Downloading and Compiling under Windows

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This page describes compiling Arx Libertatis from source under Windows and assumes some familiarity with the command-line. If you just want to play the game, it might be easier to grab a binary release or snapshot if available.

This page documents how to compile Arx Libertatis from under Windows.

There are also instructions available for Linux / FreeBSD and Mac OS X

Here's a quick guide describing how to compile and debug Arx Fatalis under Windows using Visual Studio 2013. Should also work with any version of Visual Studio, given that you generate the right projects using CMake. Paths used here are only to give as an example...

Also there is a YouTube video on how to download and compile Arx Libertatis under Windows

Step 1: Download Required Applications

Optional Application

If you want to use the crash reporter or profiler, you need to download and install Qt5. You also need to append the full path to Qt's msvc2013 directory to your CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH. The Qt's msvc2013 directory is under Qt\5.4 folder.

Step 2: Getting the libraries

Getting all libraries to work under Windows required a lot of work and was error prone... So we decided to provide pre-built versions under ArxWindow repo (both 32-bit and 64-bit) to simplify the process. Arx Libertatis depends on the following libraries on Windows.

1. The ArxWindows repo only contains the Boost source, it doesn't contain any prebuilt libraries - those aren't needed for Arx Libertatis.

2. Creative's OpenAL implementation is severely limited, which can cause missing sounds in arx. OAL implementations from IHVs are just buggy and the cause for many crash reports.

If you using the pre-built libraries from the ArxWindows repo, all of these should be included for you.

Here's how to obtain them:

In GitBash

cd /c/Code/git
git clone --depth 1 git://

Then we need to tell cmake where to search for our libraries: Add CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH to your environment variable with the following value:


On Windows 7 or later this can be done here:
Win7 env.png

After that, you need to start a new prompt (GitBash, Command Prompt, etc) so that the new environment variables are available.

Run the following to check if you set the cmake path correctly or not:


It should echo:


Step 3: Getting the source code

There are several methods to get the Arx Libertatis source code - choose the one that suits you best:

Downloading a released version

The easiest way to get the AL source code is to download a versioned release. This will get you a reasonably up to date copy of the source code that has been tested to work.

Cloning the repository

If you want the absolute latest version of the Arx Libertatis development code and stay up to date, you can clone the AL source code repository. Beware that this will give you the current master development branch that we are actively working on. While the code in that branch should always work, it hasn't undergone any significant testing. If you just want to play the game, consider using a released version instead.

To clone the repository, type:

git clone git://

This creates a directory called ArxLibertatis and downloads the current source code from github.

Later if you want to update your local copy of the source code, run

git pull

Downloading a snapshot

Alternatively you can download the current snapshot of the source code repository as a .zip or .tar.gz file and extract that:

This will give you the same code as cloning the repository, but won't let you update it without downloading everything again.

Step 4: Generating VC++ projects

We'll use CMake for that in GitBash:

mkdir build_vc12
cd build_vc12
cmake .. -G "Visual Studio 12" -DUNITY_BUILD=ON
  • "Visual Studio 12" in the command refers to using Visual Studio 2013 to generate the project. If you are using Visual Studio 2012, use ""Visual Studio 11" instead. Use cmake --help to check the available compilers on your computer.
  • -DUNITY_BUILD=ON enables building of each program as one big source file. This is somewhat like link-time optimization but provides faster builds as each header only needs to be parsed once for the whole executable. It also prevents incremental builds - if you plan on using git bisect or trying a lot of small changes, consider leaving it out.

For further build options, please refer to the README file.

Step 5: Building Arx Libertatis

Build the whole solution (ArxLibertatis.sln) in Visual Studio: C:\Code\git\ArxLibertatis\build_vc12\ArxLibertatis.sln as shown in the picture.

If you use Visual C++ 2010, there's a bug causing all cpp files to be place in the root of the project... it is annoying but has no effect on the build itself.

You can build the debug target (has debug symbols & can be debugged) or the release target (faster, but currently without debug information)

Step 6: Installing the data files

After getting the game data, you need to put the data files in the correct location for Arx Libertatis to find them.

By default, Arx Libertatis searches for data files (from the original game) under the following paths.:

  • C:\Code\git\ArxLibertatis\build_vc10 <--preferred
  • C:\Code\git\ArxLibertatis\data\core
  • C:\Users\[YOUR NAME]\Saved Games\Arx Libertatis

Simply place your data file into one of these directories.

    • If you want to specify your own data file location, create a Window registry key HKCU\Software\ArxLibertatis\DataDir with the value pointing to your game data directory.
    • Arx Libertatis only needs the following game data file:
      • data.pak
      • data2.pak
      • loc.pak
      • sfx.pak
      • speech.pak

Finally, copy the necessary dlls to C:\Code\git\ArxLibertatis\build_vc12\Debug because that's where your arx.exe is located

C:\Code\git\ArxWindows\libs\sdl\bin\SDL32.dll  \\if you are using 32-bit Windows
C:\Code\git\ArxWindows\libs\sdl\bin\SDL64.dll  \\if you are using 64-bit Windows

The complete search path is described on the Data directories page.

Step 7: Running Arx Libertatis

Simply click on arx.exe under C:\Code\git\ArxLibertatis\build_vc12\Debug

Step 8: Debugging ArxLibertatis

  • Right click on the arx project under the Solution Explorer in Visual Studio 2013
  • Select "Set as StartUp Project"
  • Change full_screen to false in %USERPROFILE%\Saved Games\Arx Libertatis\cfg.ini, as debugging with a fullscreen windows is a pain.
    • Otherwise, you can change to full_screen after you run the game.
  • Click the "debug" button (F5) and enjoy :D
  • For Arx Libertatis debug explanation, please check out Debugging