X-Wing Alliance: Technical Guide
Missions | Patches


This page covers the technical part of the game and falls apart in 4 main sections:

- System Requirements
- Version Guide
- Technical Support and Hints
- Multiplayer Support and Hints

If you got any other questions or if you got hints yourself, don't hesitate to contact the SCO. If you need another type of help, use the links below the titlebar.


  System Requirements


OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 95 or 98 required.
CPU: 200 MHz or faster CPU required.
MEMORY: 32MB RAM  required.
CD-ROM: 4X CD-ROM or faster recommended. (not required for demo version)
GRAPHICS CARD: PCI graphics card required.
SOUND CARD: 16-bit sound card or better required - PCI 3D sound card optional.
INPUT DEVICE: Joystick, Mouse, and Keyboard Required. DirectInput compatible devices also supported.
LAN: Supports 8 players on IPX or TCP/IP LAN
INTERNET: Supports 4 players via 28.8Kbps or faster connection to the Internet. 32 bit Dial-Up or Direct TCP/IP connection. 28.8 Kbps Minimum
MODEM-TO-MODEM: Supports 2 players vie 28.8 Kbps or faster modem.
DIRECT SERIAL: Supports 2 players via Null Modem Cable.

As always these requirement are flexible:
- Important is to shutdown all other applications when playing - this improves play quality considerably and avoids crashes.
- Actually, the design and implementation allows up to 8 players on internet. But the host's computer must have a bandwidth connection to the Internet like an ISDN or T1 line. A high bandwidth connection is necessary because the great amount of game simulation information that needs to be sent back and forth. Currently Internet play through Microsoft's Internet Gaming Zone allows 8 players.


  Game Version Identification Guide
Originally by Fleet Admiral Kermalius top


  • 1.00 - XWA Version 1.0: The original version that shiped on XWA CD's. This version works with EH battles, but is not supported for multiplayer or patches.
  • 2.01 - XWA Version 2.01: An unsupported XWA patch. Upgrade to v2.02.
  • 2.02 - XWA Version 2.02: The latest, and final, XWA patch. Adds all previous fixes - film room, A3D support, multiplayer, bug & mission fixes. This version is fully supported in the EH for patches, battles & multiplayer.
    XWA v2.02 patch


  Technical Support and Hints


by Lucas Arts:
X-Wing Alliance
(not for player-made expantions)

Some hints:
- Make sure your DirectX drivers are current and correctly installed. Also check if your other drivers (sound, video, ports...) are alright.
- It pays off to have a more advanced joystick, with a throttle and more then 4 buttons, prefferably programmable.
Recommended are the Wingman joysticks by Logitech and the Sidewinder sticks by Microsoft. (though i broke quite some of them, in that case try and find a Thrustmaster)

- Download the Game Update - It is required for Zone Play and also if you play via TCP/IP, all players need to have the same version. It is also a Direct3D upgrade which now supports the popular Voodoo and Voodoo Rush chipsets. already included in Balance of Power!
- Always do a Full Install, this makes the game faster because overall your harddisc access is quicker then your CDROM access. Also if you want to use custom missions you must have a full install for them to work.
- Check the config of your Joystick in game. The list on the right is also your keyboard refference guide. Assign usefull commands to your joystick buttons and learn the keyboard commands. You'll never be a good pilot without it.
Besides the obvious fire and select/roll buttons [1 and 2], at least assign R (nearest enemy fighter) and W (change weapon - essential for the "ion trick") to a button. Some people swear by E (target craft targetting you) or [ (1/3rd throttle) but generally try to have the right mix of targetting controls (T, Y, E, R, A...), power management controls ([F8], [F9], [F10], S...) and throttle controls ([, ], [Backspace]...). Especially in multiplay how fast you can switch from "full power to lasers - full throttle" to "all power to engines - 1/3rd throttle" can be the deciding factor in who wins the match.


  Multiplay Support and Hints


You will not be able to get to the top ranks in the game without multiplay kills. So get onto the Zone or use ICQ or IRC to find other players. Some people go from Cadet to Jedi Master in just under a week by just Multiplay during Weeks of War on the zone.
Biggest problem is ofcourse the so called lag - the differences in the game caused by the transfer times and quality between the craft. This can cause craft to jump around (some packages never arrived, then they and the next ones do), not registering shots ("ghost hits"), blue/red screens of connectionloss etc. See lag as the internet weather: too many factors to control or predict at any steady level. But there are some things you can do and take into account:

- Switch off all "extra's" in your configuration, like In-Flight Music, Star Field Backdrops etc. Or put them on "Low". This increases meory management by 75%. Your game will look less nice in multiplay, but the game play stays the same.
- Reset your computer if you have been running a particular program for extended periods of time. Applications like Browsers and mIRC have a tendency to store their histories in the memory of your computer to allow them faster access - but do not always remove that again after they have been closed. Resetting makes sure your memory is cleared again.
- Switch off all other programs that use either memory (that would be all of them) or yur internet connection (like mIRC, Explorer, ICQ, AIM,...) - you wouldn't be the first that gets ripped out of a match because you got an ICQ message. And that's besides the "normal lag" it already causes by taking up bandwidth.
- Set your packages to small, also in your connection preferences for example your Cable or DSL connection. Because of the fast action in games, they need small fast packages instead of the big slow ones you'd prefer for downloading.
- Check the ping (=time which a single package takes to get to another computer and back) times with your opponents. Past a ping of 300ms games are not recommended, on the zone this means you can best confine yourself to players marked with a green bar besides their nick.
- "Zone Lag" is a myth, the zone is completely disabled the moment the host launches the game, in other words: it doesn't use anything of your connection, so can't really cause lag. What can cause lag is the "Zone Friends" application or if you leave the browser window open from where you entered the room.
- "Complex Skirmish Lag" is just as false as "Zone Lag." The only way that a complex skirmish (with AI craft) would be "laggier" than a melee would be if you are playing on a computer that is barely able to run XvT. In this case, the "lag" would really be the computer's inability to keep up, not the connection to the internet. Basicly a skirmish runs off your own computer, not the host's - just before you play the skirmish as set up is sent to you as a temp mission file which the game installs on your harddisc to run off. The AI don't suffer lag at all either - what can happen is "choppy-ness", but that would also occur during single play mission flying.
- "Craft Lag" is not a myth, especially not in larger melees. Basically you can state that the faster and more manouvrable a craft is, the more lag it creates. This is because more packages need to be send.
- "Ghost Packages Loss" is a phenomenon that is seen with cable connections: the game indicates package loss, but in flight everything is fine. "Ghost Hits", or hits not registering, is most often seen on the hosts for some reason: "Host Ghosts".
- Lag is never a factor in shooting down warheads since they move at a constant speed in a constant direction. (Press I for nearest warhead) Same goes in lesser extend for other AI.




Site/page created 22/aug/99, updated 02/apr/01. Version 3.0b. Copyright © 1999, for BS4U by Ender mBind