Freelancer

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Freelancer
Freelancer cover
Developers
Digital Anvil
Publishers
Microsoft Game Studios
Release dates
Windows March 4, 2003
Freelancer guide on StrategyWiki
Freelancer on Wikipedia

Warnings

SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see Availability for affected versions).

Key points

Active modding scene.
Not available on any digital distribution channels, only through retail.
Master servers for multiplayer were shut down on April 8, 2008.[1] See fllistserver for a workaround.

General information

The Starport - modding information and forums.
The Starport Wiki installation guide.
Microsoft has individual support pages for video and sound issues for Windows 95/ME/XP.

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
SafeDisc v2.7 DRM[Note 1].
Windows
SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
Freelancer is currently unavailable as a digital release.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Open freelancer.ini and put a semi-colon ; in front of each of the three movie lines.[4]

Patches[edit]

Update v1.1 is an official patch that primarily affects server stability for multi-player and is not necessary for single player. It does not address any graphics or sound issues mentioned below.

Utilities[edit]

  • Freelancer Mod Manager is a program that simplifies installing and managing mods for the game. Mods compatible with this program have file extension *.flmod.

Modifications[edit]

  • HD Textures 1.2 replaces low-res textures for stations, docks, nebulas and some ships.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Freelancer\PerfOptions.ini[Note 2]
<path-to-game>\DATA\

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows

Video settings[edit]

Video settings.
Video settings.
Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
See Widescreen resolution.
Windowed
Launch the game with -win parameter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Launch the game with -win parameter, then use Borderless Gaming.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS

Widescreen resolution[edit]

If you want to play Freelancer in widescreen you'll either have to edit several INI files or use a third party mod or patch. Below are instructions for installing Jason's Freelancer Patch as well as manual ini edits if you'd rather go that route.

Jason's Freelancer Patch[citation needed]

If you only plan on playing singleplayer Jasons Freelancer patch is a good option. You'll only need to download a file, put it in the right place and make a small edit to another file and you will have the best widescreen support you can get in Freelancer.

If you plan on playing any multiplayer it is recommended that you do not use this option as it might be detected as cheating. Instead you should go for the INI editing option described further down. Do note that some of the servers that are still around use special mods, some of these mods include their own widescreen support.

  1. Download JFLP.DLL.
  2. Extract to the EXE folder within the game's install folder.
  3. Open dacom.ini within the EXE folder.
  4. Add 'jflp.dll' at the bottom of the '[Libraries]' section (under '.\flmaterials.dll') and save.

You're done. Your install of Freelancer now supports widescreen resolutions. Start the game and select one in the options menu. Be sure to restart the game after changing from a 4:3 resolution to a Widescreen.

Edit Ini files[5]
  • Open %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Freelancer\PerfOptions.ini
  • At the bottom it will say [Display] and underneath size= change it to 1920, 1080 (or whatever resolution you want to use). Notice the space in between the 1920, 1080.
  • Now save and exit.
  • Go to <path-to-game>\DATA. Once there open cameras.ini in text editor.
  • Delete whats there and paste the following:
[WinCamera]
fovx = 68.88

[CockpitCamera]
fovx = 70
znear = 2.000000

[ChaseCamera]
fovx = 70

[DeathCamera]
fovx = 70

If you have a 16:10 screen use the following instead:

[WinCamera]
fovx = 63.50

[CockpitCamera]
fovx = 70
znear = 2.000000

[ChaseCamera]
fovx = 70

[DeathCamera]
fovx = 70
  • Save and exit.
  • Go to <path-to-game>\EXE. Once there open freelancer.ini in text editor.
  • At about the 9th line down it says the resolution you're currently using for a game. Change it to size = 1920,1080 or what ever resolution you want.
  • Note: To disable startup movies, in this same file go to where it says [Startup] and put a ; at the start of all three lines that begins with movie_file. Example:  ;movie_file = movies\MGS_Logo_Final.wmv
  • Now save and exit.
  • Go to <path-to-game>\DATA\FONTS. Once there open fonts.ini in text editor.
  • Delete all the content of a file and paste the following:
[trueType]
nickname = ButtonText
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.038500

[trueType]
nickname = PageHeader
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.041000

[trueType]
nickname = SubHeader
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.034500

[trueType]
nickname = ItemName
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.021000

[trueType]
nickname = ListText
font = Arial Unicode MS
fixed_height = 0.026000

[trueType]
nickname = ToolTip
font = Arial Unicode MS
fixed_height = 0.026000

[trueType]
nickname = Rollover
font = Arial Unicode MS
fixed_height = 0.022000

[trueType]
nickname = HudSmall
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.026000

[trueType]
nickname = MissionObjective
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.056000

[trueType]
nickname = Normal
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.031000

[trueType]
nickname = NewsMission
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.026000

[trueType]
nickname = NewsTicker
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.041000

[trueType]
nickname = PlayerName
font = Arial Unicode MS
fixed_height = 0.021000

[trueType]
nickname = TradePlayerName
font = Arial Unicode MS
fixed_height = 0.021000

[trueType]
nickname = DebugText
font = FixedSys
fixed_height = 0.026000

[trueType]
nickname = ConfirmPlayerText
font = Arial Unicode MS
fixed_height = 0.036000

[trueType]
nickname = ConfirmText
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.036000

[trueType]
nickname = NavMap1600
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.015000

[trueType]
nickname = NavMap1024
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.020000

[trueType]
nickname = NavMap1280
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.01900

[trueType]
nickname = NavMap800
font = Agency FB
fixed_height = 0.02300
  • Save and exit.
  • In the same folder open rich_fonts.ini in text editor.
  • Delete all the content of a file and paste the following:
[trueType]
font = 0, Arial Unicode MS, 18
font = 1, Agency FB, 26
font = 2, Arial Unicode MS, 22
font = 3, Agency FB, 24
font = 4, Agency FB, 96
font = 5, Agency FB, 20
font = 6, Agency FB, 30
font = 7, Agency FB, 18

[Style]
name = STYLE_CONSOLE
font = 0
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 255, 255, 255

[Style]
name = STYLE_DIALOG
font = 1
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 135, 195, 224

[Style]
name = STYLE_DIALOG_SMALL
font = 5
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 135, 195, 224

[Style]
name = STYLE_BUTTON
font = 6
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 135, 195, 224

[Style]
name = STYLE_LOCTABLE
font = 0
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 135, 195, 224

[Style]
name = STYLE_LOCTABLE_SELECT
font = 0
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 245, 234, 82

[Style]
name = STYLE_LOCTABLE_INACTIVE
font = 0
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 182, 182, 182

[Style]
name = STYLE_SMALL_HEADER
font = 5
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 135, 195, 224

[Style]
name = STYLE_SMALL_HEADER_ACTIVE
font = 5
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 245, 234, 82

[Style]
name = STYLE_SUBSUBTITLE
font = 1
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 135, 195, 224

[Style]
name = STYLE_TITLE
font = 3
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 135, 195, 224
justify = center

[Style]
name = STYLE_ERROR
font = 0
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 191, 29, 29

[Style]
name = STYLE_NN_AGENCY
font = 5
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 135, 195, 224

[Style]
name = STYLE_PRIVATE
font = 0
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 59, 191, 29

[Style]
name = STYLE_CONSOLE_SENDER
font = 2
bold = false
italic = false
underline = false
color = 0, 255, 0
  • Save and exit.
  • Now you are all done and ready to play in 1920×1080.

Notes

The camera FOV changes for widescreen play might not be applied properly when you first launch and load an existing game causing the UI to be outside the screen. As a workaround, after the launching the game press New Game, once the New Game cutscene starts press F1 and load your game from there. The FOV settings seem to be applied properly as soon as a space scene is played, like the one at the start of the New Game cutscene.
It seem that many UI elements have their width set in percentage of screen width. With the above INI edits the game will play just fine in widescreen but some UI elements might not fit inside their containers such as the power, shield and hull indicators, and the news ticker.

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Remapping
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.

Audio settings[edit]

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
with 3d sound option on
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Can not be disabled.

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Spanish
Fan translation, download.
Russian
Fan translation by users forum «Elite-Games.ru»

Network[edit]

Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play
Online play
Official servers are offline; use replacement Freelancer listserver.

Issues unresolved[edit]

Compatibility problems on modern operating systems[edit]

Two primary issues when running on modern systems:

Graphics issues resulting in a black screen or general crashes.[citation needed]
There can be sound issues causing voices or music to temporarily be muted.[citation needed]

Issues fixed[edit]

It is sometimes necessary to start a new game, delete all your saved games or reinstall Freelancer in order for the following fixes to be successful.

Crashes on launch[edit]

Install DirectPlay[citation needed]

Sound issues[edit]

If there is either no sound or voices or music cut in and out the following fixes may solve the problem.

  • Most sound issues can be traced to problems with the Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer-3 Codec. Uninstalling and reinstalling this codec as described on Microsoft's website can fix the problem. Other people have had success in both Windows 98 and Vista 32-bit by copying the l3codeca.acm file from %WINDIR%\system32\ to <path-to-game>\EXE\ and rename it to l3codecp.acm.[6]
  • Another possible fix is disabling 3-D sound in the options menu.

Video Issues[edit]

Microsoft lists several solutions for video issues.

"Freelancer Fatal Error: Freelancer did not detect a 3D capable video card in your system" error[edit]

Follow the Widescreen resolution steps to force the correct resolution.[7]

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 98, ME, XP
Processor (CPU) 600 MHz
System memory (RAM) 128 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 900 MB
Video card (GPU) 16 MB of VRAM

Notes

  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[2] and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[3]
  2. When running this game without Administrator elevation, activity in %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMFILES(X86)%, and %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\ (more details).

References