This FAQ relates to issues about installing, configuring and mostly playing the game. For issues specific about hosting, consult the Hosting server FAQ
- 1 Installing the Game
- 1.1 Where can I download Armagetron Advanced?
- 1.2 How do I install...
- 1.3 I'm running Linux, but don't know whether it is 32 or 64 bit. How can I find out?
- 1.4 I run a non-Linux UNIX or Linux on hardware not supported by your binary packages or the binaries don't work, how do I install from source?
- 1.5 I'm working on a Linux PC administered by someone else and don't have the root password, can I still install the game?
- 1.6 So, should I get the latest stable or latest development version?
- 1.7 Ok, but there are still so many different files to get, which one is right for me?
- 1.8 Where are the server sources?
- 2 Configuring
- 3 Terminology
- 4 Hosting from the client
- 5 Troubleshooting
- 6 When all else fail
Installing the Game
Where can I download Armagetron Advanced?
How do I install...
Find the exe file you downloaded from the question and answer above this one and double click on it. Answer all dialog boxes with Yes/Next/Finish, whatever applies. On Windows XP, when you first run the game and try to connect to the Internet, a firewall warning will pop up; set it to allow access.
on Mac OS?
Mount the dmg file, and drag the Armagetron Advanced application to your hard-drive.
That depends on the distribution you are running. Check out the Linux Distribution Field Report for details.
I'm running Linux, but don't know whether it is 32 or 64 bit. How can I find out?
On a console/terminal, type
If the output starts with x86_64, you have a 64 bit system. If it starts with i386, i486, i586 or i686 or possibly just x86 or x86_32, you have a 32 bit system. For anything else, we don't provide binary packages, you have to build from source. If the output is blank, the method failed. Then, see whether you have got the directory /usr/lib64 on your system. If yes, you have a 64 bit system, if no, it's 32 bit.
I run a non-Linux UNIX or Linux on hardware not supported by your binary packages or the binaries don't work, how do I install from source?
Basically, you fetch the .tbz2 source archive and do as the superuser root
tar -xjf <path to the tbz2 source archive you just fetched> cd armagetronad-<VERSION> ./configure make make install
The configure script will tell you what you are missing. In this mode, you always need the 'development' packages of our dependencies on most distributions. The Linux Distribution Field Report may have some hints. Ask us if you get stuck.
I'm working on a Linux PC administered by someone else and don't have the root password, can I still install the game?
Yes. The "package" binary files can install everything in your home directory. If you have to build from source, proceed as in the last FAQ, but pass '--prefix=$HOME/usr' to ./configure and run the game later with '~/usr/bin/armagetronad', or run the game from the build directory with 'make run'.
So, should I get the latest stable or latest development version?
If you're really asking this question and are not just browsing the FAQ, get the latest stable version.
Ok, but there are still so many different files to get, which one is right for me?
See FAQ#Terminology for choosing between Client and Server download. If in doubt, choose the Client. If you're running a PC with Windows, get the exe format, GCC or VC6 should not matter (please report it if only one of them works for you). If you've got a Mac, get the dmg; there is a special build available for versions 10.2.8 of OS X. If you're running 32 bit Intel Linux, get the x86(_32) "package". If you're running 64 bit AMD Linux, get the x86_64 "package".
Where are the server sources?
The server sources are the same as the client sources. You compile a server from them by giving the additional command line option '--disable-glout' to ./configure.
I heard about moviepacks (graphical modifications), how do I install them?
See Customizing the game.
How do I use a map?
Read Playing Maps, and please try to tell us why this question is asked so often and followed by "I read the whole wiki!".
What is rubber?
Rubber is a mecanism not unlike a cushion in front of your cycle that allows you to come closer to wall. The closer you move to a wall, the more rubber you consume. The faster you move when approching a wall, the more rubber you consume. If a cycle exceed its rubber limit at any time, it is considered to have crashed in the wall. Rubber normally is regained at a steady pace.
What is grinding?
The act of running very close to a cycle trace or sometime an arena wall to benefit from the wall acceleration effect.
What is double/tripple binding?
The act of associating multiple keys to the same action, such as turning. By pressing successively multiple keys it is possible to execute tight turns.
Is double/tripple binding a sin?
Though it is a side effect of the game support for different keyboard layout, some beleive that as it is supported by the game, it is a valid strategy. Others consider that is of bad taste and encourage players to learn to rapidly tap the same key instead.
Hosting from the client
What is a client? What is a server? What's the difference?
Simply put, the game client is the program you run on your computer. The game server runs on somebody else's computer. The difference between the two is like the difference between, say, a lawyer and his client. The lawyer would be the server, the one who knows all about law and stuff. So the difference is just like in real life where the terms come from. The client requests a service from someone who serves. In our case, that service is a game that is served from a machine running a program called a "server", but if you requested the same service from a person in a casino, you'd still be running a game client.
My client can be a server, though, it says so right here.
That's not a question. In any case, the game client can act as a server if you press "Host Game" from the Internet Game menu. So technically the client is a client/server hybrid, but let's not get too technical.
So are all game servers just clients where people pressed "Host Game"?
No. This is where people get really confused, even to the point where they complain to server operators for doing exactly this thing. No, most, if not all, game servers available through the master server run a special version of the program that has no graphical display, and no player can play on directly. That is the server, commonly called the "dedicated server". You can run it too, if you'd like. Server operators chose to run this instead of the regular game client because it has a number of modifications that make it work better as a regular server, just like a mail server or a web server. It is more convenient and makes for a more reliable game server to do so.
ArmagetronAd takes most or all the CPU time, how come?
AA takes all the CPU time it needs to simulate and render the scene as fast as you'll allow it to. There are two conditions under which that makes it take almost everything that is available:
- You set your graphics card driver not to wait for VSync. AA will then run at the highest possible framerate and therefore also use all the CPU time available. If you enable the FPS display in the HUD options and it shows more than 100 FPS, then that's your problem.
- When it tells your video card driver to update the screen now, the driver goes into a special CPU-hogging mode until the command is completed, even though all it does is sit around and wait. Both NVidia and ATI drivers are guilty of this. In the "Performance Tweaks" submenu of the graphics settings, there is the "Flush" menu item where you can tweak AA to not issue the problematic command (with possible side effects).
ArmagetronAd is unplayable on my AMD Dual Core X2 System (might affect other Dual Cores)
- The console displays "Timer hick up"
- FPS are usually ok (above 30).
- might only occur in network games
- Game performance is very bad
At least three solutions for this problem are available:
- To fix this problem use your TaskManager to set ArmagetronAd.exe's cpu affinity to a single CPU.
- Disable Cool & Quite in BIOS
- Install the necessary Microsoft Hotfixes and depending on your System you might have to update your bios and drivers too.
Links (TODO replace links with links to better instructions!):
- Microsoft Knowledge base Article about Q896256
- AMD Dual Core Optimizer The fix is similiar to Microsofts, but only fixes a small part of it. The Microsoft patch also addresses power saving bugs (of Windows XP).
- Details: Armagetron Advanced 0.2.8.x(?) or later uses the high precision timer on Windows if available. (TODO confirm) This can be a problem on the new Dual Core Systems or malfunctioning Multiprocessor System. The Timer of each core runs at different speeds which results in a jumping timer! The AMD X2 Systems are affected because they have two separate timers for each CPU (Intels Core Duo CPUs share a single timer). The AMD X2 Systems are only affected with Cool & Quite power saving enabled otherwise both cores have the same timer speed. The Windows kernel schedules Armagetron Advanced between both cores which results in a jumping timer form Armagetron perspective.
When all else fail
What to do when consulting the documents provided on this wiki and consulting this FAQ still doesnt provide an answer.
The forum is a message board where discussion about ArmagetronAd often take part. A great many problems have been discussed and solved there.
The forums is usefull for discussion that spawns under days and weeks. Should you require more immediate assistance, try contacting us on IRC.
What should I do to increase my chance of getting help?
First of all, use the search capacities of the forum. It is easy and powerfull, and often will turn your answer without delays.
Second, get your information right. A simple task from you will save many troubles to anyone trying to help you. Be detailed! Nobodyknows your specific setup, nor can guess it.