A downloadable mod

This simple ZScript mod makes it so you always "pistol start" every level. By default in Doom, when you exit one level and enter another, you carry over weapons, ammo, armor, and the backpack powerup. Pistol start means you start every level with only your fists, the pistol, 50 bullets, 100 health, and no armor.

This mod has been coded in such a way that it should work with a variety of other mods, such as ones that modify the default player loadout and/or starting health. Let me know if you find a mod this doesn't work with.

If you've played Doom before but never this way, I recommend it! All the original id Software level designers developed and balanced their levels in this way. Weapon and resource placements within each level become much more meaningful, and there is less chance of the resource economy breaking (eg player has nearly full stacks of everything, boooring) later in the game.

For your convenience, an on/off switch is provided in a new section of the options menu. This way you can keep it auto-loaded (from gzdoom.ini) and turn it on or off as needed.

CategoryGame mod
AuthorJP LeBreton

Install instructions

Open the file "pistolstart.zip" or its enclosed "pistolstart.pk3" with GZDoom, either from the command line or by dragging the mod onto GZDoom's icon.


pistolstart.zip 1 kB

Development log


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I stumbled upon an issue: the player's loadout isn't reset if they finish a map via sector type 11 (damaging floor exit, used in E1M8). I observed this in Doom Zero Map05's exit.

Ah, good catch! Should be relatively easy to fix.

Okay, this should work: https://jp.itch.io/doom-pistol-start/devlog/163072/new-build-handle-e1m8-and-e2m...

Works now, thanks for the quick update 👍