Category: Main Games Simulation Games Descent 3 1.4 (GOG)

Descent 3

Already patched to latest official version (v1.4) and DRM has been stripped out. Downloaded from Good Old Games. Also contains the official expansion "Descent 3: Mercenary" within the downloaded *.exe file.

Game has been tweaked to work within Windows XP and Vista out of box, as well as having no DRM inside it.

Downloaded on Jan 11, 2009

Application Details:

Version: 1.4 (GOG)
License: Retail
Votes: 0
Latest Rating: Platinum
Latest Wine Version Tested: 9.1

Maintainers: About Maintainership

Free Download Descent 3 with Mercenary expansion pack from Good Old Games ( - Not Free)

Test Results

Old test results
The test results you have selected are very old and may not represent the current state of Wine.
Selected Test Results

What works

Everything mostly works in the default configuration.

Switching off the nGlide-wrapped 3DFx renderer to OpenGL yields much better performance but there are some artifacts, namely some glows and other objects appearing through walls when nearby. This may or may not be related to bugs in Mesa as Wine's OpenGL implementation is more or less a straight pass-through.

Direct3D rendering requires you use the -nocompress option unless your Wine/Mesa installation supports texture compression.

Joystick play works well (recommended for this game).

What does not

The OpenGL renderer could use a little love and the Direct3D renderer is almost useless if your system does not support compressed textures (patent issues).


What was not tested

Multiplayer, nor the level editor. It appears you can at least start hosting a local multiplayer game but I did not have a second client to test.

Hardware tested


  • GPU:
  • Driver:

Additional Comments

If the OpenGL and D3D renderer did not have their flaws, this title could be considered platinum.

selected in Test Results table below
Operating systemTest dateWine versionInstalls?Runs?Used
ShowFedora 39 x86_64Feb 10 20249.1Yes Yes NoPlatinumChristopher Thielen 
ShowFedora 27 x86_64Nov 26 20183.18N/A Yes NoSilverChristopher Thielen 
CurrentFedora 23 x86_64Nov 29 20151.9.3Yes Yes NoGoldChristopher Thielen 
ShowFedora 22 x86_64Sep 13 20151.7.49Yes Yes NoGoldChristopher Thielen 
ShowMac OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"Jun 09 20151.7.44Yes Yes NoGoldan anonymous user 

Known Bugs

Bug # Description Status Resolution Other apps affected
35491 Switching to fullscreen works inconsistently UNCONFIRMED View

Show all bugs

HowTo / Notes

Running Descent 3 glitch-free in Wine

Descent 3 is rather close to working perfectly but is not quite there. While joystick control, movie playback, and other typically "finicky" features work great in Descent 3 under Wine, there are some configuration options which work better than others.

Renderer: Like many games in the late 90s, Descent 3 supported multiple renderers, in this case, Direct3D, OpenGL, and Glide.

The version comes with Glide pre-configured and the "nGlide" wrapper, which translates the Glide API into Direct3D calls. This configuration works perfectly but may be rather slow.

You can try the OpenGL renderer but that has exhibited artifacts in many user configurations (namely, certain polygons appearing through walls).

Direct3D is a good option to try but may render textures entirely black (possibly as a result of S3 patented texture compression but this has not been confirmed). Direct3D _does_ work well however if you launch Descent 3 directly (launch main.exe) and give it the option "-nocompress". Note that main.exe will complain you cannot launch it directly -- it's meant to be called from the Descent 3 launch program. To get around this, call it with "-launched", e.g. "wine MAIN.EXE -nocompress -launched".


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. WineHQ is not responsible for what they say.

Crash when 'play' is clicked in the launcher
by juupeli on Tuesday July 12th 2011, 9:29
The launcher (Descent 3.exe) works fine otherwise, but it cannot be used to launch the game. Workaround: run the game directly via main.exe. I use

xinit /usr/bin/wine ~/.wine/drive_c/games/Descent3/main.exe -launched -nointro -width 1600 -height 1200 -himem -nocompress -usesmoothing -z32bit -bumped -opengl -hividmem -subpixelcorrect -- :3 &

to launch the game in a separate X session with preferred settings, but a simple

wine main.exe -launched

seems to work too. (Without the -launched option the game tells you to run it from the launcher 8-) See section 7 in the language/readmes/README.TXT file under the game directory for info about the command line options.

wine v1.2.3 and version of the game
Video tab hangs
by Mclean on Wednesday June 22nd 2011, 17:42
When first running Descent 3, a setup utility must run, in which you must select a video driver to use. The game will not run otherwise. Unfortunately, wine seems to hang when the video tab is selected. Instead of restarting, press the 'Esc' key, and the tab should load with the proper information. Choose the OpenGL driver, which you may need to add it if not listed.

wine v1.2.2