GAMES:Modem Wars

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Modem Wars
Developer Ozark Softscape
Publisher Electronic Arts
Released 1988
Status Perfect
Tested on 0.74
Tested game version Unknown
Links Compatibility List
Executable WAR.EXE
Installer N/A
DOS Extender
DOS4GW.EXE Unknown
Works with DOS32A N/A

Modem Wars is a real-time tactics game designed by Dan Bunten in 1988 for one or two players. It is allegedly the first commercial online game.

Making it work

The basic setup is very simple. After you have unzipped the zip file into a folder you run SETUP.EXE. You may want to change the input method to mouse and specify a modem to COM1:. But you can also leave the settings as they are if you do not want to play a network game. After that, WAR.EXE is all you need to run.

If you require support for general issues, see the performance guide and FAQ.


For peer-to-peer games, Modem Wars supports modem connections only. Nullmodem and IPX networks are not supported. This makes it a bit more of a hassle to setup a network game. To get general information on emulating modem connections with DOSBox see connectivity.

If you want to play over the internet and are behind a router (NAT) one player (the server) needs to forward a port to his computer. For more information, see the instructions of your router. In my example, I assume the server computer has the IP and has forwarded port 5000.

On both computers type:
serial1=modem listenport:5000
On both computers start Modem Wars and select COMPETE WITH MODEM OPPONENT.
On both computers select M for manual connect.
On both computers press ALT-B to toggle to 1200 BAUD.
On both computers press ALT-E to toggle ECHO to OFF.
On the client computer type into the terminal:
On the server computer you should get the message RING. Just answer by typing:
You should get the message CONNECT. On both computers press ESC to leave the manual setup.

Modem Wars should now check the connection and the server player can setup the game. Have fun!

External links