How to play Mechwarrior 2 + information resources on the game

Home Forums Previous Months 67 – April 2022: Mech Warrior 2 How to play Mechwarrior 2 + information resources on the game

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  • Elh

    So happy to see that this game has been picked up as the game to discuss in April next year. I’m a pretty big fan of the game and the series so I look forward to hearing and perhaps contributing in some fashion to the conversation 🙂

    I thought that I could help out with differentiating between the many different versions of Mechwarrior 2: 31st Century Combat.

    I recommend playing the DOS version and installing the 1.1 patch. If you don’t want to set up your own DOSbox installation, you can just use the fan-made tool MechVM that simply creates an installation with Dosbox.
    1. Download MechVM
    2. Insert the MW2 CD or mount the MW2 iso as a virtual drive
    3. Run MechVM and press the button that install the DOS version. The program is now unpacking and installing Mechwarrior 2 into wherever MechVM is installed.
    4. Install the 1.1 Patch that fixes some of the bugs. Just copy and paste the files into the directory in which MW2 was installed
    5. Press the Play MW2 DOS button in MechVM to launch the game.
    6. Enjoy the game and its amazing cinematics 🙂

    As a sidenote, there are multiple graphical versions that Digital Foundry actually did a really great rundown on how they differ with one another. Their conclusion and one that I agree with is that the DOS version is the superior one with less bugs and a nice visual presentation. Here is the video analysis:

    If people have problems with finding a proper version of the game, let me know. It’s practically abandonware (Microsoft owns the IP & doesn’t care, Activision made MW2, so it’s stuck in legal hell). It’s super important that whatever version you are using that it has the CD audio (Redbook audio more specifically), as the soundtrack is a major factor into the experience.

    If you need the game manual:

    If anyone wants some resources on how the game was developed, its history and awards, I recommend this blog: and for the Mechwarrior series as a whole up until 2014 then here

    Let me know if there’s anything I can help with, cheers!


    And if anyone wants to continue on with the subsequent expansions to Mechwarrior 2, I also highly recommend both Ghost Bear’s Legacy and Mercenaries.

    GBL was campaign expansion pack with a new story, new missions, new mechs, and music. It’s practically more of the same of MW2, just with new content.

    Mercs is regarded as pretty revolutionary Mechwarrior game because it took the mech sim gameplay of MW2 and added a management sim layer where you have to manage a mercenary unit in the universe and take on contracts. It’s the formula that many other Mechwarrior/Battletech games have followed because it uses many different game systems. And funny enough, it actually has its 25 year anniversary here in September.

    Both GBL and Mercs can also be installed easily via MechVM. The same thing with the DOS versions being superior applies to GBL and Mercs, although in the W95 version allows for dynamic salvage in patch 1.1. Check Patches Scrolls for patches for each of the game: and


    Thanks for the comprehensive post, not bad for a freebirth toad! I’m guessing you’re something of a fan.

    Evil Taco

    Awesome resources and links, thanks! My friend had Mercenaries and it was a really impressive game. We even played it a bit over LAN. I borrowed his CD when I finally got a beefier PC in 2001 and played until I had a mission that kept crashing. I regret a little bit to say I never returned the game to him..


    Haha I appreciate the reference 😀 Yeah, I really enjoy the series and the fictional universe a lot despite never having actually played the tabletop.


    Glad to hear that this game has been picked up. Thanks to the Eridani Light Horse for providing information on getting it to run.


    Thanks for the helpful information


    Even though this is practically abandonware, I assume I should not link to the full ISOs ready for installing the game, correct? Because the stuff that’s freely available online does not have the music and I would strongly recommend against playing the game without the music, it is a *key* component. So if you don’t have the actual full games, please make sure you play the game with its full installation.

    Mr Creosote

    Point of note: when playing this on Dosbox with “max” cycles, when starting a mission, your Mech will sometimes just explode immediately, failing the mission. Setting it to a reasonable cycle setting (equivalent to a common machine of the time) will fix it.


    Can someone post the doxbox.conf they get out of that tool? For reasons, I wrote my own file, which works, but might not be optimal.

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Home Forums Previous Months 67 – April 2022: Mech Warrior 2 How to play Mechwarrior 2 + information resources on the game