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

    July 7, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    link 2 for MechCommander 2 (Microsoft released source code) does not work any longer. It shows a page no longer displayed. Please cross it off.

      Updated it on the freeware post. Thanks for the heads up. You can use the ModDB download link instead

    George Xenophontos
    April 15, 2022 at 7:53 am

    so I have an Nvidia RTX 3090 and Vendor ID: 0x10DE Device ID: 0x2204 but i can’t seem to find the hexadecimal attributes and compatility flags. The graphics look pixelated and running in software mode. Could please help with this so i can run it better. Also my OS is Windows 11 Home. I have my dxdiag file saved if you need to see it.

      Alain Gravel
      May 15, 2022 at 11:53 pm

      Hi, just delete this file in the MechCommander2 installed dir : assets/binaries/imagehlp.dll, and retry this should now start in 3d mode, you may need to edit the options.cfg file.

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