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Armada 1 Known Problems
There are a number of well-known problems from being just annoy to not being able to start Star Trek: Armada. Most can actually be solved or worked around rather easily.
Sound Stutters on XP or Windows 2000
If you leave the DirectX settings as they are by default on Windows XP or Windows 2000, the sound will stutter, or the sounds will be chopped or not played at all. This can be fixed by turning off the sound acceleration or setting it to the lowest level.
To do this, enter the command
dxdiag into the Run field of Windows. This should open a window that offers settings for DirectX. On the tab Sound you should see a slider bar with the description Hardware acceleration which you set to No acceleration (far left) or Minimum acceleration (second position from left). This often helps, or at least reduces the effects a bit. But there are also two other methods that do exactly the same.
Start → Settings → Control Panel → Sounds and Multimedia → Audio tab → Advanced Audio Properties → Performance tab → Hardware acceleration to second lowest value, two times OK.
Start → Settings → Control Panel → Sounds and Audio Devices → Volume tab → Advanced in section Speaker settings → System performance tab → Hardware acceleration to second lowest value, two times OK.
If you rarely play Armada, you will want to reset the slider afterwards. It is likely the sound will be quite awkward in other applications, such as media players.
There is one last recommendation: The problem can be solved partly by installing newer sound drivers. Just try new drivers for the sound card. Maybe you can solve it this way. but it is rather unlikely.
Multiple Screens Crash the Game
When using multiple screens, the game may crash right after starting it. Unplug your additional screen(s) and only leave the one attached, that you intend to use when playing the game.
Too High Resolutions Crash the Game
When using the 1.3 patch with the CD version and trying to set a resolution higher than 2048×1536, the game crashes. The 1.3 patch gives the game 16:9 and 16:10 resolutions in addition to the original 4:3 resolutions, if supported by the hardware. There are however, problems when going beyond x- or y-resolution of 2048. Any resolution in x or y direction higher than 2048 causes problems in the form of crashes back to the desktop. But there is a workaround for that problem, the Legacy Direct3D Resolution Hack. Simply place the files inside your Armada 1 folder and enjoy. The GOG version will not have this problem.
Too Long System PATH Variable Crashes the Game on Startup
When using the unaltered CD version on a modern system, it is very likely, that the game will never start. One of the reasons is a too long PATH variable of your Windows system. On modern Windows this is very common. On old Win9x or ME installations this was hardly ever any issue. You could of course try and remove unneeded parts of the PATH variable, but it is actually not necessary to alter your system settings. Simply use the GOG version or apply the 1.3 patch. There is also the possibility to fix this problem by altering the original game binary Armada.exe. It is however not advised to do that, as this makes the game basically incompatible with other player's Armada installation, that do not have the very same alteration.
Too Much RAM Crashes the Game on Startup
Similar to the above problem with the system's PATH variable, the game will crash if you have more than 2 GB of RAM. Back when Armada was released in 2000, 2 GB of RAM was certainly out of reach for most people. Today it is rather the opposite: A modern Windows system will not run with only 2 GB of RAM. So this problem is very common. In this case you cannot do a whole lot about that, except for using the GOG version or applying the 1.3 patch. There is also the possibility to fix this problem by altering the original game binary Armada.exe. It is however not advised to do that, as this makes the game basically incompatible with other player's Armada installation, that do not have the very same alteration.
Game is Visible But Cannot be Joined
This problem presents itself in the following way: One player opens a match on his computer. Another waits for the game to show up, which it eventually does (it may take a moment to find it). But when actually trying to access the match, the game claims, that the match has gone in the meantime (»The host of this game has been lost.«). Refreshing shows, the game is actually still open, but cannot be joined. Usually this happens, when the Windows firewall partially blocks the game. As a host allow the Armada.exe for free communications and this problem should be solved.
The Auto-Assimilator Soundeffect does not Cease
It happens (rather often) that the special weapon of the Assimilator unit of the Borg is used, but once it is not active any more, its sound effect still continues indefinitely. This can easily be stopped by shortly opening the game's menus (
x) and closing it. Once the menu is closed, the sound will be gone. Similarly the sound will stop, when you pause the game for a moment (pressing
pause). Be aware that both solutions affect the other players in multi-player. When pausing, the game pauses for all involved players. When opening the menus, the player will be displayed as unresponsive and the game pauses for the other players, too.
Mouse Pointer Stays in the Center of the Screen
It happens from time to time, that the Windows mouse pointer is visible at the center of the screen and won't go away on its own. This can also be solved by opening the menus for a moment (
x). Once the menu is closed, the pointer will be gone.
Game Ends the Vendetta Mission with a Loss for For No Reason
Reaching the last wormhole in mission 3 of the Federation campaign (Vendetta) can finish the mission without unlocking the last mission of the Fed campaign as you lose it anyways. So better save the game before finishing it.