SS2 Multiplayer Guide
Please consult this guide before posting a new thread with your multiplayer problem/question.
To enable multiplayer with up to 4 players in System Shock 2 you need to install this patch. Each player proceeds through training as in a singleplayer game; players cannot see or interact with each other until they reach the Von Braun.
A fun cooperative game experience is based on good communication. LAN games are best suited. Playing on a local area network also saves you from most connection problems.(!) Internet players can meet for games in the #systemshock IRC channel. When you join the channel to find a game, change your nick like this: nick|wtp. This means "I want to play!" You can access the IRC channel via java-webchat.
Also, you can consult our Multiplayer List.
The command to chat within the game is "talk". It's bound to [shift + '] by default. Rebind it to something useful before you start your MP game. The message history can be viewed/hidden by pressing [L].
Additionally you can use voice-chat. An easy way to voice-chat is to call each other via Skype. Or you can use traditional gamer voice-chat programs like Roger Wilco or Ventrilo.
Hamachi is recommended when one or more players are behind a router or firewall. Supported operating systems are: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Server 2003, Vista. Hamachi won't work on Windows 95/98/ME/NT.
Hamachi creates a new ethernet connection. It's as if you had another network adapter in your computer.
The users get connected via the Hamachi mediation server. This is used to locate each other and to bootstrap the connection between themselves. After that the connection is direct and no traffic should flow through the mediation server.
- Install Hamachi and follow the little tutorial.
- Disable the option to start Hamachi automatically with Windows: [Hamachi Preferences-->System]
- Enable the option "Block vulnerable Microsoft Windows services" in [Hamachi Preferences-->Security]
- You should now be able to set up a network. Let the other players connect to your network or connect to theirs.
- The Hamachi-IP is the one to use in SS2's Multiplayer dialogue when joining.
- Your own Hamachi-IP can be seen at the top of the program.
- Everyone else's IPs can be seen in the Hamachi window next to their nicknames.
- If you can't see the IPs of the other users go to [Hamachi Preferences-->Window-->Default network member label]
- Don't idle in Hamachi networks and log off all Hamachi networks before closing the program. (Rightclick the network's name)
It's always a security risk to connect to someone else's computers on a peer to peer network such as Hamachi. Especially if you don't know them. Keep this in mind, but don't let it keep you from playing.
Check if there's a Firewall applied to the Hamachi connection. [Windows: Start-->Settings-->Network Connections]. You may need to disable the Firewall on the Hamachi connection to successfully join a SS2 MP game.
In some cases System Shock 2 still tries to use your normal internet connection when it should be using the Hamachi connection. To get around this there are three solutions:
- Configure your firewall to block SS2 from the normal network, and allow it only for the Hamachi network. This is the best option but you need a proper firewall. (In other words: Windows Firewall does not suffice).
- Open Network Connections, go to the advanced menu, open Advanced settings, select Hamachi and press the up arrow until it's the top priority.
- Disconnect from the internet by disabling your normal network connection, but leave the Hamachi network enabled. Start SS2 and host the game. It should detect your Hamachi IP. Now [Alt-Tab] back to Windows and re-enable the normal network to connect to the internet again. When you get back to SS2, it should still be using the Hamachi IP. You will have to do this every time you want to host a game.
Additionally you want to make sure that UPnP ("Universal Plug and Play") is disabled in Hamachi [Preferences->System->Check: Do not use UPnP] and in your router.
If you cannot connect to the Hamachi mediation server at all, you can't create or join a network. In this case you may need to manually set Hamachi to use a specifc port in [Hamachi Preferences-->Status->Detailed Configuration->Connecting through NAT (UDP andTCP ports]. You will need to forward these two ports in your router settings (see below for Router Settings).
Usually you won't have to change the router settings to make Hamachi work. Hamachi's whole purpose is to establish a tunnel under your and your friend's routers and firewalls. So the following settings are only necessary if:
- You are not using Hamachi
- In the rare cases where you have to use Hamachi's "connecting through NAT" option
Now to find out your LAN adress and your router's adress go to [Start-->Run] and type:
The number given under "IP adress" is your LAN adress. Note it down, as you want to forward ports to this adress later on.
The number given under "Standardgateway" is your router adress. Type this adress into your browser to access your router.
Usually it will be http://192.168.0.1
Login to your router, then look for an option named "Port Forwarding" or similar.
To use Hamachi's "connecting through NAT" option, forward only the ports set in Hamachi's "UDP Port" and "TCP Port" settings to your LAN adress.
If you do NOT use Hamachi you need to forward the following ports (standard MSN gaming zone) to your LAN adress and set the trigger-port:
- Forward port range (TDP & UDP): 2300-2400
- Forward port range (TDP & UDP): 28800-28900
- Trigger port: Outgoing: 47624, Incoming: 47624
Port triggering will likely have it's own router menu option.
http://www.portforward.com/ offers free router specific help on port forwarding and triggering.
Save before using bulkheads and elevators. Crashes happen mostly during level changes.
Keep several save games! Sometimes save games are corrupted and cannot be reloaded. It's not anyone's fault, so don't scream at friends!
Any player can save the game. The game is saved on all connected computers. The same players (and mod setups) need to resume a saved game. If one player is missing, a "Personal Effects Box" will appear, which contains the dead companion's belongings.
(Resuming a savegame file of another player will turn you into that player. This leads to some interesting cloning effects if all the players use a copy of the exact same savegame, e.g. copy it from one of the player's computers to all others'.)
Cyber modules, logs and research results are shared automatically among the participants.
You can also share any items like weapons, ammo, implants, etc. by dragging them from your inventory into the world or directly on another player there. To share Nanites press the [Alt] key while dragging them to the other player.
Since it's easy to miss the notice when someone gives you an item and additionally gifts may just fall to the ground if your inventory is full, it's a good idea to arrange meetings from time to time for exchanging goodies.
Joining, Leaving, Pausing, and Dying
You cannot join a running game. And you cannot re-join a game unless everyone reconnects and a previous save-game is loaded by the host. If one of the players leaves the game, the other(s) will find Personal Effects Box(es) with his belongings where he left.
Only one player needs to activate the QBRM (vulgo: resurrection machine). All players will be ressurrected at this QBRM then. If someone dies without the QBRM activated, they will just be returned to one of the bulkheads in that map.
Friendly fire harms you, including PSI-Powers, excluding all melee-weapons and EMP weapons.
Entering the game menus [Esc] by any player pauses the game for all participants. You can still chat though.
Using Mods in MP
Generally it's best when all players use the same setup of mods. Cosmetical mods like Rebirth and SHTUP are optional though. Only the player(s) who use these will benefit from their changes of course.
Mods concerning gameplay like Zygoptera's Ultimate Spawn Mod or Crion's Impossible Difficulty MP should be evenly distributed. The same applies to FMs.
Multiplayer Fan Missions
Only a handful of FMs currently are prepared for Multiplayer games. (Note for map designers: The FM author needs to set multiplayer spawn-points for the players in the map. And the FM needs to start with Earth Training. The final training year triggers a necessary script. It might be the flag "2" set by career mission selection script.)
To play MP-FMs they need to be installed by all players.
Setting The Difficulty Level
The difficulty is set to Hard in MP-games and can not be changed. Crion's Impossible Difficulty MP will set the difficulty in MP games to Impossible. All clients have to install the mod.
This mod also includes two respawn points for multiplayers in the BOTM-level now, set after each of the two sphincters. This badly needed feature was added by NamelessVoice. It saves you from running through the whole level (including the infamous teeth jumping) should you die at any point.
To install this mod, backup shock2.gam and many.mis. Then drop the contents of the MOD-folder you will find within the ZIP-archive into your SS2 folder (or simply change the .zip-extension to .ss2mod to use with Zombe's Mod Manager).
Our thanks to Kolya for compiling all this useful information!
Last edited by D'Arcy; 6th Oct 2007 at 10:09.