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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 cover
EA Los Angeles
macOS (OS X) TransGaming Inc.[1][2]
Electronic Arts
SAGE 2.0
Release dates
Windows October 28, 2008
macOS (OS X) (Cider) March 24, 2009
Metacritic 82
Monetization One-time game purchase, Subscription gaming service
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Multiple select, Point and select
Genres RTS
Themes Asia, Europe, North America, Sci-fi
Series Command & Conquer
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 on HowLongToBeat
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 on IGDB
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 guide on StrategyWiki
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 on MobyGames
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 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 (2013) Cancelled
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection 2020
Renegade X (unofficial) EA


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.
GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is the third mainline Red Alert game in the Command & Conquer franchise. It is a RTS with both singleplayer and multiplayer being prominently featured. The campaign mode can be played solely in co-op mode, either with a pre-determined AI commander for that mission when offline, or with a second player when playing online (but not in LAN).

Attempts to make a third Red Alert game go as far back as December 2004[3], but the iteration that eventually got released started pre-production in 2007, during or after the completion stages of Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, with which it shares the engine core. The Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath expansion and initial copies of Command & Conquer 3: Deluxe Edition included beta keys for Red Alert 3, with the beta stages taking place in late summer of 2008. Two beta builds are known and were distributed through FilePlanet, but the first one was short-lived and quickly replaced by beta 2 for yet unknown reasons. The game was completed in approximately 18 months, but with a reduced team size compared to Tiberium Wars.[4]

Post-release support included 12 patches in total, as well as a map editor (Worldbuilder) and mod SDK. Despite the efforts to improve and expand multiplayer features compared to prior games in the series, the maximum number of players has been reduced from 8 to 6; modified maps can include more, but only AI-controlled with predefined factions, as there is no UI support for player/faction selection beyond player 6.

Despite not requiring the disc to run and merely using it to install the game, Red Alert 3 made use of SecuROM 7 DRM with an activation limit of 5 installations per serial key, using up an activation even if the same system had major hardware changes. Patch 1.05 modified the auto-run/control panel menu to include the "Deauthorize" button to free up the current machine's activation slot[5], disabling the game on said machine until reinstalled.

The game was the first in the franchise to be released on Steam, debuting on the platform on January 8, 2009.[6] Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions exist, but offer no content unavailable on PC.

After the last patch (1.12) from July 2009[7], several game-breaking issues persist, some of them even able to crash the player's computer. They can be fixed with a custom injector (see Essential improvements section in this article). With the GameSpy servers being shut down in 2014, players can use C&C:Online or RA3Battle to play in multiplayer, with this now being the only methods to play the co-op campaign with live players. A small multiplayer scene is active on, playing on a set of maps modified to include bug and crash fixes (dubbed the unofficial 1.12.x patch).

The retail and Steam versions still use serial keys for activation, but the Origin/EA App version does not. The Steam version can at times run out of keys for new customers during longer sales.

General information

Command & Conquer Wiki - A wiki for everything Command & Conquer-related
C&C:Online - fan-hosted multiplayer server replacement (Windows version only)
RA3Battle - fan-hosted alternative multiplayer server replacement (Windows version only, predominantly Chinese-speaking)
Red Alert 3 on
Red Alert 3 section on
Red Alert 3 section on
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
CD key
Requires online activation
Can only be used x times
SecuROM 7, SecuROM PA, and SecuROM DFA DRM.
Five machine activation limit.
A De-Authorization Tool is available, and an in-built option is available as of patch 1.05.
Can be redeemed on Origin through the client.
Disc not needed to run the game.
Icon overlay.png
macOS (OS X)
Bundled as part of Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection. Included with EA Play.
Manual link for EA App purchase.
Icon overlay.png
CD key
Bundled as part of Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection. Included with EA Play (Steam).
Origin (unavailable)
Gamesplanet logo.svg (unavailable)
Humble Store (unavailable)
A free demo version is available from Steam, GameFront, and
Steam key can be used to activate The Ultimate Collection version of the game on Origin/EA App.[8]


Type Notes
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.
Subscription gaming service Available via EA Play.

Essential improvements


Retail Windows Red Alert 3 patch v1.12 can be downloaded in many languages from CNCNZ, GameFront or Patches-Scrolls.
The Steam and Origin versions are already patched to the latest version.

Prevent online crash-inducing bugs

The game suffers from multiple bugs which crash the game, some even rendering the system unusable until rebooted.
An open-source tool was made to remedy this. It is a DLL injector which needs to be running while the game's process is active.
Tested with Steam and Origin versions, but may also work with the retail release.

Skip intro videos

Delete or rename movie files[9]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Data\Movies.
  2. Delete or rename RA3_EA_logo.vp6, RA3_Gameplay_720p.vp6, and RedAlertLogo.vp6.

Speed up loading

Use the RA3 Quickloader

Upon launch, the game attempts to look up an EA server which used to distribute relevant news for the game. Since it has been offline since the late 2010s and the timeout is relatively long, loading the game may take a while.

  1. Go to <path-to-game>.
  2. Make a backup of RA3.exe.
  3. Download the fixed version from this page and replace RA3.exe.

Game data

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows %APPDATA%\Red Alert 3\Profiles\<user-id>\
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/17480/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Red Alert 3\Profiles\<user-id>\
%USERPROFILE%\Saved Games\Red Alert 3\
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/17480/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.
Steam Cloud
Added on February 22, 2024.[10]


In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
For unlisted resolutions, see Widescreen resolution.
Position affects gameplay. Disable non-primary displays to fix black screen on startup.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Use Flawless Widescreen.
Use -win parameter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use -win -fullscreen parameters, and -xpos 0 -ypos 0 if window is off screen.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 30 FPS, with game speed tied to frame rate.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Widescreen resolution

Set custom resolution[11]
  1. Go to %APPDATA%\Red Alert 3\Profiles\<user-id>\
  2. Open options.ini.
  3. Change Resolution xxx xxx to the desired resolution.


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

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
For scroll speed.
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Controller types


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Only supports Stereo audio.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Simplified Chinese
Fan translation by MYCNC and ALI213.
Traditional Chinese
Retail only. Can be restored to Steam version by downloading the necessary files.
Retail only. A low quality translation. Subtitles are completely out of sync. Somewhat fixed in 1.07 patch, but issues still remain. A fan made patch is available to improve the translation.
Retail only.
Fan translation by SITUVN; download. Version for demo also available.


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

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
6 Versus
Regular PvP/PvE only; campaign co-op requires online.
Online play
6 Versus, Co-op
Official GameSpy servers have been shut down. Replaced with C&C:Online and RA3Battle.

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 80, 3783, 4321, 6660-6669, 28900, 29900, 29901
UDP 6515, 6500, 13139, 27900
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed

Missing skirmish options

Under certain circumstances (possibly related to switching to and from mods and/or map pack removal), the skirmish menu appears "empty", i.e. without selectable maps or players.
Delete and force auto-generation of configuration file[12]
  1. Go to the configuration files location.
  2. Delete Skirmish.ini.
  3. Run the game as administrator to ensure the file is automatically recreated.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
OS X only.
Shader Model support 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
This 32-bit-only macOS game does not work on macOS Catalina (10.15) or later.


Middleware Notes
Cutscenes On2 VP6
Multiplayer GameSpy Shut down in 2014.

Command line arguments

Command[13] [14] Description
-win Runs the game in windowed mode
-fullscreen Runs the game in fullscreen mode. Combine with -win for borderless windowed mode.
-xres [number] Sets resolution width
-yres [number] Sets resolution height
-xpos [number] Sets horizontal offset of the window
-ypos [number] Sets vertical offset of the window
-ui Opens the autorun feature otherwise called by inserting the game disc
-replayGame [filename] Plays replay file
-modConfig [filename] Runs the game with selected mod (has to point to its .skudef file)
-noaudio Disables game audio
-noAudioMusic Disables game music
-silentLogin Forces the game to immediately log in to a multiplayer account
-getPatch Forces check for official updates; currently useless as EA's FTP servers which hosted patches have been shut down
-runver [number] Forces running a specified game version (1.0, 1.1, ..., 1.12); appropriate ra3game.dat files for several older versions missing from digital releases

Worldbuilder (map editor)

There is a "standard version" (2.0) for most users, available from CNCNZ, ModDB and CnCLabs.
A separate, significantly larger version, is meant for use with the official mod SDK, available from CNCNZ, ModDB and CnCLabs.
Maps created with either Worldbuilder are not meant for the Uprising standalone expansion pack and may result in broken terrain.
As of 2024, Steam and EA App versions of the game include the "standard" (2.0) Worldbuilder, but it is prone to crashing.[15]

Map packs

Official map packs for various special editions, pre-order bonuses and store-specific purchases can be found on Digiex and
The community map pack 1.12.x series includes standard and custom maps with multiple important bugfixes. The latest stable version is 1.12.6, while the latest testing version is 1.12.8 beta 8.


Official modding tools were released, available from CNCNZ, ModDB and CnCLabs.


Upheaval - features units and maps backported from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising, allowing them to be used in multiplayer
The Red Alert - recreation of Command & Conquer: Red Alert
Generals Evolution - recreation of Command & Conquer: Generals
Eastern Loong
Uprising Reborn
Condition Red
Tiberian Fallout

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP
Processor (CPU) AMD Athlon XP 2200+
Intel Pentium 4 2.2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 10 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon X1800
Nvidia GeForce 6800
DirectX 9.0c compatible


  1. 1.0 1.1 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data:


  1. TransGaming to Bring EA’s Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 to Mac – The Mac Observer - last accessed on 2017-12-31
  2. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Ships for Mac - PCWorld - last accessed on 2017-12-31
  3. What is Red Alert 3? - | The C&C Community Veteran - last accessed on 2023-05-30 (archived)
  4. Candid interview with former C&C Developer Greg Black - - last accessed on 2023-05-30
  5. Red Alert 3 patch 1.05 - Command & Conquer Wiki - covering Tiberium, Red Alert and Generals universes - last accessed on 2023-05-30
  6. Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 Price History - SteamDB - last accessed on 2023-05-30
  7. Red Alert 3 patch 1.12 - Command & Conquer Wiki - covering Tiberium, Red Alert and Generals universes - last accessed on 2023-05-30
  8. Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-11-23
    When redeeming the Steam key of the game on the EA App, it will activate there and then will add the digital The Ultimate Collection edition of the game to your EA account for installation.
  9. Verified by User:Baronsmoki on 2019-04-12
  10. Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 · Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 History · Change #22448990 · SteamDB - last accessed on 2024-03-01
  11. Verified by User:Plok on 2021-09-14
  12. Verified by User:Plok on 2022-11-29
  13. Command line options - - last accessed on May 2023
  14. Red Alert 3 Non-Gameplay Tips & Tricks - Red Alert 3 - - last accessed on May 2023
  15. Verified by User:Plok on 2024-03-08