Urban Assault multiplayer

This article explains the basic setup of UA multiplayer.

Gameplay tips, level guides, modded multiplayer content and other such content should not be included in this article.

Basic information

UA uses DirectPlay 7 for multiplayer. It's old technology and can be tricky to set up.

All players should use the same game executable - for example, UA.exe, UA_xp.exe or the demo. Otherwise they may be unable to connect due to version mismatch. Native helicopter patches should not be a problem (test please). The version check can be disabled via nucleus.ini but it's not recommended to do so.

If players have different game content, a warning message appears. Script-based helicopter patches used to cause this, but it can also indicate cheating.

UA_Source does not yet support multiplayer, but when multiplayer is implemented, it may provide significant improvements.

Connecting manually over internet (TCP/IP)

This method is available in the multiplayer menu. It is the most basic and probably the most reliable way to set up a multiplayer game, but it requires the largest amount of configuration. The joining players must know the IP address of the host player to connect.

The following ports must be available for incoming connections:

  • 47624 - DirectPlay 7 initial connection
  • 2300-2400 - DirectPlay data connections. The entire range should be available.

Due to the nature of DirectPlay, all players must have these ports forwarded, not just the host.

If these ports can't be used for incoming connections (firewall inaccessible to the user, carrier-grade NAT etc.), then other methods must be used for multiplayer.

Using GameRanger

GameRanger is a software that allows easy set-up of game rooms for many multiplayer games, including UA. It automates the connection procedure and it can often perform NAT traversal which reduces the amount of configuration needed. However, if you are behind a NAT router, it's still recommended to forward port 16000 for GameRanger.

GameRanger does not support the Metropolis Dawn -env parameter, but mods are sometimes used to include MD content.

Other disadvantages of GameRanger include the possible unrealiability of the initial connection (reported by many people) and the amount of advertisements in the software itself.

Using Hamachi

Hamachi is a program that can set up a simple virtual network for games. It has been used to play UA.

Connecting manually over serial

Multiplayer over a serial connection is mostly obsolete but might be fun as a retro project. It's usually available in the multiplayer menu.

Two local computers with a serial port and a null-modem cable are required.

If a real serial port is not available, a USB → RS-232 adapter should work as well. However, the DirectPlay serial interface seems to support ports COM1…COM4 only. If such an adapter registers itself as something else, such as COM10, you have to manually change the port number via Windows Device Manager.

Connecting manually over dialup

Dialup technology is mostly obsolete. It's usually available in the multiplayer menu.

Only levels with the dialup tag (slow_connection parameter set) can be played over a dialup connection.

multiplayer_basics.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/27 10:56 (external edit)
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