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Warcraft II Multiplayer LAN Setup

Feb 16, 2008

Warcraft II is one of the best computer games ever created. It is relatively simple, has an interesting plot, and has a challenging single player mode. It is, however, a few years old and doesn't "just work" on modern LANs. If you're having trouble, here are a few tips.

Warcraft II is one of the best computer games ever created. It is relatively simple, has an interesting plot, and has a challenging single player mode. It is, however, a few years old and doesn’t “just work” on modern LANs. If you’re having trouble, here are a few tips.

First:

  • You’ll want to make sure you have the Battle.net edition of the game installed. Modern processors are literally too fast for the original version, but the bug is fixed in Battle.net. It also adds a few upgrades and enhancements.
  • It runs at least through Windows XP (I don’t know about Vista), but you’ll need to have Mac OS 10.4 or lower, as you need classic.

    Now, to actually get the game to work over a LAN in Windows XP, here’s what you have to do.

    1. Install the game on all the computers you want to play on.
    2. Connect the computers over a LAN. If you don’t have control over your LAN (like at college), it’s good to know that the computers don’t actually have to be connected through a router or DHCP server. You can just use a switch (which is also much cheaper than a router) and plug cords from it into all the computers.
    3. On all the computers, go to the Network Connections pane in the Control Panel. Right click on the connection you intend to play over (usually “Local Area Connection”) and select properties.
    4. On the “General” tab, click the “Install” button.
    5. Select “Protocol” and hit “Add”.
    6. Select “NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol” and hit OK.
    7. Go into Warcraft and you should now be able to use the IPX option to create a multiplayer game.

    This should be all you have to do on most computers. If, however, you are having trouble connecting to the game, there are a few more steps to do. I found that I could see the game I created in the list of available games, but could not join it. I would get a “waiting for response” notice. If this happens to you, try this:

    1. On any computers with multiple network interfaces (wireless, bluetooth, etc.), for each interface you are not using to play over, right click and go to properties.
    2. In the list of protocols on the “General” tab, uncheck the IPX protocol. Multiplayer should now work.

    As I understand it, what happens is that with IPX either the game or the protocol isn’t smart enough to handle multiple network interfaces. Sometimes packets may get sent to the wrong interface, causing them to be lost and the game not to connect. (Credit goes to this forum for putting me on to the fix. There’s also another fix listed there, but it did me no good.)

    Happy gaming!