How to play Red Alert 2 on Windows 10

As a kid you played Red Alert 2 all the time on your WinXP, why wouldn’t you it’s a helluva fun game! But now almost 20 years later you can’t get the game to run on your Windows 10 machine. So How to play Red Alert 2 on your Windows 10?

Do I need to own a legitimate copy of Red Alert 2?

To play it legally? Yes, you will need to buy Red Alert 2 because it wasn’t made free yet by EA who owns the brand. Where can you buy the game? To my knowledge the only way to buy Red Alert 2 is on origin where you buy the  Command & Conquer™ The Ultimate Collection. The bad news is that it’s a collection so you can’t buy just Red Alert 2, but you’ll get all of the C&C games and their expansions. The good news is that 15€ for 17 C&C games isn’t that bad of a deal. Now If you want to download an Illegal copy, that’s your choice but you’re not getting instructions on how to do that here. Arr!

After purchasing the copy simply install it.

I have old Red Alert 2 CDs, will those work?

Sadly those CDs won’t work on Windows 10. It has something to do with the installer being incompatible with Windows 10. But there is a workaround. We can work the problem by using the multiplayer-only release by XWIS (which was created under EA’s permission) and copy the the necessary files for single player from the CDs.

First go this page and download and install  XWIS’ Red Alert 2 multiplayer distribution. Then go to your Red Alert 2 Allied CD and copy multi.mix, theme.mix, maps01.mix, and movies01.mix to your Red Alert 2 directory. And then from the Soviet CD copy maps02.mix and movies02.mix to the same directory. You might need to set the game.exe and ra2.exe to always run as administrator and in compatibility mode for Windows 7 or higher.

Yuri’s Revenge installer works just fine. Therefore you shouldn’t have any problems there. But if your CD is too damaged you can find the multiplayer Yuri’s Revenge distribution here.

Okay, I’ve installed Red Alert 2 and it doesn’t work! How to play Red Alert 2 on Windows 10?

Now that we’ve installed the game we need to patch it up. The easiest way to do that is to download the CnCnet client from here. It says Yuri’s Revenge on the download site. But don’t worry if you don’t own it. The CnCnet client also patches vanilla Red Alert 2. So download the installation file and follow the installation instructions. It’s pretty easy as the installer detects the folder you’ve installed Red Alert 2 so you should be able to install it no trouble. After installing the client should start up, so just let it do so and install any updates it might prompt you to install.

Ready to play commander?

If everything went smoothly you should be able to enjoy Red Alert 2 on Windows 10! And remember the client does not only patch the game itself, but it also provides the means to play online.