MechWarrior 3

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
MechWarrior 3
MechWarrior 3 cover
Zipper Interactive
Release dates
Windows June 1, 1999
MechWarrior 3 guide on StrategyWiki
MechWarrior 3 on MobyGames
MechWarrior 3 on Wikipedia


SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see Availability for affected versions).
Subseries of BattleTech
MechWarrior 1989
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat 1995
MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries 1996
MechWarrior 3 1999
MechWarrior 4: Vengeance 2000
MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries 2002
MechWarrior: Living Legends (unofficial game) 2009
MechWarrior Online 2012
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries 2019

Key points

Poor performance on modern systems

General information

Official game site (archived)
BattleTech Wiki - A massive wiki for everything BattleTech related
MechWariorsUnited - A community with patches and multiplayer maps
Mech3Mod - A community with mods - A huge fansite for MechWarrior 3 (archived)


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
SafeDisc DRM[Note 1].
SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
This game is not available digitally.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
MechWarrior 3: Pirate's Moon Included with MechWarrior 3 Gold Edition.

Essential improvements[edit]


The latest patch for the game (v1.2) can be downloaded from the Files section.

The patch is available in English, French, and German.

Enable High Resolutions with Launcher[edit]

A launcher for the game that enables support for widescreen and high resolutions (beyond the 1024 x 768 supported officially in the game) is available here. The launcher must be set to run in Windows 7 compatibility mode in order to work.

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings/options menu.
In-game general settings/options menu.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location

Save game data location[edit]

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

Video settings[edit]

In-game video/audio settings.
In-game video/audio settings.

Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
Use HiRes/Widescreen Patch.
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)
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

Input settings[edit]

In-game control settings.
In-game control settings.

Audio settings[edit]

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Speech volume is tied with music.
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
A3D, QSound[3][citation needed]


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Infantry can not be crushed, as they vanish when a 'Mech aims at them or approaches them.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
Online play

Issues fixed[edit]

Installing under modern Windows[edit]

For many people, the version of Installshield which MechWarrior 3 uses refuses to start, and instead just hangs. This appears to be caused by conflicting programs running in the background. Singling out which program this is can be quite difficult. A simple workaround is to create a new account with administrative privileges, and install MechWarrior 3 under that.[citation needed]

Alternatively, open task manager, go to details tab, right click setup.exe, click "analyse wait chain", tick both boxes to end both processes. Repeat these steps until setup launches.

Adding compatibility for modern Windows[edit]

The following methods apply to both MechWarrior 3 and the Pirate's Moon expansion pack (except for the official patch step, as none were ever released for Pirate's Moon).

Method 1[edit]

This method fixes most rendering, FPS, and loading issues with the game. Also helps with 'rainbow colours' artifacts in game'.
Use dgVoodoo 2[citation needed]
  1. Install the 1.2 Patch.
  2. Download and setup dgVoodoo 2.
  3. Once the initial setup is done, go to the MS subfolder.
  4. Copy the D3DImm.dll and DDraw.dll files and paste them into <path-to-game>.
  5. Set the Mech3.exe compatibility options to Windows 98 Compatibility Mode, with administrator rights and display scaling disabled.
  6. Run the game.

Method 2[edit]

Use this method only if dgVoodoo cannot be run properly.
Configuring compatibility settings[citation needed]
  1. Install the 1.2 Patch.
  2. Enable the following compatibility settings for the mech3.exe file: Compatibility mode (Windows 98 / Windows ME).
  3. Through the graphics card's control panel, enable "Vertical sync" and "Triple buffering".
  4. Run the game.

Fix bouncing APCs/AMS not working[edit]

Use a tool like Rivatuner to limit the game's framerate to 30fps. Enabling V-Sync helps too.

Game won't start (Windows 10)[edit]

If the game won't start and you encounter an application error message
Direct Play legacy component
  1. Open Control Panel and select Programs and Features and Turn Windows Features On or Off.
  2. Expand Legacy Components and tick Direct Play and click on the OK button

Variable game speed[edit]

Game speed may constantly shift between too fast and too slow.
Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Reboot Windows.

Other information[edit]


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


Middleware Notes
Multiplayer MSN Gaming Zone

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 166 MHz
System memory (RAM) 32 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 240 MB
Video card (GPU) 2 MB of VRAM
DirectX 6.1 compatible


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[2]
  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).