Below are the most popular applications and tools to use for playing and editing for ZDoom.
GZDoom 4.5.0 is the most latest and stable release of the ZDoom code-base. It offers an optional hardware-accelerated renderer in addition to the classic software renderer. Development builds are available.
ZDoom 2.8.1 is the last stable release of ZDoom. It allowed all the usual features of ZDoom plus many new ones such as custom damage types, status bars and much more. See ZDoom version history for a succinct list of new major features added in each iteration of ZDoom, and which have been added to the last development builds.
The most recent continuation of GZDoom Builder and Doom Builder. It's currently maintained by others in order to fix bugs and make its features more elaborate while still keeping its primary features like previewing OpenGL and ZDoom effects inside the editor. This allows it to be the most efficient editor of the bunch. It requires the same hardware like Doom Builder 2.
Doom Builder is easily the most known Doom level editor today. It supports most of ZDoom's features already, but can be configured to include any new ZDoom feature. Its interface is very user friendly and easy to understand. DB's 3D level editor is the best of the few 3D Doom editing tools out there to date. It is a highly recommended tool for experts and newcomers.
Its successor is Doom Builder 2, a total rewrite in C#. However, to use Doom Builder 2, the computer must meet some basic system requirements:
- 2.4 GHz CPU or faster. (Multi-core recommended)
- Windows XP, Vista or Seven
- Your operating system must be up to date
- Graphics card with Pixel Shader model 2.0
During installation the following additional components are loaded: .NET framework and SlimDX. The last version from the old codebase, Doom Builder 1.68, is still available, but no longer supported.
SLADE3 is the successor to both SLumpEd and the level editor SLADE. It has a familiar "list" interface to previous lump editing tools. It supports most of the sound/image formats that ZDoom can use, and can convert formats to others with ease. It has a text recognition feature for text based jumps such as DECORATE and ACS, to help modders correct their code easily before compiling/testing. It and its predecessor SLumpEd are also currently the only lump managers that can deal with ZIP/PK3 formats.
ZDL is the most popular ZDoom launcher currently used. It is a very small application which allows players to quickly set up source ports, IWADS, PWADS and other various settings in seconds. There are also "fan" versions of the tool to extend it's functionality, even for slight changes such as recognizing pk3 files.
Doom Connector 3 is one of the many doom multiplayer connectors out there, but it is the only one that lets users create ZDoom and GZDoom specific "rooms". It also has rankings, chat rooms and a very simple interface.