Will Red Alert 2 work on Windows 8?

After doing some research I was unable to find an answer regarding the compatibly of Red Alert 2 with Windows 8. After reading some articles that gave me the impression it wouldn’t be I decided to try it for myself. According to a recent tweet from Microsoft, only Windows 8 (x86) would natively support 16 bit apps (such as Red Alert 2). I am using the Windows 8 Release Preview (x64).

I inserted the CD and clicked on the autorun message and then ‘install’. I then got the message

Unsupported 16-bit application

After messing around with compatibility mode on various files nothing seemed to work.

I then backed up my old RA2 folder and copied it across to the same location on my Windows 8 install, set compatibility to Windows XP (sp3) and it all seemed to work fine. I just created shortcuts for the game and placed them in ‘C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs’ for the Games to appear on the Metro UI. At this point the game launched fine and I thought it was solved…



However when I started a test game I found out that it wasn’t going to work. It was extremely laggy (10 seconds to build construction yard). As far as I can tell there is no way to solve this.

So the answer to the title question “Will Red Alert 2 work on Windows 8?” is no. I have only tried on x64 which is going to be the version 90% of people will use I’m guessing. If anyone has any updates that would be very useful.

Edit: New Information from @ZiGZaG taken from this forum post:

This seems to be working, but it’d be nice if some other people could try it out, I’m also not sure if the patch mentioned here is supported by xwis, but it’s the only thing that seems to work so far.

Snagged this from the Tiberian Sun section and updated for Yuris (haven’t tried ra2 yet, but it seems to be working):
1. Copy the directory Red Alert 2 (Typically found in C:\Program Files (x86)) to somewhere outside of Program Files
2. Download the graphics patch from http://www.stuffhost.de/files/cnc/ and extract it into the directory that you just moved
3. Rename Yuri’s Revenge to gamemd.exe, then run the patch to patch the game (likewise for ra2, rename to game.exe)
4. Download http://bitpatch.com/ddwrapper.html zip file and extract the files to the directory that you’ve patched the game in
5. Edit aqrit.cfg in notepad and change these two settings to 1 as in below:
NoVideoMemory = 1
forcedirectdrawemulation = 1
6. Create a shortcut to the game and move it to your desktop
7. Go to properties and in ‘Target’ add at the end after ” add -win
example Target: “C:\Users\Roberto\Desktop\Red Alert 2\gamemd.exe” -win
note the space between gamemd.exe” and -win
8. In the same Properties Tab:
Compatibility : Win Xp Service pack 2 (Seems to be most stable)
Reduced colour mode : 16bit
Run as Administrator
9. (Optional) Edit .ini file to change the resolution
10. Play the game

Notes: I’ve noticed that once you’ve open it, you can’t alt-tab out, it just seems to break Windows.
The screen will be very small until a game begins, around it will be black that will flicker back to your desktop when you move over it, do not click into that black or it’ll break Windows
To exit the game, exit through the menu, not through Ctrl-Alt-Del
It seems to be working, but I haven’t had the chance to play online, also after you patch the game you can name it back to Red Alert 2 or Yuri’s Revenge

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By d33


  1. liNEr- The Murderer - September 19, 2012, 12:21 am

    wtf windows 8? It’s official?

  2. Ankarar - September 20, 2012, 5:37 pm

    Master of compatibility is Windows XP.

  3. Y.Kattan - September 21, 2012, 2:34 am

    ur right ankarar

  4. silverboxx - October 25, 2012, 7:00 pm

    yaaa sure right

  5. junnu007 - November 28, 2012, 11:44 am

    USE this tool to run RA2 smoothly on WIN8..


  6. d33 - November 28, 2012, 8:10 pm

    thanks junnu. I think this program is for changing resolutions of the game. When I tested I manually changed mine and it still didn’t work.

  7. junnu007 - November 29, 2012, 3:15 am

    There’s an option in the program to fix RA2 SLOWDOWN below the resolution button. just click it once…..

  8. d33 - November 29, 2012, 4:38 pm

    Ah I see, Thanks for the tip :p

  9. admingameranger - December 15, 2012, 5:43 am

    thanks you dude , i have windows 8 , and i can play ra2 wherever

  10. rtgulang - December 18, 2012, 9:43 pm

    too slow!!

  11. rtgulang - December 20, 2012, 8:32 pm

    after update win8,i can play yr very well!!Gracias a windows!!

  12. KiLlEr - February 16, 2013, 10:53 am

    i was not able to do it my ra2 and yuri still are very slow.. canu guide me the steps for getting smoother gameplay??

    • d33 - February 16, 2013, 5:40 pm

      Did you try the patch that junnu007 suggested?

  13. ZiGZaG - August 29, 2013, 11:17 am

    at xwis we have found a temporary solution for Ra2 atm i will create a topic here copying the info.

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