Command & Conquer: Generals

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Command & Conquer: Generals
Command & Conquer: Generals cover
EA Pacific[1][2]
Zero Hour EA Los Angeles
macOS (OS X) i5works[3][4]
Electronic Arts
OS X Aspyr Media
Release dates
Windows February 10, 2003
macOS (OS X) April 14, 2004
Metacritic 84
Monetization Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Multiple select, Point and select
Genres RTS
Themes Asia, Middle East, Sci-fi
Series Command & Conquer
Command & Conquer: Generals on HowLongToBeat
Command & Conquer: Generals on IGDB
Command & Conquer: Generals guide on StrategyWiki
Command & Conquer: Generals on MobyGames
Command & Conquer: Generals on Wikipedia
Command & Conquer 1995
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 1996
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun 1999
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 2000
Command & Conquer: Renegade 2002
Command & Conquer: Generals 2003
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars 2007
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 2008
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising 2009
Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight 2010
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection 2020


GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).
The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.

Key points

Small but dedicated community.
Framerate is tied to gamespeed: 30 FPS.

General information

C&C:Online - fan-hosted multiplayer server replacement (Windows version only)
EA's Official Command & Conquer site


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc DRM[Note 1].
macOS (OS X)
Icon overlay.png
Bundled with other games in the franchise up to Tiberian Twilight.
Included with EA Play.
SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
Deluxe Edition includes the base game and the Zero Hour expansion

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Command & Conquer: Generals – Zero Hour Comes bundled with the The First Decade and Ultimate Collection compilations.
macOS (OS X)

Essential improvements[edit]


The Origin and Mac App Store versions are already patched to the latest version.
  • Retail Windows Generals patch v1.08 can be downloaded in many languages from CNCNZ.
  • Retail Windows Zero Hour expansion patch v1.04 can be downloaded in many languages from CNCNZ.
  • Old Mac OS X version patch v1.0.4: English, French, German [7]

Officially released extra map and mission (Generals only)[edit]

For Generals, EA Pacific released an official extra map and mission that were not included in the game.
  1. Download the single-player GLA-mission Black Sheep; an official campaign mission which was cut from the final release, but was released in 2009 by EA
  2. Download the skirmish/multiplayer map Flash Fire for two players
  3. Extract the folders from the ZIP-files
  4. Place the folders in %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data\Maps to be able to use them in-game
  5. Start Generals (NOT Zero Hour)
  6. Click on Solo Play
  7. Click on Skirmish
  8. Click on Select map
  9. Click on Unofficial maps
  10. Click on either Black Sheep or Flash Fire
  11. Click on Accept to use the mission or map
  12. Click on Play game for the Black Sheep mission or setup the skirmish Force Fire map


Still actively supported and updated.
It restores online play and contains many enhancements and fixes for the game.
Gentool is compatible with all the Windows-versions of Generals as long as it and the expansion are patched to the latest release.
The in-game Gentool menu, where you can access all the features, can be opened by pressing the Insert-key on the keyboard.

Gentool provides enhanced game controls, optimizations and fixes for both Generals and its expansion pack Zero Hour. The latest version can be downloaded from here.

The main features of Gentool include:[8]

  • Redirects the online login screen to the C&C:Online server instead of the closed GameSpy ones to restore multiplayer
  • Crash and exploit fixes
  • Support for custom widescreen resolution
  • Better compatibility with recent Windows versions
  • Better anti-cheat detection for online play and replays
  • Adjustable camera height, pitch and rotation
  • Adjustable scroll speed
  • Adjustable FPS limiter (for when the game runs too fast)
  • Contains an internal update mechanism to keep Gentool up-to-date and download the latest version of extra maps that can be used in skirmish or online play
  • Includes an automatic patch that allows up to 1200 maps to be visible in-game


Install d3d8to9-wrapper[citation needed]
Improves compatibility and stability of the game significantly by converting all Direct3D 8-API calls and lowlevel shaders to equivalent Direct3D 9 ones.
Compatible with Gentool and online multiplayer.
Fixes the crash when Alt-Tab out of the game for the second time. Possibly fixes other crashes as well.
Allows the usage of ReShade, overlays and other similar tools.
Can decrease performance on old and very slow hardware.
  1. Download the latest version of d3d8to9. Thus download the d3d8.dll file.
  2. If you also use Gentool: rename the file to d3d8x.dll to make sure you don't overwrite Gentool.
  3. Place the file in <path-to-game> of both Generals and its expansion pack.
  4. Play the game.

Get online play working again (Windows)[edit]

Install Gentool and use C&C:Online[citation needed]
This is more stable, provides more functionalities and features better anti-cheat than other VPN-based solutions, like GameRanger.
There is no official online play available anymore since GameSpy shut down.
Your game needs to be patched to the latest version for this to work!
C&C:Online is a free community-made and -managed online server for the game, allowing you to log in and continue playing online just like you could when the GameSpy-servers were still online.
Gentool is needed to redirect the login screen to the C&C:Online servers instead of the closed GameSpy ones. It also provides an anti-cheat solution for online games.
  1. Download and install Gentool.
  2. Sign up on C&COnline.
  3. Activate your account by clicking on the activation-link in the confirmation mail your received.
  4. Choose a server login and password.
  5. Start the game.
  6. Login online in the game with the e-mail address you used to register, your server password and a nickname of your choice.

Restore mod- and command-line-parameter support (Origin, The Ultimate Collection)[edit]

The Ultimate Collection was released with no support for command-line-parameters or mods.
These two options can be simple undone by using the repair option in Origin for each game in The Ultimate Collection.
Replace the executables of the games[citation needed]
The executables will be replaced with original Generals and Zero Hour executables with full support for mods and command-line-parameters, but with the CD-check disabled.
Circumvents the annoying Generals Origin Launcher by letting you start the game directly, but you can still use the origin launcher to start the game if you want.
Fully supported by Gentool.
  1. Go to the Gentool Executables page.
  2. Download both the and files.
  3. Extract generals.exe from archive and place it in <path-to-game>\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour\Command and Conquer Generals. Confirm that you want to overwrite the original generals.exe.
  4. Extract generals.exe from archive and place it in <path-to-game>\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour. Confirm that you want to overwrite the original generals.exe.
Use Bibber's unsupported "fixed launchers"[citation needed]
The maker of these launchers ("Bibber") dropped support for the launchers.[9]
It's likely that the launchers will stop working after a future Origin update. You will then have to uninstall it.
An unofficial patch that provides a slight enhancement to the default launchers provided with the Origin release (fixes some registry entries and allows command line arguments to function properly).
  1. Download the last released version from CNCNZ.
  2. Extract the file from the ZIP-file.
  3. Run the installer.

Skip startup game intro[edit]

Move, delete or rename the intro-videos[citation needed]
This can be done on all Windows-versions of the game.
You need to apply this to both Generals and its expansion pack Zero Hour.
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Data\english\Movies
  2. Move, delete or rename the following files: EA_LOGO.BIK, EA_LOGO640.BIK, sizzle_review.bik and sizzle_review640.bik.

Skip all mission news intro videos (Zero Hour)[edit]

Move, delete or rename the mission intro-videos[citation needed]
This can be done on all Windows versions of the game.
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Data\english\Movies of your Zero Hour installation
  2. Move, delete or rename all the videos of which the name begins with MD_.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data\
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data\
macOS (OS X) ~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.command.conquer.generals.appstore/Data/Documents/Command & Conquer Generals/User Data/
~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.command.conquer.generals.appstore/Data/Documents/Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour/User Data/

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data\Save\
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data\Save\
macOS (OS X) ~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.command.conquer.generals.appstore/Data/Documents/Command & Conquer Generals/User Data/Save/
~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.command.conquer.generals.appstore/Data/Documents/Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour/User Data/Save/

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes


In-game options screen.
In-game options screen.
In-game advanced video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
In-game options screen for Zero Hour expansion.
In-game options screen for Zero Hour expansion.
In-game advanced video settings for Zero Hour expansion.
In-game advanced video settings for Zero Hour expansion.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.
4K Ultra HD
See Widescreen resolution.
Field of view (FOV)
Top-down view nearly orthographic. See Camera height.
Add -win to the shortcut target. See here how to make the Origin-version work with this command-line parameter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use Borderless Gaming, GeDoSaTo or GenTool.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Edit AntiAliasing value in options.ini
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Enabled by default. Cannot be disabled.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
30 FPS cap. Game time tied to frame rate.

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Setting the game to a resolution that is normally not available in-game, causes the game to crash after alt-tabbing out of the game for the second time. See D3d8to9-wrapper on how to fix this.
Set widescreen-resolution in-game with Gentool[citation needed]
Gentool allows you to set common widescreen resolution in-game.
Gentool also automatically adjusts camera height according to the resolution.[10]
  1. Install Gentool.
  2. Open Generals or Zero Hour.
  3. Go to the in-game Options-menu.
  4. Set the game to a resolution of your liking.
Set resolution manually in Options.ini[citation needed]
Can be used in case Gentool doesn't allow to set the specific unusual resolution you want.
  1. For Generals, open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data\Options.ini
  2. For Zero Hour, open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data\Options.ini
  3. Change the Resolution line to your liking, like this:

Resolution = 1920 1080

Camera height[edit]

Adjusted camera height only applied to replays and singleplayer.
Adjust camera height in-game through Gentool[citation needed]
This also sets the game to automatically draw the entire map to avoid visual glitches at high camera heights.
  1. Install Gentool.
  2. Open Generals or Zero Hour.
  3. Press the Insert-key on your keyboard to open the in-game Gentool menu.
  4. Increase the camera height by a total maximum of 1000.
Adjust camera height[citation needed]
It seems like this often doesn't work.
Using this in online matches could be seen as cheating.
  1. For Zero Hour, go to <path-to-game>\Data\INI and paste the file GameData.ini into this folder
  2. You can get a modified version of this file on Mod DB
  3. Change the height of the camera to your liking, like this:

MaxCameraHeight = 800.0 DrawEntireTerrain = Yes


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
Only scroll speed can be changed
Mouse sensitivity
For scroll speed.
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.


Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Uses whatever your speaker layout is for the default playback device. Only tested on Win10 w/ Origin Edition. (When using Dolby Digital Live on a Sound Blaster Z)
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
An uncensored version of C&C Generals was shortly sold. The censored version, titled "C&C Generäle", is more widely available and known and uses separate patches.
Brazilian Portuguese
Traditional Chinese
Not available in P.R.China.
Fan translation by «DK team»

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
User created profile, requires DGVoodoo2 v 2.55.4. For required ini tweaks see profile introdution. Note: Profile may not work with the latest wrapper, in case of issues please report to the vorpx forum.
Zero Hour has its own profile.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
Online play
8 Official services have been shut down; use GenTool to get online play working again (Windows only).

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 80, 6667, 28910, 29900, 29920
UDP 4321, 27900
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed[edit]

Game does not start or is very slow (Origin)[edit]

Disable Origin in-game[citation needed]
This issue affects especially old versions of Origin. It seems that nowadays Origin in-game doesn't cause these issues anymore.
  1. Select the My Games tab in Origin.
  2. Right-click Generals/Zero Hour and select "Game Properties".
  3. Check the "Disable Origin in Game for this game" option.
  4. Click OK and launch the game.

"Technical Difficulties" error/Serious Error[edit]

This problem occurs on modern Windows-versions; one of the methods below should fix it:
Error message
Error message
Create or edit Options.ini[11]
The install process very often fails to create Options.ini, causing this error.
  1. For Generals, open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data\options.ini
  2. For Zero Hour, open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data\options.ini
  3. Create options.ini yourself if it isn't located in that folder!
  4. Replace its contents with the following and save your changes:
AntiAliasing =
DrawScrollAnchor =
GameSpyIPAddress =
Gamma = 50
IPAddress =
IdealStaticGameLOD = High
LanguageFilter = false
MoveScrollAnchor =
MusicVolume = 55
Resolution = 800 600
SFX3DVolume = 79
SFXVolume = 71
ScrollFactor = 50
SendDelay = no
StaticGameLOD = Low
UseAlternateMouse = no
VoiceVolume = 70
Set Windows XP Service Pack 2 compatibility mode[citation needed]
  1. Go to the properties of generals.exe or one of its shortcuts.
  2. Enable Windows XP Service Pack 2 compatibility mode.
Install d3d8to9-wrapper[citation needed]

See D3d8to9-wrapper.

Fully reinstall[12]
A full reinstallation is a last resort that seems to work for most users.
Steps below are for the non-Origin versions. In case of the Origin-version, it can be uninstalled and reinstalled pre-patched through Origin.
  1. Uninstall Zero Hour (if you have it)
  2. Uninstall Generals
  3. Reboot
  4. Install Generals
  5. Patch Generals
  6. Install Zero Hour (if you have it)
  7. Patch Zero Hour (if you have it)

DirectX 8.1 error (Windows)[edit]

Full error: 'Please make sure your have DirectX 8.1 or higher installed. Also verify that your video card meets the minimum requirements'.
Install DirectX 9.0c[citation needed]
Happens when DirectX 9.0c, DirctX 8.1 is included, is not yet installed on your Windows installation.
  1. Download the DirctX End-User Runtimes (June 2010). It contains DirectX 9.0c.
  2. Run the downloaded installer.
  3. Tell it to extract the necessary files to a folder of your choosing.
  4. Go to the folder where you extracted the files to.
  5. Run DXSETUP.exe as administrator.
  6. Install it.
  7. You can now safely remove the extracted files from step 3. They are no longer needed.
  8. Reboot your computer.
Remove dbghelp.dll[citation needed]
Known error; sometimes the dbghelp.dll file, a debug file, gets accidentially left in the installation folder and cause problems.
  1. Go to <path-to-game>.
  2. Locate dbghelp.dll and delete it.

Serious error/crash when Alt-Tab out of the game for the second time[edit]

This is caused by the outdated engine.
Happens especially when the game is set to resolutions that it originally didn't support.
Install d3d8to9-wrapper[citation needed]

See D3d8to9-wrapper.

Shell map (menu background) is static[edit]

Set Windows XP Service Pack 2 compatibility mode[citation needed]
It is a very rare issue.
  1. Go to the properties of generals.exe or one of its shortcuts.
  2. Enable Windows XP Service Pack 2 compatibility mode.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 8.1
OS X only.
Shader Model support 1.4 [citation needed]
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
Install the version 1.0.4 patch for Intel support.
32-bit only as a planned 64-bit update was cancelled in May 2020.


Middleware Notes
Audio Miles Sound System
Cutscenes Bink Video (Windows), QuickTime.framework (macOS)
Multiplayer GameSpy

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium III 800 MHz
AMD Athlon 800 MHz
System memory (RAM) 128 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1.8 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 2
ATI Radeon 7500
32 MB of VRAM
DirectX 8.1 compatible
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.9.5
Processor (CPU) Intel 2.2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 5 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon HD 3870
Nvidia GeForce 330M
Intel HD 3000
256 MB of VRAM
OS X requirements are for the Mac App Store version


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[5] and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[6]