This installation method is the one where you download everything yourself and then put things where they should go. It may sound scary, but it really isn't.These instructions are for Mac OS X only.
If you use Windows or Linux, please see the other installation methods:
QUICK STARTIf you don't have FreeSpace 2, get it from Good Old Games (GOG).The instructions in orange are required. Everything else is optional.Step 1) Install FS2
Since FreeSpace 2 is a Windows game, you'll need to install it in a Windows or Windows-like environment. If you have access to a Windows machine or to a virtual machine (VM) running Windows, you can use that.
Otherwise, you can install FS2 using a free trial version of CrossOver Games, a program that allows you to run Windows games on Mac OS X. See the notes at the end for more about using CrossOver Games.
In all cases, I recommend installing FS2 to the directory C:\Games\FreeSpace2\.
After you've installed FS2, copy the entire FreeSpace2 folder to your location of choice.
I strongly recommend copying it to your Applications folder, resulting in the path Macintosh HD/Applications/FreeSpace2/ (or /Applications/FreeSpace2/ for short).
Be sure to uninstall FS2 from Windows (or delete the FS2 bottle if you're using CrossOver Games) after you've copied the folder.Step 2) Get OpenAL
Mac OS X includes OpenAL, so you can skip this step. Yay.Step 3) Get the latest official FSO build and a launcher
Get the 3.7.4 Final build from the release thread.
Copy the .app files inside the .dmg download to your FreeSpace2 folder.
If you want to try a more recent but possibly unstable build called a "nightly build," see the notes at the end.For a launcher, get wxLauncher, unless you're running OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or using a PowerPC Mac, in which case you should first follow Step 4 below and then see the FreeSpace Wiki for setup instructions using Soulstorm's launcher.
In general, the FSO builds are the only
things that should ever
be added to the "root" FS2 folder unless otherwise mentioned, although you can also put the launcher there if you want.Step 4) Move the cutscenes to /FreeSpace2/data/movies/
If you have the GOG version of FS2, move the .mve files (which are the cutscenes) from /FreeSpace2/data2/ and /FreeSpace2/data3/ to /FreeSpace2/data/movies/ .
After doing that, delete the /FreeSpace2/data2/ and /FreeSpace2/data3/ folders and any files left in them.
The non-.mve files in those two folders are unnecessary and can even cause problems.
Want to save a little disk space with the cutscenes? See the notes at the end.Step 5) Set things up
1. Open the wxLauncher .dmg file and put the launcher .app wherever you want, then open it.
2. Open the Basic Settings page and select the location of your FreeSpace2 folder (/Applications/FreeSpace2/).
3. Select your FSO executable (or build), which you downloaded in Step 3.
Choose an executable that doesn't have the word "Debug" in the name, such as "FreeSpace 2 Open 3.6.18".
If you got a nightly build (see the notes at the end for a description), select the build that doesn't have "Debug" in the name, such as "FreeSpace 2 Open Build 7611".
Want to know what "Debug" means? See the notes at the end.4. Change any settings on the Basic Settings page if you like.
If you want to use the checkboxes (list of flags) on the Advanced Settings page, this page
describes what they mean.If you don't want to download another 500 MB for the graphical enhancements right now, then just go and play using the retail assets and effects. Otherwise, continue to Step 6.Step 6) Get the MediaVPs (recommended)
If you want FS2 to look its prettiest, download the MediaVPs, which are a compilation of graphical enhancements, including high-poly models, improved textures, and new effects.
Most mods require the 2014 MediaVPs
, but some older mods might only work with the 3.6.12 MediaVPs
The launcher flags (or features) mentioned in the MediaVPs' instructions can be found on the launcher's Advanced Settings page.
After you're done following the MediaVPs' instructions, you might want to look at some sample lighting settings
.Hurray! You have now successfully installed FreeSpace Open.NOW GO AND PLAY! You can read the rest later if you want.