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
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
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 2 kB

Development log


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Using BeautifulDoom this mod will result with starting with the regular Doom pistol.... Can you make this work?

Just used this on WMD with the wad Doom The Way ID Did  with a music pack related to that and this pk3 and worked very well, thank you!

Nice mod. I was playing Plutonia 2, then I turned this mod on, and it didn't work. It works with usual Doom 2.

(1 edit)

Hey ! This didn't work with gameplay mods making use of the UNDROPPABLE and UNTOSSABLE states for weapons and items. I created a small fix (simply a loop that goes through all the player's inventory and remove the items before clearing it like you used to to make sure ammos get removed as well). You can upload it here : https://www.mediafire.com/file/vq55pnyc5iawazw/pistolstart.rar/file

Just so you know I am uploading that as well on the ZDoom forums, I think having it on either ZDoom or DoomWorld would give it more visibility. However if you want me to take it down, or recover ownership of the forum topic, tell me. I'll warn the mods and they'll let you edit the OP so you get it back (at least I think that's how it's done, in all cases, tell me and I'll give it back to you, this is 100% your mod).

Have a good day :)

Thanks for the heads up, and for the fix. It seems to have no downsides, so I've merged it into my version, and am about to upload a new build with a credit for you in the readme.

I should really put all my mods in a public source code depot so people can submit fixes like this easily. In the future I'd be happy to integrate any other fixes people submit, when it's something like this that just does a better job at the existing functionality.

Hey,  sorry, just did a small update again :


I used a while loop which, while it shouldn't loop infinitely, could very well have looped infinitely if any GZD version introduced a bug. Instead I'm now using a for loop that will loop a maximum of 1000 times before automatically stopping (afaik no mod put 1000 different inventory items in the player's inventory). I also changed the health setting by a more recent ZScript function that automatically sets the health in the pawn and the info ;) If that's okay with you, I might add the ability to exclude non-weapon items and specific classes of items, so people could still play some mods without losing potential upgrades (for examples the mods, backpack upgrades and lives of Death Foretold).

Hey just wanted to let you know I did some further improvements, you can check out the changelogs :


You're free to post them here (or link to it if you prefer). I'm about to post a new update actually ;) Hope that's all ok with you ! In the upcoming days I think I'll attempt adding a manual exclusion list (though it will probably harder than initially thought but that should make it a one-size-fits-all kind of pistol start mod !)

Cool! It seems like your mod is now totally its own thing with lots of options and stuff. I'm happy to say keep doing that, and thanks for the credit.

Well thanks a lot to you :) As I said in the credits wouldn't have been able to do it without your mod as a base ! ZScript always seemed easy but so badly documented I didn't bother getting into it. This actually taught me a lot and forced me to look at the ZScript part of GZD's github.

Actually if you're interested in similarly styled minimods I also made another one based off a user request that use roughly the same base system (EventHandler though this one is Static) to let you keep your inventory and weapons after a Death Exit :


In all cases thanks for being understanding. Always glad to have positive exchanges on the internet :)

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 👍