Doom 3 is a first person shooter (FPS) for Windows XP and several other platforms, released in 2004. It installs well on Windows 8 and Windows 7, but make sure you have DirectX 9.0 installed as well to play Doom 3. As for resolution or other display settings, you might run into some problems or have a disappointing experience at least. We're here to fix that.

Fixing limited or failing resolution settings of Doom 3

Doom 3: 1920x1080 resolution.When you enter the display settings in Doom 3, you've probably found out that the maximum resolution setting is 1600x1200. As you also may have noticed, the default resolution settings of Doom 3 have a 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio. These settings are not quite suitable for widescreen displays, which have an aspect ratio of 16:9 (HD) or 16:10 (WUXGA). In some cases, you won't be able to change the display settings at all! Resolution stays at 640x480 and Antialiasing stays off. So, what are the options?

Option 1: edit the DoomConfig.cfg file manually

Doom 3 has a configuration file in which lots of things can be configured, but we'll focus on the settings that control display resolution, Antialiasing and Anisotropic Filtering (in case your unable to change and save these settings).

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  • You have Doom 3 installed, running and updated to version 1.3.1.
  • If Doom 3 is installed in d:\games\doom3, search for and open d:\games\doom3\base\DoomConfig.cfg with notepad
  • If you're not logged in as Administrator, be sure to run Notepad as Administrator (right click on Notepad, choose Run as administrator)
  • Search for and edit the following line, which will indicate that you're going to use a customized resolution:
    seta r_mode "-1"
  • If your resolution is 1920x1080, search for and edit the following lines to:
    seta r_customHeight "1080"
    seta r_customWidth "1920"
  • If your screen aspect ratio is 16:9 (1280x720, 1366x768, 1920x1080) search for and set to 1:
    seta r_aspectRatio "1"
  • If your screen aspect ratio is 16:10 (1440x900, 1680x1050, 1920x1200) search for and set to 2:
    seta r_aspectRatio "2"
  • To setAntialiasing to 2, 4, 8 or 16, depending on your graphics hardware, search for and edit:
    seta r_multiSamples "4"
  • To set Anisotropic Filtering to 1, 2, 4 or 8, depending on your graphics hardware, search for and edit:
    seta image_anisotropy "8"
  • Save the configuration file with File - Save or CTRL+S

Please note that these changes can be reset when you apply changes to the display settings in the game! If applying and saving changes works at all, of course.

Option 2: Download and install the Doom 3 Absolute HD Mod

Doom 3 HD Mod: 1920x1080 resolution.Doom 3 is highly customizable. Several mods have been made for Doom 3, as well as an HD mod. It contains high resolution textures and optimizations for use with high res widescreen displays. It is highly recommended! So, what to do to use the Doom 3 Absolute HD mod?

  • You have Doom 3 installed, running and updated to version 1.3.1.
  • Go to one of the download location of the mod
  • Download the mod file: Doom 3 Absolute HD Mod
  • Install Doom 3 Absolute HD Mod, be sure that the destination path is the same as the installation folder of Doom 3: if Doom 3 is installed in d:\games\d3, the destination path is d:\games\d3 and NOT d:\games\d3\Doom 3! This is a bug in the installer, when browsing for the installation folder
  • Start Doom 3 HD with the Doom 3 Absolute HD shortcut on the desktop!
  • Don't forget to change the display settings for your hardware. Also take a peek at the Sikkmod options menu!

Problem: when the game starts, the screen is totally white

This is a problem that seems to happen quite often with ATI video cards. You need to disable Catalyst A.I. The option to do this in the Catalyst Control Center seems to be removed as of version 11.x, therefore you need to edit the registry:

  • Open the registry, by pressing Windows key + R (run), type in regedit and press enter
  • Search for this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Class/
    {4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}/0000/UMD
  • Right click and modify the value of CatalystAI from 31/32 to 30
  • Right click and modify the value of CatalystAI_DEF from 1 to 0
  • Close the registry, restart your computer and restart Doom 3 HD!

If these tweaks do not work, try downgrading your video drivers. Thanks to the mod creator Cverdzislav for these instructions.

What about Doom 3 HD Mod and Doom 3 HD Mod update 2?

These packages are the predecessors of the Absolute HD Mod. No need to use these old HD mods, unless you want to play the Resurrection Of Evil expansion pack with HD textures. Absolute HD Mod does not support Resurrection Of Evil (yet).

What about Doom 3: BFG Edition?

Doom 3: BFG Edition supports widescreen resolutions which can be set in the game. It has minor graphics enhancements for high resolution displays. However, it's not nearly as great as the HD mod mentioned above.

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