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The FreeSpace Multiplayer Portal
Getting Started Guide
List of FS2NetD-Supported Mods
Multiplayer FAQ
WebUI Standalone Servers
Multiplayer Developer Guide
Medals & Awards
Multiplayer Squadrons
Playing Tips
Code of Conduct
Multiplayer lingo

Welcome to the FreeSpace Multiplayer Portal. This section is dedicated to providing guides on how to set up, play, host, and enjoy multiplayer games, as well as useful information about the multiplayer community such as squadrons, codes of conduct, and the like.

FreeSpace Multiplayer

Create Game Screen

Currently, the FreeSpace Open engine supports multiplayer games with up to 12 human participants as well as any number of AI players. Play can be both cooperative and head-to-head, and can consist of anything from single mission slugfests up to full-length cooperative campaigns.

All games are currently hosted by one of their participants. The host chooses the mission (see image to the left), and has the power to kick players, set privileges, and the like.

The retail release of FreeSpace 2 in 1999 included a standalone server option which was later broken by various changes made by the SCP. Recently, a lot of work has been done to correct this, and on current builds the standalone server will work when run with retail data. Work is still progressing on making it compatible with the new data formats introduced by the Source Code Project.

Connection Types

There are two several ways of playing online games using FSO. You can also play the game on LAN.:

  • The rebooted PXO.
    This service is available through a special build that is currently (9/2/2018) compatible only with retail data. See https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=94588.0 for setup instructions.
  • Connecting through FS2NetD.
    FS2NetD is a replacement for the original Parallax Online service that has now been terminated. It acts as a lobby for multiplayer games, tracking servers and facilitating connections without users needing to worry about each other's IP addresses, and also tracks stats for games that are played using validated data and missions. It does not actually host the games that are played, acting merely as a middle man. Unfortunately, though the game tracker is still up and running, the website does not allow new registrations.
  • Direct IP connection.
    It is also possible to play IP games, but doing this requires all participants to manually enter the IP of the server that hosts the game.

Details of setting up FSO to use either of these two options are explained in the getting started guide.

  • LAN
    To play on LAN, you'll have to change a few settings. Go into your ../Freespace 2/data/multi.cfg file and remove everything (back up the old file somewhere). Then add the following line: +lan_update

Now save the file. In the FS2 launcher, set the multiplayer connection to LAN and leave the Force IP and Force Port fields blank. You can enable "Allow in-game joining" in the Features/Experimental tab. Run Freespace 2.

In FreeSpace 2, create a multiplayer pilot. Then go into Options and select the Multi tab. Enable TCP, and /Multidata. Disable PXO. Do not set any IPs. Apply the changes. Go back to lobby and click on Create Game and set up a new server. Make sure the firewall on your LAN is not blocking the connection to your LAN server.

MODs and Custom Missions

It is possible to use mods and play custom missions using FSO. Mods will need to be distributed to all participating players in advance, but missions will be automatically distributed if any participants are missing them.

When playing on FS2NetD, note that while mods and custom missions are allowed, stats will not be saved for games that use them. Only games using validated missions and data are counted. For IP games (where stats are not saved anyway) there are no such considerations.

Validated Missions

A package containing all currently validated multiplayer missions for FreeSpace 2 is available from the downloads section below. A voice pack for those missions is also available. To use them, the best way is to place them in a separate directory and select that as a mod from the launcher.

Do not place them in the mediaVPs directory if you intend to play for stats, as the current mediaVPs are not validated.

External Links