Mechcommander 2 bad AI fix

If you’ve played this game a while you’ll notice the AI is severely crippling to the overall experience. Most of the time enemies are stuck in a walk allowing you to easily kite them away. To make matters worse they seem to be completely incapable of target switching and will often lock onto the first mech they see and stay locked until their die or you die.

These two AI defects make it extremely easy to kite away any class of mech by sending a bait mech and then just running it past the rest of your lance.

There are a few solutions.

  • (Highly recommended) Install the official mc2 patch. The patch contains a ton of features including badly needed weapon balancing (ballistic weapons take up less space, lrms do less damage, prices and recycle times overall tweaks). Most importantly it patches the data\missions\corebrain.abx file which I believe is responsible for the majority of the AI. After this patch enemies will target switch more readily and actually RUN. This can make even light mechs like the fire ant more useful to the npcs. Keep in mind this will make the game significantly harder! Payouts for objectives have also been reduced significantly so money isn’t unlimited like it was in vanilla. Prepare for a challenge.
    Download link 1 –
    Download link 2 – local mirror
  • Play the Mechcommander Omnitech mod instead. With the release of the MC2 source magicX has created a standalone game built on MC2 that is available for free with no DRM. It has a separate campaign, better AI as well as dozens of additional mechs and weapons. The mod also makes the game more like a battletech based game – weapons aren’t infinite and need to be purchased and can be destroyed. Same with mechwarriors.

Mechcommander 2 freeware download

Mechcommander 2 is the third Mechcommander game set in the Battletech universe. Mechcommander 2 has been released as freeware. You can download it from the following links:

+ Download link 1 <– MyAbandonWare
+ Download link 2 <– OldPCGaming
+ Download link 3 <– Microsoft official source code (ModDB)
+ Download link 4 <– OmniTech standalone mod. Free and does not require installation or disk

If you have issues with low framerate see the Mechcommander 2 low framerate post.

The single-player takes place on Carver V, a planet previously held by House Liao. At the beginning of the story, the Federated Commonwealth is breaking apart due to Archon Katrina Steiner’s controversial seizure of power. It had claimed a few territories in Carver V, killing Mandarin Cho, Liao ruler of the planet, in combat.

All the Houses on Carver V are avoiding any military action that could endanger the peace, so when a suspiciously well-equipped bandit force threatens Steiner territory, the House Steiner employs a mercenary team led by the player, who takes the role of their commander.

Mechcommander 2 also has a multiplayer mode where each player pits their customized lance of mechwarriors against the others.
mechcommander2_3 mechcommander2_4

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Mechcommander 2 windowed mode

To play Mechcommander 2 in windowed mode you have two options:

  • Edit the configurations
    1. Open the game directory
    2. Open options.cfg in the root directory with a text editor
    3. After [MechCommander2] find b FullScreen and change it to = FALSE .e.g b FullScreen = FALSE
    4. Save the file
  • Use keybinding to force the game into windowed after it starts
    1. Start the game
    2. Once the main menu loads press: alt+enter
    3. You will likely have to do this again after starting a mission as that often puts you back in fullscreen automatically

The alt+enter combination works for a wide variety of games especially those made by Microsoft.

If you’re having issues running the game in windowed mode leave a comment below

Mechcommander 2 slow menu and low framerate

Mechcommander 2 has some framerate issues due to the game having hard-coded video card settings. This causes the game to run very poorly on some newer video cards. Symtoms include very slow and unresponsive main menu and  really low framerate in the game itself. To fix this framerate issue follow these steps:

  1. Delete the vidcard config files. Find and delete the following files in the main Mechcommander 2 directory (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\MechCommander2):

    If you are missing one of these files that’s ok just make sure you’ve moved/deleted all the .csv files in the root directory of Mechcommander 2 and then start the game.
  2. (Optional) Disable Hardware Rasterizer. For some people this setting reduces performance without improving appearance on new machines.
  3. (Optional) Disable Detailed Textures. It seems that if you’re running a 16bit resolution this will create really weird grayscale landscapes with oceans that look like bright white voids. For me personally it crushes my framerate. At the time of writing this article I had a gtx 770 which shouldn’t have any problem running a 17 year old game specs wise so it’s likely a compatibility issue with Windows 10 that still exists even after the vidcard and badcard files are deleted.
  4. (Optional & Unconfirmed) Add your graphics card to vidcard.csv. Vidcard.csv contains a list of all supported video cards and any compatibility flags that they have. If you don’t have your vidcard file here’s mine. Here’s what comes next:
    1. make sure the file is placed in the root directory of your MC2 install
    2. run the windows command dxdiag
    3. click “save all information” and save the text file somewhere where you can access it
    4. open this text file and scroll to the section labelled “Display Devices”
    5. you will need at least these two properties:  Vendor ID: and Device ID:
    6. add a line in your vidcard.csv with these values from your dxdiag.txt. example:
      0x10de, 0x0020, 0x0004000c, 0x0001026a, 0x0005000c, 0x0001026a, nVidia, TNT, RenderEqualZ
    7. save your edited vidcard.csv and try running the game again
  5. (Optional & Unconfirmed) Increase system heap size. There are some manually set heap sizes in the system.cfg file in the root MC2 installation folder. You can increase these values significantly as they are set for 2001 system specs. I haven’t noticed massive improvements from this but it might vary by machine.

Full settings I’m playing on and how it looks (runs smooth but looks bad):

If you’ve followed the steps above and checked through the provided links and still haven’t found a solution to your framerate issues please post a comment below detailing your problem and your current operating system and video card. The more detail the better!

sources: link 1, link 2, link 3

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