Suggested Options for Multiplayer

Jun 7, 2008
Just wonder...
Well, I hope I can update this post with some advice on what's the best choice in terms of game options and BUG options, or at least which options to avoid because they are known to cause OOS problems. Of course this might also depend on which kind of MP game you're playing.

  • Hotseat / PBEM have no problem that I'm aware of. You can choose any option because basically you are taking single player turns, so no OOS problems.
  • Direct IP/LAN It's working good enough starting from Rev1034, OOS are still a problem in rev1032 and earlier. I hope anyway I can solve at least some more of them. I've been able to reach Modern Era a couple of times although with OOS every 10 turns or so (Blitz gamespeed) before revision 1000; I still have to test thoroughly revisions >=1034. I've not been able to make LAN work, but it looks like it works for some people. I always use Direct IP, see following post
  • Pitboss is currently not working, it goes OOS very often. I hope I can eventually fix this but at the moment it looks pretty hard to solve these OOS problems here.

I will update this thread with info as I have time or info become available from testing.

So, say you want to play a MP game with your friends, what's your best choice to minimize Out Of Sync problems? I can share my experience but I will update this thread when we gain more experience with different players/games.

I always use Direct IP, I suppose it works the same if you use Hamachi or Evolve to create a VPN, but I've never tried.
I know there have been some problems with the Steam version of the game. I don't own a Steam version so I'm not sure how to solve them, but if I'm not mistaken there's some kind of compatibility option you have to check.
One thing you might need to do is to edit your hosts file if there are more than 2 human players. This is necessary because when Gamespy was shut down it somehow broke MP. Luckily we can now rely on some free server.

What you have to do is open with a text editor the file "hosts" that you can find in
and add the following lines
You can see why/how to do it here.
What will probably happen if you don't do it is that you'll get a message about the firewall not being properly configured for the third player when he tries to connect.

Another thing you have to make sure is that you have EXACTLY the same copy of the mod. And I really mean exactly the same. Same revision, gameoptions, BUG options, etc. I'm not sure if graphic options matter (they shouldn't), but I've always used the same options (Single Graphic Units and similar). Also same options in CivilizationIV.ini file.
For some reason sometimes options are being reset, mostly when you change revision or when you play another mod between sessions of your MP game. For this reason, I suggest you select the options you want to play with while starting a single player game. Then you quit the game (to desktop), and make a backup copy of your CivilizationIV.ini, UserSettings folder, XML, Config and Python folders. Store them away from your mods folder in case they are needed. If you want to make sure you're all sharing the same files, send your backup folders to your friends and have them delete UserSettings, XML, config and Python folders and replace them with yours. Check also CivilizationIV.ini, those files can't be identical since they store the name of the player and other similar data, but make sure they both have the same gameoption string and victory conditions (those are 2 strings of 1 and 0), and also make sure all players have set

DisableCaching = 1
DisableFileCaching = 1

Another thing I suggest is that you avoid alt-Tab during the game.

Some settings that I can suggest are:
  • All players use the english version to stay safe.
  • You'll have to set ALL your RevDCM options BEFORE starting a MP game, in a SP game; you can't change them once the game is started because that page under BUG options is locked in MP.
  • Remember that every player must have the very same UserSettings folder; I suggest you make sure you share the same revision of the mod; then the host chooses his BUG settings in single player and then sends the UserSettings folder to other players, which will delete their own UserSettings folder and replace it with that of the host. This way you'll be sure you're using the same settings.
  • Turn off Debug or Cheat modes if you have used them
  • I play with Simultaneous Turns which is working more or less; I haven't tried No Simultaneous Turns
  • New Random Seed on Reload and No Barbarian Civs are forced off via dll, no matter what's your choice in the starting options. I think it's not necessary for No Barbarian Civs, and I'm not sure why Barbarian Civs should cause problems with OOS but I haven't tested yet. Moreover you can't change it unless you recompile the dll so this is staying like this for the moment.
  • FYI Revolution causes no problem; I've played with it all the time in MP and no problem even when rebels were being spawned.
  • I've had some troubles in my games caused by Surround and Destroy and Great Commanders options, so although those are designed for MP, I suggest you don't use them for now.
  • I strongly suggest you turn off Archer Bombard, Opportunity Fire, Stack Attack, Defender Withdrawal, Battlefield Promotions, Dynamic XP, Resource Depletion. I think I've used pretty much everything else without serious problems. Some of the above mentioned options might work, I'm still not sure what's causing some OOS between Defender Withdrawal, Battlefield Promotions and Dynamic XP.
From a quick test, a few dozen turns at Epic Gamespeed, it looks like Unit Naming isn't causing Out of Sync problems although I haven't used the random name generator. So even when you share your UserSettings and Config folders with your mates, you can still have your own Unit Naming files.

Also, from other tests I've made, it might help to click "End of Turn" almost at the same time. To tell the truth I doubt this is helping with Out of Sync, but it's probably better not to move or change anything after you've clicked EoT, even when you can do it because the other player hasn't finished playing yet.
I'm releasing a new dll soon which should help with Out of Sync problems (released in Rev1034). It looks like a couple of very frequent OOS are caused by timers not being calculated in the same way on different machines, specifically a timer which tells how frequently AI can trade with other AIs and another one which is connected to memory decay of past good/bad actions toward another civ.
If more testing will confirm it, OoS might have gone down from one every 10-20 turns to up to 60 turns or more without troubles which is really acceptable to me.
If more people are willing to contribute at OOS hunting, I'll open a new thread were we can discuss and analyze them.
Top Bottom