Since Jedi Academy is over 20 years old now, running it on modern hardware can be a bit of a challenge. On top of that, the default server list no longer works in the game, making it difficult to find servers to play on. To fix those issues, it is best to use a community patch or client to help get the most optimizations and features for the game.
OpenJK is a community-led project to make Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy code run with minimal bugs and on modern hardware. Many other clients have been made based on OpenJK but take it even further with new features.
Nowadays it is recommended to use a client called EternalJK to play Jedi Academy multiplayer, and JAEnhanced to play single player, but you can stick with OpenJK if you want as close to the classic game as possible.
This tutorial can be used for any of those clients, they are all mostly installed the same way. For this video I will be using OpenJK since it includes both single player and multiplayer and will get you casually playing either mode the easiest. If you plan on playing multiplayer a lot, EternalJK definitely should be downloaded instead.
I have to assume you already have Jedi Academy purchased in some way and have access to the game’s files in some way. If not, you can buy it on Steam or GOG.com, or even use the original disc if you have it. These clients will allow you to play without having the disc in the drive. All you need is the asset files.
Since the majority of people get the game from Steam, I will start with that process. Download the game on Steam as normal. Once installed, go to the library and right click the game, and go to Manage, then Browse local files. That should take you right to the game’s installation folder. Double click the Gamedata folder.
If you are using the GOG.com version, download the offline installer from the Games page, double click the installer and click through the steps. Once finished, click Exit. You’ll find the game folder for the GOG version in the C drive, under GOG Games. Go to the Jedi Academy folder, then Gamedata.
Now you can press Control N to open a new window and go to your downloads. Extract your OpenJK file to reveal the folder within, click into that folder, and select all files. Then simply drag all of those files into your Gamedata folder. You can replace any files it needs to.
Now all you have to do is double click on these two launchers and make sure they open up okay. Try each one and make sure they launch.
If they don’t launch, note the error you get and go to the end of the video for the common errors and how to fix them.
By default your configuration files and screenshots for OpenJK are located in your user Documents folder under My Games, then OpenJK. If you’d prefer to keep all of your configurations in one place like most people do, simply create a shortcut for the launcher by right clicking, create shortcut, then right click the new shortcut. Type
+set fs_homepath “.”
then click Apply. You can then put that shortcut anywhere on your computer and it will save your configurations and screenshots to your gamedata OpenJK folder instead of a completely different folder.
Installing OpenJK on macOS can be tricky due to the 3 different categories you can find yourself in. If you have a newer Mac with an Apple chip like M1 or M2, there are now native versions you can use. If you have an older Intel-based Mac, the current build of OpenJK on JKHub should also work for you on macOS versions newer than Mojave. For Catalina or older, you will have to use an older build of OpenJK as of this video’s release. This video will focus on newer Apple chip Macs but the process should be the same for Intel, for the most part.
If you have the game on Steam, you’ll probably see a warning saying it is not compatible with your operating system, but it will let you install it anyway, which is all we need. Install the game, and then right click the game in the library sidebar, and go to Manage, then Browse local files. That should open you to show the app. Right click on the app and show package contents. Go to Contents, and your base folder should be there.
Now press Command N to open a new Finder window. Go up to the menu bar, and click the Go menu. Now old the Option or Alt key. You should see a Library option appear here. Click that while still holding that key. In Library, go to Application Support. Now you’re going to need to create a new folder here, and name it OpenJK. Go back to your other finder window with the base folder. Click and drag the base folder over to the new OpenJK folder in the other window.
Press Command N again to open another Finder window, and go to your Downloads folder and go into that OpenJK folder you downloaded at the beginning of this tutorial. Select both of the OpenJK apps in that folder and drag them over to your new OpenJK folder where that base folder now is at.
Now all you need to do is double click on those apps and they should launch. Test both apps to make sure both launch okay. You can also right click each of them and Make an Alias for them and put the shortcuts on your desktop for easy access, or drag them to your dock.
If the games don’t launch, make sure you named the OpenJK correctly and it is inside the Application Support folder and the base folder has asset pk3 files in them.
Installing OpenJK on Linux is essentially the same as on Windows now that Proton allows you to install Windows games. Follow the steps in the Windows section to get the files in the right spots.
No crash or not compatible: Install SDL2
If you get an error when launching the game saying it is not compatible with your version of macOS, you'll probably need to install SDL2 via Homebrew.
Open the Terminal app (search or find it in Applications folder) and copy/paste this line:
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"
If you already had homebrew installed, you can simply update it like so:
Then you can install SDL2:
brew install sdl2
Once that is done, try launching the game again and it should launch.
A common error people get when installing OpenJK is the "cannot find default.cfg" or "cannot find mpdefault.cfg". This just means that the app can’t find the asset files, which usually means you didn’t put the files in the right folder. Make sure the OpenJK.exe or .app is alongside the base folder and the base folder has the assets in it.
Another common error is MSVCP140.DLL was not found. This is fixed by downloading the Visual C++ Redistributable 2015 package.
VM_Create on UI failed
There are a couple errors like the VM_Create error, but it is usually a cause of lack of permissions. On Windows, try launching the game as administrator either by right clicking and choosing the option, or go to Properties, Compatibility, and check the box. If you see this error on Mac, you may need to give the app full disk access. Go to System settings, Privacy & Security, then Full Disk Access, then drag the app over to it.
If you have any other issues or questions, leave a new thread on the forum or head over to the JKCommunity discord and you should get some help pretty quickly.
Edited by Circa