Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I remember I greatly enjoyed the Homeworld series back in the early 2000s, and would like to play the games again.

Homeworld: Cataclysm
Homeworld 2

However, I'm concerned that they may not be compatible with my newer computer. Do these games work well under Windows 7 64-bit, or are there significant compatibility issues? Are there any workarounds to enable compatibility, which I should be generally aware of?

I'm looking to have some assurance to compatibility prior to re-purchasing the games.

share|improve this question
If you set compatibility to NT or XP and it should work. – Krazer Dec 20 '12 at 23:23
from the wiki for Homeworld, Compatibility: Homeworld remains fully compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista, and 7. Graphical glitches may occur when not using the software renderer. OpenGL may be enabled by running the game in compatibility mode of Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5). – SeanC Dec 21 '12 at 15:31
@SeanCheshire While I'd prefer a more personal answer drawing from individual experience, feel free to post your comment (and add links) as an answer. – Iszi Dec 21 '12 at 15:43
Its probably to do with the fact that many older games run funky if inside the Program Files x86 and running in XP service pack with admin rights helps too (right click and click properties and such to change this). – user55211 Sep 13 '13 at 7:01
You can always use a virtual machine and play from there. – user1306322 Nov 22 '13 at 0:30

Homeworld and Homeworld Cataclysm use the same codebase, though H.C. came out in 2000 and Hw in 1999. If you can get one to work the other will too. If you want opimal rendering render under OpenGL (this means you want an Nvidia GTX card - simple fact is their video drivers are better than AMD/ATI's and their OpenGL support under those drivers is even better than better, with full backward OpenGL support. I have both games installed (I'm here to learn how to install HW2, and since I have HW and HC installed on a windows 7/64 bit PC using a GTX-950 Nvidia card and running at full HiDef on my 60" TV (1080 x 1920), and they look quite good - even if they are now 18 yrs old! - they look about mid 2005 era games I'd say visually. you want to set up the Nvidia Control panel too - set it: anisotropic filter- OFF : FXAA- ON : Antialiasing Mode- ENHANCE THE APPLICATION SETTING : Antialiasing Setting- 4x antialiasing Transparency - OFF { everything else is- USE GLOBAL SETTINGS (EXCEPT TWO THINGS) Testure Filtering Anosotropic- OFF and............MFAA- OFF

the above will get you good graphics - NOTE to even run the game you have to set the shortcut icon compatablitiy setting to "Windows NT4 Service pack 5" - but the game with run in 4x3 with maximum rez? of ???? 1024 x 1200??

also recommend you install outside of "program files" - make your own directory and run it there (many older games will not run in there default "program files" place due to file ownership/security OS administration issues (I'm sure you can over-right that somehow, but I hate the "prgrams files" directory and never use it myself. I live to organize the placement of the programs in intall myself.

To get 1080 x 1920 rez widescreen you must edit the registry: start up "Regedit" from start box (BTW - I use windows 7/64bit) I know nothing about any other version of windows and thise games. look for the below and locate:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE ->SOFTWARE -->Wow6432Node --->Sierra On Line ---->HOMEWORLD ----->screenDepth 32 ----->screenWidth 1920 ----->screenHeight 1080

the screenDepth is color bit depth. you MUST switch from Hexadecimal to DECIMAL before you enter the above values or you could toast your windows installation.

exit are done! now HW and HWC will play in HiDef on a widscreenHDTV.

but........there is ONE MORE THING (if you want it to run well and fast) You need to add three DOS Commandline Switches to the end of the "homeworld.exe" shortcut (found under the shortcuts "properties" menu and the "Shortcut Tab"......find the "target" field (which shows the Path of the Homweworld.exe file)

so in my case its:

C/games/sims/space/homworld/homworld.exe -heap 1073741824 -noFastFE -enableSSE

same deal with Cataclysm......."heap" allows HW/HWC to address more system ram than its default setting which is 256 megs I think. The above number is to allow 4x times that much, so 1 gig of ram (this allows the games fly at 100 FPS or more even in HUGE battles). heap is probably the only important switch, the other to have to do with allowing more efficient rendering in some way, and the latter enables SSE (which I assume all CPUs today support, though they don't make a big deal of it like they did 20 yrs ago (3dNow anyone?)

that's it!!!!!!!

royal PIA - took me about 2 hours for each game to looks good and play well.

OH YA............find and patch the game from its v. 1 to 1.01/1.02/1.03/1.04/1.05.....find a noCD patch that is not a virus (I can't find one so far ;-/.)............and install the "trueshipsize" file (it make the small ships "true scale" (TINY) the default is not to scale. but bigger to you can see them better (I'm a purist, what can I say).

patch for HWC is 1.01 (that is the only patch). which reminds me the "Trueship size file works on HWC too, and I forget to install it on my HWC.............will do asap.

---now for me to figure out how to get HW2 to run on my PC ;-(. its different of course ;-(.

share|improve this answer
I'm sure there might be some good information here, but the formatting of this answer makes it very hard to understand. If it was re-written less like a forum post and more of a "straight to the point" type answer... – aman207 Feb 6 at 1:32

The Homeworld series has been reacquired, revisited, remastered, and re-released, both the original version patched and Steam-ified to work on modern machines as well as a new remastered edition. So the answer is, yes, it'll run on any modern OS without any issues at all, if you're willing to re-purchase at its currently very affordable price. Without that, though, yes, it'll work, just need to be sure to install latest patch and use "Windows NT 4" compatibility mode.

Remastered + re-release:

Remaster side-by-side footage comparison:

share|improve this answer
Fair point, but arguably not the same. i.e.: My 90s-era Homeworld discs won't likely run flawlessly on a Win7/8 system, but there is a shiny new version soon to be available that will! (Pre-ordered the Collector's Edition myself within the first month.) – Iszi Jan 26 '15 at 14:27
I wouldn't say that; the highest rated answer says, "Yes", and I can attest that the 1999 release should run in Windows 7/8 fine; been running it in Windows 10 but it wasn't flawless because I cannot enable OGL because "Windows NT 4" compatibility mode is no longer available in Win10, but others have reported that it runs fine in Windows 8 w/ "WinNT4" compat mode. Also, the new release includes the not-so-shiny original version, but installation/architectural internals reworked to work on modern OS's more seamlessly. But it does go back to having to re-purchase, which I said in my answer. :) – Dingbat Jan 26 '15 at 18:45
The answer you're referring to says "yes" for Homeworld 2, but Homeworld 1 needs some workarounds & patches. Also, now that you mention it, I wonder how much of the new code might still be relying on old backward-compatibility functions dropped in Win10? I hope they had foresight to make the answer "none". And FTR: Not my down-vote. – Iszi Jan 26 '15 at 20:50
To the downvoter: The addition of the new February release is AN ANSWER, an important and unique answer, even if it's not the one answer to rule them all (most associated to the original question's intent). I don't feel that it's an invalid answer, and to a lot of visitors it is going to be a good answer for them even if not to the original poster. Of course, the downvoter's not coming back here, so, .. people, please don't be so trigger happy. – Dingbat Jan 26 '15 at 22:54
I was perusing the Homeworld tag and came to this question with the intent of adding this answer if it didn't already exists. So, here's a +1. – Ellesedil Feb 26 '15 at 15:38

The original Homeworld 2 works on Vista, XP, Win 7, Win 8 and Win 8.1. It will crash on you if you upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft wants you to buy an Xbox and give up on all these great PC games. They are trying to cut out the competition.

share|improve this answer
This does not really answer the question. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question. You can also add a bounty to draw more attention to this question once you have enough reputation. - From Review – Unionhawk Nov 29 '15 at 2:03

Cataclysm works fine for me under Windows 7, as long as I apply the 1.01 patch. Not sure about the first game, as my CD is no longer working. (It just got too old and optical media doesn't last forever)

share|improve this answer

All three games are compatible with Windows 7 x64. There are several common issues you may encounter especially with Cataclysm and to a lesser extent Homeworld 1 but all have workarounds and/or patches. In my experience Homeworld 2 will probably work out of the box without any modifications.

I have documented a full list of steps to follow to get each game running on Windows 7, in the following posts on my site:

I hope that helps!

share|improve this answer
Can't say for certain why the downvotes came, but between the fact that link-only answers are discouraged, that you didn't put any actual content from the answer in here, and most importantly, the fact that the links are to your own website (as per your profile), a fact which you made no mention of in the answer, this is pure spam, and deserves to be deleted as such at the earliest convenience. – Billy Mailman Nov 21 '13 at 3:45
Harsh. Thanks for the honesty, I suppose. I will mention that the links are to my site, thought I'm not sure to be honest why that matters. I included them in hopes that my claim that "All three games are compatible with Windows 7 x64" is not just a statement that is taken on faith. – alexgophermix Nov 21 '13 at 3:55
@Billy as far as I can tell this answers the questions. If alex has already answered the question elsewhere why does he have to re-type the whole thing again? Does it matter WHO owns the linked site? You'd have a point if the link was to some random site with unrelated content, but in this case the link answers the question perfectly. Are you really so lazy that you can't be bothered to click a link? – copolii Nov 22 '13 at 0:09
@copolii it's been Stack Exchange policy for a good while that answers which just point somewhere else are not real answers, and should be flagged and deleted. See here, here, here, and here just for examples I could dredge up in half a minute. – Billy Mailman Nov 22 '13 at 1:09
@BillyMailman Does the link answer the question? Is the linked site related to the question? Don't get your panties in a bunch. It's a perfectly fine answer and it's actually helpful. Unlike your comment. – copolii Nov 22 '13 at 1:15

I figured out an easy work around. I actually copied the entire "homeworld" folder, in it's entirety, from the "program files" directory of an older computer that was running Homeworld successfully. I then simply placed in on the hard drive (program files folder, but you can put it anywhere) of my Windows 7 computer, put the disk in the cd drive (or I get the "no cd" warning), and then click the "homeworld.exe" file in the homeworld folder on the Windows 7 machine. Voila. It runs. It doesn't need to be "installed" in the traditional sense to work.

I tried Cataclysm too, and it installed ok, but as soon as you run it, it pulls the "program stopped" warning. I tried it in every compatibility mode on the list. It actually gets past the Sierra and Relic splash screens, but then ceases to function. Literally just dropping the entire working folder, from CD that I had saved it on, to my Win7 computer was the only thing that worked.

share|improve this answer

Homeworld 2 works perfectly on Windows 7 64-bit, as does Cataclysm. I seem to remember having some trouble with Homworld 1, and the fact that I don't have it installed currently correlates with that. I'm checking with a friend, though, to see if that is indeed the case. Great choice in games, by the way!

share|improve this answer
I thought Cataclysm was an expansion to Homeworld 1. Wouldn't compatibility of the former require compatibility of the latter? – Iszi Dec 20 '12 at 23:33
It's actually a standalone game released some years later. Quite fun, really. Different from HW1. There's an annoying unit cap in it, but if you're up for some hex editing, you can increase it. – SaintWacko Dec 20 '12 at 23:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.