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SWBF1 Multiplayer Tutorial for SWBFSpy
By SWBFSpy Founder/CEO | Phobos[FC] and 2 collaborators
This explains all you need for playing online servers on SWBF classic!
Want to play the original Star Wars Battlefront online again? Download our original and official SWBFSpy patch, hosted by SWBFModders. This is our replacement MS for SWBF1 (2004) and SWBF2 (2005) on PC and PS2. We support servers & leaderboards just like GameSpy used to!
Steam currently does not support multiplayer for SWBF1, so we recommend players who don't like GameRanger or VLAN to try our service instead. Players can join our servers or host their own using the swbfspy patch provided here! Our members tried other 'methods' but they don't work for us.
What is SWBFSpy?
It's the successor of OpenSpy, and also GameSpy before that, to host servers on SWBF. Our servers have been online for years and we also created a unique highscore system, players who reach milestones of kills and time logged recieve awards.
The SWBFModders community is group of dedicated vetarans for SWBF1 who restored multiplayer years after the GameSpy shut down on November 7th 2012.
We're always improving server mods and pushing the games' boundaries since 2009, so to see Steam bring this game back after 10 years ensures an even brighter future for our community!
Remember to please favorite and upvote our guide if you appreciate our efforts and want to actively support the game's community. We help and support all modders/players who have questions!
Wolf and Phobos created SWBFSpy using improved OpenSpy source codes with the help of CHC, Luigi, Masaq, Soneek, and Spanky. We first envisioned this project in Sept 2013, before anyone else tried to copy us. Proof of this in the SQL timestamp from 3 years before any URLs were taken.
You are NOT downloading any third party software with this patch, other than belks launcher which is optional to use. The actual internet patch itself only contains a hex edit which redirects your online service to our third party master server host. You don't even need to use that, you can simply add the SWBFSpy IP to your hosts file as explained in Step 3.
2C) For both versions, replace the bugged steam shell.lvl with the included one to this location:
Installing SWBFSpy: Step 3
For the SWBFSpy1.cf Public MS - simply launch the game and run, no whitelist approval needed. This is currently being set up on another root VPS, and will be functional by end of May 2019 if Steam doesn't add their own MP services soon. Phobos can setup another MS in a few hours, so it won't take long. The public version does not feature leaderboards due to attackers.
For the SWBFSpy.org Premium MS - only one extra step here, individual whitelist approval from Phobos, then you can play online. See the next two sections for more info on that. This also has the first real SWBF1 leaderboards since GameSpy era for stat tracking @ http://swbfspy.org/Leaderboards
Installing SWBFSpy: Step 4
All you need to do to play SWBF online again now is launch the game! Enjoy our multiplayer services and let us know if you have ideas for mods, community events or tournaments, etc.
If you want to add more features like 1920x1080 high resolution or maximum framerate, keep reading. It's recommended to follow all the instructions for allowing Steam browser to run in cross-compatibility with SWBFSpy master server browser without removing your custom settings, and unlocking maximum framerate + resolution. Steam will NOT break the game or auto-update, so you can use the online patch in conjunction with Steam!
SWBFSpy1.cf Public Master Server
SWBFSpy Organization created two master servers on May 1st 2018. One was a test MS for public use, which was closed the following month to save costs.This URL was initially not mentioned to the public, but actually it was registered 1 year ago as the whois records prove.
Phobos has renewed the URL again to re-open our public master server once more as of May 7th 2019! Everything is now up for it. Until finalized, SWBFSpy1.cf will forward to SWBFSpy.org
Nobody needs a whitelist approval to join our public master server on SWBFSpy1.cf, so if you're banned from methods not associated with us, then this works so you can play online again!
However, if you're being harassed by someone outside of our community, let me know and I'll ban them if needed. So far we've had a great number of respectful, mature players join our community!
Currently we're also hosting our premium MS, which requires a whitelist approval to join. This has the most cutting edge mods available for SWBF. Phobos also created a leaderboards stats tracking!
Both of of our SWBFSpy Master Servers are hosted by SWBFModders.com, nobody else is involved in SWBFSpy than us, and nobody is more involved in modding than SWBFModders.
Steam could add their own MP support, but our services will stay online for years even if they do.
How To: Unlock Framerate and 1920x1080 Resolution Fullscreen
Simple Method You can simple add /resolution 1920 1080 to the launch options, as well as /fixedrate 60 for locking FPS. I personally recommend using belk's launcher (or Phobos' SWBFSpyAdmin Launcher) with bandicam FPS lock over that, but this is another option for those who don't like any third party tools.
C) Go in game and disable vsync so that /noframelock lets your FPS get as high as your GPU can support. If you can't adjust vsync by default, use the common.lvl that Phobos included to modify your graphic settings, then revert again to the steam common.lvl if you don't want to use mods. My recommended video options are also included for maximizing game performance.
Install the common mod that came with the download. This lets you play and host servers at fixed rates of 40-180 instead of the default limit of 30. Phobos invented this common.lua script years ago.
How To: Port Forwarding for Player Hosts
When using a router from home and hosting on PC, then you must forward ports in order to host Internet or Direct Connection games. Port Forwarding is when you open a specific set of ports on your router so that others can join your game.
For SWBF it's required to forward UDP 3658 and possibly 3659 also.
The basic premise of port forwarding is two fold: 1) Assigns a static IP address for your PC which usually looks like 192.168.* or 10.0.* 2) Instructs your router which ports to forward, for SWBF this is UDP 3658, and it tells the router IP to forward it, to whichever number you chose for your PC.
I can't provide exact instructions here because almost everyone has a different router and GUI. You can look on http://portforward.com and try to find the information there, or ask one of our SWBFSpy staff members if you get stuck along the way.
How To: Fix Video Settings
You can now change video settings by using my included common.lvl patch which has additional features not seen in the stock common. For players who still have their original game discs, use the included common.lvl from that. Do not use common.lvl or shell.lvl that shipped with steam, they are bugged to prevent changing the options settings and disabled multiplayer.
Now change your video settings accordingly after pasting the file to this location and replacing the current common.lvl
Remember if you verify steam files it will reset this one too. Now you can change ingame settings!
This does NOT require any online patch or any other mods to use, the common.lvl can be used directly from the patch without any other files. It does not impact gameplay in the slightest, and if you want to revert to the regular steam common.lvl after changing graphics settings then you can.
V-sync tends to cause problems by restricting frame rate, but the only thing it helps with is when hover vehicles start spinning around to the point you can't even pilot them. For some players using higher resolution, v-sync enabled fixes problems, but you get higher framerate with it off.
Let me know if there are any issues. Thanks for playing and thanks to our community for hosting servers! (From your friends at SWBFmodders.com !)
Here are some more tips discovered by Phobos for improving gameplay.
1) To make map transitions load faster, you can make a copy of Load folder, named LoadStock, then delete every LVL file from the original Load folder except for load.lvl. Restore the old folder if you want to re-enable map transitions.
2) To increase periphery vision when in first person view, rename the FPM folder to FPMStock, this is especially helpful for vehicicles.
3) To make shell menu transitions even faster, delete or rename shell.mvs from your movies folder.
How To: Install Mods
For both Steam or GOG versions, you may then choose to add additional mod files. More details of this are covered on our website. A few mods are included here, but no cheats or hacks. Also, ask Phobos if you want the epic ZeroFront files, which were relocated from here due to anti-modders false flagging us.
Mission.lvl - Only contains Phobos mod for fastspawn with extra units on Mos, Cit, CC, Kamino.
Common.lvl - Only contains Fake Console, Freecamera, Exit To Windows, Improved Menu Settings, Mission Time for Ingame Lobby, Enhanced Endscores scripts. All these scripts barring Fake Console and Freecamera are also Phobos inventions.
* Use the regular steam version of mission and common if you don't want any mods at all. The included shell.lvl has no mods, only enabled multiplayer button.
As I said above, we use our own alternative master server for gamespy, which was developed by the members of SWBFModders.com. All credit for the SWBFSpy master server and leaderboards goes to the official SWBFSpy[info.swbfmodders.com] staff who developed it, as listed on our https://github.com/swbfspy
This guide doesn't attempt to take discredit anyone or take credit for other's creations, just so that's clear. Wolf and Phobos built everything from scratch using source codes from CHC and Luigi. I hope this is explicitly clear as evidenced by our screenshots and videos, some of which are here https://vimeo.com/swbfspy and our info.SWBFSpy.org site.
- Developers & Contributors: Phobos, Wolf, CHC, Luigi, Masaq, Soneek, Spanky - SWBFSpy master server and leaderboards to restore multiplayer functionality created by Phobos, with some help from Wolf. - Guide instructions and tutorial also written by Phobos. All hex edits, mods, and patches by Phobos. - To Uninstall, run Steam's verify integrity of game files or revert to stock hosts file. - Network multiplayer games are possible thanks to the third party dedicated server by members of swbfmodders.com
Upvote us if you support the SWBF community! Downvote if you are a troll & against mods.
How To: Hex Editing & Hosts File
If you prefer not to use our patched executables, then you can apply the hex edit manually using a program such as HxD. Open the battlefront.exe and change all instances of "gamespy.com" to "swbfspy.org" (without the quotes) and hit save. No hex edits to the LVL files are needed.
For accessing our public MS, change everything to "swbfspy1.cf" instead!
Alternatively, you can use this HOSTS file if you don't want to use any EXE patches, if you want you can even use both but there's no need to.
Full verison only available on SWBFModders.com and is still under development. Those who want to join our mod community to help build or test demo versions of ZeroFront can request Phobos.
We do not yet know if Steam will be for or against such mods (but we do know there are those who won't hestitate to flag me if I do post them here), so for now they can only be on our site.
Note that I am *not* distributing *any* of these mods here in this guide, so do not falsely report me for anything like cheating! For those who want to play only in unmodded servers, we offer those too. ZeroFront Build 0.97 should be released sometime this summer.
Main Features of ZeroFront
All kinds of improvements to the game engine to the extent that is currently possible.
Continued improvement to our SWBFSpy master servers, game servers, mods, and websites.
Improvements to the GUI and all other game files including tactical client mod enhancements of all kinds (togglers, crosshairs, moon map skins, etc.)
Custom shell missionlist script that adds a maximum of 255 stock maps to the game, compared to what shipped by default in version 1.2 (only 16 maps + Jabba's Palace).
Improvements to all the 17 classic stock maps, for improved AI pathing, hintnodes, death regions, and bugfixes for other map elements.
Optional pack for all of Phobos' tactical boost mods, such as crosshair/skin changers, pausemenu togglers, higher framerates, lunar ice reskins of various stock maps, and other buffs to stock LVLs.
All SWBF2 maps ported to BF1 stock shell such as Coruscant, Dagobah, Death Star, Felucia, Geonosis, Hoth, Kamino, Mustafar, Mygeeto, Polis Massa, Utapau, and the space maps.
Excluded prototype maps from Pandemic, which are being restored and improved by Phobos such as: Naboo Prototype, Geonosis Prototype, and ChainIsle.
Excluded ideas for maps in the original SWBF Game Design Document, for planets such as Thyferra, Kessel, Korriban, Ossus, Despayre Station, Raxus Prime, Corellia, Mon Calamari, Alderaan, & Bakura.
Tons of custom maps created by Phobos, most of which are built specifically for Alien Wars and Walking Dead eras.
Also some restored older mod maps from previous modders who gave us their permission, such as Eddie and Rends.
Extended Stock Campaigns for Galactic Civil War and Clone Wars. From only 7 maps now to 50 missions each, with new voiceovers!
Extended spawn menu for all missions in the game, for 10v10 units in team select, or 11v11 in auto assign servers. The game only allows 5v5 by default.
4 Factions instead of only 2, so in addition to GCW and Clone Wars, there is now Alien Wars and Walking Dead era! All four factions will have 11v11 units each + support for all 250 new maps!
4 Campaigns instead of only 2. The Walking Dead Campaign already has Seasons 1-4 finished, with outlines for Season 5-10 and beyond! Alien Wars Campaign has outline too, but only Mynnic's Adventures #1-6 added for it so far.
Cross-era battles supported too for instant deathmatch mode. Also new expanded game modes such as Skirmish, Assault, Capture The Flag are also being added using Phobos' workaround method for modded 1-flag support.
For now the 10v10 units are fairsides (ICW7 style), such as Empire + Rebel vs Rebel + Empire (same for other eras), with heroes playable in 11v11 auto assign. For final ZeroFront version, each faction will instead be expanded to feature 11 unique units each!
Much more that will be added to this over time, and some other unique ideas only mentioned on our private advanced SWBFmodders board.
ZeroFront when finished will have all assets, builders, and tutorials used to create this massive mod released for our community as the ultimate improved ZeroBuilder Mod Tools!
Regarding our SWBFSpy MP servers, there is still a limit of only ~25 maps per server session. We can host around 250 unique maps at once on our own 10 official game servers, with support for dozens of game servers! This is why I've broken up our game servers into main categories as explained in the next section.
SWBFSpy Premium Game Servers
We currently host 10 game servers on the same root as the premium master server, hosted in Chicago. Our public master server will be soon be available too, hosted in another location TBD.
Other players can host their own server on either our Premium or Public master server, using either the ingame host option, or via dedicated server hosting tools. Follow our "How To: Port Forwarding for Player Hosts" section for more info on how to host your own servers, without needing to use dedicated server hosting tools found on our site @ https://swbfmodders.com/index.php?action=downloads;cat=9
Current SWBF1 Game Servers hosted on SWBFSpy Premium MS. We will soon host a few unmodded, regular stock servers on our secondary SWBFSpy.org Public MS. SWBFModders understands more than anyone else how much modding has kept the game alive all these years, so let us know if you have more ideas or custom requests!
** = This indicates a server which requires special mods in order to join, all of which currently are still being developed by Phobos.
** 3658 - SWBFModders.com | ZeroFront [FC] - Our primary server featuring various BF2 maps and expanded GCW + Clone Wars. We also use this to host community events, tournaments, etc.
3659 - SWBFSpy | PS2 BF1 (NTSC) - Official PS2 version of SWBF1 server featuring community requested settings and mods for popular randomized stock maps.
** 3660 - SWBFSpy | The Walking Dead - Features every map in the TWD apocalypse campaign, which is based on the TV shows, comics, films, and other zombie genre sources like Romero/WWZ.
** 3661 - SWBFSpy | Alien Wars - Features all maps from the Alien Wars Campaign, which is planned to be at least 50 missions like the expanded CW and GCW. Currently has Mynnic's Adventures #1-6.
3662 - SWBFSpy | PS2 BF2 (NTSC) - Official PS2 version of SWBF2 server featuring several maps and modes such as Assault, Capture The Flag, Conquest, and Hunt.
3663 - SWBFModders.com | BF2 PC - Official PC version of SWBF2 server featuring several maps and modes such as Assault, Capture The Flag, Conquest, and Hunt.
** 3664 - [FC] Dark Trooper Boot Camp 60TPS - The ultimate challenge server for extremely skilled players. Survive on the best maps against hard AI with unlocked maximum aiming distance like BF2.
** 3665 - SWBFSpy | Night Of The Living Dead - The original mod map from 2014 has been improved in 2018, and remixed as Hershel's Farm for TWD. This server features all versions of it.
3666 - SWBFSpy | Official Steam Server - Includes all the stock maps with compatibility for clients use stock LVL game files. The only mods present are completely server-sided (requiring no custom downloads) such as fastspawn, no turrets or vehicles, enhanced AI difficulty, aiming distances, etc.
3667 - SWBFSpy | Steam 11 Unit Maps - Includes only Rhen Var: Citadel, Tatooine: Mos Eisley, Bespin: Cloud City, and Kamino: Tipoca City, with 11v11 unit fairsides for 1 era each in the included ZeroFront patch on our website.