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Emperor: Battle for Dune

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Emperor: Battle for Dune
Emperor: Battle for Dune cover
Westwood Studios
Intelligent Games
Electronic Arts
Release dates
Windows June 12, 2001
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Multiple select, Point and select
Genres RTS
Themes Sci-fi
Series Dune
Emperor: Battle for Dune on HowLongToBeat
Emperor: Battle for Dune on MobyGames
Emperor: Battle for Dune on Wikipedia
Dune 1992
Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty 1992
Dune 2000 1998
Emperor: Battle for Dune 2001
Frank Herbert's Dune 2001
OpenRA (unofficial) 2010
Dune: Spice Wars 2023
Dune: Imperium 2024
Dune: Awakening TBA

Emperor: Battle for Dune is an RTS game made by Westwood Studios and Intelligent Games. It is the last game by Westwood Studios set in the Dune universe. Unlike Dune 2000, which was a remake of Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty, Emperor: Battle for Dune was a proper sequel that took place after the storyline of the original, featuring entirely different factions as opposed to ones sharing most of their arsenals. It was the first Westwood-branded RTS to use a 3D engine, but it used Intelligent Games' Xanadu engine rather than Westwood's then-in development W3D, contrary to subsequent beliefs. It was distributed on 4 CD-ROMs, one for installation and the other three for each faction's campaign.

Post-release support included 4 official patches and several map packs, as well as a map editor. Due to contemporary issues on some systems caused by the SafeDisc v2 DRM, an official install fix was released to bypass this DRM in both the game's installer and the main executable, but the disc check and serial key were retained.

Due to security updates to Windows 10 and later and certain prior versions of Windows, the game will not run without using the aforementioned official install fix due to an un-fixed version using SafeDisc. Performance issues, mainly noticable lag in gameplay, have started occurring with Windows 8, and the solution for this is using a wrapper like dgVoodoo 2. The official multiplayer service, Westwood Online, was redirected to the community-run XWIS server in 2005 in agreement with EA's German community team[1], and using the in-game multiplayer menus lead to it without any additional configuration, but the multiplayer scene has essentially vanished over time. Unlike other Westwood RTS games, CnCNet does not support Emperor: Battle for Dune.

General information - A major Dune fansite with an active community
XWIS (legacy multiplayer replacement, default server lookup leads to this service)
Emperor: Battle for Dune section on


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
CD key
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
SafeDisc v2 DRM and CD-ROM volume label check. SafeDisc is removed with the official install fix; see Bypassing SafeDisc

Essential improvements

Bypassing SafeDisc

The game will not run on Windows 10 and later, as well as updated prior versions of Windows without using an official installation fix (see the SafeDisc DRM article for more information).
Follow the procedure[2]
  1. Copy the contents of disc 1 to the hard drive.
  2. Replace the setup executable with the one from the official install fix.
  3. Install the game using the new setup executable.
  4. Install Patch 1.09.
  5. Extract the file EMPEROR.EXE from the install fix archive and copy it to <path-to-game>, overwriting the old file.


This fix also applies to certain computer configurations which existed during the game's original release, which were incompatible with SafeDisc.


Patch 1.09 updates the game to the latest version.

Map packs

There were 4 official map packs for multiplayer and singleplayer skirmish play released as separate downloads on the developer's now-defunct public FTP server.
PCGamingWiki archive of downloadable map packs

Skip intro videos

Delete/rename video file[3]

Delete or rename the file <path-to-game>\DATA\MOVIES\LEGALS.BIK

Lag fix in Windows 8 and newer

Use dgVoodoo 2[3]

The game lags terribly in modern operating systems. In order to fix this, use dgVoodoo 2.

  1. Download dgVoodoo 2 and unpack it in <path-to-game>.
  2. From the MS\x86 subfolder, copy all files to the main directory.
  3. Run dgVoodoo 2 setup through dgVoodooCpl.exe in the game directory.
  4. Select the appropriate graphics card from the drop down menu in "Adapters to use/enable"; in "Appearance," choose "Centered". Now click on the "DirectX" tab above. Input "512 MB" in the "VRAM" menu. Deselect "dgVoodoo watermark". Click on the "apply" button, then press "OK."
  5. Run the game. Notice the main menu will still lag, but the game itself will run fine.

Game data

Game options
Game options

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Westwood\Emperor\Options\[Note 1]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\DATA\saves\[Note 2]


Advanced video settings
Advanced video settings

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Forcing a resolution other than 4:3 results in a cropped screen, which renders some main menu options (including the one for exiting the game) inaccessible.
Custom resolutions are set by changing the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Westwood\Emperor\Options\Graphics registry key, specifically ScreenHeight and ScreenWidth sub-keys.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
UI animations are framerate-dependent and seem to be intended for 30 FPS, playing twice as fast as they should at 60 FPS and four times as fast at 120 FPS.
High dynamic range display (HDR)


Input settings
Input settings

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse controls can not be changed. LMB is for selection/orders, RMB is deselection/viewport panning, LMB+RMB viewport rotation.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Controller types


Audio settings
Audio settings

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music, Sound and Voice
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Traditional Chinese


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
8 Versus
Online play
8 Versus
Lobbies point to XWIS by default since October 20, 2005 as part of an agreement with EA.[1]

Connection types

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 7
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer Westwood Online

Map editor

The official map editor is available for download from and

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium II 400 MHz
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 600 MB
Video card (GPU) 16 MB of VRAM
DirectX 7.0a compatible


  1. Applications writing to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE will be redirected to other locations based on various criterias, see the glossary page for more details.
  2. 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).


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bye Bye WOL! XWIS is the official online gaming service now! | Project Perfect Mod - last accessed on 2024-03-08
  2. Verified by User:Plok on 2021-10-14
  3. 3.0 3.1 Verified by User:Plok on 2022-01-29