Installation Of Freelancer
The installation of Freelancer is an easy process to get to grips with and is similar to most games. However, there are a few things you should know, especially if you are planning to set up a server or play a multiplayer game.
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7 600MHz CPU or Higher 128MB of RAM 900MB of available disk space 8x Speed or faster CD ROM 16MB Video Card Sound Card required for Audio Compatible Mouse or Pointing Device 56 Kbps modem for online/multiplayer; LAN or broadband to run a server
Even if your computer is 4 or 5 years old, it likely will run Freelancer with no issue.
Installing Freelancer from a CD couldn't be simpler: insert the CD and install as you would any other program; if you have autorun enabled the installer will automatically start, otherwise just browse to your CD-ROM drive from My Computer and you should see the installer.
For a purely server side installation, you must remember to select a server only setup which minimizes disk usage by only installing the files required to run a server.
If you are having issues with your installation and the smooth running of Freelancer in general, see our Tips section.
Getting your Freelancer installation to work in multiplayer is now a lot more difficult due to the GLS being shut down.
Only one official patch has been released for Freelancer (See 1.1 Patch) and is mainly targeted at server operators; it has little benefit to a single player or client-only experience.
Fixes Server Stability Adds better cheat detection to servers If you are having trouble getting a Multiplayer ID this will fix that issue
Some mod makers and developers have made unofficial patches for Freelancer. These patches come without guarantee of any kind and might have specific restrictions.
The QuickFix is the de facto patch that most players use nowadays. It features the following:
3D Sound has been Disabled (Which fixes many sound problems for most people) Advanced Graphics Advanced Error Logging (Which makes troubleshooting problems easier) Updated/Fixed freelancer.ini file Updated video hardware support Includes over 2000 code fixes from the Freelancer SDK v1.3b Includes the battleship mismatched loadout crash fix Includes Freelancer Web Launcher v18.104.22.168 (see weblaunch.txt) The installer adds several new links to the Freelancer Web Links folder in your Start Menu
It can be downloaded on the EOA's site linked above, or on The Starport.
Alternatively, one may choose to download each piece separately. The Hardware List Update (also available on our site here) is a critical piece, allowing Freelancer to recognize more recent graphics cards; this not only removes the error message when launching the game, it can also solve a few issues relative to it.
The main reason Freelancer is still alive is because of modifications. Mods expand Freelancer beyond what it was intended to be - even going so far as to allow player interaction with the server, such as sending cash to another character from your account and anyone else's instantly or granting your Server Police permissions to ban anyone in game by using a simple command. Some mods even introduce exotic features such as dynamic economy, player-flown capital ships which can be docked upon, repair weapons, etc.
Modifications not only benefit server operators, they also introduce stunning new content into the game which can expand on vanilla or provide something completely different altogether...
To install and use almost any mod available (on this site or any other) you must have FLMM installed - this allows you to quickly activate or deactivate mods at your leisure with little to no extra work from you.
A plethora of mods are available for Freelancer, however if you wish to play multiplayer you must use the mods that your server of choice uses; to find out which mod is acceptable on certain servers, you must find out directly from either their website or their news section in Freelancer itself.
For more information on this subject view the Mod Management section.
Installation Tips and Fixes
More often than not, errors in your installation are caused by a corrupt, old or damaged CD. Solving this issue is dependent on your own computer knowledge and the state of your CD.
If you can still access the CD, it is possible only certain, non critical sectors have been damaged. Using archive extractors such as 7-Zip, you can open the files named CAB1.CAB and CAB2.CAB, found in the CD's root folder, and extract them in a folder of your choice (usually the default installation location, C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Freelancer). You can then copy the EXE (executable file) from the CD's GAME\EXE folder and put it in your copy's EXE folder. If all went without error, your game should be playable.
If you cannot access the CD, there are CD repairing devices and kits which could help if the damage is only superficial, IE a scratch. If the CD is beyond any sort of repair, you may still purchase a new disk for as little as £10/$16 (As of August 2009) from Amazon or other online retailers.
It is suggested to make a copy of your CD, either as an image on your hard disk or using a CD-R.
Corrupt or old DirectX installations can cause havoc with any game, and Freelancer is no exception - there are a few ways you can fix this issue.
Downloading DirectX direct from the Microsoft Website is the best choice as it will update your files to a version of DirectX that supersedes the one required by Freelancer and although this is not strictly necessary, it is always best practise to fully update all your software.
The Freelancer disk comes with a DirectX 9 installation. If you do not have it installed on your computer and do not wish to download it from Microsoft, you can run it from the disk; the executable file is called DXSETUP.exe.
Most other problems in Freelancer will occur because your hardware is incompatible, although it may meet the specifications listed above (See: System Requirements) some hardware will simply fail to run Freelancer.
The most common issue is caused by your type of graphics card; most integrated cards (found mainly in laptops) will cause issues with Freelancer as they don't support some of the graphical features Freelancer requires. If your laptop has an nVidia/ATi laptop graphics card, then Freelancer should run as well as it would on any desktop PC - unsupported graphics cards come mostly from the integrated Intel range. (The same applies to integrated graphics on desktop PCs)
Another problem which has been known to cause FL to crash is the use of 3D Sound, you must disable 3D sound in your options before starting a game (only if you are getting errors). The QuickFix integrates a fix for this.
These tools may help you by either improving your gaming experience or by reducing your workload when hosting a server
There are two major server operator programs for Freelancer (As of August 2009), as well as a handful of newer/smaller ones. These programs will help you maintain your server and keep it running at their optimal efficiency.
DS Account Manager and DS Process Manager
These two programs manage player accounts and the FLServer process. Together they offer most of the functionally of Ioncross and Cheater's Death. The source for these programs is available so if you wish to improve them, you can. Get them from the starport forge. http://forge.the-starport.net/projects
A fairly mature piece of server management software coded in VB6 which has been developed over numerous years by JoeBoomz - it is still the most used server operator to date and continues to provide a stable platform on which to manage your server.
For more information on Ioncross, see Ioncross.
Another popular solution, Cheater's Death was released to other servers recently. It features multiple control options, cheating detection, server maintenance and network management. Cheater's Death, however, is not a full server operator package, as it does not include options such as a proper player editor.
Freelancer Anticheat (FLAC)
The sole paid server operator, FLAC is a full-featured manager. It encompasses both standard features that Ioncross has as well as an alternative to FLHook.
Biocross is a relatively new server operator program coded in VB.NET - it promises interactivity with FLHook via a plugin interface, and at the time of release will also be open source.
For more information on Biocross, see Biocross.
Little is known about the server operator named plasma. It appears to be a server operator based on a web front-end. The only evidence of it's existence stems from YouTube videos and blogs.
For more information on Plasma, see Plasma.
Many servers now run FLHook as it provides additional functionality to Freelancer and the multiplayer environment.
For more information on FLHook, see FLHook.