Configuring Empire at War for Multiplayer

Written by Crazed Ewok on Feb-21-2006

  1. Download the latest patch. This is required to play online, and if you have a slower connection, it’s best to start downloading it now.
  2. Adjust your video specs for Empire at War. In big battles, your system will have more to deal with, and on most systems it will slow down. What may work for you in single player may not work for you with 4 other people playing with you.
  3. Optimize your network options in-game. The “Network” tab in EaW should be set to your internet connection speed and any other options that you need should be enabled.
  4. Disable Windows Firewall or other firewall programs (ZoneAlarm, McAfee, etc). You have two ways to get a firewall to allow Empire at War:
    • With most firewalls, you should be able to make individual exceptions for specific programs. This allows you to keep most of your firewall protection while allowing the game to work. Example
    • I find it easiest to just disable the firewall entirely when you play. This leaves your computer more open, but it is easier. Example
  5. Configure your router. Aside from computer firewalls, routers are the biggest and most subtle aspect that can cause connection problems. Below are various methods on how to configure your router:
    • Go into your router configuration. For Linksys (the most popular brand for residential routers), you would go to to configure your router. You will be prompted for a username and password. Try passwords like “admin”, “default”, “1234”, “0000”, “password” and “pass”. If none of those work, Google your router brand and read the documentation.
    • Now you need to find your local IP address. This is what your network uses to identify each individual computer connected to the router. The easiest way to do this is to go to Start->All Programs->Accessories->Command Prompt and type in “ipconfig”. After this is done, some information will pop up; remember the field that says “IP Address.” You’ll need it later. Example
    • Go back into the router configuration. From this point on, you have two options.
      • Look for an option that says “UPnP” or “Filter NAT Redirection.” Make sure it is enabled or disabled, respectively. This should be enough to allow your router to accept the NAT navigating that EaW attempts to do, but in some cases routers will not have this feature or will not work anyway. If so, refer to the methods below. Example (Linksys)
      • Look for an option that has “DMZ” in it. When you find the option, enable the DMZ and make sure the IP address listed is what I told you to remember above. DMZ stands for “De-militarized Zone” and is used to totally reveal a computer to the internet while leaving all other computers on the network protected by the router’s firewall. Therefore, it is not the most private option, but it is the easiest. Example (Linksys)
      • Look for an option that says “Port Forwarding” or something similar. It should have a screen that lists an IP address, UDP or TCP, and the port range. You’ll need to forward ports 3658, 3659, 6500 and 27900, TCP and UDP, to the IP address that I instructed you to get earlier. Example (Linksys)
  6. Register an account with Gamespy. If you are having problems with connection to Empire at War’s online aspect (if you get a “[missing]” error when trying to sign in), this could be one of the problems. Register a Gamespy account and login with it from EaW. The link to register can be found on this page.
  7. Close any other programs and make sure you are not downloading anything. More programs, whether you’re currently using them or not, is more work for the processor to do. This could cause lag on your side of the game. Also, you should not be doing anything on the internet while playing the game; downloading a file, for instance, will cause internet lag and could cause serious problems with the game you are playing.
  8. You should now be fully prepared to play Empire at War. If you have any other connection problems, consult Yoda’s Help Desk and/or retry the steps I listed above. It’s good to test your multiplayer capabilities before the actual Forum Party.