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Wing Commander

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

For the Mac OS remake, see Super Wing Commander.

Wing Commander
Wing Commander cover
Origin Systems
Retail Origin Systems
Digital Electronic Arts
Release dates
DOS September 27, 1990
Windows October 15, 1996
Windows (DOSBox) August 25, 2011
macOS (OS X) (DOSBox) October 18, 2012[1]
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer
Perspectives First-person
Genres Action, Shooter, Vehicle combat
Vehicles Space flight
Themes Sci-fi, Space
Series Wing Commander
Wing Commander on HowLongToBeat
Wing Commander guide on StrategyWiki
Wing Commander on MobyGames
Wing Commander on Wikipedia
Wing Commander 1990
Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi 1991
Wing Commander: Academy 1993
Wing Commander: Privateer 1993
Super Wing Commander 1994
Wing Commander: Armada 1994
Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger 1994
Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom 1996
Privateer 2: The Darkening 1996
Wing Commander: Prophecy 1997
Wing Commander: Secret Ops 1998

Wing Commander is a singleplayer first-person action, shooter and vehicle combat game in the Wing Commander series.

General information

Wing Commander Wiki Community Discussions for game series Support Page


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Prompts for answers from manual, code wheel, etc.
DRM requires consulting manuals.
Includes both expansions and Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi. Pre-packaged with DOSBox.[2]
macOS (OS X)
A free demo version is available from

Version differences

Retail versions of The Secret Missions 2 need the manual to answer copy protection questions.
The version of The Secret Missions 2 has protection bypassed; enter any number and press Enter.
PC versions lack the voiceovers of Sega CD port.[3][4]
The game was ported to Windows as part of Wing Commander: The Kilrathi Saga.
The game was remade for Mac OS as Super Wing Commander.
The version can be run through WingLoader, a launcher/patcher that updates the game files to include digitized music and sound effects from the Kilrathi Saga, and speech from the Sega CD port. Available here.


DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
The Secret Missions
macOS (OS X)
The Secret Missions 2 - Crusade
macOS (OS X)

Essential improvements

Run in DOSBox

To run correctly in DOSBox, set cycles=3000 and buttonwrap=false. Leave all other settings at their defaults.[5]

Speed issues during combat in DOSBox

Combat is known to have issues with the game speed in regular DOSBox. Where you may need to use the DOSBox keyboard shortcuts to speed-up or slow-down the game to keep it playable.

For the DOSBox-X fork, you can use the vmemdelay=6000 setting in the DOSBox-X config file to adjust video memory speed such that the game is playable without having to constantly adjust the games speed. With this you also don't have to limit the cycles, and can leave it at default.

NOTE: this solution is not perfect, the game will slow down during cutscenes, or when viewing your ship externally using F5 which can be annoying.


Secret Missions 1 and 2 (The Kilrathi Saga)

Secret Missions 1 and 2 adds the missions from the expansions. Extract somewhere convenient and run SM12Inst.exe.
The Kilrathi Saga version of Wing Commander must be installed (the DOS version will not work). If the installer doesn't see the installation, see Secret Missions won't install.

Secret Missions 1.5

Secret Missions 1.5 is the name given to the Super Wing Commander version of the Secret Mission addon. It's actually quite different from the original. A fan port can be downloaded for DOS here and Windows here.

Game data

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\GAMEDAT\SAVEGAME.WLD[Note 1]
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy


Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
320x200 only.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
For DOSBox toggle with Alt+ Enter (see the glossary page for other workarounds).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
For DOSBox use an unofficial build (see the glossary page for other workarounds).
60 FPS
120+ FPS



Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
All speech is text-based.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
For DOSBox change the priority background value in the DOSBox configuration file.
Royalty free audio
Red Book CD audio
FM Towns version only.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation (Including Secrets Missions 1 & 2) by Clan Dlan (authors: L@Zar0, darkpadawan), download.

Issues fixed

EXE has stopped working (The Kilrathi Saga)

Set Windows 95 compatibility mode[citation needed]
  1. Go to the properties of the named EXE.
  2. Enable Windows 95 or Windows 98 / Windows ME compatibility mode.
  3. Click OK.

Secret Missions won't install

Install Secret Missions manually[citation needed]
  1. Extract Secret Missions 1 and 2 somewhere temporarily.
  2. Move the six EXE files to the main wc1 folder, replacing all existing files.
  3. Move all other files to wc1\gamedat replacing all existing files.
  4. Go to the properties of SM1.EXE and SM2.EXE and set both to run in Windows 95 or Windows 98 / Windows ME compatibility mode.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
DOS video modes
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 3.0
Processor (CPU) Intel 286
System memory (RAM) 640 KB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista
Processor (CPU) 1.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Video card (GPU) DirectX 7.0 compatible
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.6.8 or later
Processor (CPU) Intel Core Duo 2 GHz+
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM


  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).
  2. File/folder structure within the installation folder reflects the path(s) listed for DOS game data. For the release, file changes in DOSBox are redirected to <path-to-game>/cloud_saves/ even if GOG Galaxy is not used (this folder contains all redirected files, so some files in the cloud_saves folder might be temporary files or other files that do not contain saves or settings).


  1. goes Mac ● - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  2. List of GOG games using DOSBox, page 1 - Forum - - last accessed on May 2023
  3. - last accessed on May 2023
  4. - last accessed on May 2023
  5. Settings recommended by Gemini in Ancient DOS Games --- Episode 107: Wing Commander