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Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun cover
Developers
Westwood Studios
Publishers
Electronic Arts
Re-release Sold Out Software
Release dates
Windows August 27, 1999
Taxonomy
Monetization Freeware, Expansion pack, Subscription gaming service
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view, Isometric
Controls Multiple select, Point and select
Genres RTS
Art styles Realistic, Live action
Themes Europe, Middle East, North America, Post-apocalyptic, Sci-fi
Series Command & Conquer
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun on HowLongToBeat
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun on IGDB
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun guide on StrategyWiki
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun on MobyGames
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun 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

Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun is a singleplayer and multiplayer bird's-eye view and isometric RTS game in the Command & Conquer series.

While a sequel to Command & Conquer was announced immediately in that game's Sneak Peek feature, the game was delayed multiple times (including missing its late 1998 and spring 1999 release schedules) until it was released in August 1999.

The Firestorm expansion from March 2000 added two new campaigns and new units. However, it increased the game imbalance towards favoring the GDI faction, so it is seldom played online. It integrates itself to the main game executable, so game versions 2.00 and above include a switch between Tiberian Sun and Firestorm "modes". If Firestorm itself is not installed, the base game "mode" is run automatically.

The game was released for free by EA on February 12, 2010 alongside the Firestorm expansion. This distribution was ripped directly from the Command & Conquer: The First Decade compilation from 2006 and requires an edit and subsequent execution of the included .reg file to properly install. The fanbase has repackaged the game since, including their own fixes alongside it, so it is strongly recommended to use these versions instead.

Post-release support included 7 patches (two of which after Firestorm was released) as well as a semi-official map editor (FinalSun) compatible with both titles. While no official modding tools were released, the game quickly received a sizable modding and mapping community.

The game has considerable issues running on newer operating systems without modification, mainly caused by the broken DirectDraw renderer preventing the game from launching, combined with the deprecated SafeDisc 1 DRM[Note 1] in the retail version. Community efforts have resulted in multiple viable alternative renderers, all of which are included as options in TSpatch, which is also included in distributions from the community-run CnCNet multiplayer service. The official multiplayer service, Westwood Online, was redirected to the also community-run XWIS server in 2005 in agreement with EA's German community team[3], and using the in-game multiplayer menus lead to it without any additional configuration, but this service is presently seldom used due to CnCNet's quality-of-life improvements.

The Firestorm expansion included the World Domination Tour game mode in multiplayer, but as neither XWIS nor CnCNet have the necessary code to host it, it is no longer playable.

General information

Command & Conquer Wiki - A wiki for everything Command & Conquer-related
Project Perfect Mod - The most expansive TS mod site.
CnCNet (multiplayer replacement)
Tiberian Sun section on CNC.community
Tiberian Sun section on C&C Communications Center
Tiberian Sun section on CNCNZ.com
Firestorm section on CNCNZ.com
Steam Community Discussions

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc v1 DRM[Note 2].
Windows
Official website
CD key
Version that has been released for free by EA; includes the Firestorm expansion. Serial key applied by running the .reg file within the distribution, with modifications to the installation path.
Windows
Origin
Origin
Bundled as part of Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection; includes the Firestorm expansion. Pre-packaged with DDrawCompat. Included with EA Play.
Manual link for EA App purchase.
Windows
Steam
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Bundled as part of Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection; includes the Firestorm expansion. Pre-packaged with DDrawCompat. Included with EA Play (Steam).
Steam DRM removed on March 9, 2024.[6][7]
Windows
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
A simple custom icon based on the box art can be found here.

Unofficial downloads

TS Installer

A streamlined fan-created installer that applies fixes for various issues, adds modern networking support and Windows support, and includes the FinalSun map editor. The cutscenes are a separate optional download due to their size.
Pre-configured packages for OS X and Linux are also available for download on CnCNet.
The "full game" installer for Windows TSinstaller.exe requires an Internet connection, as it downloads the individual components (music, movies, extras, etc) from various servers.

TS Client

A heavily modified distribution which includes changes from the former unofficial UMP patch, numerous fixes to in-game bugs and visual assets, and changes from CnCNet's patches.
Used as a base for standalone modifications and is actively maintained.
Compatible with other releases in CnCNet multiplayer.

Demo

A free demo version is available from GameFront (English), GameFront (German), CNCNZ.com (English).
It features two tutorial-like missions absent from the full version.

Monetization

Type Notes
Expansion pack The expansion pack includes new campaigns and game mode, maps, and units.
Freeware Released for free by Electronic Arts on 12 February 2010 with the expansion pack.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Firestorm Combines with the base game executable, allowing the player to switch back and forth between the base and expansion modes without technically exiting the game.
Windows

Essential improvements

Patches

The latest official patch is v2.03, which is available from CNCNZ.com, C&C Communications Center, and Patches-Scrolls.de (only for original retail versions).

TSpatch

A fan patch that adds modern networking support, fixes for various issues, multiple new graphics renderers, a new game launcher, and the semi-official FinalSun map editor. Also includes HyperPatch to fix several engine glitches.

Game data

General options menu
General options menu
Fan-made external general options menu (for the TSpatch and TS Installer version of the game).
Fan-made external general options menu (for the TSpatch and TS Installer version of the game).

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\sun.ini[Note 3]
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2229880/pfx/[Note 4]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\SAVE****.sav[Note 3]
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/2229880/pfx/[Note 4]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Origin
Steam Cloud

Video

Video options menu
Video options menu
Fan-made external video options menu (for the TSpatch and TS Installer version of the game).
Fan-made external video options menu (for the TSpatch and TS Installer version of the game).

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
Multi-monitor
TSpatch (or a pre-patched version of the game) is required. See Widescreen resolution.
Ultra-widescreen
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Windowed
Run the game with -win command line argument. Requires to be run in 16-bit colour mode unless a custom graphics renderer is used.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Working using the -win command line argument and Borderless Gaming or the CnC-DDraw renderer.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS
Framerate is tied to game speed, and can go up to 60 FPS.
120+ FPS
High dynamic range display (HDR)

Widescreen resolution

To make these methods work in the 2024 Steam and EA App versions of the game, first open <path-to-game>\DDrawCompat.ini in a text editor and add the desired resolution(s) at the end of the SupportedResolutions entry or delete that entry entirely.[8] Without this step, the game will default to the default three resolutions.
In multiplayer, hosts may enforce resolution limits. Joining a game with a resolution limit will force the all players to play at a non-widescreen resolution (usually 640x480). Hosting a game and with a resolution limit in a non-default aspect ratio is not possible.[9]
Set values in configuration file, method 1
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open sun.ini.
  3. Go to the [Video] section.
  4. Change ScreenWidth and ScreenHeight strings to the desired resolution.
Set values in configuration file, method 2
  1. Go to <path-to-game>.
  2. Open sun.ini.
  3. Under the [Video] value, insert AllowHiResModes=yes.
  4. Save the file, then run the game.
  5. In the options screen, all standardized resolutions should be visible.

Input

Input options menu
Input options menu

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

Audio

Audio options menu
Audio options menu
Fan-made external audio options menu (for the TSpatch and TS Installer version of the game).
Fan-made external audio options menu (for the TSpatch and TS Installer version of the game).

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Voices, music and sound
Surround sound
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
French
German
Censored; in-game blood replaced with oil as soldiers are non-human bots. Several cutscenes edited.
Uncensored in-game asset pack by Zimbio81 is available here, with partially uncensored cutscenes by Fek'Leyr Targ here.
Russian
Fan translation, download.
Spanish
Firestorm expansion was not officially localized. Fan translation available here: download.
Ukrainian
Fan translation and full dubbing by TSF(link to catalogue), download.

Network

Network options menu
Network options menu

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
8 Versus
Uses IPX protocol. Requires a LAN patch to be replaced with UDP (ModDB, CNCNZ.com) or IPXwrapper.
Alternatively, the CnCNet YR client includes its own workaround.
Online play
8 Versus
Lobbies point to XWIS by default since October 20, 2005 as part of an agreement with EA.[3] CnCNet is a more popular alternative.

Connection types

Ports

Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 3840, 4005, 4808, 4810, 4995, 7000-7002
UDP 1234-1237, 4000, 5400
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed

"Missing Dll files" when opening the game

Download and install TSpatch[citation needed]
Use DDrawCompat[10]
  1. Download DDrawCompat.
  2. Extract the contents from the .zip file into <path-to-game>

Game doesn't show sub-menu options when clicking an option in the main menu

When clicking on an option in the main menu, nothing shows up
Download and install TSpatch[citation needed]

Building lag

On some systems, the building process slows down the game to a couple of frames per seconds
Download and install TSpatch[citation needed]

Crash upon loading a campaign map

Delete excess save games[citation needed]

Tiberian Sun will crash to the desktop upon loading some later campaign maps if there are too many saved games. Delete some saved games and the level will work.

Download and install TSpatch

Using the Tiberian Sun Launcher included with TSpatch, click "Configuration" and set Renderer to Direct3D 9.

Cannot Alt+Tab

Download and install TSpatch[citation needed]

From Launcher settings, set Renderer to Direct3D 9.

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
DirectDraw 6
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows

Middleware

Middleware Notes
Cutscenes VQA
Multiplayer Westwood Online

FinalSun (map editor)

The last legacy version of FinalSun (1.01) is available from CNCNZ, Project Perfect Mod, ModDB, GameFront. It can work with and without the Firestorm expansion.
In 2024, FinalSun was made open-source, and both the tool and its source code are distributed as part of the Steam and EA App versions of the game. This version of the tool has several improvements compared to v1.01.

OS X/Linux emulation

Setup Wine[11]
  1. Download the game.
  2. Run the installer with Wine (right-click).
  3. Edit SUN.INI to set up the resolution if needed.
  4. Open winecfg.
  5. On the Applications tab, click on "Add Application", and point to GAME.exe.
  6. On the Libraries tab, add wsock32.dll for the library replacements.
  7. Add the following tricks (from WineHQ):
  8. Run wine regedit, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine. If there is no key called AppDefaults, create it.
  9. Create a new key game.exe.
  10. Create a new subkey Direct3D. In that key create two string variables:
  • DirectDrawRenderer with value opengl
  • RenderTargetLockMode with value readtex
  • Run the game through Wine.

System requirements

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 166 MHz
System memory (RAM) 32 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 200 MB
Video card (GPU) 2 MB of VRAM
DirectX 6 compatible


Notes

  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. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[4] 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.[5]
  3. 3.0 3.1 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).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data:

References