New Player's Guide

[Website Index]

[INL Rulebook]

 [Chapter 1]
 > Introduction
 [Chapter 2]
 > Basic Instructions
 [Chapter 3]
 > Finer Points & Strategies
 [Chapter 4]
 > Miscellaneous Stuff
 [Chapter 5]
 > Resources
 [Chapter 6]
 > Configuration
 [Chapter 7]
 > Example .xtrekrc

 > [Beginners]
 > [Opening Screen]
 > [Help Sheet]
 > [Combat]
 > [Game Scheme]
 > [Galactic Map]
 > [General/Misc.]
 > [LPS]
 > [Planet Taking Hints]
 > [Robots]
 > [Tournaments]
 > [Tricky Moves]
 > [Terms]


[Tactical Summary]
 > [Dogfighting]
 > [Ogging]
 > [Planet Taking Guide]
 > [Ship Index]
 >> [Ship Facts]
 >> [Ship Opinions]
 >> [Assault Ships (AS)]
 >> [Battle Ships (BB)]
 >> [Cruisers (CA)]
 >> [Destroyers (DD)]
 >> [Scouts]
 >> [Starbases (SB)]

[Base Practice]


[COW Info]


[E-mail me]
 - leaf(a)real-time.com

Website hosted by:
Real Time Enterprises, Incorporated
Linux and Network Solutions

Here is your step-by-step guide to setting up Netrek to play on your computer, shrunk into four easy steps. Have fun.

  1. Requirements to play Netrek.
  2. Netrek client(s) for your operating system.
  3. Local setup instructions.
  4. Miscellaneous tips/tricks/utilities.


1. Requirements to play Netrek.

             The minimum requirements to play Netrek are as follows:

  • CPU speed: An 386 (or it's Unix or Mac equivalent) is needed in order to process Netrek adequately.
  • Operating system: Dec Ultrix, Dec Alpha, SGI, Sun 3/4, Solaris, Linux, HP 700, AIX, Dynix/PTX, MacOS (PowerPC only), Amiga, NetBSD,
    FreeBSD, OS/2, MIPS, MkLinux-PPC, or MS Windows (3.1 with Win32s, 95, or NT).
  • Hard disk space: At least one megabyte of hard disk space is required in most cases to host the Netrek client on your computer.
  • Memory: A minimum of two megabytes of RAM is needed in order to run Netrek.
  • Internet connection: Cable, ISDN, T1 or T3 Internet access comes highly recommended, though it is quite possible to play Netrek at 28800 bits per second. However, you must be running a 32-bit (MacOS, most Unix platforms or Windows 3.1 with Win32s, 95, or NT) TCP/IP stack.
  • Video: Many Netrek clients are configured for 1024 X 680 mode, though a suitable minimum of 800 X 600 configuration can be found.
  • Peripherals: A three-button mouse is highly recommended, though you can make do with a two or even one-button (MacOS) mouse.

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2. Netrek client(s) for your operating system.

By scrolling down the following lists of clients you may click on and download the client for your system. To download the file in many browsers simply hold down SHIFT and click on the link.

COW (Client Of Win) 2.0+: The next step in BRM development; feature-packed but relatively stable. Supports sound and SP_2. Version 3.0, now in beta, supports a flashy 256-color mode. This client expires periodically, requiring you to get a new copy.


For alternate clients try the Software page. (LINK)

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3. Local setup instructions.

Unzip your client using the respective unarchiver. After that, set up your operating system to run the Netrek client with an -m extension. Here is an example:

                  netrek.exe -m

That will connect your client to the Metaserver. On the Metaserver are listed games presently in session in this format:

                  lexus.physics.indiana.edu OPEN: 3 Bronco

Translated that means the server named Lexus is open with 3 players playing at that time. It also lists the type of server it is (Bronco). Bronco is the most popular version of Netrek. If you run into a listing like this:

                  continuum.real-time.com Wait queue: 4 Bronco

Translation: The Continuum server has a wait queue of 4 players, and is a Bronco server. A wait queue is when there are more players than available slots, and the server establishes a lineup according to the time you requested that slot, earliest getting first shot. So in this example, there are sixteen players in the game and four people are in line for a slot to play before you.  When you establish a connection with a game server and recieve a slot, you will be prompted for a login name and password. Choose your login name wisely, as it will be what other players think of you as. And remember to remember your password. You might want to play as 'guest' (without the quotes) the first few times so nobody knows who that horribly-playing Fed is.

Have some fun, and enjoy the learning curve. Don't let those mean game veterans get you down, or make you quit. Netrek combines just the right  elements of strategy and all-out action, and it's definitely worth the wait. Perseverance is the key.

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4. Miscellaneous tips/tricks/utilities.

If you are using the Internet over a firewall (security block), you might need to download trekhopd in order to use Netrek.

If you are running Netrek with a maximum video resolution of 800 X 600 dpi, try downloading a .xtrekrc (Netrek configuration file) designed around that problem.

After you've been playing for a while and decide to get serious, here are some ship-specific guides and strategies to help you decide what type of ship you'd like to fly.

  • Cruisers (CA)
    Hints, tips, weaknesses and strengths of the default Netrek ship.
  • Battleships (BB)
    Help pertaining to the largest and most powerful of the Netrek fleet (excluding the twinky GB).
  • Destroyers (DD)
    Maybe the most controversial ship to fly, DDs are perhaps imperfectly notched between the stronger cruiser and the weaker scout.
  • Scouts (SC)
    The quickest and smallest ship in the Netrek fleet.
  • Assault Ships (AS)
    Ships made for the primary purpose of carrying and dropping armies on planets.

Discussions and ideas involving Netrek in all areas of the game are to be found at rec.games.netrek. You are to be warned, the majority of posters to this newsgroup have little tolerance for clueless questions that are generally answered in the Frequently Asked Questions file and in other standard reading sources.

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