Local Ditch > Battlezone > FAQ

FAQ available at alt.games.battlezone.  Last updated June, 2007.  Please note that I did not write this FAQ nor do I take any credit for it.  I have simply put it on my site because I feel it is very helpful and hopefully, this will make it easier to find.

Lately, I have been updating links and information due to sites disappearing.

1.0  Server Problems
2.0  Online Deathmatch Etiquette
3.0  Unhandled Exceptions UE)
4.0  Disappearing Reticle
5.0  Win2K/XP Problems
6.0  Don't have the game?
7.0  Useful Edits
8.0  Useful Links
9.0  Add-on Maps

Section 1.0 - Server Problems.

While the Australian server is down, manually updating this file is the only way for users who have not previously updated their servers.dat file to see the current Battlezone servers.

Download servers.dat.  Copy the file to your main Battlezone directory and overwrite the existing file. (Default path - c:\Program Files\Activision\BattleZone\)

1.1  First Time Users

If you wish to play Battlezone online, follow these 9 steps.

NOTE: BZ1 must be installed.

  1. Download and install the 1.4 patch
  2. Update the servers.dat file as directed above.
  3. Connect to the Internet
  4. Start Battlezone and select "Play".
  5. Select "Multiplayer".
  6. Select "New" and create your player name & select a flag.
  7. Select "Internet".-At this point, if you have a firewall, it may need to be configured.
  8. Select a server with the lowest ping that has other players on it, then select "Next".
  9. Join or create a game.

Section2.0-Online Deathmatch Etiquette

  • No mine stacking (placing multiple mines in close proximity to each other).
  • No mining Power-ups (weapons, ammo, hull).
  • No Spawning (Spawning: Killing a player at the point he enters the map; Killing a player before he enters his tank; Killing a player as soon as he's entered his tank, before he can get his bearings).  It is acceptable to kill pilot attempting to snipe.
  • No Red Fielding (Stealth tank).
  • No ejecting or suiciding. (Suiciding-Dishonorably denying someone their rightful kill by: Intentionally shooting the ground to blow yourself up; Dropping a mine behind you just as you are about to die).
  • No Hacks

The "gamename" may reflect exceptions to these guidelines as well as any requirements.  For instance: A game may be titled "No Rules" or "Bombers Only" or "Stock Only".

The first example speaks for itself, anything goes-etiquette does not apply. The second means, you may use any bomber to join the game (the word "bomber" must appear in the tank description).  In the third example, "Stock" means, only weapons which originally come in the selected tank, may be used. No upgrading weapons.

Typically, for breaking the game etiquette you will be given a warning, and asked to comply or leave.  However, in some cases, you will be kicked from the game.  In extreme cases, your IP range may be banned from particular game servers.  Hackers and continual offenders will quickly find their IP range banned via many individual user's firewall software.

Section 3.0-Unhandled Exceptions (UE)

For most users there is a simple fix.  First, you will need to edit the file called "render.cfg" which can be located in the main Battlezone folder.  Open this file with WordPad or Notepad.  To enable any of the options in this file, remove the semi-colon (";") from in front of the command line.  In the file, you will see the lines below.

Before edit...

;VisibilityScale=150 // Extend visibility to 150% of normal
;HiRes=1 // Enable 800x600 and higher

After edit:

VisibilityScale=150 // Extend visibility to 150% of normal
HiRes=1 // Enable 800x600 and higher

Now save and close the file.

Start BZ, select Play, then Options, then Graphic Options, then Resize screen resolution to 800x600 or higher.  The following step can not be overlooked... Immediately exit completely out of BZ.  Now you may re-start BZ and play UE free.

This resolves the UE error for many users.  Perhaps it will work for you. If you ever have a game crash for whatever reason, and when restarting BZ you are asked, "Hardware or Software?", select hardware and repeat these steps... Within BZ, set res to 600x800 or greater and exit BZ, then restart.

3.1 Additional render.cfg Edits

Editing other command lines not mentioned here may improve performance on many 3D cards.  If you choose to edit additional lines, removing the first 4 semi-colons should be compatible with most current video cards.  If you enable other command lines, they should be tested one at a time.

3.2 Disabling Vsinc

Another important performance enhancement which is easily implemented is to disable "vsinc" for D3D games.  If vsinc is enabled, your Frames-Per-Second (FPS) may be limited to your Windows® refresh rate at whatever resolution you use when playing BZ.  With the current 3D cards, this is quite a hindrance.  If your video card does not support the option to disable vsinc, a third party application like PowerStrip, may be necessary.  For Nvidia based cards, the easiest option is a small .reg file called "Coolbits" which, when applied, gives you access to additional graphics card menus in your Display Properties\Advanced Settings.  Links to both are provided in Section8.0.

Section4.0-Disappearing Reticle

4.1 GeForce Graphics Card Users

GeForce Graphics Card Users: To resolve this problem, simply remove the semi-colon from in front of the line refering to Z-Buffer in the render.cfg file (see Section3.0). In addition, you need to change the line to read Z-Buffer=0 instead of 1.

4.2 Radeon Graphics Card Users

Radeon Graphics Card Users: Try the fix above. If it doesn't resolve the problem, then do the following: On your video cards option applets (usually found by right clicking on desktop, selecting properties\settings\advanced), under the Direct 3D settings, disable antialiasing and dithering, set Z-Buffer to 16. Edit the render.cfg file to enable the following settings (see Section 3.0): High Resolution, Hardware MipMapping, Triple Buffering, Pre-load All Textures, Pre-load all Sprites, and Halftexel. It's reported these settings
resolve the issue, though I have no first hand knowledge.

Section5.0 - Win2K/XP Problems

5.1  Apparently, the animated .AVI's in some screens cause UE's on Win2K/XP.

Resolution: In the main BZ folder, delete or rename the "anims" folder to anything.  For instance-"animsBAK".

5.2  Still have a BZ cursor after closing game?

Resolution: In the main BZ folder, delete or rename these three cursor files-cursor_i.cur, cursor_w.cur, cursor1.cur.  For instance -
cursor_i.bak, cursor_w.bak.

5.3  WINXP-Having problems joining games or staying connected?

Resolution: Download and install the Anti-lag patch.  It helps some users. (Link provided in Section8.0)

Section6.0-Don't have the game?

If you've looked everywhere else...

  1. Check Amazon.
  2. Try eBay.
  3. Ask a friend to install it for you, then use the No-CD patch.  The patch does not work with Win2k or XP.  (Link in Section8.0)
  4. It is posted regularly to alt.binaries.old.games.  You can download it there.  If you don't see it, try a post with a subject line similar to "ATTN: Zzz-BattleZone post in a.b.o.g??"

Section7.0-Useful Edits

7.1  Remapping Keys

Ever wonder how some Bombers split their Rockets?  Ever wonder how Stealth tank users charge their MAG while firing other weapons?  Ever wonder why some users are very good at dropping Navs to fend off Hornets?


Using WordPad or Notepad, open the file called input.map.  Within this file you can remap keys.  Frequently, users remap the "Drop a Nav Beacon" key, the "Targeting" key, and the "Link Similar Weapons" Key.  To do this, locate those commands and simply replace the current key with a key of your choice.  Check to make sure the key you use is not also used somewhere else.  Duplicate key usages can cause erratic game behavior.

NOTE: The key you use may be used elsewhere if it appears in combination with other keystrokes, such as + LeftControl or + LeftShift.


eject {
+ keyboard B
+ keyboard LeftControl

Where the "+" indicates the LeftControl must be pressed with B to execute the command, the B key alone (without the added, "+ keyboard LeftControl", may be used for another command.  Likewise a "-" would indicate to disregard a command used elsewhere.

Also, you can disregard "edit_" commands which use the same key.

7.2  Enabling Multiselect

Okay, now that you have remapped some useful keys, I'm going to describe how to enable the split weapons and multiple weapons.  There is a section titled "# MULTISELECT".  In this section you will need to add a key for every weapon hard point you intend on using in combination with other keys.  In other words, if you want to use weapon 1, while using weapon 3, you need to assign it an easily accessed key.  The keys entered here are those we plan to remap to individual hard points (i.e. weapon0, weapon1 weapon2, etc.). Below is an example of the Alt key added.

cmd_multi {
+ keyboard Alt
- program EditMode

Do not forget the } when copying the above command.

You can copy and paste this line directly into that section. Replace the Alt key with a key of your choice.

Repeat this process for additional multi-use hard points.  Now that you've added a few keys, you will need to remap the hard points to the keys you've
just selected for "cmd_multi" use.  Go to the section titled "# SELECT A PARTICULAR HARDPOINT".  Here; you replace the existing keys with the keys you selected in the previous section.  weapon_select_0 refers to the 1st hard point (1st weapon), and weapon_select_1, refers to the second, and so on.  In the example below, replace the Alt key with a key of your choice.  Again, make sure the keys you select are not in use elsewhere except where you entered them in the cmd_multi section, and with the exceptions discussed before.


weapon_select_2 {
+ keyboard Alt
- keyboard LeftShift

When you combine the two above examples, the result is, the Alt key becomes a quick select of the 3rd hard point AND can be used in combination with any other weapon in use.  For Maggers it would mean pressing the Alt key to use Red Field while using the MAG or AT Stabber.  For Bombers it would mean you are now able to turn on/off the 3rd hard point which would allow for split rocket shots.  For BDog Grizzley's and other tanks it would mean the ability to fire Mortars while using any other weapon.

7.3 Joystick Users

To enable multiple hard point ability, open input.map as described above, locate the section titled "# SELECT A PARTICULAR HARDPOINT".  Copy the lines which begin + and-keyboard keys, which refer to the hard point you wish to be able for use in conjunction with other hard points/weapons.  Hard point 1 = weapon_select_0 {. Hard point 2 = weapon_select_1 {, etc.  Now paste these lines into the section titled "# MULTISELECT", adding the line - cmd_multi {


Plus (+) and/or minus (-) lines to copy:

+ keyboard F9
+ keyboard LeftShift

After pasting and adding the "cmd_multi {" line, it will look like this...

cmd_multi {
+ keyboard F9
+ keyboard LeftShift

Where the F9 + LeftShift keystrokes represent the keys you want to enable for multiple use.  Now that you have added these lines to the cmd_multi section, you can record these keystrokes to your joystick as instructed in your joystick manual.  The above examples are for demonstration purposes only.  You will need to cut/paste from within the input.map file, as previously instructed.

Section8.0-Useful links

1.4 Patch-Downloads page
Anti-lag Patch for XP users-http://www.clanblacksheep.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=7
Edited Input.map file for Maggers (and Bombers?)-http://www.clanblacksheep.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=7
Preferred MAG sound (extract to BZ "Addon" folder)-http://www.clanblacksheep.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=7
NO-CD Loader Patch for BZ1 v1.4/Win98/98SE/ME only- http://www.planetbattlezone.com/modifier/download/download.shtml
Coolbits for Nvidia/Win98/98SE/ME & Win 2K-http://www.3dchipset.com/utilities/nvidia/overclocking/coolbits/
Coolbits for Nvidia/Win XP-http://www.xp-erience.org/download.php?op=viewsdownload&sid=4
Other video card users, try here-http://www.guru3d.com/files/pafiledb.php?action=category&id=13

BZ News & Resources:

Create a BZ Server:

Section9.0 Add-on Maps

If you receive an error message while using mapadder.exe, look for the .mad file within the map's .zip file.  Open it with Notepad, copy the single line of text contained therein, close the file.  Now open the file named netmis.txt in the main BZ folder and paste the line to the bottom of the list.  If you haven't already done so, extract the contents of the map's .zip file to the addon folder.  That's it, the new map will be available in the game.

NOTE: If there are any .odf files within the zip file, the map is also a mod, and you may want to backup the addon folder before trying it out.  Mods may make BZ incompatible with online games.  It's a good idea to backup the addon folder before you start adding new maps/mods.


This FAQ is a work in progress and is occasionally updated.  Check back for updated information and links. Use all recommendations at your own risk.  I take no responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of any recommendations provided herein.

Post any corrections or suggestions to alt.games.battlezone, ATTN: Zzzz. If someone wants to write an ONLINE STRAT ETIQUETTE section, or a RED ODYSSEY help section (not playing tips), please post it in alt.games.battlezone, ATTN: Zzzz.

Author: Zzzz a.k.a. "Hugh Johnson", "Greed!!!", "Humpty Dumpty", "Azazel", "the Surgeon", "Cherry Lifesaver", "Drow", "FreeLancer",... Say hi online... mention reading the FAQ. :-)