Black Mesa’s Xen beta is Currently Accessible

Technical Beta
Written by Faiza Iftikhar

Rise and shine! It’s been a long, long wait for Black Mesa’s last chapters. At the point when Black Mesa (the modder-made games of the original Half-Life in the Source Engine) was released in 2015, it finished with Gordon Freeman’s leap into the portal that takes him to Xen. The real Xen levels themselves weren’t yet finished. But today, finally (we’ve been hearing the Xen levels were practically ready since 2017) , you can get a solid taste of Xen as the team behind Black Mesa have made 3 chapters of the outsider dimension accessible in a technical beta.

Technical Beta

“The reason of this beta is to gather bugs and feedback on a range of various PCs,”a post on the Black Mesa Steam page peruses. “We have made huge upgrades and changes to the Source engine, and we need the game to keep running as smoothly as possible. If you need to be on the front line of testing, opt into this beta. If you want the polished, complete Xen experience, you should wait. It won’t be long!”

There are some known issues with the Xen beta, for example, drastically lower framerates while playing in 4K, problems with ragdolls in water, missing impacts with specific plants and roots in the swamp, and a couple of other little issues, so don’t anticipate it to be a blemish-free experience. Players are urged to report bugs on the Steam forum or the game’s Discord.

To participate in the beta, discover Black Mesa in your Steam library (you’ll need to possess it, and if you don’t it’s as of now at a bargain) and right-click on it. Select Properties from the drop-down menu, at that point pick the beta tab. Opt-in to the public beta and close the menu. You’ll see Black Mesa updating to give you with the Xen chapters. When you launch the game, you can choose New Game and select chapter 15 to begin playing the Xen beta.

Technical Beta

We are eager to release our tech beta! It’s the first 3 maps of the Xen chapter (which has 6 maps total), proceeding with Gordon’s adventure from the cliffhanger ending of Lambda Core. With the full Xen battle clocking in at 19 maps, the beta is just a sample of what’s to come.

Opt In Technical Beta

First right tap “Black Mesa” in your game library. Go to Properties…

Opt In

Then tap the “BETAS” tab and choose  “public-beta” from the drop down…


It will download a lot of stuff, at that point you will have access to the Xen levels for the beta!

If you have not opened all the chapters, you will need to empower the developer console and open them. Go to Options, Keyboard, Advanced, Enable Developer Console. Bring up the console and type “sv_unlockedchapters 19”.

unlockedchapters 19

From that point, simply tap “New Game”, at that point scroll over to the “Xen” chapter (the chapter images were intentionally left black).

New Game”

Long Jump

The beta drops you in just after Lambda Core. A major part of the last battle in LC is teaching the player how to use the long jump. If you jump straight into Xen, keep in mind that the long jump is triggered by pressing the jump button (space) twice quickly in ANY direction. You can at that point use the W, A, S, D to control Gordon in the air.

Long Jump

Bug Reporting

We are searching for specific graphical/technical/performance bugs, particularly on lower end systems. If you have any problems, please report them on our Steam forums or on the “Xen-Bugs” Discord channel[]. Please incorporate your graphics settings and framework specs or we won’t most likely properly diagnose the issue.

In spite of the fact that our focus is performance, we are likewise interested in what was clear, and what wasn’t for the format and design. If you got stuck some place or were confused by something, let us know.

About the author

Faiza Iftikhar

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