Pixel Boost: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Wes Fenlon at

Twice a month Wes guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each Pixel Boost guide comes with a free side of 4K screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

When it comes to Star Wars games, they don't make 'em like they used to. In the late 90s and early 2000s, the Dark Forces and Jedi Knight series married fun first-person action—full of iconic weapons and sound effects—with stories and characters from a larger fictional world. Kyle Katarn! Mara Jade! Luke Skywalker! They were all there, and the games they were in were good. After the first two Dark Forces, LucasArts handed the reigns to Raven Software, who amped up the lightsaber combat and multiplayer. All of the Jedi Knight games are available on Steam, so I relived my childhood Star Wars fandom with Jedi Outcast and took 25 4K screenshots in the process.

Install it

You can download Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast for $10 on Steam. If you're feeling nostalgic for the whole series, though, the $20 Jedi Knight collection includes every game in the Dark Forces / Jedi Knight series. On Windows 7 and Windows 8, Jedi Outcast should run fine without needing any special installation procedure or running the game in compatibility mode. If you do run into OpenGL issues, check out this solution from the LucasForums.

Run it in high resolution

Want to play Jedi Outcast at 1080p? 1440p? A pretty simple config edit, courtesy of the Steam Forums, will make that possible.

  • First, run the game's singleplayer and multiplayer .exes (if you plan to play multiplayer, anyway) so that they will generate config files.
  • Look in SteamApps\common\Jedi Outcast\GameData\base and find jk2config.cfg.
  • Open the config file and run a search for "seta r_mode" which is currently set to "x." Set the value to -1.
  • Search for "seta r_customwidth" and set this to your screen width. Set seta r_customheight to your screen height. For 1080p, those values would be 1920 and 1080.
  • Add the line seta cg_fov "xx" to the bottom of the config file. Replace the xx with the FOV you'd like to use. The default FOV is 80, and a slightly wider FOV of 90-100 makes sense for widescreen.
  • If you plan to play multiplayer, make these same changes to the jk2mpconfig.cfg file.

Save your changes and you're done! The game should now run in high resolution. Keep in mind the menu and cutscenes won't look so pretty, but the game will be sharp and clean on your modern display.

Mod it

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast doesn't need any mods or patches to run well on modern Windows. Some of its faces and textures look surprisingly good for a 12 year old game, though the environments are as barren and angular as you'd expect. There are a whole bunch of mods, including a few total conversions, floating around out there. Want to play as Darth Maul? Check out the classic Dark Origins total conversion.

The most exciting mod for Jedi Outcast is a work-in-progress total remake of the game, using Raven Software's original source code. If the project ever finishes, it'll give Jedi Outcast a shiny new look. Still, we always appreciate seeing classic games running with their original assets in high resolution, which is why we've got 25 screens of Jedi Outcast below.

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Oucast at 3840x2160 on the LPC

These screenshots were captured by downsampling on the Large Pixel Collider. For more guides to running classic games on modern Windows and more classic game screenshots, check out Pixel Boost every other week.