While it wasn’t the first FPS game ever made, the original Doom certainly set the standard for the genre for decades to follow. And yet, when the series went into hibernation, the genre moved away from the fast-paced, in-your-face, non-stop action that the series was built upon. Then, we got the reboot in 2016 that reminded everyone of what a shooter that was built to be pure, adrenaline-fueled, guitar-blasting, blood-soaked fun could be. The sequel, Doom Eternal, upped the complexity of the combat loop without damaging it.
Even with the DLC missions, there is just never enough Doom Eternal. That’s where the modders come in. From upgrades to the graphics, new gameplay modes, balance changes, and more, we have pulled together the best mods you can download to keep the fight against the demonic hoards fresh. Check out all the mods listed below at nexusmods.com and show the creators some love.
The original Doom was created by two legendary Johns: Romero and Carmack. Carmack was the brains behind all the cutting-edge technology that basically made a first-person shooter possible way back in the early ’90s. Neither John works on the current Doom games, but this mod pays homage to Carmack and his dedication to pushing the technical boundaries by re-shading the game to provide more depth and color to the environments. It isn’t a major shift, but it adds a nice new sheen to the game for anyone looking to bump up the graphics a bit.
While Carmack had nothing to do with the previous mod or game itself, this modder found that there were some graphical options left on the cutting room floor at ID. The Restored Graphics Effects mod brings them all back, giving you an experience more in line with what the developers were aiming for at a certain point in development. The main effects put back into the game include the HUD moving as the player runs, a shadow for the Doomslayer, reduced blurry anti-aliasing, the ability to enable ray tracing, and lens flares. You also get a little bump in color and image quality too. This mod may not look all that impressive in stills, but it makes the whole game just feel a little bit better once you’re in it.
If you really wanted to change things up, look no further than the DoEt Cel-Shader mod. Doom has always gone for that ’90s feel — from the music, writing, jokes, and references — and now it can look like a ’90s-era comic book. Cel shading has been used in plenty of games, most notably the Borderland games, and works surprisingly well when layered on the grotesque demons, chunky weapons, and chunks of bloody meat in Doom Eternal. The game never takes itself too seriously anyway, so why not give it that cartoon look as well?
Speaking of realism, if you just can’t get immersed in a game where the dead bodies fade away over time, well, that’s an odd problem, but one that can be solved. Keep the Dead does exactly what it says on the box. No body, gib, or bloody bone will randomly evaporate from the battlefield … at least not for a lot longer than normal. Bodies staying indefinitely was one of the many things the original Doom did that set it apart from other games where defeated enemies simply vanished. The features list on this mod is mainly a list of all the gory bits that will stay in place for a longer duration of time, as well as a few tweaks, like removing the burn-away effect on enemies, making the Pain Elementals and Cacodemons explode rather than ragdoll when killed, and it even keeps broken pieces of barrels and the environment around longer, too. While it isn’t clear just how long the mod keeps the dead around, it is more than enough time to get a satisfying look at the carnage you wrought after a tough encounter.
You might be able to guess that because they are doing similar things, the Particles 9000 mod was made by the same person as the Keep the Dead mod. This is a mod that looks like it will push your rig to the limit by increasing the amount of, and duration of, all weapon particle effects and explosions by four times the normal amount, but it claims to only come at a cost of between five and 10 frames per second. It was even updated so that you can have the particles stay even longer if you want. That might seem overwhelming, but outside of weapons that absolutely flood the screen with particles, such as the BFG 9,000, the extra particles actually make your weapons feel like they have a greater impact on objects and enemies. And who doesn’t enjoy creating a nice little fireworks celebration while blasting away at demons?
Okay, so you’ve got all the new lighting and graphical mods you want, but what about the gameplay? You can only run through the normal campaign so many times, even with the DLC, before it gets a little stale. Enter the Horde Mode mod. Honestly, we’re a little surprised this wasn’t something officially released, especially since there was that training arena in the main game. Thankfully, we have talented modders to add in this addictive mode. Everything you’d want from an official horde mode is here, such as rounds of increasing difficulty, various environments (some of which are brand new), weapon and equipment upgrades between rounds, and even a cutscene at the end. This is the perfect test for anyone itching for a fresh combat challenge.
Speaking of the ultimate challenge, Doom Eternal had a series of Master Levels that remixed set levels from the campaign with new, more difficult enemy encounters. These were fantastic ideas that only fell short when it became clear that very few levels had a master variant. This mod adds a staggering 10 more Master Levels back into the campaign, allowing for a full Master Level run of the entire game. According to the modders behind this restoration, they restored one level ID left out, finished four that were not completed, and made five from scratch. This mod was a major labor of love from an entire team, and the quality shows.
Changing up the gameplay in a game as tightly designed as Doom Eternal is a delicate process, but these tweaks and modifications ride that line perfectly. This is another mod made for people who have either mastered everything the base game had or feel that it wasn’t quite balanced right. The modder describes the overhaul as “an attempt to add a bit of fun, variety, and experimentation to the game.” That means they improved enemy reaction times, raised all ammo and armor capacities, increased jump height, and made tons of tweaks and buffs to just about all the weapons. These changes are just enough to change the flow of the game to be worth yet another playthrough.
There’s really not much to say for this one except thank you. The only part of Doom Eternal that didn’t make you feel like an unstoppable killing machine was when you got in close and melee attacked even the smallest of demons. The harmless tap the Doomslayer hits them with, using the same arms he uses to rip heads from necks and torsos from legs, looks to be nothing more than a tickle to the demons. This mod puts the power back behind those strikes to be more on par with how powerful it was in 2016’s Doom. It isn’t overpowered — it won’t be a one-hit kill or anything — but it’s an actually viable option in combat as opposed to what it is currently: A mistake.
Last up is another mod with a title that says it all. Sure, the Doomslayer isn’t the Master Chief — we’ve gotten glimpses at his face before, and we only get a few scenes where it zooms out of the first-person perspective — but it’s still cool to put a face to the man doing all that ripping and tearing. This mod just pops that helmet off (not like he needed it for protection anyway) no matter what armor or skin you have equipped. Depending on the armor, that actually does change the face model, like the Zombie Slayer skin’s head being partially decomposed. This is a fun one to play around with in photo mode especially.
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