data/scr/03011MhandDialog.scr

These are two difficulty mods that are perfect for those who do not teleport but travel Arcanum on foot.

The orc bandits loitering around the Morbihan Planes and the assassins from the Molochean Hand on your heels now offer a much greater challenge and much more precious loot. The encounters scale according to the player's level. I shall not spoil the surprise any longer.


Most backgrounds have their starting money amended to benefit from the new inventory and now all start with the weightless key ring. The keyring reduces the mess of consumed inventory boxes to a single item.

God Mode Custom Background

data/mes/gameback.mes data/rules/backgrnd.mes data/rules/effect.mes

This background kickstarts the game by making the player formidable from the start. The choices I made are neutral and leave it up to the player whether to pursue magical proficiency or technological. It starts with a huge sum of money to benefit from the updated starting barter.
This reaches the end of this lengthy tutorial. I hope that the information is suitable and easy to understand. I am open to suggestions and improvements of the guide and the mods/mes files included.

Please reach should you require clarifications or more information on anything written in this guide.

Been a good time writing this guide. Hope you found it equally entertaining. Happy gaming!
< >
brandleesee  [author] Oct 15 @ 2:40am 
@ads, probably play with the config.ini and launch the game from its shortcut not from steam/gog.
adistefano_ Oct 4 @ 1:13pm 
when i launch it flashes on an off is there any way to stop this?
brandleesee  [author] Sep 19 @ 11:56am 
Updated DDraw section for clarity and Win 11 caveat.
brandleesee  [author] Sep 19 @ 11:28am 
@DG I suggest you look into alternative modes of installing DDraw, two of which are listed in this guide. Always remember to go in the High Patch directory --> _uninstall.bat --> update the settings file --> _install.bat for changes to take effect

@IS Expert and in some instances Master training can be given. My method is to first have my character with those skills, then ask Virgil (cheat mode) to give the highest ranking. AND, yes, thanks for the idea. Shall update followers to have more logical schemes.

@sR thank you very much :)
sickR Sep 5 @ 11:18pm 
Appreciate it. :steamthumbsup:
inspectorsnapper Sep 1 @ 4:08pm 
Great write-up and mods! One thing I've noticed is how Virgil's leveling scheme is missing strength increases, while bows do often require 10-11 strength - to be in line with Raven, I'd add "st 12" before "necro_good 3" or somewhere around that. Haven't had the chance to get that far, but I'm also digging the idea of cowboy Magnus.

Is there any way to add training to companions with modding? Expert training quite literally doubles bow damage, and all other bow users (Raven and Waromon) have it, so its lack is quite detrimental for Virgil's damage compared to them... still, keeping him the hell away from close combat is already worth it's weight in gold.
DemeGhoul Aug 31 @ 11:44am 
Hi, ive installed the game along with uap anc chosen to intstall all the optional dlc but whnever i try to run the game it won't launch, there arent any error messages it just loads for a second and brings me back to the desktop. I've tried running it through steam, both shortcuts and selecting the application in its files but it still wont open.

Thanks for any help in advance.
brandleesee  [author] Aug 18 @ 9:46am 
@Nick, that headache is all about ddraw. Please look into the various methods to resolve it. Be warned that all might be in vain.
@L.Run. all your comments are noted. No offence taken. Your notes are added to this guide.
Underdog Jul 24 @ 7:32am 
Hi, I patched the game following the guide step by step. The game runs but the display starts flickering and I couldn't find any solution for this issue. Does anyone know what to do? Thanks
Risu Infinitum Jul 9 @ 2:46am 
🤔 don't take my acerbic joking seriously by the way. Now I shall be off to play this game as a uncomprehending novice and so water the gardens of life. with my tears.