GoldenEye 007 remains one of the most popular first person shooters of all time. It carries a special place in the hearts of many gamers, for the groundbreaking multiplayer experience and the single-player mode that lets you become James Bond.

It’s now over 20 years since its 1997 release, and you might get the itch to play GoldenEye 007 with your friends once more. Did you know there is a free version of the GoldenEye 007 multiplayer, known as GoldenEye: Source?

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    Here’s how you play James Bond GoldenEye: Source online right now—and whether it is better than the N64 original.

    What Is James Bond GoldenEye: Source?

    Way back in 2005, Team GoldenEye: Source began development of a total overhaul mod for GoldenEye 007. The first GoldenEye: Source full-release became available in December 2010, and was met with generally positive feedback.

    James Bond GoldenEye: Source differs from the original in that it is multiplayer-only. You cannot work back through the original single-player GoldenEye 007 campaign, which is a shame. However, you can play multiplayer GoldenEye across a range of the original titles levels, including favorites such as Complex, Library, and Facility

    There are also other levels which weren’t available as multiplayer options in the original title, such as Control, Silo, Cradle, and Depot. Some maps include the “classic” N64 version and a modernized version, too. 

    GoldenEye: Source features all of the multiplayer game modes from the original, such as License to Kill (one-shot kill), Living Daylights (capture the flag), and You Only Live Twice (only two respawns per player).

    How to Download & Install GoldenEye: Source

    One of the best things about GoldenEye: Source is that it is completely free. You and your friends can download and play multiplayer James Bond GoldenEye online without spending a single penny.

    To do so, you need a Steam account, the Source SDK Base 2007, and GoldenEye: Source itself.

    1. First up, download and install Steam.
    2. Once installed, open Steam (you will need to create a Steam account). 
    3. Select the Library tab to open your game library. 
    4. Click the dropdown menu currently titled Games, uncheck Games, and check Tools. You can use the search bar underneath the dropdown menu to search for Source SDK Base 2007, then select Install.
    1. Next, you need to download and install GoldenEye: Source. The game uses the Source SDK Base 2007 engine but runs outside of Steam. 

    Download: GoldenEye: Source for Windows (Free)

    1. After GoldenEye: Source finishes installing, you can start playing straight away. Select Find Servers from the GoldenEye: Source menu, then browse the available options. The best way to sort the server list is by the number of active users. Select the Player tab to find the server with the most current players. Double-click the server to join the fray.

    Is GoldenEye: Source Better Than GoldenEye 007?

    The question you’ve been waiting for: is GoldenEye: Source better than the original? 

    GoldenEye: Source updates the original James Bond GoldenEye 007 gameplay in several key areas. Then you have additional upgrades that come courtesy of Valve’s Source game engine and the multiplayer functionality that comes with that. For one, GoldenEye 007 multiplayer was limited to four players, whereas GoldenEye: Source supports up to 64 players. 

    As GoldenEye: Source is free, you and your friends can pile into one of the numerous open servers and start playing. At the time of writing, there are at least 25 online servers. However, if you’re expecting to jump in and start playing GoldenEye: Source multiplayer with other users, you might find yourself waiting.

    The GoldenEye: Source servers are deserted. Joining a server and waiting for a while is an option. It can take a while, but users will gather in one server given the low number of players. 

    When you do get a game up and running, it ticks the nostalgic boxes you want from a James Bond GoldenEye multiplayer session: running and gunning, lots of weapons, quick turnovers in play and momentum, and some good, silly fun.

    Another handy addition is the mouse and keyboard. Playing first person shooters of any kind on a gamepad is slightly more difficult than the keyboard and mouse alternative. Although the N64 controller was unique in design and many will have expert accuracy with it, the keyboard and mouse combination is a better option.

    One thing that might disappoint those new to GoldenEye: Source is the lack of a single-player campaign. The total overhaul mod was never intended for single-player. If you want to play through the awesome GoldenEye 007 single-player mode, you’ll need to download and play via an N64 emulator.

    GoldenEye 007 vs. GoldenEye: Source

    GoldenEye: Source is a great reimagining of the N64 classic. You can find yourself roaming the corridors of the Complex or dodging between bookshelves in the Library within minutes, all with the same sound of ricocheting bullets flying over your head.

    If you’re looking for a great free multiplayer first person shooter, then you should absolutely check out James Bond GoldenEye: Source.

    Otherwise, you should check out our list of the best free video games you can play right now. There are lots on there to keep you entertained.