Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 cover
Westwood Pacific
Electronic Arts
Release dates
Windows October 25, 2000
Metacritic 84
Monetization Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view, Isometric
Controls Multiple select, Point and select
Genres RTS
Themes Europe, North America, Africa, Oceania, Antarctica, Sci-fi, Space
Series Command & Conquer
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 on HowLongToBeat
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 on IGDB
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 guide on StrategyWiki
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 on MobyGames
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 on Wikipedia
Command & Conquer 1995
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 1996
Command & Conquer: Sole Survivor 1997
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
OpenRA (unofficial) 2010
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection 2020
Renegade X (unofficial) EA

Key points

Small but dedicated community.

General information

Command & Conquer Wiki - A wiki for everything Command & Conquer-related
Project Perfect Mod - The most expansive RA2 mod site.
CnCNet (multiplayer replacement; Yuri's Revenge expansion required)
XWIS (legacy multiplayer replacement, default server lookup leads to this service)
Red Alert 2 section on
Red Alert 2 section on C&C Communications Center
Red Alert 2 section on
Yuri's Revenge section on


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc 2 DRM[Note 1]. The installer for the base game is also DRM-protected, but not the one for Yuri's Revenge.
Bundled with other games in the franchise up to Tiberian Twilight.
Included with EA Play.
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Yuri's Revenge Explicitly requires the base game to be patched to v1.006.
Bundled with the The First Decade and Ultimate Collection compilations.

Essential improvements[edit]


Patch 1.006 for Red Alert 2 fixes general bugs, network and exploit issues.
Patch 1.001 for Yuri's Revenge fixes bugs, crashes and a problem when multiple CD drives are plugged in.
By patch 1.001, Second mission of the Allied campaign, Operation: Hollywood and Vain's action hero parody voices replaced with standard GI ones.

LAN patch (fan made)[edit]

The LAN patch lets you play LAN on Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2 (and their expansion packs) in Windows 2000 and later by changing IPX protocol to UDP.

CnCNet YR Client[edit]

Download link
Requires the Yuri's Revenge expansion version 1.001.
Includes a variety of custom graphics renderers, each fitting different configurations.
Settings changes apply to the main executables of Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge.

Command & Conquer Ultimate Collection Fixed Launchers (Origin)[edit]

An unofficial patch that provides a slight enhancement to the default launchers provided with the Origin release (fixes registry entries and allows command line arguments to function properly).

It can be downloaded from moddb.

FinalAlert (map editor)[edit]

  • The latest version of FinalAlert 2 (YR 1.02) is available from CNCNZ, Project Perfect Mod, ModDB, CnCLabs. Despite the version name, it can work with and without the Yuri's Revenge expansion.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\*.ini[Note 2]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\*.sav[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes


In-game options screen.
In-game options screen.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.
4K Ultra HD
See Widescreen resolution.
Field of view (FOV)
Add -win to the shortcut target.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Using the CnC-DDraw renderer.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS
Videos 15 FPS only. Multiplayer game speed 60 FPS max. Framerate tied to gameplay speed.
120+ FPS
Depends on system, can go as high as 1777 FPS or more; only for singleplayer games. Framerate tied to gameplay speed.
High dynamic range display (HDR)

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Regardless of the settings applied, the Yuri's Revenge main menu is hardcoded to 800x600. These changes apply to the in-game resolutions of the base game and expansion, as well as the base game main menu.
Modify the configuration file, method 1
  1. Go to <path-to-game>
  2. Open RA2.ini (base game) or RA2md.ini (Yuri's Revenge) with any text editor and type your resolution there:

Where ScreenHeight and ScreenWidth are your desired resolution.

Modify the configuration file, method 2
  1. Go to <path-to-game>.
  2. Open RA2.ini (base game) or RA2md.ini (Yuri's Revenge).
  3. Under the [Video] value, insert AllowHiResModes=yes.
  4. Save the file, then run the game.
  5. In the options screen, you can now change to any standardized resolution.

This will let you change the resolution in the game menu to any supported by your computer.

Main menu "cheat code"
  1. When in the game's main menu, simply type HIRES.
  2. In the options screen, you can now change to any standardized resolution.


In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse controls can't be changed. LMB is for selection/orders, RMB is deselection/viewport panning.
Mouse acceleration
Can only change scroll speed
Mouse sensitivity
For scroll speed.
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Touchscreen optimised
Only if touch input doubles as mouse input (tapping = LMB, holding = RMB, etc.). No special touch-screen controls or touch-screen control-overlay
Controller support


Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
The Traditional Chinese versions have forced subtitles enabled in-game due to the presence of subtitle.ini (RA2) and subtitlemd.ini (YR) which other versions do not have.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Traditional Chinese
Fan translation and full dubbing by TSF, download.


In-game network settings.
In-game network settings.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
8 Uses IPX protocol. Requires LAN patch to be replaced with UDP.
Online play

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 3840, 4005, 4808, 4810, 4995, 7000-7002
UDP 1234-1237
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed[edit]

"Player already has the same serial" error[edit]

This issue most often occurs when using the Command & Conquer Ultimate Collection version from Origin.
Add missing registry value
  1. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Westwood\Red Alert 2 (base game) and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Westwood\Yuri's Revenge (expansion)
  2. Make a new string called Serial
  3. Enter a valid serial key as the string text (each player must have a unique entry). Incorrect values trigger the 30-second defeat DRM.

"***FATAL*** String Manager Failed to Initialize Properly" error[edit]

Setting up compatibility settings[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>
  2. Right click on the Ra2.exe (base game) or RA2MD.exe (Yuri's Revenge) file and select "Properties".
  3. Go to the "Compatibility" tab and enable Compatibility Mode (set it to "Windows 98/ME") and "Run this program as an administrator".
    • The options in the normal Compatibility view cannot be selected. Click "Change settings for all users" to make the modifications.
  4. Apply the changes and launch the game.

Black screen with switchable graphics[edit]

This occurs when the game engine tries to render in VRAM.

Setting up modern renderer
  1. Disable the compatibility mode of the game's RA2.exe and RA2MD.exe executables
  2. Copy the files from the .zip of cnc-ddraw custom renderer to your Red Alert 2 installation folder, replacing those present.

If the problem persists only in Yuri's Revenge when exiting from playing to the menu, try to set


in ddraw.ini; auto or direct3d9 may be causing the problem.

Setting up legacy renderer

Download Aqrit's ddwrapper and extract the ddraw.dll and aqrit.cfg files into the RA2 folder, where ra2.ini lies. Next, ensure that only these settings are set to "1" in aqrit.cfg:

FakeVsync                = 1
NoVideoMemory            = 1

Alternatively, simply download and extract the contents of this preconfigured fix into the RA2 folder. Also, consider using the performance fix as well.

Game is purple/green colored and displays only on the other half of the screen[edit]

This happens sometimes on newer versions of Windows (7 and above). Use any of the renderers that come with the CnCNet client or use the manual method from above.

Some Windows elements flicker from behind the game[edit]

This happens if you have downloaded Aqrit's ddwrapper and extracted the ddraw.dll and aqrit.cfg files into the RA2 folder and have set the ForceDirectDrawEmulation to "1". To fix this, set ForceDirectDrawEmulation to "0":

ForceDirectDrawEmulation = 0

Alternatively, use any of the renderers that come with the CnCNet client or use the manual method from above.

Lag/low FPS[edit]

Modify the RA2.ini file[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>
  2. Open RA2.ini for the base game and RA2MD.ini for Yuri's Revenge.
  3. Under the [Video] section, add VideoBackBuffer=No to a new line.
  4. Save the file and launch the game.


cnc-ddraw applies this fix
Use Command and Conquer Graphics Patcher[3]

Game runs too fast[edit]

Before using this fix, make sure the in-game "Game Speed" slider is adjusted properly.
"Normal" game speed is "Fast" 30 FPS. "Real" speed is "Slow" 15 FPS; 1 second in-game equals 1 second in real-life at 15 FPS.
Use the -SPEEDCONTROL command line argument[4]

Hero units in "Hollywood and Vain" mission lack their unique lines[edit]

Yuri's Revenge patch 1.001 cut the voice lines due to legal troubles
Use Hero voicelines restoration mod[5]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
DirectDraw 7
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer Westwood Online

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95, 98, NT 4.0, ME
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium II 266 MHz
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 350 MB
additional 350 MB for expansion
Video card (GPU) 2 MB of VRAM
DirectX 7.0a compatible


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[2]
  2. 2.0 2.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).