Startup Media

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Startup Music

Startup music is music that plays on the main menu when booting up the game, but does not play when returning to the main menu from elsewhere in the game.

Source Source Engine

Source will play ๐Ÿ–ฟsound\ui\gamestartup*.mp3 when it finishes loading the main menu after the application is launched. The asterisk matches anything at all (including nothing), so feel free to give your files descriptive names. If more than one file matches, a choice will be made at random.

All files must be encoded at 44.1 KHz.

Tip.pngTip:Startup music can be disabled by starting with -nostartupsound.
Warning.pngWarning:Only MP3 files are supported, and they do not loop.
PlacementTip.pngWorkaround: If a looping WAV is desired, edit valve.rc to add the line play #*ui/gamestartup.wav (or something similar) to the end of the file. Only one music track is supported using this method.

GoldSrc GoldSrc Engine

GoldSrc will play ๐Ÿ–ฟmedia\gamestartup.mp3 or Redbook CD track 29 when it finishes loading the main menu after the application is launched. The track will loop and continue to play until a map is loaded.

Icon-Bug.pngBug:If the game directory is ๐Ÿ–ฟvalve, the startup track will continue to play across multiple maps until another track is called!

Startup Videos

Startup videos is the video that plays when booting up the game, after the game has reached the end of the list inside the StartupVids.txt file, the main menu appears.

You can change the startup video for a game by placing the following files in the ๐Ÿ–ฟ<moddir>\media folder:

  • ๐Ÿ–ฟvalve.avi file (or other specified in StartupVids.txt (only in Source)) - for GoldSrc GoldSrc (Retail/WON version) and Source 2006 Source 2006 or earlier
  • ๐Ÿ–ฟvalve.bik file (or other specified in StartupVids.txt) - for Source 2007 Source 2007 and later
  • ๐Ÿ–ฟvalve.webm file (or other specified in StartupVids.txt) - for GoldSrc GoldSrc (post-25th anniversary update), and Source Source games/branch that have been modified to have WebM support (such as Strata Source Strata Source), aswell as CS:GO engine branch CS:GO engine branch and Source 2 Source 2.
    • Please note that in GoldSrc GoldSrc (post-25th anniversary), audio in the WebM video are muted and instead the game will try to play the ๐Ÿ–ฟ<moddir>/sound/ui/valve_sound.wav file instead, which is much lower quality when played in-game (unless MetaHook is used).

If you are making a mod for Half-Life 2 Half-Life 2 (or other Source Source games) you can place any AVI, Bink Video (BIK), MOV (for macOS macOS), or WebM (if the engine have WebM support added) file in your mod's ๐Ÿ–ฟmedia folder. In order for the video to play when you start your mod you will need to create a StartupVids.txt file in the ๐Ÿ–ฟmedia folder. Inside StartupVids.txt you simply specify the filename(s) of the video(s) you want to be played on a separate line.

For example:

media/vid1.avi media/vid2.bik media/vid3.webm

Keep in mind that an AVI video will need to be encoded using the Cinepak codec. It is not known whether audio codecs other than Microsoft ADPCM are supported.

DivX is also supported, however there appears to be a size limit to the startup video, so if a video is not played then its file size is too large, this has been tested with an AVI file over 100 MB.

You can get the BIK video encoder for free from RAD on their site at RAD Game Tools

Note.pngNote:RAD Tools is a commercial product and can't be used legally without purchasing a license for its use in your Source mods. This was pointed out to be by Jeff of RAD Game Tools.

For MOV (QuickTime), it is only supported in macOS macOS.

Confirm:Does the MOV intro also plays on Windows Windows or Linux Linux?

For WebM, it is only supported in GoldSrc GoldSrc (after Half-Life's 25th anniversary update), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (after Panorama update), some third-party Source Source games, and fully supported in Source 2 Source 2 onwards.

When encoding the startup video note that older version of Source 2007 Source 2007 does not properly all resolutions of BIK video, and only support 1024x768. When using an unsupported video size (let's say 720x480) only the first few seconds of the video will display. After that it will freeze and you will only hear the video's sound, also the game may possibly briefly freezes with a "Not Responding" shown on the game's titlebar (if run on windowed mode), or the Busy cursor appears with the hl2.exe is not responding message. Another possibility is that the video will not play at all. This was later fixed in Source 2013 Source 2013 and Left 4 Dead engine branch Left 4 Dead engine branch onwards respectively, and these later games do play the startup videos in higher resolutions without freezing.

To Remove the Startup Video

Simply create ๐Ÿ–ฟStartupVids.txt in ๐Ÿ–ฟmedia and leave the contents blank.

If you want to skip the startup videos, you can add the -novid parameter to your Command Line.

Note.pngNote:In Postal III Postal III, the startup video (except the Zoom Platform) was hardcoded into the ๐Ÿ–ฟmainmenu.bsp map instead of the StartupVids.txt file, which would run the code to play all 5 intro files (Akella, RWS, Trashmasters intro, and the Source and Nvidia's PhysX legal and copyright notices). To skip the startup video, rename the following files in ๐Ÿ–ฟp3\media and ๐Ÿ–ฟp3\english\media (or ๐Ÿ–ฟp3\<language>\media) folder: