Source Engine

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Source Engine

Source Engine logo
Basic data

developer Valve
Current  version Build 6879
operating system Windows , Linux , macOS , PlayStation 3 , Xbox , Xbox 360 , Android PlayStation 4 , Xbox One
programming language C ++
category Game engine
License Proprietary

Source is a game engine from the US game developer Valve . It runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. Games based on it have been published for Windows , macOS , Linux , Xbox , Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 .


The engine was developed over five years (from around 1999 to 2004) for the game Half-Life 2 as a replacement for the proven Half-Life engine ( GoldSrc ). The main focus was on the greatest possible compatibility with the predecessor, in particular on the support of BSP cards. According to John Carmack , the engine contains code fragments from the Quake engine .

In addition to variable support for DirectX 7 to 9, the engine also includes a heavily modified version of the Havok - physics engine . It also supports Vertex Shader 3.0 and, since the end of October 2005, High Dynamic Range Rendering . Since the release of the Linux version of Team Fortress 2, which is based on the Source Engine, it has also been available under Linux.

Areas of application

The Source Engine is mainly used in Valve's own 3D shooters such as Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Source / Global Offensive . This engine has recently also been used in the MOBA Dota 2 . In addition, the engine has also been licensed by other developers: For example, the 2004 Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines uses this engine.

Valve has also re-released the older games Half-Life , Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat with the Source Engine - in contrast to the other two ports , Half-Life: Source was released without major changes to the original. As announced, only minor level details have been changed, but the game clearly benefits from the newer engine. Day of Defeat: Source has been given new textures and models so that it corresponds to the graphic level of Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Source . In addition, some gameplay changes have been made to the original.

Sales model

The Source Engine website is no longer available and the Source Engine can no longer be licensed.

Before setting the licensing no exact costs were by Valve publicly known, but only a vague description of the price, "extremely competitive prices" (German: extremely competitive prices ) specified. Offers to license the engine are subject to a confidentiality agreement .

Source 2

At the Game Developers Conference 2015, the successor to the Source Engine, the Source-2-Engine, was announced. It is completely free, the condition is that the game must be published on Steam. An SDK for the Source 2 engine is currently not publicly available. Dota 2 by Valve, the developer of the Source Engine, is the first game to use the Source 2 engine. Until September 2015 it was based on the Source engine and was ported to the Source 2 engine as part of the reborn update. Half-Life: Alyx , another title in the Half-Life franchise, which was released on March 23, 2020, is also based on the Source-2 engine and comes with integrated level creation tools, which, however, do not have the full scope of a Source-2 SDK provides.


The following titles use the source engine:

Valve title

Third-party title

Source 2 engine

The following games use the Source 2 engine (English " Source 2 engine " ):

Web links

Commons : Source (game engine)  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Valve to Deliver Steam & Source on the Mac. Valve Corporation, March 8, 2010, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  2. Simon Sage: Green Box brings Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and other Valve classics to NVIDIA Shield. In: Android Central. November 13, 2014, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  3. Welcome, Q3 source, Graphics ( Memento from July 17, 2012 in the web archive )
  4. Christian Klaß: Half-Life 2: Lost Coast is here, demo level shows high dynamic range with the source engine. In: . October 28, 2005, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  5. Team Fortress 2 Welcomes Linux. Valve Corporation, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  6. DaHias: Half-Life: Article solves some HL: Source issues. In: Half-Life Portal. August 1, 2004, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  7. Trineas: What is the difference between Half-Life: Source and the original? In: Half-Life Portal. June 27, 2006, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  8. FAQ on DOD: p. In: Half-Life Portal. Retrieved April 16, 2017 .
  9. ^ Source Engine Licensing. (No longer available online.) Valve Corporation, archived from the original on July 24, 2013 ; accessed on May 30, 2017 (English).
  10. ^ Valve Announces Link, Source 2, SteamVR, And More At GDC. Valve Corporation, March 4, 2015, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  11. ^ Philip Kollar: Valve announces Source 2 engine, free for developers. In: polygon. March 3, 2015, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  12. ^ John Walker: Source 2 Is Actually Free, Like, For Free. Rock, Paper, Shotgun, March 4, 2015, accessed April 12, 2017 .
  13. ^ Seth G. Macy: Dota 2 Now Valve's First Ever Source 2 Game. In: IGN. September 9, 2015, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  14. Half-Life: Alyx on Steam. Retrieved June 18, 2020 .
  15. Source 2 - Valve Developer Community. Retrieved June 18, 2020 .
  16. Official Portal 2 website. Retrieved April 16, 2017 .
  17. Andreas Bertits: No More Room In Hell: Free online shooter has appeared. In: November 2, 2013, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  18. Andre Linken: Tactical Intervention - Free2Play shooter and first DLC now available on Steam. In: GameStar . August 30, 2013, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  19. Jarred Walton: Apex Legends performance analysis: which settings to disable for the best FPS. In: PC Gamer. February 5, 2019, accessed February 5, 2019 .
  20. Dota 2 Reborn, moved to Source 2. Valve Corporation, accessed April 16, 2017 .
  21. Destinations. In: Valve Developer Community. Retrieved April 11, 2017 .
  22. Dota Underlords. Retrieved June 23, 2019 : "DOTA Underlords - the first mobile game published with the Source2 game engine."