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I have installed Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 from the Command & Conquer: The First Decade bundle, and would like to run it in either a window mode (as it doesn't seem to recover very gracefully from ALT+TAB or a custom widescreen resolution.

The resolutions the game supports by default are;

  • 640x480
  • 800x600
  • 1024x768

Ideally if I'm running it fullscreen I'd want to use 1920x1080 but if I can run it window mode than any reasonable resolution will be fine.

I have noticed that there is a resolution fix available, and also apparently passing a -win command line parameter to RA2.exe will run the game in window mode, but the version of The First Decade that is sold on Origin launches everything via a RALauncher.exe, which doesn't allow for either of these to work, and running RA2.exe or Yuri.exe directly simply results in Origin opening.

How can I use a custom resolution in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2?

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You might try using this. No guarantees it will work, but if it does it will both increase your resolution to your desktop resolution, and make it windowed. – SaintWacko Jan 17 '13 at 3:53
Unfortunately this needs the game to support windowed mode in the first place, not to mention it wants you to start the game and then tab out - which is pretty fatal for Red Alert 2 as you can't tab back into it. – kalina Jan 17 '13 at 10:36
Oh, right. Didn't think about that. – SaintWacko Jan 17 '13 at 14:20
What OS are you using? – PriestVallon Jan 29 '13 at 16:55
@kalina I've the same problem with Windows 8 when I pressed <kbd>Alt</kbd> + <kbd>Tab</kbd>. Strangely it works fine with Windows 7. – PriestVallon Jan 29 '13 at 17:03
up vote 11 down vote accepted

It turns out that the resolution fix I mentioned in the question does actually work, but due to the new launchers provided in the Origin release of The First Decade you're unable to launch the game from the resolution fixer. What it does do though is make the required changes to the Red Alert 2 settings files (for both Red Alert 2 and the expansion pack; Yuri's Revenge) and these will take effect the next time you run the game through their official launcher.

I still haven't been able to get the game to run in windowed mode or prevent the game dying horrifically if you ALT+TAB out of it, regardless of compatibility settings or resolution settings chosen (including changing my desktop resolution to match the in game resolution, or changing desktop colour depth).

The changes that the resolution fix application makes are as follows, allowing you to replicate the settings without using it -

In your Red Alert 2 installation folder (in my case D:\Origin\games\Command and Conquer Red Alert II) you will find RA2.ini. If you have the Yuri's Revenge expansion as well then you should also have a RA2md.ini file in this location.

In these files you should have a [Video] section, which may or may not have values for ScreenHeight and ScreenWidth, if these do not exist you will need to add them but if they do already exist you will need to change them as follows;


Using the above settings, the game will run at a resolution of 1920x1080 - many of the menu graphics do not stretch so they will appear with a large black border but once in game this will run as expected.

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I'll have to remember this for next time I boot up RA2. – SaintWacko Jan 17 '13 at 14:21
Be aware that until you've started the game for the first time, the RA2.ini file doesn't exist. – Snixtor Sep 19 '15 at 9:02
If the game plays really slow also add the line VideoBackBuffer=no to the same [Video] section kalina mentions above. – cjb110 Oct 8 '15 at 20:00

****** UPDATE 25/09/2015 ******

  1. Download the Resolution Fix for Red Alert 2 (YuriScreenResolution.exe) utility directly from:
  2. Unzip and copy YuriScreenResolution.exe to your installation directory (i.e. C:\Origin\games\Command and Conquer Red Alert II)
  3. Execute YuriScreenResolution.exe


Error experienced when executing YuriScreenResolution.exe as below, even though the Yuri's' Revenge expansion is installed.

Failed to load ra2md.ini. Defaulting to empty file. Make sure you run this program from the game dir.



  1. In your Red Alert 2 installation folder (i.e. C:\Origin\games\Command and Conquer Red Alert II) you should see a file named ra2md.lcf
  2. Rename this file to ra2md.ini
  3. Execute YuriScreenResolution.exe again and it shouldn't error

My theory is that Origin/EA may be aware of the utility and changed the name of the file from .ini to .lcf - not sure for what purpose...not like they fixed it themselves!

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Are you quoting this from somewhere? – DJ Pirtu Sep 25 '15 at 11:56
possible source:… – Tuss László Oct 10 '15 at 18:29

Also once in the game's main screen type HIRES and you will hear a sound notification wich will enable you new resolutions. Easy as pie. Also works for Yuri's revenge.

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