Since we learned how to play the basic Doom 1 and 2 on Android for free, it’s time to look at the capabilities of the paid app, Delta Touch. The main difference between Freedoom and Delta Touch is the amount of features DT offers. While Freedoom allows you to play and experience the basics, Delta Touch does the same with 7 separate engines, a ton of optimizations and advanced features. It even allows you to run Doom 3, Hexen and Heretic. Let’s take a look.
How to play Doom on Android with Delta Touch
You bought Delta Touch from the Play Store (link at the bottom), and now you are ready to give it a go. Let’s start with Doom 1 and 2, since we already have the WAD files from the previous tutorial. If you still need to download them, go to archive.org and search for Doom WAD files (note*). Download anything you like, doom 1, doom 2, doom 3 or anything else you find, Delta Touch will almost certainly run it without problems.
Now that you have the necessary files, go ahead and connect your phone/tablet to your computer and transfer them in the corresponding directories. For Doom 1 and 2 that will be:
\Internal shared storage\Doom
And for Doom 3:
\Internal shared storage\Doom\D3
Check out the screenshots:
If you don’t have a computer, or you downloaded all the files on your Android device, you can use any file manger (I use Xplore) to transfer them from the “Downloads” directory to “Doom”. Like this.
Things you need to know about Delta Touch
As we already know Freedoom can run Doom 1 and 2 without problems, but Delta Touch does it better. How? It simply has more engines integrated in the app.
- GZDoom (v1.9.1 & v3.25 & v3.82 & v4.x)
- Zandronum (v3.0 & v3.1 Alpha)
- Chocolate Doom
- Dhewm3 (Doom 3)
Yup, that’s right. Seven on the dot. Needless to say, anything pre-Doom 3 runs pretty much perfectly. Touchscreen controls are acceptable, but of course not as good as having a keyboard or dedicated controller. Nevertheless, if you intend to use the touchscreen as primary input, it does a great job of emulating a mouse look and aim. Pretty much everything is customizable and even if you don’t like the default layout, you can remap it from zero.
But that’s not all. There is a reason why Delta Touch includes 7 different engines. If you want to experience the original Doom and play it on your Android as it is 1993, try the RetroDoom engine. It looks most authentic, at least from my perspective. Here are 3 examples:
Changing between the engines is painless and you can easily do it from the main menu in Delta Touch. Just tap the arrow on the left side of the screen and select an engine. Try them all, they all have their pros and cons. Some offer more accurate visuals, while other have better controls. GZDoom and Chocolate Doom even have multiplayer launchers. To find out more about the engines used in Delta Touch, tap here.
Each engine in the menu, when selected has a black gear icon next to it. Here you can change advanced options like which engine version to use, OpenGL (GLES) version, resolution, Light Packs etc. Changing most of the settings here won’t break anything, but in case you change something and don’t remember what it was, you can always delete the config file. This will “reset” the app to the default values.
Exploring the right menu in Delta Touch
The arrow on the right side of your screen brings up the main options of the app itself. Here you can remap the controller buttons, or disable the touch screen controls. However, the second icon (the gear one) is where the advanced options reside. If you want to hide the android navigation bar and expand the image across the entire screen (into the notch), you can do that right here. Resolution override is pretty much self-explanatory and there is no need to ever go below 100%. If you want a more retro feeling, as I mentioned above, just use the “RetroDoom” engine.
If you experience ghost touches or other abnormal touchscreen behaviors, turn on “Use alternative touch code” and see if it helps. This rarely happens on modern devices, but it isn’t unheard of.
The third icon (showing an SD Card) allows you to override the default directories. This can be useful if you are still using an SD card and want to place everything (WAD, PK4 or mod files) there. Or you can simply override the location of config and save files (“user files”) to a more accessible place, let’s say:
/Internal Storage/Delta Backup
You must grant the app a permission to use the storage first.
Doom 3 on Android
Now we are talking. Delta Touch can run Doom 3, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, The Lost Mission and Classic Doom 3 on Android thanks to the Dhewm3 engine. Since Doom 3 is exactly 10 years newer than Doom 2, you will need more rendering power. How much, I am not entirely sure. It runs with solid 60 FPS on Snapdragon 860, mostly 60 FPS on Snapdragon 720G, around 30-ish FPS on Mediatek Helio X10 etc. You will have to try it yourself.
There are bunch of settings (the engine gear) that you can try to optimize the game for your device specifically, and the first thing you should do is lower the Screen resolution to 50%. This should help a lot, while maintaining a decent image quality.
Here is a video of the first stage I recorded playing on a phone with Snapdragon 860 and 6GB ram. It runs constantly with 60 fps, occasional drops are still possible. Doom 3 is very playable on touchscreen and works like a champ most of the time.
A word or two about Mods
One of the biggest advantages of having Delta Touch in your library is the mod support, and the mod save feature. You can configure the game how you wish to play it, make sure it runs fine then tap the mods button on the main menu and tap the + icon. This will save the game with all the settings, mods and command line arguments used. Pretty handy if you like to experiment with mods, and you hate typing in CL arguments every time you want to switch something.
Just follow these 4 steps and if you still can’t figure it out, watch the video below.
This is just one example with the most popular mod for Doom ever, Brutal Doom. The world of mods is huge and if you are interested in trying them out, this is the best place to start.
Finally, here is the video I promised. All 6 Delta Touch engines demonstration with Doom 2 level 1 on Android. Can you spot the differences?
Delta Touch is available on the Google Play Store for a small price of $2.25 (regional pricing may apply). In my personal opinion it fully justifies the price. The dilemma of charging for what essentially is a free software will always be there. But at least this way, the developer is compensated for the hours he puts in and the end result is regular updates and tweaks.
As a final note, the ethical thing to do is to download the WAD files only if you purchased the games at some point in the past. For example, I have Doom 1, 2 and 3 from back in the day, and because of that it doesn’t matter if the WAD file came from my original CD’s (and floppy disks) or archive.org. If you still don’t have a valid copy of the games, you can purchase them from GoG, which happens to be a great place to buy DRM Free games.
Dejan Balalovski – “Doom on Android Part 2 (Delta Touch)”