Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries

Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Year: 2000
Developer: FASA Interactive
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Age Rating: 12+
Playability Status: Perfect
Tested On: Windows 8 x64
Availability: Officially released for free

In the future, the ultimate weapon on the intergalactic battlefield isn’t a tank or a high tech fighter jet, but a big, stomping mechanised fighting machine, or mech for short. In Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries, you and your band of soldiers for hire will travel around the universe, deploying your heavily armed walking machines wherever the highest bidder tells you to. By taking on ever increasingly risky missions, you’ll grow your reputation as the most fearsome band of mercs in the universe.


Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries has officially been released for free, meaning anyone who fancies a little old-school mech action can download and install the game and start playing right away. To install Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries, we are going to use a tool called Mechwarrior-XC. If you’re lucky enough to have an original copy of the game, you can safely leave it on your shelf as a collectors piece this time, since the Mechwarrior-XC program will take care of downloading the game and all the latest patches.

Start by downloading the Mechwarrior-XC installation file. Download the latest version (0.61 at the time of writing) from the official Google Code page here. Once the download is finished, double click on the executable file or choose “Open” or “Run” in your browsers download manager. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the program to your PC.

Once installation is completed, you can start Mechwarrior-XC by searching for “MXC” on the Start menu or Start screen and clicking the icon that appears. When you launch the program, it appears initially to do nothing, but don’t be fooled. Look in your notification area (system tray) for the icon circled in the picture below.


To install Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries, right click  on the Mechwarrior-XC icon in the notification area and from the menu that appears choose “Install” and then choose “Mechwarrior 4 Mercenaries”. The window shown below should then appear.


If you need to change the default installation directory, click on “Choose”. Otherwise click on “Install” and the program will take care of installing the game for you.

About the additional components – You may have noticed on the installation menu that there was an option to install Maps and Evilbot. If you want to play in multiplayer, you may wish to install the additional map packs, though they aren’t required to play the single player campaign. As for Evilbot, we weren’t able to install this component, but it appears it is only required for players who wish to run their own Mechwarrior 4 multiplayer server.

Tweaking visual quality

Before you start the game and jump into your heavily armed mechanoid, you may want to configure a few settings so that you can enjoy the game with the best possible visual quality. In the Mechwarrior 4 – Mercinaries game folder is a program called “autoconfig_MERCS.exe”. Run this program and then click on the “Advanced >>>” button. The window shown below should then appear.


The box second from the top on the left is where you select your graphics hardware. Make sure that your graphics card is selected here and the box is not left blank. Below that, you can select a screen mode. Although Mechwarrior 4 was never designed to run in widescreen, it actually works pretty well at 16:9 or 16:10 resolutions, with just a minor stretch to the HUD graphics, so select your monitors native resolution in this box. The “x32” part on the end of the screen mode is the colour depth, on a modern PC this should always be 32 bit and in most cases the configuration utility will only list 32 bit modes.

The other options shown in the picture have all been configured for highest visual quality. Since this is an old game, you should be able to do this even on a relatively modest PC. If you have an older PC and find the game doesn’t run as smoothly as you’d hoped, run the utility again and choose “Graphics Settings : High” or “Graphics Settings : Medium” instead.

When you are done configuring these options, click on “Continue”. The configuration utility should now close and you can proceed to start the game.

Starting the game

Once installation is complete, you will need to start the game from the desktop shortcut or by browsing to the Mechwarrior 4 folder and running the MW4Mercs.exe file. For some reason the installer does not create Start menu/screen shortcuts for you. If you want to manually add a shortcut to your Start menu/screen so that you can launch the game from there, see this tutorial. You can also launch the game by right clicking on the Mechwarrior-XC icon in the notification area and choosing “Launch Mercs”. The game requires administrator rights to run. The first time you run the game you will need to accept the end user license agreement too. Finally, if a Windows firewall prompt appears, you should opt to allow the game to communicate on private networks if you intend to try multiplayer games at any time.

Configuring controllers

The game is already set to play with a 360 pad so most gamers can dive right in and start playing. You will still need your keyboard for some functions, such as for barking orders at your fellow mercenaries. If you have a different controller you want to use, such as a twin joystick or fancy mech controller, you can configure it from the games main menu by choosing “options” and then “controls”.


Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries had a strong multiplayer following when it was first released. Of course, nowadays there are only a trickle of players around to test your skills against. With the game being completely free, however, its a good choice of game if you can get a group of friends together and you want something new to play on your home network.

To play against another player in your home, simply select “Multiplayer” from the main menu. The following screen will then appear.


One computer needs to be the server, this should be the most powerful PC participating in the game. This player should click on “Host”. The other players should click on “New” and follow the on-screen prompts to set up a LAN game connection. Once that is done, click on “Connect”. After a short pause, you should see a server browser and hopefully the game that is being hosted on your LAN.

Playing across the internet is trickier, to do this, you should download and install the Gameranger utility. Once you have Gameranger installed, you will need to run it as administrator in order to use it with Mechwarrior 4. Typically Gameranger will not automatically detect that you have Mechwarrior 4 installed, so open the “Edit” menu in the program and choose “Options…”. Under the “Games” tab, scroll down and find “Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries”. You now simply need to click on the “Browse…” button and point Gameranger to your Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries installation folder.

You should now be able to host Mechwarrior 4 games or join them using Gameranger. Watch out, any opponents you encounter are likely to be highly skilled.

Multiplayer troubleshooting and other notes

We have not extensively tested the multiplayer component so if you do get it working please let us know in the comments. If you have trouble connecting to other players, you may need to open the following ports on your router. Please note you do this at your own risk and since there are so many different types of router available we can’t offer much in the way of help with this process.

2300-2400 UDP+TCP
47624 TCP

For hosting games online, you may need to open the above ports and also the following.

27999 UDP+TCP
28800+28809 UDP+TCP

 The MechWarrior 4: Vengeance mystery

Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries is actually a standalone expansion pack for Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance. Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance was at some point in the past also released for free, however we could not find a current download link for it. We do not know if this title is now in copyright limbo or if the game simply needs a new server to host the download. If anyone knows of a legal download link for Vengeance, we would appreciate it if you could let us know.


  1. Muzzled says:

    Seems to not function for me. Initially, the download was going fine, then my computer crashed for unrelated reasons. Now the download doesn’t seem to work in MXC, regardless of version.

  2. Matthew Behrmann says:


    First I want to say thanks! I really appreciate being able to access all the MekTek content.

    I’m having a technical problem I’m hoping you can help resolve. The game loads fine, and the first menu seems a little neon,but whatever. Then when I select any of the options on the next menu the graphics mess up, colors blurring everywhere and my pointer disappearing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I’m using Windows 8 with Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000. I installed it to the default directory, selected compatability mode for Win7 and enabled administrator rights for both the program and the graphics startup.


    • pepenene says:

      i have absolutely same problem. I did it same as you, video i have is Intel HD Graphic 4600. Do you have any solution?

      • pepenene says:

        At me is already everything good. I dont know exactly what helped me, but I think, that it is a installation of Microsoft direct draw package, which was a graphic “thing” before directX. This package is downloadable from MS webpages. Now I play like sooner and that bring me a great pleasure. It is a wonderful game.

        • BuckoA51 says:

          Unlikely, legacy DirectDraw components are included with and are part of DirectX, there’s no need to install them separately.

          • pepenene says:

            It is possible. Anyway, meanwhile I’ve got also update for video driver through WUpdate. Maybe it is the real reason, that now goes it good. I can’t say that exactly, because I’ve already abandoned the tries to run it. Then I’ve tried once more and… voila, here we goes! The only problem that remains is with resolution, 1920×1080 scales it odd, so I play with a bit lower resolution. But whatever, it works!

  3. Klark says:

    It does not work on my pc. im running windows 7 and i tried everything

  4. Wolfsong says:

    I played this back in the day and have been excited to try it again, but I can’t get it to work yet! It tells me theres a Fatal Error – Nested Exception! Cause: ‘GetLocationFromAddress’ Error: “Attempt to read from address etc etc. I was prompted to install DirectPlay at one point and did, but I’m still getting this error. I’m installing on Windows 8.1 x64. Also, I have dual graphics in a laptop – Intel HD4000 but also a GeForce 660M and it only sees the former. Probably not related, but thought I’d mention it.

    • Knotenkurt says:

      I have the same problem. Only my Intel HD 4600 is listed (twice). The game starts, but i could only see “Join the North Highlanders”i just clicked about and managed to join a faction. Now when i start the game i see a nice menu, but as soon as i go into options or the mechlab the textures are scrambled and most of the screen is black with the cursor disappearing.
      I tried deactivating the Intel HD but then the game won’t start at all but show the Fatal Error – Nested Exception! like Wolfsongs game.
      Help would be very appreciated.

  5. MADEVIL says:

    Unfortunately it seems that MechWarrior 4 doesn’t like some of the new AMD GPU chipsets or drivers since I can’t get it to run on 2 different computers one running Windows 7 64 bit and the other running Windows 8.1 64 bit.

  6. Razirkintar says:

    Whenever I try to launch it, it opens up a windowed black screen for a split second and then stops responding. When I try to configure the graphics, the auto config won’t even open with admin and compatibility. I am on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit as I play on an Alienware m15x 2011. How do I make Mechwarrior 4 playable on a 64-bit system?

  7. AnonyMouse says:

    On Windows 8.1 64-bit (ATI GPU) I had to check the “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings” under the Compatibility tab.

    This is a pretty common fix for a lot of games (and games using libraries like SDL) that depend on older versions of DirectX.

    With that said…running a game from unknown sources as Admin is kind of freaking me out.

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Thanks for the tip. Sadly much old Windows software demands to be run as administrator, the blame for this can be placed squarely with Microsoft and their lack of a workable UAC/Sudo mechanism in Windows XP.

  8. Ken says:

    “STOP Cannot find VideoCard.txt” Error box message
    When I run autoconfig_MERCS.exe –
    Under ‘Details’ (In above error box): One line reads:
    “Mode when crash occured : Windowed 640x480x16 (Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600)”

    My graphics card IS an integrated ‘Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600’
    with 1920×1080 resolution in a new Dell Win 8.1, i5, 16GB

    BuckoA51, your procedure above installed with no apparent problems until I ran the “autoconfig_MERCS.exe”.

    As an old MW player, I would dearly appreciate any helpful advice. Thanks

  9. JoshJosh says:

    I am getting a “missing Reousorces/textures.mw4” error when I try to run it. This is after it gave me video setting adjustments and eula. Checking the files, yes it is missing that file. Ideas?

  10. garylabirge says:

    has this thing worked for anyone?? I am currently downloading, but freaking out about it now tat i read all the comments with not one person getting it to work…….

  11. Followed the instructions, however download using the install feature did not download the MW4Mercs.exe file, seems like I have everything but this file. Running a Windows 8.1 64bit machine

  12. James Mephistopheles Scheuerman says:

    Trying to launch the game from the tray icon works, but only at the lowest settings possible, it will not save the settings from config menu. Launching from the exe itself just crashes

  13. E says:

    I updated my intel 4600 drivers to and it works now on windows 7 pro 64.

  14. wes29 says:


    if you get the “getlocationfromadress” thingy on windows 8… just enable Directplay (worked for me)

    Programs and Components -> Enable / disable windows components… somewhere there you can enable direct play

  15. Mrgilbert says:

    Apparently if you install Vengeance and Black Knight, Mercenaries stops working. I played it all yesterday and installed the other two last night and all of the sudden this one stops working. Really frustrating and doesn’t make much sense.

  16. Connor says:

    I can run it from the menu, but only if I check disable joystick., and I’m not a fan of that.

  17. Rich says:

    Finally kinda got it to work. Crashes when i try to open the options menu. I can’t get the config program to work.

  18. Rich says:

    crashes when it goes to load the missions. running windows 8.1 64bit

  19. Etienne says:

    Hi, I’m running it on Windows 8 64bit and the graphics are kind of wacky. I also get the impression that the setting I chose on the configuration window are not being saved.

  20. Rick says:

    I resolved the missing “VideoCard.txt” by using Wordpad (or Notepad) to open a new file, typing nothing in it, and saving it as VideoCard.txt in the C:\Program Files (x86)\\Mechwarrior 4 – Mercenaries directory. When you run autoconfig_MERCS.exe it will open with graphics set to Low. Reset it to High and the other boxes should open.

    Anybody know how to get a copy of MW4Mercs.exe – it’s missing from my download?

  21. Benny says:

    Thanks for the guide, was trying to install today and everything looked to install fine, except the desktop shortcut points to MW4Mercs.exe that evidently doesn’t install with the rest of the files in the Mektek subdirectory – same problem as “Rick” had on August 8, 2015 – any suggestions on how to fix that to launch the game?

  22. ToxicFreez says:

    I have been working on getting mine to run. The problem I have is that cdac21ba.dll is not compatible with 7. MW4:Vengeance has cdac14ba.dll. You can get MW4:mercs to run by putting that dll in the mech pak folders. And you need to rename the cdac21ba.dll to avoid that file being called up. However, this stops the paks from working. If anyone can get a cdac21ba.DLL that is compatible, that may solve some of these issues.

  23. AlphaG says:

    Thank you so much with the tutorial, it works really well, except for one small detail. My graphics settings, even when I change then, return to the original settings when I hit okay. Any ideas why?”

  24. Karone says:

    I downloaded this and the game and apparently mw4mercs.exe is not even there, what should i do?

  25. Luke says:

    After repeated failed attempts to get Mercs running off the disks on my Windows 7 64-bit (it would show the little splash screen with the Fafnir blowing up Owens’ then just go back to desktop), I downloaded this. For some reason, the download turned out to be missing a few files – not the mw4mercs.exe like some people have been missing, but the textures.mw4 and props.mw4 files in the RESOURCE folder, along with VideoCard. On a hunch, I reinstalled my disk version, copied those files into the mektek version, and gave it a shot. I didn’t get the missing files errors and got as far as finishing auto config, but now any time I try to start the game, it flashes some black screens (first a windowed screen, then a few full screens) for a second and then crashes to desktop. I tried /gosnovideo and /gosnojoystick, both alone and together, to no avail. Anyone have any ideas for how to solve this? I’ve still got the disk version installed if copying any more files over from that can fix it.

  26. Mike says:

    Just tried a clean install of my original Vengeance and Mercs disks. Install program works fine but under all compatibility modes the exe file starts running for a second (the display pauses) and then nothing happens. autoconfig only finds the Intel HD 4600 and not my nVidia GeForce, though I can bypass that with GeForce experience.
    Since Mektek dropped support the “free and legal” version seems to have vanished from the net. Sadly I never DL them when I had the chance since I always was able to run off the disks before.

  27. Vorganov says:

    It seems my AVG antivirus is removing EXE file as containing Trojan Virus…

  28. Saulie says:

    Please help. Im running auto config in admin and it won’t save my settings. They are stuck on low setting. Aby help please?

  29. FrankenStein says:

    Hello everyone, i play mechwarrior4 mercs regularly and just found this site. Very nice tutorial here, well written, good job.

    Just thought id offer some info to anyone interested… everything you need is free at

    Mechwarrior is alive and well, free to download and play, no disks are required, and has a small but well established following.
    Most games take place on free gameranger, tunngle, or private direct ip.

    The latest version is mekteks last mp3.1 , which can be run from any folder without a formal installer or disks. The whole game is downloaded and you extract it to your program folder or c:\mercs.

    Run autoconfig once and then make a mw4mercs.exe program shortcut with the
    ” -noautoconfig ” to avoid ever having autoconfig pop back up.

    @ Saulie
    Autoconfig adjusts the file ” options.ini ” , which you can edit in notepad if you have trouble with autoconfig.
    Edit it by hand, save, run the game from a shortcut with the optional ” -noautoconfig ” at the end of the shortcut line.

    Same for anyone else having problems running or saving with the autoconfig utility.
    Also see the last response from BuckoA51

    @ Vorganov
    AVG antivirus often flags the game exe ” mw4mercs.exe ” as a potential virus, this is a known false positive. You can download the game from two sources and the file will be the same, false positive but safe to use. You need to setup an exception in avg settings for that file.

    @ several others
    If you have trouble with MCX then i strongly advise downloading the game directly as one big zipped folder, free links at
    Remember you dont need any disks at all anymore, download the last version mektek 3.1 and you’ll have what you need.

    Gameranger is a small free game browser where you can regularly find open multiplayer mw4mercs games…

    This game is fun if you can stand the learning curve ;)
    (The site also has a few mech configurations to start out with)

    See ya on the battlefield

  30. Jacob says:

    OK, got an issue, its saying it cannot find my video card when i started up the auto config. how do i fix this ?
    p.s. sorry it is a late question compared to the 2014 posts XD

  31. KJS says:

    This doesn’t work at all. I know this issue is a problem with others here, but it just never seems to end. Apparently the download you guys have provided is missing quite a few files. Thankfully, I still have the original disks. However, once I have copied/MADE the missing files, (VideoCard.txt, textures.mw4, ScriptStrings, etc.), I get yet another error message. I’s literally too big for the text window so I couldn’t show you even if I knew how to anyway. I’ve tried running no joystick, no video, nothing works. Not even the original game runs anymore. When I click the run file, nothing happens at all. I am running Windows 8.1 on a 2012 Toshiba Satellite C855. PLEASE! Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

  32. FrankenStein says:

    Hello :)

    the previous short url i quoted has expired !
    This long forum link is permanent, has download links for the game :

    @KJS , you could try this …

    Click this long forum link (All links in comments are clicked at the readers own risk) :

    and click the first link in the first post, free download of the whole game with all files.

    If you extract the game folder and its missing “mw4mercs.exe” then your anti-virus deleted it during extraction. Make an exception for this one file in that one destination folder and try again. Known false positive.

    Run autoconfig once as admin, run mw4mercs as admin from a shortcut with the -noautoconfig command, if you have trouble try different compatibility modes.

    Extract game to c:\mercs or to your 32bit programs folder.
    Check for servers and for more

    Hope this helps ;)


    Nice video, im sure that will help someone :)

    w00t – have a good one ;)

  33. Sam Deck says:

    I have a windows 10 computer. Everything was going smooth, but after I pressed continue after adjusting the settings it wouldn’t start the game. Any solutions?

  34. James says:

    Great game . One of my all time favorites.

  35. JaketheSnake says:

    Does this still work? Mainly asking about multiplayer. I see that you have to dwnld gameranger to find games but does it? After all these years – is there even 1 functioning server?

  36. Stephen says:

    Please help. When I try to install the game, it says that the file can not found. Any suggestions?

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