Kravvitz's RA2/YR Modding Tips
Answers to FAQ's

This page was last updated: August 6, 2004

Table of Contents


This page answers many frequently asked questions (FAQ's) and contains information necessary to add a unit to Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and it's expansion Yuri's Revenge. (Much that is covered here also applies to Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun and it's expansion FireStorm.) This is a lot of information so bare with me. This will probably be in somewhat random order, I apologize if that confuses you. also most of this applies to adding buildings as well, but buildings have slightly more complicated art(md).ini entries.

This page looks best in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0. Unfortunately different browsers display things differently, so if you are using Netscape, Mozilla, or Opera, it may look a little different.

First of all...

you will need XCC Mixer and XCC Mix Editor. They are available at XCC Mixer versions 1.23 and up are glitchy under Windows 98 SE (second edition) and older Windows OS's (Operating System). If you don't want to mod C&C: Generals and/or you would like to use a less glitchy version of XCC Mixer, then I recommend using XCC Mixer 1.21.

You probably downloaded a unit from the internet or want to use one from a mod that you like, however, if you have not, here are the...

Location of files in the game's mix files

The INI files are in RA2.mix --> local.mix and RA2md.mix --> localmd.mix. Rulesmd.ini and soundmd.ini for YR 1.001 are in expandmd01.mix.

Cameos ( build icons ), which are single frame shp's, can found in language.mix --> cameo.mix and in langmd.mix --> cameomd.mix.

Infantry, which are multi frame shp's, can be found in RA2.mix --> conquer.mix and RA2md.mix --> conqmd.mix.

The voxels ( and their associated hva files), Tanks, naval vessels, and aircraft, can be found in RA2.mix --> local.mix and RA2md.mix --> localmd.mix.

Missing:Name:BLAHBLAH (Modifying ra2(md).csf files)

In XCC Mixer go to Launch --> XCC String Table Editor --> Red Alert 2 or Red Alert 2 YR, whether you are modding RA2 or YR. XCC String Table Editor is used to modify the ra2.csf and ra2md.csf files. First in the left column click on whichever stringtype you want to add, usually this is "NAME" because that controls the names of all units, superweapons, and buildings next click on "insert", then making sure that the string you just created is still selected, click on "edit" and in the big text box in the middle of the window that pops-up add whatever text you want displayed in game. Don't mess with the bottom text box, as far as I know it is unused. Apparently if you switch string type sections before saving, then it will delete all changes to the strings in that section. XCC String Editor only edits the RA2.CSF and RA2MD.CSF files that are in the directory in which you most recently installed RA2/YR.

How to make a new MIX file.

In XCC Mix Editor go to New then go to your RA2 folder/directory and name the mix file either expand(md)XX.mix or ecache(md)XX.mix ( on some computers you shouldn't include the ".mix" when you type in the name, because that causes the program to not work right ) the md is for YR only, and the XX is for the numbers 02 through 99 ( yes the leading zero is required ). Next you want to add files to the mix. You can go to import or you can use the faster method of "drag 'n drop" you can select files from explorer and drag them into the XCC Mix Editor window. Next press the "Compact" button, this saves and compresses the file, some veteran modders like to press the button 2 or 3 times "just to make sure".

This is BobingAbout's explanation of where to place mod files.

This is how it works: First thing the game does is read in all ecaches, then the original game files, overriding the previous version of anything that has the exact same file name as the original game files, so putting rules in ecache works, but the original overrides it. After loading the game files it loads the expands, which in turn overrides the original game files, if any files have matching names. Lastly, it reads any files loose in the RA2 directory (aka folder), again overriding files that share names. So as a rule, most VXLs, SHPs, and HVAs go in ecaches. If they don't work and you get a weird graphic, then put them in an expand instead, and if they still doesn't work, leave them loose in the directory. Ini's go in expand as a rule because putting them in an ecache doesn't do anything as it reads them first then overrides them with the originals. The start up title screen and the intro Bink (.bik) video need to be left loose in the RA2 directory, because it reads those files before loading the mix files. The ra2(md).csf file and the audio.bag and audio.idx files need to be left loose in the RA2 directory because they are read by the game in a 'weird' way.

In XCC Mixer there are 3 panels.

When you open it up, you only see the left and right panels. In between the left and right panels is a separator that is split down the middle grab the right half of the separator and drag it to the right, thus revealing the middle panel. The middle and left panels work exactly the same. In both you can navigate to directories (folders) on your computer. They can both be at the same or different directories whatever is more convenient at the time that you are copying and or converting files.

There is a limit to the number of buildable units.

For TS and RA2/YR you can have up to 100 total buildable infantry types and 100 total buildable Vehicle types. To have the full 100, you have to reorder the list so that unused units are numbered over 100. This probably applies to Aircraft types as well.

Common INI Coding Mistakes

How to add a cameo to RA2/YR.

How to add sounds to RA2/YR.

To add sounds to RA2/YR you must have XCC Mixer (thank you Olaf!).
  1. First off you need to make sure that your sound files are in the correct format.
    • In XCC Mixer the information for the sound files displayed in the right panel needs to say "Audio: 22050 hz, 16 bit, mono" and "Format: 0001".
    • If it does not say that, then
      • You can use XCC Mixer to convert WAVs to that or Sound Recorder (it comes with Windows).
      • Convert the files to PCM 22050 hz, 16 bit, mono format. In XCC Mixer just right click on the file and select Copy as WAV --> PCM.
  2. Next, up in the Launch menu of XCC Mixer click on XCC Sound Editor.
    1. After it is finished loading, you can drag 'n drop WAV files into it.
    2. When you are done adding files, click the compact button and then OK.
    3. For some reason that is unknown to me, some files will prevent successful compactions, don't worry about it. If that happens to you, then you might want to remove the file(s) that cause that, put in just the new ones that don't prevent it from compacting, compact it, and finally add the file(s) that prevent the compaction.
  3. Next you will need to add entries for the sound files in the sound(md).ini.
    1. The sound.ini and the soundmd.ini are inside ra2.mix --> local.mix and ra2md.mix --> localmd.mix, respectively.
    2. Just make entries that look like the entries that are already there.
  4. Next in the rules(md).ini you can add them as voices or weapon reports (etc.).
    • Make sure that you get the capitalization and the spelling the same for all of the entries or the new sounds will not work!

Explanation of the Sound Naming Convention

The Westwood naming scheme for the sounds' filenames is as follows. The first letter of the filename is "i" (for infantry), "a" (for ambient), "v" (for vehicle), "u" (for user interface), "b" (for building), "g" (for generic or general), or "s" (for super weapon); followed by the first 3 letters in unit name (or only two if the unit's name is only 2 letters, for example the GI), next are 2 or 3 letters for type of sound "mo" (for move), "se" (for select), "att" (for attack), "at" (for attack command), "fe" (for fear), "pow" (for powerdown, only engineers have this, the normal following letter does not apply to this one), "di" or "die" (for die), "sta" (for movestart, this is for vehicles only), or "cra" (for crash, this is for flying units only); and then "a" through whatever letter depending on how many of the type of sound you have; and lastly the ".wav". For the type of sound, I did not include all of the special cases or types for non-units.

Explanation of the Building Naming Convention

For the first letter:
For the second letter:

The generic ones will be used for all theaters that don't have one specifically for it. For example, if you have GATECH2 and GGTECH2, it will use GGTECH2 for every theater, except Arctic. For some reason, they decided to use the Arctic version's names for use in the INI files.

Cameo Building Transitions (The Percent Built Thing)

It uses the gclock2.shp and the sidebar.pal files in ra2.mix --> sidec01.mix and sidec02.mix. The original gclock2.shp files are the same, except the colors that are used are different. The sidebar.pal files are named the same, but they are different. So you have to modify those files. You don't have to change the sidebar.pal it you don't want to it's your choice, but if you don't change it, the colors you can use will be limited. The files ambttn.shp, smbttn.shp, and tmbttn.shp in ra2.mix --> neutral.mix apparently are not used.

Multiplayer and Skirmish Loading Screens

The game is hard coded to use NAME:SNIPE, NAME:TNKD, NAME:TERROR, NAME:DESO, NAME:BEAGLE, NAME:DTRUCK, NAME:TTNK, and NAME:PARA. So, you either need to clone those entries, change the originals to the country names, and finally change rules(md).ini to reflect these changes. Otherwise, you could set them to have no text and put the names on the loading screens themselves.

Name:APara is the entry for the American Paradrop Special, but for some reason the game seems to use Name:Para for the American's loading screen instead.

loadbriefshort are the descriptions of the countries on the skirmish and multiplayer country select screens. loadbrief are the discriptions displayed on the loading screens, and the name at the top left is hard coded to the default entries for the default country specific units/buildings/superweapon.

The RA2 multiplayer/skirmish loading screens are in ra2.mix --> load.mix. They use mpls.pal, which you can find in ra2.mix --> cache.mix. The YR multiplayer/skirmish loading screens are in ra2md.mix --> loadmd.mix. They use the palettes found in loadmd.mix.

Make a new loading screen, using one of the palettes mentioned above. Or for YR you could make a new palette and name it the same as the one you are replacing. For example, name the loading screen ls640ustates for the 640x480 resolution, and ls800ustates for the 800x600 resolution. YR only uses the 800x600 resolution screens.

How to edit the Country Flags

The original flags can be found as PCX files in ra2.mix --> local.mix and as SHP files in ra2md --> localmd.mix. The YR SHP versions use observer.pal, except yrii.shp uses yrii.pal.

The new versions should:

I've never done it myself, but that's what I've heard. If this doesn't work for you please tell me.

How to get RA2/YR to work under Windows XP

Go to the RA2 directory. For each EXE Right click on it, go to properties then click compatibility. Select "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" then select Win98/ME. Click OK and repeat for the others.

How to get a LAN game set up.

Where you can find other tutorials

If you have any questions or comments about any of the information covered on this page or any of the links on any page, feel free to contact me. Also if there is a program or site that you would like me to consider adding to my resource links list or have some other idea on how to improve this site, then I would love to hear from you.