Installation & Upgrading Issues
Video Issues 
Audio Issues 
Controller Issues
General Issues & Stability 
Multiplayer Issues 



Q. WHEN I PUT THE CD-ROM IN THE DRIVE, THE GAME WON'T INSTALL A. Run the SETUP.EXE program from the CD-ROM if AUTORUN does not run. You must NOT be running any virus checkers and similar utilities in the background if Installshield seems to hang during installation. AUTORUN won't work if you already have UC installed. This would happen if you did not uninstall UC using the ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS which then deletes the UC.INI file in your C:\WINDOWS or C:\WINNT folders. If this is the case, just search and destroy that file before re-installing. If you get a message about 1155: File INSTMSIW.EXE not found, it means that your system is not running the latest Windows Installer 2.0. You need to download it from Microsoft's site and install it. Then reboot and retry the game installation. Q. THE GAME KEEPS ASKING ME TO INSERT THE CDROM DURING INSTALL A. When running a restricted user account with fast user switching under Windows XP, some games will not start correctly. The game requests that the original disk be placed in the drive, even if it is already present. Read the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - 228985. Also try the game in another CDROM or DVD-ROM drive if you have one.
Also read this forum thread. Q. THE GAME KEEPS SAYING THAT IT CANNOT FIND DATA1.CAB DURING INSTALL A. Try copying the entire CDROM to a folder on your hard drive, then running the SETUP.EXE file from that folder.
Also read this forum thread. Q. WHY AM I GETTING EMULATION SOFTWARE OR DEBUGGER ERROR MESSAGE ON STARTUP? A. There is a conflict between the SafeDisc copy protection scheme used by the game and other software installed on your system; particularly virtual CD programs or emulators. These include Daemon Tools, CloneCD, Nero ImageDrive etc. Please disable these prior to starting the game. If have you have the DivX codec on your machine, please also update it to the latest version as there is a problem with DivX 5.1 and some software programs. If you EVER used ImageDrive but have uninstalled it, you may need to re-install it, but WITHOUT activating ImageDrive, then uninstall it again.
Also read this forum thread. Q. AFTER I INSTALL AND TRY TO PLAY, THE GAME HANGS A. Check the following: Q. I INSTALLED THE GAME AND WHEN I RUN IT I GET A MESSAGE "DINPUT8.DLL NOT FOUND". WHERE IS IT? A. You need to download and install DirectX 9 or higher Q. I WANT TO START FROM SCRATCH, HOW DO I UNINSTALL THE GAME AND APPLY THE LATEST PATCH? A. Here are the necessary steps you need to take to uninstall, re-install and patch to the latest version. Before getting started, ensure that you have installed the latest drivers for your sound and video cards. Also ensure that you have installed Microsoft Media Player 7.1 or higher and Microsoft DirectX 9 or higher. Q. HOW DO I REVERT TO THE DEFAULT GAME CONFIGURATION SETTINGS? A. Quit UC and use Explorer to delete the UCCONFIG.INI file which resides in the folder where the game is installed. The game will create a new one at startup. You can then go to CONFIG and change the settings as desired.



Make sure you are running the latest driver version. 3000AD is NOT interested in troubleshooting manufacturer video driver issues. Please contact your video board manufacturer. You can find updated drivers for all major cards either at the card manufacturer's web site or at one of the sites listed on our gaming links page Q. I STARTED THE GAME AND GOT A ERROR ABOUT A VERTEX SHADER! A. The game requires a video card with Vertex Shader 1.1 or higher. This is indicated on the game box as well as the product information page. There is a discussion about this on our forums. If you don't know if your card supports a Vertex Shader, contact your manufacturer. WARNING: The nVidia GF4 MX range of cards do NOT have a vertex shader! Please read this.
And no, a Vertex Shader is not something you can download and install. Your video card either has a Vertex Shader or it doesn't. Q. THE GAME DISPLAYS AN ERROR ABOUT "D3DX9_25.DLL" NOT BEING FOUND. A. If you did not allow the DirectX 9 update to complete installation during game installation, you will have this problem. To fix this, run the DXSETUP.EXE file located in the DIRECTX folder where the game is installed. Q. THE GAME DISPLAYS A "MESSAGE DRAIN" ERROR OR A BLACK SCREEN WHEN I START IT UP A. This may be a video card graphics driver glitch which should clear up after the first few frames of the AVI are played. If an error is displayed, just click OK and the game will continue as normal. The game requires Indeo 5.10 or higher codec. If the logo does not play install the latest version of Windows Media Player on your system and read the next item if you have winXP. You can also disable the intro animation by editing the properties of game shortcut and adding the /n parameter. This will not affect the game at all because only the Dreamcatcher intro splash screen uses the Indeo 5.11 codec. For example go to START/PROGRAMS/DREAMCATCHER and edit the target properties for the Universal Combat shortcut so that it looks like this:
"C:\Program Files\DreamCatcher\3000AD\Universal Combat\uc.exe" /n
Q. I JUST BOUGHT A NEW SYSTEM THAT CAME WITH WIN XP SERVICE PACK 1 AND THE GAME WON'T PLAY THE INTRO OR EXPLOSIONS A. With the September 2002 update to Windows XP (known as Service Pack 1), Microsoft is no longer distributing any version of the Indeo codecs with its operating system. This only affects users with new PCs that are shipping with Windows XP Service Pack 1, or clean installs of Windows XP SP1 on an older system. Installation upgrades of SP1 and the use of Windows Update does not remove existing Indeo codecs from your system.

Microsoft now have a fix via their KB 327979 article

If that does not work, you can probably download the Indeo 5.11 code from here and install it. That should fix the problem. Q. HEY! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 640x480 DISPLAY RESOLUTION SUPPORT? A. It is not officially supported. If you really must run the game at that resolution, you can set this directly in the INI file. First quit the game. Then load the UCCONFIG.INI file in Notepad. Look for the RESOLUTION setting and change to "Resolution=640x480". Save the file and start the game. Q. HOW COME SOME OF THE GRAPHICS FX LOOK DIFFERENT ON MY MACHINE? A. If your video card does not have a Pixel Shader, certain effects (shields, water etc) are done differently. To experience all the high end graphics special effects, you need a video card with a Pixel Shader. For more info on shader support, read this forum bulletin. Q. I AM HAVING VIDEO PROBLEMS I CANNOT RESOLVE A. This can be related to a lot things, primarily video drivers.

Q. WHY DO THE EXPLOSIONS SEEM TO STUTTER WHEN A LOT OF THEM ARE PLAYING A. Defragment your hard drive. Also check the settings in the System tab of Control Panel and ensure that your hard disk drives are set to run in DMA mode, instead of PIO. Q. I ENABLED ANTI-ALIASING AND NOW THE GAME ONLY DISPLAYS A PARTIAL SCREEN! A. In order to enable AA (any type), your video card must have the required amount of memory. For example, on a 16MB video card, you will not be able to run the game at 1024x768 32bit with any AA enabled. For more info on AA, check with your video card manufacturer.

If the main menu screen becomes corrupted because of an incorrect AA setting, press Q to quit from the main menu, then delete the UCCONFIG.INI file from the game install folder. On startup, a new one with default settings will be created.

Also, if you find that you cannot type in your name when starting a new game, this is also related to the AA settings because even text will be anti-aliased. Try lowering the AA settings until you find the best setting that works.



Make sure you are running the latest driver version. 3000AD is NOT interested in troubleshooting manufacturer video driver issues. Please contact your video board manufacturer. You can find updated drivers for all major cards either at the card manufacturer's web site or at several online sites Q. SOMETIMES I DON'T HEAR SOUNDS OUTSIDE MY SHIP A. The sound engine is fully 3D positional. For this reason, you won't hear sounds that are played if you are more than 75km from the sound source. e.g a ship exploding. Q. SOMETIMES THE SOUNDS SEEM TO BE CUT-OFF OR I CANNOT HEAR SOME SOUNDS A. There are reported problems with SB Live! cards, especially under WinME, which we cannot fix because they are related to the manufacturer's sound card drivers. Make sure you have the latest drivers. This problem may also occur on other sound cards. Here are some things to try: Q. MY PC HAS A VIA CHIPSET AND I HAVE AN NVIDIA VIDEO CARD. HOW DO I FIX THE NOISY PLAYBACK? A. If you get noisy playback during intensive graphics operations, read this Q. I HAVE AN SB LIVE! SOUND CARD ON MY VIA CHIPSET BASED MOTHERBOARD AND I AM HAVING PROBLEMS A. There are reported problems with motherboards based on the VIA chipset and SB Live! boards. For more info, read this. If you can afford it, get yourself a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz or other card and dump the SB Live! if you intend to keep your VIA hardware. Sharky Extreme has good reviews of most top of the line sound cards. You can also read this FAQ over on VIA Hardware. Q. HOW DO I PLAY MY OWN MP3 SONGS IN THE GAME? A. Copy them to the SOUNDFX\MUSIC folder where the game is installed and they will be added to the playlist. You can use the ALT+. and ALT+, commands to cycle the next/prev song in the playlist. Note that VBR format MP3s are not supported. Only CBR format is supported. If you are running Winamp, be sure to disable the Winamp Agent before running UC with the music option on. Q.THERE IS A SLIGHT DELAY WHEN NEW SOUNDS ARE ABOUT TO BE PLAYED. HOW DO I FIX THIS? A.All WAV files are stored in compressed ZIP files in the SOUNDFX folder. If you have enough hard disk space, you can extract all the files into the folder where the zip files reside, then delete the zip files. Do this at your own risk because if you later wish to revert to defaults, you have to uninstall and re-install the game. And the uninstaller will not be able to remove the extracted WAV files. In which case you would have to manually delete the game install folder after you have run the uninstall program.



Make sure you are running the latest driver version. 3000AD is NOT interested in troubleshooting manufacturer video driver issues. Please contact your video board manufacturer. You can find updated drivers for all major cards either at the card manufacturer's web site or at several online sites Q. HOW CAN I REMAP THE GAME CONTROLS? A. You cannot. Q. MY MOUSE CURSOR SOMETIMES DOES NOT APPEAR A. If you are using the MS Plus!, Mouseware, Intellimouse or similar, change your settings to use the default Microsoft mouse cursor scheme. For example, in the Mouse Properties tab for Intellimouse, you would set the scheme to NONE. Q. I CAN'T SEEM TO ENTER MY NAME IN THE START NEW GAME SCREEN A. If you have Anti-Aliasing (AA) (Display Properties) turned up to full, try lowering it. Q. MY JOYSTICK IS DRIFTING A. Calibrate it via Control Panel before starting the game. Then, once in game, if it still drifts, put the stick down so that the handle is centered, slam the throttle (if you have one) all the way back. Then press ALT+CTRL+J to recenter it. Q. MY JOYSTICK THROTTLE DOES NOT SEEM TO WORK CORRECTLY A. Make sure you have first calibrated the joystick as indicated above. Also, please read section 6.0 of the game manual to see how the joystick throttle works. Q. WHY DOES THE CTRL+J OPTION TO SWITCH MY YAW/ROLL STICK FUNCTION, NOT WORK? A. That option is only for joysticks that do NOT have a rudder or twist axis. If your joystick has a twist axis, it can be used to control the craft's yaw. As such, your stick already has both axis supported independently. Q. SOMETIMES UNDER WIN2K MY JOYSTICK STOPS WORKING IN THE GAME A. This seems to happen with Logitech joysticks. I have the Wingman Interceptor and sometimes the status in Control Panel/Gaming Options is set to UNKNOWN. Even when I do a refresh. In the end, I just delete it, then use the add option and pick it from the list. It then detects OK. This problem seems to occur if you have installed the Logitech Wingman software. I uninstalled it and started using the default Logitech Wingman drivers that come with WIN2K, and this problem went away. Q. WHY DOES MY HUD DISPLAY SOMETIMES GOES INTO CLEAN SCREEN MODE? A. This is due to over sensitive joysticks reporting incorrect readings due to the use of the HAT switch to toggle between view and target systems. Just press F1 to toggle back to your normal HUD display if this happens. Q. MY SAITEK X-36 JOYSTICK IS CAUSING MY WEAPONS TO CYCLE REPEATEDLY A. By default the M1, M2, M3 keys are mapped to buttons 9,10,11 by the manufacturer. So, since M1 maps to button 9 used by UC, it is the same as repeatedly pressing button 9. To counter this, move the switch to M10/M11.

Also, if you have an X-45 HOTAS joystick, try using mode 2 if mode 1 causes screen flickering. Q. I HAVE A FORCE FEEDBACK JOYSTICK, SO WHY CAN'T I FEEL THE FORCE A. The force is not with you because the game does not support force feedback.



Q. SOMETIMES THE GAME HANGS OR QUITS ABRUPTLY. HOW DO I IMPROVE STABILITY? A. Here is a check list: Q. SOMETIMES THE GAME HANGS WHEN RESTORING A SAVED GAME A. There are reports that this could happen if you have an SB Live! card. Try adding the -x0 command line parameter to the game shortcut and see if that helps. This disables all distance attenuated sound processing and has no affect on the sounds themselves since UC does not support A3D or EAX. Q. HOW DO I IMPROVE PERFORMANCE? A. If you have a low end system, go into the OPTIONS screen and turn off MP3 music playback. If you want music, simply start playing your own music CD before starting UC. You can also toggle off some of the graphics display options. You definitely don't want 32Bit bit depth if you don't have a capable graphics card. Also, unless you are running on a system which meets or exceeds the game's recommended requirements, do not enable particle contrails. They are very expensive, especially during large fleet battles.

Run the game within the specifications for your system. i.e. don't go running at 1280x1024 if your system can't handle it. If you mess up your game settings, delete the UCCONFIG.INI file and let the game create a new one at startup. Q. DOES THE GAME RUN IN A WINDOW? A. Yes, the game runs in a window or in fullscreen. To run in a window, edit the shortcut and add the -w1 or -w2 parameter. Note that when the game runs in a window, if the current resolution set in CONFIG is smaller than your current desktop resolution, the window will be centered on the display. If you move it, it will snap back to the center. For maximum performance on high end systems, you can run the game at a window resolution that is equal to or less than your desktop resolution. In a window, the framerate is not restricted by the refresh rate of the monitor. As such, you will obtain maximum FPS. Note that running in a window is UNSUPPORTED!! Q. WHAT ARE ALL THE UC COMMAND LINE PARAMETERS? A. The game supports several shortcut parameters, none of which are supported. Use at your own risk.Note that either (-) or (/) can preceed an option.

-i : invincibility (cheat) mode -j : ignore joystick rudder/twist axis and permit use of CTRL+J axis toggle -n : disable intro animation -w1 : window mode using resolution setting from UCCONFIG.INI -w2 : window mode using desktop resolution -x? : 3D sound processing. Where ? is one of the following: 0 : no 3d processing. All sounds are mono without distance attenuation 1 : no virtualization. Only basic positioning effects 2 : light HRTF* 3 : full HRTF* *Head Related Transform Function WARNING! 1-3 seem to affect only software 3D processing. i.e. if the sound card supports 3D in HW, then every option from 1-3 will sound the same.



Q. WHY IS THERE NO OPTION TO JOIN A MULTIPLAYER GAME ON THE MAIN MENU? A. You are running the single player shortcut. This has no option to join a multiplayer game. You need to use the multiplayer shortcuts (which point to a different executable) for joining or hosting a multiplayer game. Q. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR HOSTING A MULTIPLAYER SERVER? A. You can host either a LAN or Internet multiplayer server. However, in order to create an Internet multiplayer server, you must have a broadband or faster connection. You should never attempt to host a multiplayer Internet server on a dial-up connection. Nor should you host an Internet server on a machine that does not meet or exceed the following guidelines.
2-4 players: winXP/2K, PIII-1GMhz or AMD equivalent, 128MB RAM, 128Kbps upstream (xDSL, cable, ISDN) 2-8 players: winXP/2K, PIV-1.7Ghz or AMD XP2200+ (1.8Ghz), 256MB RAM, 256Kbps upstream (xDSL, cable) 2-12 players: winXP/2K, PIV-2.0Ghz or AMD XP2600+ (2.13Ghz), 256MB RAM, 384Kbps upstream (xDSL, cable) 2-32 players: winXP/2K, PIV-3.0Ghz or AMD equivalent, 1GB RAM, 1.5Mbps upstream (T1 or higher)
Q. WHAT ARE THE BEST SETTINGS FOR A CLIENT CONNECTION? A. Refer to the section 13.1 revision in the DOCS\UC_MANUAL_REVISIONS.PDF file Q. DO THE CLIENT AND SERVER HAVE COMMAND LINE OPTIONS? A. Yes. They both have several command line options which can be used depending on what you are doing. They are as follows. Note that either (-) or (/) can preceed an option, but where indicated (+) MUST be used!
-c : this starts the client. This is required in order to use the in-game server browser. If using +connect, ASE, Kali etc, this parameter is not required. +connect : connect directly to a server using IP:PORT format e.g. +connect -console This allows the server to start in console mode. +down This fine tunes your downstream speed in bits per second. e.g. +up 512000 -l? : server logging to the UCSDEBUG.LOG file. The parameter must be in lower case and must be preceded by -s (when used on the server). e.g. "uc.exe -s -l3". The higher the logging level, the more information that is logged. ? values range from 1 to 5 -logchat : Logs the chat session to MPCHATSERVER.LOG or MPCHATCLIENT.LOG +name : name to pass to server e.g. +name "John Doe". If the name contains spaces, it must be enclosed in quotes -nms : This will prevent the server from broadcasting to the master servers. Can be used in cases where you don't want anyone to see your server in the in-game browser or ASE. The only way for anyone to then join the server is if they know the IP:PORT - and then they would have to join the server using +connect command line options. +password : password to pass to server e.g. +password 123456. If the password contains spaces, it must be enclosed in quotes. Also, the underscore character cannot be the last character in the server password. -s : this starts the server +scenario : scenario used by server. Takes precedence over the UCSETUPMP.INI setting i.e. if +scenario is specified, then the value set in the INI file is ignored. e.g. "ucmp.exe +scenario mp0001" +up This fine tunes your upstream speed in bits per second. e.g. +up 128000 -w1 : start in window mode. This is ignored if -s is also used because the server always runs in window mode. This parameter is 100% UNSUPPORTED because the client was designed to run in full screen mode. Sample Usage (client): ucmp.exe +connect +name "John Doe" +password 123456 -logchat Sample Usage (server): ucmp.exe -s -l3 -logchat
Q. I HAVE SETUP A SERVER BUT OTHERS CANNOT SEE IT IN THE GAME'S SERVER BROWSER A. The server uses standard DirectPlay UDP ports 2302-2304. If your server is behind a firewall or NAT, then you have to configure your firewall (or router) settings and forward those ports to the computer running the server. You do not need a designated DMZ machine for a server.You should also open/forward these ports, especially if you are using the ASE browser.
2302-2304 (UDP/TCP) 2425-2427 (UDP/TCP) 27243-27245 (UDP/TCP) 27900-27900 (UDP)
Q. I HAVE AN INTERNET SERVER ON MY LAN, BUT I CANNOT CONNECT TO IT USING A CLIENT ON THE SAME LAN. A. Yes. If you can ping the server from within your LAN then you can use the internal LAN IP and port number to connect to the server. However, if the server is outside a DMZ, then your router (if you have one) may block internal packets from reaching a host outside the DMZ. Q. CAN I HAVE A SERVER AND CLIENT ON THE SAME MACHINE? A. Yes, but this is not officially supported. To connect a client to a LAN or Internet server running on the same machine, do the following :
  1. Using the UCSERVERCONFIG app, change the server IP to "localhost". You can also edit the UCSETUPMP.INI file using a text editor and set "server_ip=localhost"
  2. Start the server (graphics or console), then minimize it if needed.
  3. Start the client and connect to the server either using the server browser or by using commandline options e.g. +connect localhost
* FYI Q. WHY DOES THE SERVER RUN IN GRAPHICS MODE BY DEFAULT? A. The server was designed to give server ops total control over their game servers. Thats why it needs the graphics screen. And you can minimize it if desired. While minimized, it doesn't do any graphics rendering.

The view you see is a scaled down version of Tacops and which gives you complete access to the server. You can use most of the viewing functions (mouse and keyboard supported) found in the Tacops client itself.

Basically you can see all clients on the server and you can also zoom to other regions. In short, you have access to the entire multiplayer galaxy which includes space and planetary regions and you can see everything that goes on. Q. DOES THE SERVER HAVE A CONSOLE MODE? A. Yes. Add the /console parameter to the "Start MP Server" shortcut. It will work exactly like the graphics server (and consume less resources), but you won't have the benefit of the graphical interface (i.e. you won't see chat messages, clients on the server etc etc). No, you cannot interact with the console server. All you can use is use the scroll bar to see the logged events. Q. WHAT TOOLS DO I NEED TO ADMINISTER MY SERVER? A. There are several. Read this forum section for more info on this. Q. HOW DO I BROWSE FOR SERVERS USING ALL SEEING EYE? A. Read the documentation that came with the ASE browser. The command line parameters supported by the game are listed above. ASE already has filters setup for the game.

If when you scan for servers, the UC servers (which you know exist and are online) do not show up (may happen if you are behind a firewall or router), you can add the server manually.

Left-click on the Universal Combat game icon, then press INSERT. In the dialog box, enter the server IP:PORT, then un-check the "Private Server" box. Once all servers have been added, you can then (on the right pane), select them, right-click, then do a "scan", then a "ping" to get the correct stats. If you are behind a router and you are getting a ping of 9999 on the servers, go to View/Options/Network, auto-detect your connections settings and check the "Broken Router" box if the problem persists.
Q. HOW DO I BROWSE FOR SERVERS USING KALI.NET?? A. Read the documentation that came with Kali. Until there is built-in support for Kali, you can setup games by reading these instructions. Q. THE SERVER INI FILE HAS MORE OPTIONS. CAN I CHANGE THEM? A. Most of these options are hardcoded internally. Don't change them unless you know what you are doing. Q. HOW CAN I CREATE MY OWN SCENARIOS FOR MY SERVER? A. You can't. Q. HOW CAN I CHANGE THE SERVER STARTUP OPTIONS PRESENTED WHEN A CLIENT CONNECTS? A. You can't. These options are hard-coded into the server in order to prevent tampering. The options are as follows:
RACE : Terran, Empirian, Vesperon, Gammulan CASTE : Military, Insurgent, EarthCom, Trader, Raider CAREER : Commander, Planetary Support Pilot, Elite Force Pilot, Mobile Infantry Marine, Elite Force Marine, Assault Force Marine, Recon Force Marine, Engineering Corps Marine, Medical Corps Marine, Space Force Marine ASSET : Many are supported and are based on the chosen career
ALLIANCES : Terran, Empirian are friendly to each other (The Good Guys) Gammulan, Vesperon are friendly to each other (The Bad Guys)
The good guys are hostile toward the bad guys, and vice versa
Q. HOW CAN I BAN SOMEONE FROM MY SERVER? A. You cannot. If you don't want someone on your server, password protect it. Q. WHY IS THERE NO CO-OP GAMEPLAY MODE MENTIONED IN THE MANUAL? A. The default MP0000 (ROAM) scenario supports both co-op and deathmatch modes. What this means is that you and a bunch of friends can join a server as the same RACE/CASTE and engage forces hostile to your race/caste. NPC auto-generation can also be enabled on the server for increased engagements. Q. IS PLAYER TO PLAYER TRADING SUPPORTED IN MULTIPLAYER? A. No. Q. I AM A MARINE OR PILOT PLAYING ON A PLANET. HOW CAN I GO TO ANOTHER PLANET? A. Marines can fly shuttles and gunships. When you deploy, find one in the region you are in. Q. HOW DO WE SCORE IN MULTIPLAYER? A. Your stats will display combat kills as well as Experience Points earned during combat engagements. Q. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT I CAN DO IN SINGLE PLAYER THAT I CAN'T IN MULTIPLAYER? A. Yes. Multiplayer presents a whole heap of complexities, cheat loopholes, performance issues etc. As such, some single play features are disabled. Some may become server side config options if time permits.