- 1 Frequently Asked Questions
- 1.1 General
- 1.1.1 What is Battle for Wesnoth?
- 1.1.2 What license is the game distributed under?
- 1.1.3 How to get informed about new releases?
- 1.1.4 A new version is out, but where is the download for [Windows, Mac OS, etc.]?
- 1.1.5 Why doesn't Wesnoth have my favorite feature?
- 1.1.6 Do you want help making this game? How can I help?
- 1.1.7 What are the system requirements?
- 1.1.8 I'm bored; how do I speed the game up?
- 1.1.9 My computer is too slow; how do I speed the game up?
- 1.2 Gameplay and Controls
- 1.2.1 How do I learn to play?
- 1.2.2 My unit leveled up but didn't improve. What happened?
- 1.2.3 I tried to trap an enemy with several weak units, but it still escaped. What happened?
- 1.2.4 How can I see where an enemy unit can move next turn?
- 1.2.5 There's too much luck in this game!
- 1.2.6 The (random unit) is overpowered/underpowered!
- 1.2.7 The (random scenario) is too hard/easy!
- 1.2.8 What do the different difficulty levels do?
- 1.3 Maps, Scenarios and Campaigns
- 1.3.1 How do I beat scenario _______ ?
- 1.3.2 How do I download user campaigns?
- 1.3.3 Are there any tools to help me create maps and scenarios?
- 1.3.4 What are the .cfg files and how can I edit them?
- 1.3.5 I already created a campaign and published it on the campaign server. How can I get translations for the campaign?
- 1.3.6 How do I place an object or unit on my map with the map editor?
- 1.4 Multiplayer
- 1.4.1 How do I connect to a multiplayer server, when I sit behind a restrictive firewall?
- 1.4.2 How to find players for multiplayer game?
- 1.4.3 How to save and load a multiplayer game
- 1.4.4 How can I make my computer into a dedicated Wesnoth server?
- 1.4.5 Which versions of Wesnoth can play together?
- 1.5 Translations
- 1.6 Other Questions You Have
- 1.1 General
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Battle for Wesnoth?
Battle for Wesnoth is a fantasy turn-based strategy game.
What license is the game distributed under?
How to get informed about new releases?
Subscribe to new releases at Freshmeat.
A new version is out, but where is the download for [Windows, Mac OS, etc.]?
The downloads are NOT part of the official project. The BFW team only releases the game's source code. Binary executables or applications are always contributed by community volunteers. If not for these volunteers, there would never be any downloads for us to enjoy. The volunteers compile the game and upload it on their own time, and sometimes they cannot do this in a timely fashion (or at all, at times) Although there are usual packagers designated for each operating system, there are times when other members of the community are asked to step in and contribute when the usual people cannot.
Every time a new version is released, the usual volunteers are always notified by the project leaders. Please refrain from making forum posts asking where your download is because it doesn't help anything - the packagers already know, and they will get to it as soon as they can. In the past, the Windows and Mac communities have come together to produce home-grown unofficial builds for the community to use, and the renewed interest in community and learning how to compile is generally a good thing.
Why doesn't Wesnoth have my favorite feature?
Because we are building this game for ourselves, to suit our own preferences. We're not building the game for you, in large part because this is our hobby, not our job; whether you like it or not is immaterial to us. You may wonder, then, what the point is of soliciting ideas, as we do on the forum. We, the developers, have certainly come up with many good ideas on our own, but our players often do as well, and generally ones we don't think of ourselves. If a player comes up with an idea we like, we might implement it. Not because they asked for it, but because of its own merits as an addition to our game.
The beautiful thing about the license our game is distributed under, as compared to closed-source, commercial games, is that if you want that feature badly enough, you can take the code and art of our game and modify it yourself; you are free to re-use any work in Wesnoth, as long as you follow the rules of the GPL. From this, you can build a game exactly the way that you like. Just don't expect us to build that game for you. Building this game is our hobby, not our profession, and you did not pay us to make it; rather, we are the ones who have paid for it, in time and labor.
Do you want help making this game? How can I help?
Yes, we want your help. Whether you're a programmer, artist, musician, writer, translator, level designer, playtester, or just have some great suggestions, you're welcome to contribute. How? You can:
- join the Project
- share your point of view at the Forum
- talk with us on IRC
- report bugs you find at ReportingBugs
- update the wiki
- play against us via the Multiplayer menu
- vote for Wesnoth at your favorite gaming web site
- Spread the word!
What are the system requirements?
We are not completely certain, but an x86 running at 400 MHz with 128MB RAM should be adequate for versions 1.02 and below. For versions 1.1 and up we recommend a computer with at least 1 GHz and 512 MB RAM if you run KDE or Gnome as Windowmanager (The game itself needs about 100 MB RAM). Slower machines will have trouble scrolling large maps or processing AI turns with many units. See the forum thread about minimum and recommended system requirements.
I'm bored; how do I speed the game up?
There are several preferences you can change to shorten the time that the AI takes to make its moves. "Accelerated Speed" will make units move and fight faster. "Skip AI Moves" will not show the AI's units moving from hex to hex. Finally, you can turn off all combat animations via the "Show Combat" option on the Advanced tab.
My computer is too slow; how do I speed the game up?
First, turn off the music and sound effects. Turning off the color cursors will make your cursor respond faster. If scrolling the map is slow, run the game in "Full Screen" mode, not in a window. Turn off combat animations via the "Show Combat" option on the Advanced tab. You can try turning off halos and combat results, but this might make gameplay more difficult. For some tips on tweaking the startup, see CustomizingStartup.
Gameplay and Controls
How do I learn to play?
If you just want to jump right in, start the game and play the tutorial. If you like reading documentation, see WesnothManual. At any time while playing, you can select help from the menu button (or hit F1). The online help is quite extensive and provides information on terrains, weapons, traits, abilities, units and a good overview of how to play.
My unit leveled up but didn't improve. What happened?
This is called "After Maximum Level Advancement" or AMLA for short. While most level 0, 1, and 2 units can advance, some cannot. However, some level 3 units can advance to level 4, or even 5. You can see whether a unit can advance further by right clicking and selecting "description."
After a unit reaches the highest level it can get, every time it gains 150 experience points (gets progressively more) it gains 3 hitpoints. This is a minor bonus so that experience gained by maxed out units is not altogether wasted. It is generally better to give experience to lower level units, rather than continue to advance units that have reached their maximum level.
I tried to trap an enemy with several weak units, but it still escaped. What happened?
Most units exert a zone of control (or ZOC). IF an enemy moves into one of the six adjacent hexes, the zone of control will prevent it from moving any farther. However some weak units are level 0, meaning they are so weak that they do not have a ZOC. You can still surround an enemy unit entirely with level 0 units to keep it from escaping, but if there is any gap in your ranks, it could escape.
Also, some units have the "skirmish" ability, which allows them to ignore ZOCs.
How can I see where an enemy unit can move next turn?
During your turn you can click on an enemy unit. Wesnoth will highlight all the hexes the unit can move to in the next turn. This is useful when trying to arrange your units to block an enemy's movement.
There's too much luck in this game!
Sooner or later, you will become frustrated when your archmage with four 70% attacks misses all four times. This does not mean that the AI is cheating or the random number generator is futzed. It means you are noticing random negative events more than positive ones. During the development of the game, many mathematicians have done sophisticated statistical analysis of the combat system. Likewise, programmers have examined the random number generator. No flaws have been found, so streaks of "bad" and "good" luck should just be accepted as part of having randomness in Wesnoth. A more detailed rational and discussion of the role that randomness plays in Wesnoth can be found here.
Since Wesnoth is GPLed, it is possible that a new development team will someday "fork" the source and produce a version more like Heroes of Might & Magic, with less or no randomness. Until then, don't charge with your horsemen against troll rocklobbers at night...
The (random unit) is overpowered/underpowered!
The development team has spent years tweaking the units in the game. Each unit has had its gold cost, attack types, combat damage, defensive values, resistances, upgrade paths, and other stats carefully scrutinized and loudly discussed in the forum. However, the game code and the units were being modified right up until the 1.0 release, so some unbalanced units may have slipped through.
If you have evidence to back up your claim, search the forum for past discussions about this unit, and then try posting.
The (random scenario) is too hard/easy!
See above answer about random units.
What do the different difficulty levels do?
That depends on the scenario. Usually, the opponent will get more money and be able to recruit higher-level units at higher difficulty levels, and you will have fewer turns available.
Maps, Scenarios and Campaigns
How do I beat scenario _______ ?
How do I download user campaigns?
Choose "Campaigns" in the main Wesnoth menu. Then scroll down to the bottom and choose "Get More Campaigns..." or since 1.1.5 there is a "Get add-ons" button in the main menu. This connects you to the campaign server. In the campaign server you can view a list of all available campaigns and download them, as well as posting or deleting your own campaigns.
If you are behind a firewall you may not be able to connect to the campaign server. In this case try to download the campaign directly from the campaign server through the web interface at http://wolff.to/campaigns/list.html. If you know how to change your firewall settings, then you should open port 15003 (version 1.1.1 and up) or port 15002 (versions 1.1.0 and lower). For added security, you can restrict traffic over those ports to the campaign server's IP address (currently 188.8.131.52).
Are there any tools to help me create maps and scenarios?
Yes, there is a tool called wesnoth_editor. It is a normal map-editor that should be a good help for creating the plain maps. For creating the scenarios there already is a scenario-editor included in the mac build. But this editor is rather outdated and it exists only for MacOS X. At the moment some community members are working on creating a nice and working scenario editor. You can have a look at the forum post about this tool. You will also find more info at CampGen.
What are the .cfg files and how can I edit them?
The .cfg files are plain text files, just saved with a file extension ".cfg". You can create and edit them using normal text editors; just save the files in correct format.
Please note that some Windows programs like to add a ".txt" extension, so the file is instead of "my_scenario.cfg" saved as "my_scenario.cfg.txt". And then the Windows Explorer will hide the ".txt" extension, so you may not notice it.
Notepad: After you create a document, click "File", "Save as..." and select "Save as type: All files". To open the document, click "File", "Open..." and select "Files of type: All files (*.*)". If you open someone else's document, and the end-of-line symbols are displayed as small rectangles, you have to use another editor.
WordPad: After you create a document, click "File", "Save as..." and select "Save as type: Text Document". After the document is saved, close WordPad and remove the ".txt" extension from file. To open the document, click "File", "Open..." and select "Files of type: All documents (*.*)".
I already created a campaign and published it on the campaign server. How can I get translations for the campaign?
How do I place an object or unit on my map with the map editor?
You can't. You need to make a multiplayer scenario file. There are more details on the maps page.
How do I connect to a multiplayer server, when I sit behind a restrictive firewall?
You have to open outgoing TCP port 15000 - 14997 (depending on the version you use) to play multiplayer games over the internet on the official servers.
How to find players for multiplayer game?
Hang around for a while on multiplayer servers and you might find someone to play with. If you observe other people playing you will get informed when someone joins the servers. Maybe you find someone willing to play in the irc channel dedicated to mp: #wesnoth-mp at irc.freenode.net. You can also join #wesnoth at irc.freenode.net.
How to save and load a multiplayer game
Save the game. Give it a good name, so that you can find it among the other saved games.
Create new game. (Give it a name like "private game for X and Y", so that other players will not try joining it, and you do not have to explain or kick them.) The first item in the map/scenario list is "Saved games", select this. Choose the saved game. Wait for the other player(s) to connect. Start the game.
How can I make my computer into a dedicated Wesnoth server?
To setup a dedicated Wesnoth server, you have to compile the game with the "--enable-server" flag, and after you install, simply run wesnothd from the console. This will start the server, listening on TCP port 15000. To compile the server only you can use the flags "--disable-game --enable-server". If you aren't using a linux or mac operating system, there are a few ways you can compile on Windows...here is one way http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/CompilingWesnoth/CrossCompiling
Which versions of Wesnoth can play together?
I'm on a MAC, and my friends are on XP. I would like to play together with them. Is this currently possible?
YES! All you need is to have the same version number.
For a list of Mac-XP-compatible games (including BfW) see: http://www.insidemacgames.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=21818
I selected an asian translation and am not able to see the letters correctly. What happened?
Since the size of the necessary fonts is too large, you'll need to download them separately (if you don't already have them). After that, simply copy the font to the fonts/ directory in your wesnoth installation.
- Chinese font: gkai00mp_2.11.orig.tar.gz (2.6 MB)
Untar it into your home directory, and move this file gkai00mp.ttf into the wesnoth/fonts folder.
- Japanese font: sazanami-gothic.ttf (7.3 MB)
If you have further questions have a look at this page.
Other Questions You Have
The best way to get answers to less-frequently asked questions is by visiting the BFW forum. There are plenty of people willing to help. Make sure you read ALL of the forum sticky notes and announcements before posting.