Introduction Troubleshooting Gameplay Single-Player Multiplayer Dedicated Servers Linux Server Setup Development Other Sources Of Information Epilogue
[3.1] What ships are available in D3?
There are 4 ships in total in D3 whereas the Black Pyro is only available to owners of the Mercenary addon. In the single-player storyline you start out with the Pyro-GL, a modified version of the Pyro-GX of Descent 1/2. It performs much like the old ship.

The second ship available is the Phoenix that you got to find at the end of level 6 and start to use in level 7. The third ship is the Magnum-AHT, which enters the single-player storyline in level 9 and can be used in level 10 for the first time.

Once you've played the game through you can choose whatever of the 3 'standard' ships you like when starting a new game. As of yet you cannot use the Black Pyro in Retribution and the other 3 in Mercenary. Also see section [5.12].

[3.2] What about the Guidebot and it's objectives?
Contrary to it's predecessors D3 develops a storyline as you advance through the levels. In the briefing at the beginning of each level you're given a short overview on what has to be done to advance to the next level. Your mission is split into several objectives that can be reviewed in-game by using your TelCom-system (SHIFT+TAB).

In addition you got to use the Guidebot which now has a far larger influence on your way of completing the game. It always knows what to do next to fulfill the current objective. If you're not sure what to do next, take a look at the first command on the GB's menu; it will show you how to go on.

[3.3] What's this 'use item' feature I heard about?
Unlike to D1/D2 you now have to use some items (keys and stuff) explicitely by pressing the 'use item'-key. When you run over a key or a data cartridge it's automatically placed into your inventory and you can cycle through these items. The default keys for 'use item' and 'cycle item' depend on the language version your're playing so check your config.

Additionally you should enable the inventory listing in the HUD settings, so you can see whether the item you need is currently selected; if it's not just cycle through the items you've picked up.

[3.4] What's this mouselook feature I noticed some discussion about?
As with Quake you are now able to use the mouse to make the ship face any direction your pointing the mouse at immediately. This gives mouselookers a certain advantage since they can turn and aim faster than you could usually in Descent. As well you need less skill to control your ship which is one reason why this feature has been widely regarded as a bad move.

However, it is turned off by default so you don't have to worry about it whenever you host a multiplayer game.

[3.5] What's a so-called 'X-Factor' that's been introduced with D3?
It's a feature of the advanced AI that's been developed for D3. Every robot has a certain kind of behaviour/attribute about it; eg. the Barnswallow collects powerups and puts them into it's net, the Orbot is highly inflammable...

Summed up: the AI is frightening realistic.

[3.6] How do countermeasures work?
Countermeasures add a third weapons tier to D3. Instead of lumping the dropped weapons (e.g. proximity bombs) in with the secondary weapons, they have been grouped into their own new category. As with the 'use item'-feature (also see section [3.3]) you need to define certain keys for using and cycling countermeasures (check your config).
[3.7] What are the new weapons in D3?

Vauss Cannon
A dual-fire machine gun in the tradition of the Vulcan and Gauss Cannons. It's weaker than the Gauss, but stronger than the Vulcan.

Napalm Cannon
Your standard flamethrower. Burn baby, burn!

Microwave Cannon
Deforms the viewpoint of anything it hits, including players (cool effect!).

Arcing electro-magnetic energy at your enemy like a homing weapon but without causing the typical alert sound. They never know what hit them.

Mass Driver
The perfect sniper weapon. It's telescopic range finder zooms in on your enemy to make you place the perfect shot. Calculate some reload time though.


Napalm Missile
Ejects Napalm upon impact and burns for ten seconds while dripping down onto the ground. Good for ambushes in tunnels.

Frag Missile
Much like the Smart Missile, the Frag Missile releases shrapnel upon impact but the smaller shrapnels do not home in on your target. Nevertheless very useful to seal some tube when enemies follow close behind.

Cyclone Missile
Seperates in-flight into six smaller homing missiles from the main missile body. You'll need some distance to your target though.

Impact Mortar
Needs quite some timing due to it's comparatively slow travelling speed. Once released it'll go straight ahead and detonate in a huge explosion with a large blast radius after approx. 3 seconds.

Blackshark Missile
Keep quite some distance to your target since this missile creates a whirling maelstrom upon impact dragging everything in close range into it before the explosion of a dying star shredds the victims to bits.


Bouncing Betty
A pack of bouncing bomb which are difficult to avoid.

Seeker Mines
A mine that will seek out players, comparatively slow but dangerous in numbers.

Floating turret bomb. Not actually powerful but very distracting which gives you some extra moments to finish off your target. As well very useful as an alarm system in multiplayer games that notifies you of your opponent's position in the mine.

Chaff Burst
Doesn't do any damage but attracts homing missiles so you better have some handy.

[3.8] Where can I enter command-line parameters?
Open the D3 launcher and select setup | misc | optional D3 command line switches and add them with one blank space in between e.g.

-framecap30 -nomovie (don't forget the hyphen).

[3.9] How can I skip the intro movie?
Add the line '-nointro' (without the quotes) to the command-line parameters (see above).
[3.10] What are wind tunnels?
These are cool one-way tubes that catapult your ship from one end to the other very fast. Actually they are rather fun to ride especially in Mercenary level 3 or the Multiplayer level Half Pipe (of the Fury level set). Some people also refer to them as gravity tubes. View the 'secret2.dem' that gets installed with D3 to see what it feels like.

In single play you should get the Guidebot back into your ship before you use them since you don't know wether you'll be able to get back to pick him up.

[3.11] What's wrong with the new automap?
Well, everyone would agree that the new autompap looks terrribly cool!

Unfortunately it does not color unvisited parts of the mines differently when you've picked up the full map powerup! Instead you'll be shown the whole map in it's normal colors. Thus to prevent losing orientation avoid the full map so you can recognize unvisited rooms by a blinking portal (= connection between two rooms).

Curiously enough secret areas do not show up on the (full) map unless you have visited them. Till then you'll only see a black portal indicating that something will be behind.

[3.12] I just picked up a Guided Missile, why doesn't it show up when I cycle through my secondary weapons?
Most likely you have disabled it in the weapon auto-select menu. Under F2 | Config | Weapons you can set the priority of your weapons, i.e. the order in which they are cycled through as well as the priority of which one gets selected automatically when you run over a weapon that you hadn't picked up before.

Any weapon that is disabled in this menu cannot be selected by use of the 'cycle weapons'-key but by pressing the corresponding key on your keyboard instead. For example, if you had the Guided Missile disabled from auto-select (generally a good idea) you have to press '7' twice to select it.

[3.13] How can I start D3 without having to use the launcher?
This is quite easy but note that you should have started D3 at least once using the launcher to properly adjust your hardware settings.

Lets assume you installed D3 to E:\Games\D3; open the Windows explorer and click on the file 'main.exe' to drag it onto your desktop or into any Games-folder you might have. Now right-click the icon and select properties | shortcut, the top line should be changed to the following:

E:\Games\D3\main.exe -launched

This will bypass the launcher and start up the game a bit faster. Note that you should also add all the command-line parameters you had in the D3 launcher as explained in section [3.8]. For example,

E:\Games\D3\main.exe -launched -pilot Moon -playermessages -nointro

The last thing you can change is this tacky Windows icon for the shortcut (hopefully you also installed the TweakUI that came with the Windows Powertoys to get rid of those annoying shortcut overlays). You should still have the propererties | shortcut window open. Select 'change symbol' which causes Windows to pop up an error message saying that no symbols are available in the 'main.exe'.

Instead of using one of the symbols offered in the list simply select 'search' and click through to your D3 directory and on 'Descent3.exe' which offers the red-sun symbol. Certainly you can choose whatever icon you have on your system. This method is very convenient to have several D3-shortcuts with different command-line parameters on your destop. So you could have one for a dedicated server, another for single-player only and so on. Check the 'readme.txt' that comes with D3 for an extensive list of command-line parameters.

[3.14] How can I extract the D3 music (mp3s available)?
Contrary to basically all sound effects (except the PA-voices) the D3 music is not in the common WAV-format but in Outrage's compressed OSF-format. As of yet there is no converter available so you can only download some of the mp3s that have been released by Outrage and Jerry Berlongieri at:

However, here's a workaround for level designers who want to use some ambient music themes in their levels and need to preview them: extract the OSF files from the D3 HOG to your D3\custom\sounds directory, start D3 and select Pilots | Configure | Ship Configuration.

Then from on the lower left of the screen use the up and down arrows in the first of the selection boxes named 'Audio Taunt #1'. You can browse through the extracted osf-files and listen to them by clicking the 'Play' button next to it.

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