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.

  • If you set compatibility to NT or XP and it should work.
    – Krazer
    Dec 20, 2012 at 23:23
  • 1
    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, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2013 at 7:01
  • You can always use a virtual machine and play from there. Nov 22, 2013 at 0:30

7 Answers 7


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!


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!

  • I thought Cataclysm was an expansion to Homeworld 1. Wouldn't compatibility of the former require compatibility of the latter?
    – Iszi
    Dec 20, 2012 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, 2012 at 23:52

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.


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: http://store.steampowered.com/app/244160/

Remaster side-by-side footage comparison: http://t.co/5onMRnrIzB

  • 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, 2015 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, 2015 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, 2015 at 20:50
  • 1
    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, 2015 at 22:54
  • 1
    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, 2015 at 15:38

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)


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.


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 Regedit.....you 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 ;-(.

  • 3
    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, 2016 at 1:32

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