A Guard and a Dog in the Path state.

The Path state is one of the two idle enemy actor states in Wolfenstein 3D, the other being Stand. An enemy in the Path state patrols (or walks) on a predetermined route that is set by the mapmaker. Complex patrol routes make the game's enemies more realistic, when used alongside static enemies.

Enemies patrol without having seen or detected the player, as such, the patrolling state should not be confused with the Chase state in which the player has been seen and combat ensues.



The familiar room of Dogs in Episode 1, Mission 1. The white arrows are Turning Points. The three brown arrows are Dog spawns. The dogs spawn, are set moving in the path of their arrow, and are placed in a continuous circular motion by the Turning Points.

All standing enemies are placed on the map with a certain direction which they will stand facing until seeing the player. Likewise, enemies meant to patrol are placed in a certain orientation, which determines the direction they will move when they patrol.

As soon as the level loads, they will set off in whichever direction they were intended to go. Their movements are then manipulated through Turning Points, invisible in-game but viewable in a map editor. Once they step on a Turning Point, they will reorient themselves in the direction of the Turning Point. Enemies can open Doors that stand in their way. They will continue to move along the path specified until interrupted or until they see the player.

Patrolling enemies use the same sprites as chasing enemies, but they move and cycle between sprites more slowly. The speed of a patrolling enemy is defined in WL_DEF.H as 512[1]. Dogs' patrol speed is defined as 1500 the next line down, making them the only exception.


Damage done to enemies in the attack mode is halved via bit shift.[2] Sneaking up on enemies in the more complacent states of Path and Stand is a good way to get one-hit kills, because they will receive the full force of the attack.


  • Dogs were not given a standing-still sprite, unlike other enemies, so every dog must Patrol until it is alarmed. For this reason, Dogs are often found with a bare minimum of two Turning Points which face each other, so they have a small area they will constantly run back and forth in.
  • Because Dogs have a Patrol speed which is three times as high as that of every other enemy, creating a path for Dogs and other enemies to Patrol on together will most likely cause them to collide and glitch.
  • The Mac Family doesn't have this state at all, since all enemies only have forward-facing sprites.


  1. WOLFSRC/WL_DEF.H from the Wolfenstein 3D source code on, line 1028
  2. WOLFSRC/WL_STATE.C from the Wolfenstein 3D source code on, line 971

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.