How to: Play Red Alert 2 (RA2) or Yuri’s Revenge (YR) over LAN using Windows XP/Vista | Posted at 9:58 PM
Update #1: Try using this RA2 patch that makes the game use UDP instead of IPX. It claims to make the game work on Vista.
Update #2: The other link doesn't work, use this ModDB page to download the patch. Confirmed working for RA2! This will work in Windows 7 and Vista.
Today, I had my friend over and we decided to play some Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge. This is my favorite CNC game of the whole franchise, but it did come out in 2000-2001. As such, playing it over LAN can get complicated and confusing. That's why I created this post. To help out people who are having trouble getting LAN to work.
Step 1: The set up
I have a router in my network configuration that is hooked up to a Network Switch (not a "Hub") that all my computers plug into.
When I first tried to network our game, my friend was using my laptop on my wireless network. This didn't work, at all.
Here's what did work: I plugged both computers by LAN cable into my Network Switch, not directly into the router. A hub might also work.
Step 2: Network Configuration
The next step is to make sure the network protocols on each computer are configured. Red Alert 2 is an older game and instead of the regular TCP/IP protocol that today's games use, it uses the IPX protocol.
Hey, Windows Vista Users!
Windows Vista does not officially support IPX. In fact, from the research I’ve done it looks impossible to get IPX working. However, there’s a great WikiHow article on how to apply a 3rd-party patch to replace the IPX functionality of RA2 with UDP instead. See if that works!
The Rest of Us
For the rest of you, by default, Windows XP doesn't install IPX on your network.
Alternate Solution without using IPX: WikiHow: Play Red Alert 2 Over the Internet
To install the IPX protocol on your network connection, do the following on each computer:
- Go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections
- Find your Local Area Connection. This is the network card that you've plugged your LAN cable into, it's usually just named "Local Area Connection."
- Now, right-click your Local Area Connection and select Properties.
- If "NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol" isn't listed, then we need to install it.
- Click "Install..." then select Protocol, then click "Add..."
- You should see NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol listed (I already have it installed). Select it and click "OK".
- Return to the Property page, you should now see the new protocol listed just above "TCP/IP."
- Select it and click "Properties"
- For the field "Frame Type" select "802.2" and for Network Number use "00000001"
- Click OK and Close to exit out of the dialogs.
What we've just done is added the IPX protocol to your network connection. If you don't add this, Red Alert 2 will not go to the Network page when you click Network, it will bring you back to the Main Menu.
Step 3: Configuring RA2
- Start up Red Alert 2.
- Click Options and then Network
- For Network Adapter, select the one that begins with "00 00 00 01" and then a bunch of numbers and letters. That's your Local Area Connection.
- For "Destination Network" type in "00.00.00.01"
Click Back and Back again to return to the Main Menu screen. Now click Network to go to the Network Lobby. Stay there. Repeat all of the above steps on the second/third/fourth/etc. computer. Once all is said and done, you should all see each other in the Network Lobby.
If you don't see each other
If you don't see each other, make sure you're all connected through the hub or switch. Make sure all the "Network Number" fields for the IPX protocol are the same. Make sure no one is accidentally connecting to your wireless network.
Try disabling your firewall. I don’t use Windows XP Firewall when I play, so the wireless issue was a strange one. However, if you are using wired ethernet, make sure to disable any Internet Security or Firewall programs.
These were the settings and conditions under which we played successfully. You may not even have to edit the Properties of the IPX protocol if you are connected through a switch. I just made them the same just in case, I didn't test it using default settings. I think it may have to do with your router, that's why I said to connect them to a switch or hub.
Anyway, I hope this helps people in the future!
Update: A lot of people hit this page, so I’ve added pictures to help!