Red Alert 1

Fan-made source for classic online RA1 action

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Download C&C Red Alert 1 online installer

Installer includes only the multiplayer (Online/LAN/Skirmish). You can get the single-player campaign from here. The game is compatible with Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP and Wine (Linux/Mac). The installer for Mac has Wineskin so the game works out of the box. In order to play the game online, the game executables should be allowed in your firewall. If your antivirus alerts about the installer, please help us by reporting the false alarm to your antivirus provider.

How to install Red Alert 1 - Note: Files and mirrors are hosted and maintained by CnCNet.

Play C&C Red Alert 1 online for free!

Welcome to play your favourite classic RTS online with your friends over the internet. is brought to you by a dedicated Red Alert 1 community to provide accessible game files and the information on how to play Red Alert 1 online. Just download the installer, install, login with your nickname and you're ready to rock!

Online play is provided by CnCNet 5. To play with fellow comrades over the internet, start 'Red Alert 1 Online - CnCNet 5' shortcut or launch cncnet5.exe from Red Alert 1 directory and login. To gather for games or if you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to use the chat. Good luck & Have fun!

RED ALERT FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Red Alert 1?

Command & Conquer: Red Alert is a real-time strategy computer game of the Command & Conquer franchise, produced by Westwood Studios and released by Virgin Interactive in 1996. The second game to bear the "C&C" title, Red Alert is the prequel to the original Command & Conquer of 1995, and takes place in the alternate early history of Command & Conquer when Allied Forces battle an aggressive Soviet Union for control over the European mainland. It was initially available for PC (MS-DOS & Windows 95 versions included in one package), and was subsequently ported to PlayStation. On August 31, 2008, Electronic Arts who acquired Westwood Studios in 1998 officially rendered Command & Conquer: Red Alert freeware. More info on Wikipedia.

Is Red Alert 1 really free to download?

As far as we know... YES! To mark the 13th anniversary of Command and Conquer and the announcement of Red Alert 3, EA offered Command and Conquer: Red Alert for free. After the promotion ended they continued to host the game files online for many years and allowed third-party mirrors to pick up and also ship the addons for free. In 2011 EA promoted Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert and Tiberian Sun as freeware downloads.

EA's 2008 free download release on Internet Archive.
EA's 2011 freeware download release on Internet Archive.

How to install Red Alert 1?

It should be simple as long as you have basic understanding on how your operating system works.

Windows: 1. Download Installer for Windows. 2. Start the installer. 3. Choose destination location for the game files.
Linux: 1. Download Installer for Linux. 2. Install PlayOnLinux. 3. Install .NET 2.0 and GDIplus with PlayOnLinux. 4. Start the installer with it.
Mac: 1. Download Installer for Mac OS. 2. Extract.

Note: Wineskin doesn't work on all Mac OS releases, but it should work on the most recent ones. PlayOnMac and CrossOver are worth to try if Wineskin doesn't work. It's also recommended to use the latest Wine version available.

Where can I get help with playing or installing Red Alert 1?

We have a lively community here at CnCNet and are always happy to help you getting Red Alert 1 running. You can join the chat or the forums to get help. Though please see this FAQ first for any questions that might be already answered.

How do I play Red Alert 1 online?

Start CnCNet by clicking cncnet5.exe in Red Alert directory, login and you'll be dropped in the CnCNet 5 lobby. There you can either join or host your own games.

How can I reduce latency?

By default you can join games that are hosted on servers close to you, but in addition you can join p2p (peer-to-peer) games which are even faster, if you have the port 8054 open. To check if you have the port open try joining a room that has a thunder icon. If you are unable to join, follow the next steps:

Note: There is no need to read this tutorial if you are using mobile internet (3G/4G/Surf Sticks/etc..), opening ports is sadly not possible with these kind of connections. Tutorial for DSL/Cable users:

1. Find out which router you have. If you do not know what a router is then click the link below to see some pictures:

2. Open the following website:

3. Choose your Router manufacturer from the list.

4. Choose the model number/name from the next website.

5. Follow the instructions and open your port:

Name: CnCNet
Source-Port(start): 8054
Dest-Port(end): 8054
Protocol(type): UDP

Note: Additional firewalls (Comodo/Norton/F-Secure/etc..) usually cause problems with many programs, make sure to set your firewall up properly. The original windows firewall will not cause any problems.

Why is my Red Alert 1 "choppy" or slow?

This package of Red Alert 1 comes with fixes and default values that work for most people but not everyone. If you feel the game is choppy or slow, open up RedAlertConfig.exe and go to video options and change gdi to opengl and see if it makes any difference, if it doesn't change CnC-DDraw to DDwrapper. Another option would be fiddling with maxfps.

I want to play a LAN game instead of CnCNet!

Start cncnet5.exe and choose LAN game instead of Online.

I want to play a single player game instead of CnCNet!

RedAlert1Online_Installer.exe does not include singleplayer missions, however you can get full Red Alert 1 from here.

Does Red Alert 1 work on Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP?

YES! The game package contains all the necessary patches and fixes for full compatibility with latest systems.

Can I play Red Alert 1 on Linux or Mac?

YES! For Mac it works out of the box, but for Linux you will need to install Wine manually. It's recommended to use PlayOnLinux front-end for Wine. With the front-end you can install .NET 2.0 and GDIplus for the Wine as these are needed for CnCNet client to work.

Why CnCNet instead of other online services?

CnCNet is open source (back-end) and developed for the classic C&C community by fans for fans.

It is well supported and regardless what the current administrators or developers do the service itself can be kept online and running by anyone capable of building the server and client software and running them. Even if we all get hit by a car someone can still pick up the pieces (pun intended) and restart the service.

CnCNet is simple to install and use. The package on this site already has CnCNet installed so you just need start Red Alert 1 using cncnet5.exe and you're online! No need to install any external VPN solutions or clients, it is integrated to Red Alert 1, not the other way around.

Why doesn't the Internet button work?

The Internet button is for the Westwood Online service which is not supported by CnCNet, use Network button instead. You should also start the game with cncnet5.exe to properly connect.

Can I get Red Alert 1 to run in higher resolution than 640x400

YES! You may change resolution with configuration tool (RedAlertConfig.exe) which is included in the package.

I want to play The Aftermath and Counterstrike expansion packs!

You can play The Aftermath and Counterstrike by selecting them in configuration tool (RedAlertConfig.exe).

How did my opponent get so many tanks? He must be cheating!

No, he probably isn't cheating, you are just slow. Ask your opponents what their build order is and try to execute it. Also read Manual & Skill, it has a lot of information on how to win the game. Don't go randomly accusing people of cheating just because they are better than you. The ability to produce units fast is extremely important in RA, and whoever can produce the most, the fastest will almost always win.

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