Source Engine Beta

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Note.png Note: Obsolete as of 2018


We are enabling a new Source Engine Beta system. This will allow you to run Source games with the latest beta version of the engine. You can use this feature to ensure mods will be compatible with a soon to be released version of the Source engine and report any bugs or compatibility issues before they are released to a wide audience.

Warning.png Warning: This engine is currently in a testing phase. Running this beta version may cause problems running Source games under Steam. If this is the case, please consider submitting a bug report, describing the problem and its repro steps and your system configuration. You can also disable the Source engine beta by following the instructions in the Switching back to the non-beta engine section below.

Current Status

There is no beta engine currently available. If you were previously running the beta, the beta is no longer active, but you should remove the beta option as described below.

Latest updates

Monday May 22nd, 2006

Source Engine Beta updated with bug fixes reported. Read about the changes here.

Thursday May 11th, 2006

Initial release. Further updates will link to a Source Engine Beta Changelist entry.

Getting the Source Engine Beta

Modifying a Steam shortcut to launch the Source Engine Beta

Install instructions.

To run this beta version you will need to add -beta engine to your command line when you start Steam. This can be done by opening up the Windows shortcut you use to launch Steam and adding -beta engine right after Steam.exe. Please report any bugs or issue you find in this article.

Warning.png Important: You should also disable Steam from running automatically when Windows starts, to prevent it from running the non-beta Source Engine. To disable Steam from running automatically:

  1. Open the Steam window.
  2. Choose Settings from the File menu.
  3. Click on the Interface tab.
  4. Uncheck the Run Steam when Windows starts option.

If you wish to have the Source Engine Beta launch when Windows starts, you can add a copy of your edited shortcut to the Windows Startup program group, under Start Menu > All Programs > Startup.

Current changelist

For the latest changes and additions, see:

Known issues

Read about the current Known Issues with the Source Engine Beta on this page.

Bug reporting

To report any issues you find with the Source Engine Beta (and not the regular standard engine and games releases), visit these articles:

Switching back to the non-beta engine

You can revert to the "non-beta" standard Source Engine release by following these steps:

  1. Exit Steam if it's currently running by right-clicking on the Steam tray icon and choosing Exit.
  2. Open the Windows shortcut you use to launch Steam and remove -beta engine.
  3. Launch Steam from the shortcut.
  4. Re-enable Run Steam when Windows starts option if desired.
  5. If you also added a modified Steam shortcut to the Windows Startup program group in order to launch the Source Engine Beta automatically, it also must be removed or edited.