General Gameplay

This page contains questions specific to gameplay in Wolfenstein 3D and Spear of Destiny.

There are two cheat codes in Wolfenstein 3D! To activate them, simply hold down the three corresponding buttons at the same time to activate.

  • TAB - This just displays a message, an easter egg indicating this cheat was in Commander Keen.
  • MLI - Gives the player full health, all weapons, all ammo and both keys. It also reduces the player's score to 0.

If Wolfenstein 3D is opened with the extra commandline parameter -goobers (Or –goobers if using Wolf4SDL), it is possible to access debugmode in-game and gain access to new commands.

For Spear of Destiny, you'll need to run the game with the parameter -debugmode (or –debugmode for Wolf4SDL).

To do this on DosBox, add the parameter to the end of WOLF3D.EXE when running the game (with a space between).

On Steam, Wolf3D and DosBox are run automatically, skipping the ability to add the parameter. However, if you navigate to your Wolf3D folder in Steam (Steam\steamapps\common\Wolfenstein 3D\) you can see extra bat files. If you run Wolf3d + cheats.bat, debugmode will be enabled.

If the game is run with the above parameter and Left Shift + Alt + Backspace are pressed simultaneously in-game, a message will display reporting that debugmode is turned on.

ECWolf and LZWolf do not require extra parameters. Just using the above key combination in game will turn it on.

After that, holding the TAB key and pressing one of the following keys will provide the accompanying effect:

  • B - Border Color - Change the colour of the in-game border.
  • C - Count Objects - Displays statistics about items on the map.
  • D - Darkone's FPS Counter - Displays game FPS (Wolf4SDL only)
  • E - Exit Level - Instantly finish the level
  • F - Facing spot - Displays information about the player's coordinates
  • G - Godmode - Take no damage from enemies
  • H - Hurt self - Intentionally take 16 damage
  • I - Item cheat - Gives 100,000 points, the next best weapon, 99 health (up to 100) and 50 ammo (up to 99)
  • K - Give Key - Lets the player select and add a key to their inventory. (Wolf4SDL only)
  • L - Level Ratios - Displays map playtime and kill, treasure and secret percentages. (Wolf4SDL only)
  • M - Memory Usage - Displays information about the memory the game is utilizing. (DOS only)
  • N - No Clip - Toggles the ability to move through walls
  • O - Basic Overhead - Displays a map of the level. This is disabled in the DOS releases, though is still present in the code and can be activated in the alpha build of Wolf3D.
  • P - Pause - Pauses the game immediately (DOS only)
  • P - Ripper's Picture Grabber - Takes a screenshot of the game and saves it to the game directory as a bitmap. (Wolf4SDL only)
  • Q - Fast quit - Immediately close the game
  • S - Slow motion - Slow down the game speed
  • T - Shape Test - Scroll through and view previews of the items in the game.
  • V - Add extra Vertical Blanking Signals (May change your game's speed?)
  • W - Level Warp - Teleport to a selected level.
  • X - Extra Stuff - Does nothing, an empty debug code kept spare?
  • Z - Recalculate Sky - If using debugmode in a Wolf4SDL game utilizing the cloudy sky effect, this will let the player change the seeds and colours of the sky. (Wolf4SDL only) (Modded only)

To record a gameplay demo, first you must add the commandline parameter for debugmode to your game. Then, when the game starts up, hold TAB until the title screen.

If demo recording is activated, you will be prompted with a window asking for the level you'd like to record (from 1-10). Once you enter a number and press enter, the game will start, but with a giant DEMO sprite to indicate you're recording.

The demo will end when either the Player dies, or the level is finished (either by elevator or pressing TAB-E if debugmode codes are enabled).

When you're finished recording, the game will ask you to enter a single digit from 1-9. Whatever digit you enter will be the name of the demo file (If you choose 3, the file will be named DEMO3.WL6)

Make sure your demo isn't too long, or it can crash the game when played!

If you want to learn how to upload a newly created gameplay demo to your game with WDC, click here.

While this isn't something readily available in the DOS version of Wolf3D, it is available natively in some advanced mods (If implemented by the developer) and in ECWolf and LZWolf.

Wolf4SDL comes with dedicated strafing buttons, which can be accessed with hex editing, however mouse movement cannot be turned off this way. With a steady hand, it allows for pseudo-WASD control schemes. To find out how to do this, click here.

Alongside the release of Wolfenstein 3D, Apogee planned to hold a competition where if the player managed to navigate a difficult maze in Episode 2 Level 8, they would find an odd object.


The first player to find this object, call the Apogee Software company and greet them with “Aardwolf!” would have won every Apogee Software game that had ever and would ever come out.

However, as detailed in Joe Siegler's blog and The Apogee FAQ, this event was never officially announced, being cancelled before it began because of the unexpected rise and availability of editors for the game. There was no point in hosting such a competition, when the object can be found by simply looking at the VSWAP.WL6 file, or using a map editor to cheat the maze.

Do not call Apogee or 3D Realms and say “Aardwolf”, they do not appreciate it.

This was part of a scrapped contest that suffered similar problems to the “Call Apogee and say Aardwolf!” contest. As written by Joe Siegler on both his blog and The Apogee FAQ:

letters were shown after the highest score in the score table in some revisions of the game. These letters were to be part of another contest that got scrapped before it got started, where we were going to have people call in with their scores and tell us the code; we'd then be able to verify their score. However, with the cheat programs out there, this got scrapped too.
  • gameplay.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/03/27 21:43
  • by zombie