How to play Red Alert 2 online in 2023
Do you have nostalgic memories of playing Red Alert 2 online with your friends? Are you a new player to the series and want to try online play? Or are you just tired of playing against the computer and want to compare your skill against the best players online? I’ve been playing online daily for over three years now and in this article I’m going to show you how you too can play Red Alert 2 online.
Ready to join us on the battlefield commander?
You need to own the game!
Sadly neither Red Alert 2 or Yuri’s Revenge are free yet. So you’ll need to own a copy of the game.
Right now one of the few place you can buy the game is on the EA Origin store. Unfortunately you can’t just buy Red Alert 2 and Yuri’s Revenge because they’re part of the C&C Ultimate collection. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are 17 Command and Conquer games in the collection and you can get all those games for just 25$. Or, from what I understand(!), a 19$ yearly subscription to the EA play service. You can also buy the collection on Amazon.
If you already own the game from another source that’s okay too. And if you have the the original CD’s and you need help installing the game with those, you can look here.
The CnCNet client
Now that we have bought the game and install it on our computer we need another piece of software to play Red Alert 2 online. We need the CnCNet Client!
The CnCnet client is a FREE PLATFORM that not only enables you to play Red Alert 2 (and other C&C games) online, but also patches the game so it can run on newer operating systems.
You can download the client from here.
Last few steps
We’re almost ready to play. Since the client also provides a patch for the game it will fix most issues you might have with the game. If you couldn’t play the campaign before, you can try to do so now by starting the game from Origin or the original Red Alert 2 (or Yuri’s Revenge) shortcut.
But if you’re ready to play Red Alert 2 online start the game with the CnCNet Launcher Shortcut
How to play Red Alert 2 online
Once the client loads up you can select to play online, a quick match, a skirmish game or LAN.
I encourage you to first go to options and set your options to whatever you like. I set my resolution to 1920×1080 and lower the music volume. But that’s just me. You do you.
Now to play Red Alert 2 online click on, you guess it, “Play online” button. Then you’ll be greeted by a screen like you can see in the image to the left.
In the middle of the screen is the main lobby chat, to the right you can see all the players online and to the left are all of the games being or waiting to be played. You can join the games that are in white (just double click on the name). The games with a key are password protected and the grayed out games are games already being played.
To create a game just click on “create game” in the lower left corner. After that name the game room and set the number of players that can join it. Once you created the game room set up the game to your liking. Selecting a map, faction and numerous of options available to you. Now all you have to do is wait for other players to join.
When enough players join, and click ready, you can launch the game by clicking “launch game” in the lower left corner. If you joined someone else’s game room the “launch game” button is replaced with “ready” button. And you need to press it once ready so the host can start the game.
Red Alert 2 online play
Now you’re ready to play against other players. But playing other people isn’t the same as playing the computer. So you can watch the video on the right to help you prepare or watch any of my other videos on my YouTube channel!
Welcome back commander!