Star Wars: Force Commander

Genre: Real Time Strategy
Release Year: 2000
Developer: LucasArts, Ronin Entertainment
Publisher: LucasArts
Age Rating: 12+
Playability Status: Perfect
Tested On: Windows 7 x64, Windows 8 x64
Availability: Copyright retained - Out of print/unavailable

There’s certainly no shortage of Star Wars games on computers or games consoles. It seems players can’t get enough of taking part in the endless imaginary intergalactic conflicts that exist within the Star Wars universe. Star Wars: Force Commander gives you yet another chance to take to the battlefield in George Lucas’ universe, this time as a battlefield commander for either the empire or the rebels. Star Wars: Force Commander divided the critics when it was released and still does to this day. Some label it as the worst Star Wars game on PC, while others find it entertaining and engrossing. If you love real time strategy games and you’re willing to get to grips with the games sometimes awkward controls, you should have many hours of fun in command of your star troopers.


Star Wars: Force Commander is particularly troublesome to install. The original installer is a 16 bit executable and therefore won’t run on 64 bit versions of Windows. Even if you have a 32 bit version of Windows, there are no guarantees the installer will work. Fortunately we were able to write a replacement installer that works much better on more modern versions of Windows. The replacement installer will perform the following tasks.

Install the game
Install the V1.1 update
Install the music and video fix
Set highest visual quality
Allow you to change the screen resolution

You can download the replacement installer here (link broken? Let me know here). If you have any problems using the installer please let us know in the comments.


There was just one patch released for the game. Most of the fixes included in the patch were to do with multiplayer matches, but it’s still worth being on the latest version of the game anyway. If you installed the game using our replacement installer, this patch is already installed for you. If not, you can download it here.

Running the game

Star Wars: Force Commander runs well on modern hardware, but to avoid problems with videos stuttering and music getting stuck you should make sure to run the game using only one CPU core. If you used our replacement installer you should start the game using the “Play Star Wars Force Commander” shortcut. This will execute a simple batch file and ensure the game runs using only one of your computers processing cores. If you didn’t use the replacement installer you can download the batch file here. Our hosts have now started demanding we store all batch files inside zip archives, so you will need to download the zip file then extract the batch file from inside it into the “Resource” sub-folder in your Force Commander game folder. Then, just click on the batch file to run it.

Tweaking visual quality

Our replacement installer configures the game for the highest possible visual quality, so if you installed using that you can skip over the details here. The bulk of the visual quality settings can be configured from the games launcher. Start the game as an administrator (or use the “Configure Force Commander” shortcut if you installed with our replacement installer) and then select “Options” and then “Performance Options”. The following window will then appear.


Configure the settings as shown above. Do not select “Use Hardware Cursor”, if you do, you will most likely make your mouse cursor invisible in-game. Notice in the screenshot we are unable to set a screen resolution, this is a common problem on more recent graphics cards and is why our replacement installer has the option to set the resolution for you instead.

Finally there are three visual quality settings you can configure while playing the game. Start Force Commander and then start a new game. Press the Escape key to access the options menu and then choose “Options”. Now, choose “Video”. Set the LOD (level of detail) all the way to the right and the Fog all the way to the left. Finally, ensure Mipmapping is turned on. Again, our replacement installer has already set these options for you, so no need to change them unless you installed using the original installer.


The online infrastructure that supported Star Wars: Force Commander has long since shut down. However, it may still be possible to play the game with other players in your home or even across the internet using TCP/IP mode. We have not tested this however.


Audio or video stutters or freezes – Ensure you are running the game with one CPU core only. Use the “Play Star Wars Force Commander” shortcut that the replacement installer provides for you or download the batch file provided under “Running the game”.

Game cursor/pointer is invisible – Run the settings program and make sure that “Use Hardware Cursor” is turned off.

Game settings are not saved/applied after running the configuration tool – Firstly, make sure that you run the configuration tool as an administrator. If you still have problems, you may need to perform the following fix to clear out various registry keys that Windows may have cached for compatibility reasons.

Start the Windows registry editor (regedit) and browse to either of the following keys –

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC\Force Commander” (for 64 bit versions of Windows)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC\Force Commander” (for 32 bit versions of Windows)

Delete the entire key you find here (and only here). If you need a beginners tutorial on using the registry editor, see this page. Now, check and configure the games settings again (making sure to run the configuration tool as an administrator). By deleting this registry key, you will force Windows to re-cache this key the next time the game is run, hopefully fixing any problems.

Problems saving games – Like many older games, Star Wars: Force Commander places its save game files and various configuration files in the same directory that it is installed to. This can cause problems on more modern versions of Windows as programs are not normally permitted to write to the program files directory. To avoid this problem, either install the game to an alternate location (our replacement installer will suggest c:\Games\ForceCommander) or manually edit the permissions on the “Force Commander” folder. A tutorial on how to edit folder permissions can be found here.


Ready to fight the rebel scum

Ready to fight the rebel scum.

There are all kinds of vehicles and beasts to ride.

There are all kinds of vehicles and beasts to ride.


  1. Mike says:

    Works great! Thanks for posting it here!

  2. Tavaron says:

    Followed all the steps and still got a “windowed blackscreen” when starting the game. *sigh*
    What can I do? :(

  3. Jerome says:

    Thank you very mauch from Spain. I love this game and now i can play in win 7. Really Thank you very much for your effort.

    Sorry but my english is very litte.


  4. Roth says:

    So I followed the instructions and downloaded the installer. The game installed properly; however, I’m getting a missing mss32.dll error when I try to start the game. The “Play star wars force commander” and “configure force commander” shortcuts do nothing. I’m running a 32-bit Windows XP.

  5. CamCam2265 says:

    I have the same windowed black screen as well.

  6. LordBeverage says:

    To all who are getting the windowed black screen (presumably AMD people), using dgVoodoo 2 with this game fixed it for me. (It has also allowed me to play other ~2000-ish lucasarts games, as well.)

    I’m on Windows 8.1 (x64) and an AMD Radeon R9 290.

    Download, install/extract the most recent version:

    Copy the dll files from the /MS subfolder into this game’s /Resources folder (where the executable is), and run the game (you can turn off the water mark from the dgVoodo from the settings in that exe).

    This fix works for both Star Wars Episode 1 Racer and Episode 1 The Phantom Menace, as well. Neato software.

  7. CamCam2265 says:

    The voodoo fix worked for me too!

  8. Yogurt says:

    My old cards (2x NVIDIA 8800 GTS 512 with SLI, Windows 7 Ultimate x64) worked without any problems.
    My new card (NVIDIA GTX 970, Windows 7 Ultimate x64) landed in windowed black screen.
    1. Download “WineD3D For Windows” ( and add files ddraw.dll, libwine.dll and wined3d.dll (IMHO dxgi.dll is not necessary on Windows 7) from the zip archive into game folder (somewhere\LucasArts\Force Commander\Resource). I’ve tested 1.7.47, but current is 1.7.49
    2. Set via Registry appropriate value of Size parameter:
    0 – 640×480 – OK
    1 – 800×600 – crash (as on 8800 GTS 512 SLI)
    2 – 1024×768 – OK
    3 – 1280×1024 – fallback to 2 (1024×768) with reset Allow32bpp, Allow32zbuf and Use32BitTextures to 0

    • BuckoA51 says:

      You can also try dgVoodoo2 in place of WineD3D, particularly if you have an AMD card since their OpenGL implementation isn’t the best (so I hear anyway).

    • Mat Jan says:

      So the problem I have now when I use WineD3D For Windows and copy ddraw.dll is that I can’t use mouse to select my units. Quite simply my left mouse button is not responding to the units in the game world. Because of it I can’t pass the first tutorial :/

        • Mat Jan says:

          It was ok. But mission briefing were flickering, hangar too and at certain camera angles whole screen was going crazy and I couldn’t see a thing. Same flickering thing without dgVoodoo2.

          I have winXP and GT8600 for card, if that helps.

          I had similar problem with X-wing alliance but WineD3D dealt with it fine and everything works ok.

  9. tyrone says:

    has anyone found a problem to get past the black screen? i can start the game but i never get past the black screen at the beginning.

  10. Xavier says:

    It runs even on win10!!! Congratulations, I’m really happy as I can play again with one of my favourite games I’ve ever thought I wouldn’t be able to play. Tanks a lot!!

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