DOOM II: Hell on Earth

DOOM II: Hell on Earth

74 ratings
Steam Overlay for Doom II
By Trov
Get Overlay, Screenshots, and even Broadcasting working through Doom II. Not through Ultimate Doom or a non-steam game like the other guides. Doom 2's very own Steam entry! Will work for any source port.
You may notice Steam Overlay does not work for Doom 2, even though it does for Doom 1.

The reason for this is: Doom 2 launches from a .bat file. Due to how it works, overlay will never work for any game launched from a .bat file.

The solution is to edit the file that tells Steam what to launch from what game. A HEX editor will suffice. I will show you how to have Steam run a launcher program instead of the .bat file.

NOTE: I do not know if this violates any kind of Steam TOS, so do this on your own risk! I am not responsible if you get punished because you did this! However, I've had mine this way for about a year and nothing bad has happened, and it's even persisted through Steam and other games updating. So I don't think anything will happen. You are not trying to gain access to games you don't own or anything like that, so morally and ethically there is no problem.
Editing appinfo.vdf
Go to your Steam install folder.
Then, open the AppCache folder.
appinfo.vdf is the file to change. You don't need to back it up, since Steam will generate a new one if it gets corrupted.

Essentially, we are replacing the call to launch "doom 2 + mouse.bat" with a call to launch "ZDL.exe" instead. This is the launcher program you will get later. Any source port launched from ZDL will have overlay working.

Now, let's modify appinfo.vdf:

First, make a copy of appinfo.vdf. You can't edit it directly, because when you close Steam, it will overwrite it with its own copy in memory, undoing everything you dod.

Open the copy in a HEX editor. Any HEX editor with a replace function will suffice. I used HxD.

In the HEX editor, replace the hex string:

6C 61 75 6E 63 68 00 00 30 00 01 65 78 65 63 75 74 61 62 6C 65 00 64 6F 6F 6D 32 20 2B 20 6D 6F 75 73 65 2E 62 61 74 00 08 00 31 00 01 64 65 73 63 72 69 70 74 69 6F 6E 00 4C 61 75 6E 63 68 20 44 6F 6F 6D 20 32 20 77 69 74 68 20 63 6C 61 73 73 69 63 20 63 6F 6E 74 72 6F 6C 73 00 01 65 78 65 63 75 74 61 62 6C 65 00 64 6F 6F 6D 32 2E 62 61 74 00 08 08 08 08 07

with the string

6C 61 75 6E 63 68 00 00 30 00 01 65 78 65 63 75 74 61 62 6C 65 00 7A 64 6C 2E 65 78 65 00 08 08 08 08 07 00

Now, save AppInfo.vdf.

Bonus: If you want Ultimate Doom to show up in in your games list right before Doom 2 instead of near the bottom, replace the hex string

54 68 65 20 55 6C 74 69 6D 61 74 65 20 44 4F 4F 4D 00 01 74 79 70 65


54 68 65 20 55 6C 74 69 6D 61 74 65 20 44 4F 4F 4D 00 01 73 6F 72 74 61 73 00 44 6F 6F 6D 20 31 00 01 74 79 70 65.

Now: close Steam. Rename appinfo.vdf to appinfo.bak, and rename appinfo - Copy.vdf to appinfo.vdf. Launch Steam again. Now, launch Doom 2. If it complains about a missing executable instead of launching the game, it worked! Now, proceed to the next section to fix that.

Setting up ZDL and source port files.
Now that you've set up Steam to launch ZDL, you need to actually put ZDL in!

Get it from here: {LINK REMOVED}

Extract everything in that .zip into Steam's Doom 2 folder.

Now, you'll need to add source ports to ZDL to actually play the game. A source port is a mode modern engine to play Doom with, since the original was written for DOS. Steam uses DOSBOX, which can't really be launched through ZDL. If you want the absolute most vanilla, original Doom experience, as close to the Steam release as possible, get the source port called Chocolate Doom.

Recommended ports you should get:
  • Chocolate Doom: The original game with no bells and whistles, running on any modern OS.
  • ZDoom: The standard for Doom mod support. If you want mods, you want ZDoom.
  • GZDoom: ZDoom with a more modern, 3D renderer. Get this if looking up and down in ZDoom makes you sick.
  • Zandronum: GZDoom with online server-based multiplayer.

To install sourceports, put each one into its own folder. You can put them anywhere you want on your computer. If you don't want to, just make a folder for each one inside Doom 2's Steam folder. (For example, make a "Chocolate Doom" folder and extract/install Chocolate Doom into there)

Now, copy DOOM2.WAD from the "base" folder into each sourceport folder you made.

Finally, make a "PWAD" folder in your Doom 2 folder to store any addon level/mod packs.

At this point, your files are all set up.

Now, to add the source ports to ZDL so you can finally get playing!
Setting up ZDL itself
Making sure you've restarted Steam since you edited appinfo.vdf, launch Doom 2 from Steam. ZDL should launch!

Now, you've got to add the sourceports to ZDL. Go to the Settings tab. In the "Source Ports/Engines" column, hit the Add button and navigate File to the source port executable. For example, Chocolate Doom's is chocolate-doom.exe. Do this for each source port you got in the previous section.

Now, in the IWADs column, click Add, in Name put "Doom II: Hell on Earth" and in File, navigate to the Base folder and select DOOM2.WAD.

Finally, tick "Close on launch."

Now you're all done with setup! Go back to the Main column, pick a source port and Doom 2 from IWADs, and launch!

When you download addon packs, they are usually .WAD or .pk3 or .pk7 files. Any distributed as .zips must be extracted first. Save these to your PWAD folder. To launch them with Doom, click "Add" in the External Files column in ZDL, and add each one you want to load. This is how you play the game with community-made levels and mods.

All finished! Now you can play Doom 2 from Steam with Steam Overlay working, which also means Screenshots and even Broadcasting will work!

< >
⛧EyMi Mayhem⛧ Jul 21 @ 12:21pm 
More or less alrdy done.
Last year...
Decastle Jul 1 @ 12:45am 
I found a new way to enable Steam Overlay. For this, I created a guide . I need someone who can help translate my guide into English.
Trov  [author] Jul 3, 2017 @ 5:06pm 
I'll look into it. I noticed that Steam doesn't seem to like direct edits to appinfo.vdf anymore (it will detect a change and generate a new one), so as it is this guide is useless. I'll try that tool, thank you
Veterinar Jul 2, 2017 @ 12:20pm 
Soooo I was frustrated by this update too. But here's the remedy check this out:
(post by Tim about his tool).

That little one kinda worked for me :B1:
Erick May 16, 2017 @ 5:42pm 
RIP Doom 2 Steam overlay. Well, at least you can play Doom as a non-Steam game or play Ultimate Doom on Steam, but still.
The Coon Apr 16, 2017 @ 2:31am 
Tried this method but the overlay didn't show up and it keeps getting a new appinfo.vdf
CFLM. Apr 10, 2017 @ 6:01pm 
Just download Zandronum [], a really good, non-deprecated, and open-source Doom port. Although, it may be discontinued as since the last stable build was from July 2015.
Slipgate Tourist Apr 2, 2017 @ 7:10am 
If you also own Doom 1 on Steam:

1. Download ZDL and place files in:
Steam\steamapps\common\Ultimate Doom\data

2. Delete dosbox.exe

3. Rename zdl.exe to dosbox.exe

Slipgate Tourist Apr 2, 2017 @ 7:02am 
Indeed, this doesn't work anymore.
KUBA18i Mar 13, 2017 @ 3:10pm 
I regret to inform that nowadays, no matter how much I try to edit appinfo.vdf in whatever way, it will always revert back to default upon Steam starting. Has this method become unusable, or am I doing something wrong and I have to disable something(like, Steam cloud or cache, or perhaps disable internet and make Steam run in offline mode)? If it turns out I can no longer edit the executable paths for all the games with not-so-good default Steam support, that would be rather saddening.