General FAQ

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The Project

What is Black Mesa?

Black Mesa is a total conversion of Half-Life 2, retelling the original game of Half-Life. Utilizing the Source engine and its endless array of possibilities and powers, Black Mesa will throw you into the world that started the Half-Life continuum and introduced Gordon Freeman, the gun-toting, bullet-dodging Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics. Check the "About the Mod" page for more details.

Which version of Source will be used in the Mod?

Currently the Orange Box version (Source SDK 2007, used in Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Team Fortress 2) [1]. It is planned to port Black Mesa to the Source 2009/10 (the latest version of the engine) [2], except if Valve delays for too long the release of the Source 2010 SDK [3].

What will I need in order to play Black Mesa?

The only requirement to play Black Mesa will be that you own any Source engine game on Steam. See the full list of System Requirements.

How much will Black Mesa cost?

Black Mesa is a free modification; the developers will never charge you for playing mainly because they wouldn't want to make people pay to play, but also because it would be illegal to do so. As long as you have a copy of any source engine game on steam, Black Mesa will cost you nothing.

Will Black Mesa be ported to Xbox360, Mac or another platform?

At the moment Black Mesa supports only PCs powered by Microsoft Windows operational system [4]. In the near future it will be also available for Mac, and possibly, Linux [5]. No port for Xbox360.

Are the team going to be working on other games once Black Mesa is complete?

Most likely, no. Other projects may be taken on by a portion of the original team, but more remakes are unlikely.

Also, the Black Mesa Team is not working on remakes of Opposing Force or Blue Shift. There already have other teams currently working on these remakes (for more info, please see their ModDB pages: Operation Black Mesa and Guard Duty, respectively).


What percentage complete is the project / What is the current status of the mod?

  • Percentage: Nobody knows. And trying to get imaginary numbers with fanciful formulas isn't a good idea [6].
  • Status: The Mod is "On schedule" [7]. The development team has an internal release date, but it will stay undisclosed to the public. The reason for this can be found here.

Does the Valve's Source SDK Update affected the mod development?

Yes [8]. A problem happened when Valve updated the tools, but it was later fixed after the Orange Box engine spliting into 2007 and 2009 [9].

Will the mod have a public beta?

No. The single-player aspect of Black Mesa will not be released in beta form publicly. However, the developers will have a group of appointed testers to help them out privately (please don't ask to beta test, as your request will be ignored).

So the single-player won't have a beta, but will the multiplayer?

Black Mesa: Deathmatch is likely to be released as a public beta, independent to its single-player counterpart [10]. However, we have no idea when this will be, as again it is a case of "when it's ready."

How about the Co-Operative gameplay? Is it still in plan?

Co-op development is ceased at the moment [11]. It could potentially arrive after the release of SP, but would not be made by the Black Mesa official team. [12]

Please! Please! Could you release a demo or media updates???

Please don't ask for this. There is a lot more involved than you realize, and a demo at this time will only delay the development process [13].

Release Information

When will Black Mesa be released?

The developers have always gone for a "when it's done" approach, except for the ill-fated "2009" release date. Consequently, they have returned to the "when it's done" model in 2010.[14] As of right now, they currently have this and this to say about the release date. By the way, the release date will be announced in advance of the actual release [15].

How large will Black Mesa be when it is released?

Current estimates place the final build between 7-9 GBs uncompressed. 3 GBs compressed. [16]

How will the mod be distributed? Through the official site, torrent, FTP, Steam?

Download locations will be announced closer to the Black Mesa release [17]. The possibility of downloads via Steam is entirely up to Valve. [18].

Why not release the mod in a series of episodes?

The infrastructure and process to update, patch, and support BM as a series of episodes creates an unnecessary extra workload as opposed to just releasing as a single package. Be patient. [19]

Will BM get regular updates like Half-Life 2 and Episodes if needed?

Patch support is planned. [20]

Offering Help

I have this really cool idea, will you put it in?

If it fits in with the Half-Life storyline, then we may include it. Drop by our forums and do a quick search to see if the question has already been raised. If not, and you still believe it fits the Half-Life story and gameplay, go ahead and post it. However, the more radical the idea the less likely it is to be included in Black Mesa.

Are you currently hiring <insert your field of development>?

We're always on the look out for talent; check our Jobs page for a specific application. However, even if your field isn't listed and you feel you have the talent, feel free to drop us an email with links to previous work at

The mod is free, I know... But I really want to give you money to help with the development. How can I do?

If you are still insistent on giving us money, see the donations page.

Which languages will be provided in Black Mesa? May I help with translating the mod?

Originally Black Mesa will support only English. The devs will not provide translated versions of the game subtitles, however there already exists a group of volunteers engaged in a mod translation project. For more detais, refer the Translation Topic in the forum.

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