Audio Options (OpenXcom)

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OpenXcom default Audio Options


  • Music: Background music played during the game.
  • SFX: Sound effects played during the game, except the ones below.
  • UI: User interface sounds, like button presses and window popups.

WARNING: When using MIDI music on Windows Vista and later, the music volume slider will actually affect the whole game's volume.

Music Format

OpenXcom supports a variety of music formats, and will automatically pick the best format available in this order:

The currently-used format is shown under the option. If you are not happy with its selection, you can use this option to set your own preferred music format.

Original Music

The original game includes different music formats depending on the version:

  • DOS 1.0 - Adlib
  • DOS 1.4 - Adlib and MIDI
  • Windows / CE - MIDI
  • Steam - Adlib and MIDI

Custom Music

You can also use custom music (remixes etc.) if you don't like or have trouble getting the original X-COM music to work. Just put it in the SOUND subfolder of the Data folder with the same filenames as the original. Here's a table listing the correspondences between the original and fan soundtracks:

Original Filename PlayStation OST UFO: Cydonia's Fall OST Description
GMDEFEND Briefing1 Defend Base UFO / Alien Base mission briefing screen
GMENBASE Briefing2 N/A Terror Site / Base Defense briefing screen
GMGEO1 Geoscape1 Geoscape (Part I) Randomly at Geoscape
GMGEO2 Geoscape2 Geoscape (Part II) Randomly at Geoscape
GMGEO3* Geoscape3 N/A Randomly at Geoscape
GMGEO4* Geoscape4 N/A Randomly at Geoscape
GMINTER Dogfight Interception When Interceptor is in range of UFO
GMINTRO1 N/A Intro (Part I) First part of the intro
GMINTRO2 N/A Intro (Part II) Second part of the intro
GMINTRO3 N/A Intro (Part III) Third part of the intro
GMLOSE N/A Lose Game Endgame screen (loss)
GMMARS Debriefing Debriefing Any mission debriefing screen
GMNEWMAR Mission Accomplished Mars Briefing Final mission briefing screen
GMSTORY Final Briefing The Story Main menu
GMTACTIC Battlescape1 Tactical Battle Randomly at Battlescape
GMTACTIC2* Battlescape2 N/A Randomly at Battlescape
GMWIN N/A Win Game Endgame screen (victory)

*not available in original

WARNING: There are some bugs with the audio playback on MP3, primarily on Unix-like systems. If you start experiencing random crashes after using custom music, switch to a different music format.

Music files work best at 44.1 KHz with the SDL audio driver in the game. You may want to resample music to 44.1KHz with any of the music that you use.

For FLAC-format, files with 24 bit sample width are not supported.

New in the Nightly Build

Music.rul File: With nightly builds, the ruleset has been broken out into smaller files. Music is now defined in standard/xcom1/music.rul. This ruleset allows for more music to be defined beyond the default game files.

Format of the Rule file follows:

   - type: GMDEFEND
     catPos: 3
     normalization: 0.76

"- type:" is both the track name used internally and the file name, if using mp3/ogg etc. GMGEO, GMTACTIC, and GMINTER can have multiple tracks defined. The convention is that new tracks have numerically sequential filenames, (e.g. GMGEO1, GMGEO2, GMGEO3, etc.), but as long as the track name has the base name somewhere in it (e.g. GMGEO_remix), it will be found and the engine will pick randomly from the available options.

" catPos:" is the catalog position of the file in the stock .CAT file from the original game music. For custom files, or additional files, this may not need to be specified.

" normalization:" is the volume multiplier for playback, so the above file would be played at 76% of its volume.

Sound Format

There are two versions of the game sound effects, 1.0 (Old) and 1.4 (New). Which is better depends on your nostalgia and personal preference:

  • Old - The original version of the sound effects, low quality (8000Hz 6-bit), but preferred by purists.
  • New - The patched version of the sound effects, high quality (11025Hz 8-bit), but with different alien screams that a lot of fans dislike.

The currently-used format is shown under the option. If you are not happy with its selection, you can use this option to set your own preferred sound format.

Original Sounds

The original game includes different sounds depending on the version:

  • DOS 1.0 - Old
  • DOS 1.4 - Old and New
  • Windows / CE - New
  • Steam - Old and New

Custom Sounds

You can also use custom sounds through Mods.