Restoring surround sound to the client

Oct 13, 2010
Required components:
  • mssds3d.m3d OR mssdx7.m3d
Optional components:
  • SwgClientSetup_r.exe
  • Creative ALchemy

By default SWG uses the Miles Fast 2D Positional Audio provider. We need to switch it to use the DirectSound3D provider instead, but SWG doesn't ship with it nor did the patcher ever provide it during the live era.

The DS3D providers come in mssds3d.m3d and mssdx7.m3d. You can obtain these two provider files from other games that use MSS. Three of them that I know of are:
  • Star Wars: Empire at War
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Planetside 1

SWGEmu uses Miles 6.5e, SWKOTORII uses 6.5h and SW:EaW uses 6.6g. You can update Emu and KOTORII to use 6.6g by overwriting mss32.dll with EaW's version along with mssdsp.flt, mssmp3.asi and mssvoice.asi, but make backups just in-case.

You can find them in the miles folder located in the root game directory. Copy both or one of these two *.m3d files into the miles folder in the SWGEmu directory; The following providers should now be available:
  1. DirectSound3D Software Emulation (mssds3d.m3d)
  2. DirectSound3D Hardware Support (mssds3d.m3d)
  3. DirectSound3D 7+ Software - Pan and Volume (mssdx7.m3d)
  4. DirectSound3D 7+ Software - Light HRTF (mssdx7.m3d)
  5. DirectSound3D 7+ Software - Full HRTF (mssdx7.m3d)

Providers 2, 4 and 5 will only be available when using Creative Alchemy to re-enable hardware support, but all five will grant you surround sound. If you have access to SwgClientSetup_r.exe then you can use that to select a new audio provider from the drop-down list in the sound tab, but if you don't you'll need to manually set the soundProvider field in options.cfg and/or swgemu_machineoptions.iff.

And ta-da! SWG now has surround sound support! I've only tested using a 5.1 setup but theoretically any number of speakers should work.

Happy questing!
Sep 13, 2010
I know this is a pretty old thread but...

I've added both mssds3d.m3d and mssdx7.m3d from my Empire at War folder to my miles folder in my SWGEmu folder, but I'm not seeing additional sound provider options. This is what I'm seeing:

Any advice?
Oct 13, 2010
The setup program that comes with the current version of the emu client is different than the version that comes with the COA or StarterKit packages. Selecting any one of those surround sound options should work but if it doesn't try copy/pasting the older setup tool from COA/StarterKit into your emu directory and try the steps listed above.


New Member
May 22, 2018
Thank you for this information. I have struggled with this for a long time. Even with the EAW miles files I could never get this working. It never occurred to me to simply replace the actual sound provider name in options.cfg. Editing options.cfg manually adding the provider worked for me:

soundProvider="DirectSound3D 7+ Software - Pan and Volume"
Apr 20, 2018
Is there a way to manually download the DS3D providers? I don't have any of the games listed and I'm also a novice as far as modding, thanks!