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Technical FAQ

Playing Widelands - general

How to start Widelands? (I downloaded Widelands but don't know how to start it)

Take a look at the DownloadPage

If Widelands doesn't start correctly it might be that some required libraries aren't installed (or aren't installed correctly). In most of these cases the output on the console/terminal/bash might be useful. Open your favourite terminal application, move to Widelands directory and try to run Widelands via ./widelands. It will then either run correctly or inform you about missing dependencies.

Is it possible to prevent the game from running at 100 percent of CPU usage even if nothing at all is happening, like in the main menu?

Since Build13 there is an option allowing you to set a value for the maximum of frames that may be drawn per second. At current state a "maxFPS" of 14 seems to be the lowest value you can use without causing jerky graphics.

If you use a version older than Build13 you should really update, as this point is only one out of many improvements in our current release.

How do I set the resolution to 800 x 800?

There is no "legal" solution - as 800 x 800 is not a "normally" supported resolution of a graphics card you may not set it via the options menu.

There is a workaround, through editing the conf-file, which can be found in ~/.widelands under Linux or in Widelands directory under Windows. There you can change the following variables to the solution you want:




in windowed mode this change is unproblematic but DON'T test it in full-screen: it can destroy your hardware!

The progress in Widelands games is slow! Will you supply a Speed-Things-Up button?

This is already implemented as a keyboard shortcut. With Page-Up/Page-Down keys one may increase or decrease the game speed. This is a discrete speed setting from zero to very very fast. The current game speed is displayed at the upper-right corner of the screen; no text there means normal game speed.

If you're using an Apple Macbook that doesn't have Page-Up and Page-Down keys, you can instead hold down the Fn key and press the Up or Down arrows to control the speed.

In WIdelands Build-21 and newer versions, buttons to control the gamespeed are additionally provided in the bottom toolbar.

Where are my maps and savegames stored?

Widelands creates a directory in the users home folder where it saves all user specific data like settings, maps, savegames, replays and screenshots. On Linux and OSX this directory is /home/<username>/.widelands or /home/<username>/.local/share/widelands. The directory is normally hidden so you might have to set the option to show hidden files. On Windows the directory is typically C:\Users\<username>\.widelands. In both cases replace <username> with your actual username.
In Widelands version newer than 1.0, the path is stated under "About Widelands" → "Technical Info" → "Home Directory" in the main menu.

The maps directory can be used to download Maps (e.g. from "Maps"). If you create your own maps with the Editor they will be stored in maps/My_Maps.

Playing Widelands multiplayer

How can I play online?

In recent Widelands versions, you should be able to join into the Widelands metaserver lobby. There you can list other players and games, chat with other players and join or open a new game.

Alternative you can use the LAN/Direct IP interface to start a server. This is the standard network interface for older Widelands versions - Start a server (click on "Host a new game") on your computer and give the other player(s) your IP address, or type in the IP address of a player hosting a game and click on "Join this game".

How can I register for the metaserver or change my password?

The metaserver uses the registered users of our website (this website face-smile.png ), so if you are registered on this website, you can set a password for the metaserver here. (Normally reachable via the "Edit Profile" link on the right side.)

ATTENTION ABOUT PASSWORD SECURITY: We suggest to use a different password than the one you set for the website, as the metaserver password is currently saved in cleartext (by Widelands and the metaserver)

Where can I find opponents?

Best join us on our IRC channel (#widelands on - or via our web chat application). There are often other players waiting for someone to play with - just ask around face-smile.png

You can also start a thread in our player forums - which might be the best if you just plan to play online later face-smile.png

We have problems connecting to a Widelands host

If you're on Build 19 or older, the host will probably need to configure port forwarding in their router.

Make sure that Widelands is not blocked by a firewall (on both host- and client- side). On some firewalls you might be able to open specific ports - try to open port 7396 for TCP and UDP.

You may also be using the Internet via a router or a proxy server. If that's the case you need to forward the above mentioned ports to your computer. link to Wikipedia - port forwarding

We get "out of sync" errors in a multiplayer game right from the start

Make sure all participants have exactly the same version of Widelands and no other (older) Widelands version is present in any other directories on the system.

If you use a Widelands version older than Build15 and try to load a savegame or want to play a self-created map, please make sure everyone has exactly the same version of this file. It is important that you copy the version from one computer to all other computers.

Widelands and Settlers

Is Widelands like Settlers II?

Yes, because

  • it offers the same game style!
  • it offers a similar user interface
  • the maps look similar

No, because

  • it is bigger than S2
  • it has different tribes with different economies
  • it offers multiplayer

The worlds of Settlers 1 were "continuous". Are there any plans for Widelands to be like that, too?

Widelands is already "continuous" like Settlers 1, so there is no border at the "end of the map" like in Settlers 2. Theoretically you could expand so far that you can build a web of streets until you connect the "right side" with the "left side" of the map.

I have read that it is possible to use old .swd maps from Settlers. I have Settlers 2 Gold, with .wld maps. Is it possible to use these maps as well?

Yes, since Build13 *.wld-maps are supported as well. Please be aware that the Widelands engine behaves different than Settlers 2, so it might be that some maps are incompatible with Widelands.


Translations won't work in Ubuntu Linux!

Since Build13 the translation should work if you set the language option to "System default language" and start Widelands in the directory the subdir "locales" lies in, assuming your local language is supported.

If that does not work you can try the following:

1) Edit ~/.widelands/config manually and add .utf8 after your chosen language setting (after you've set it in Widelands, it should be easy to find), e.g. de_DE.utf8, OR

2) Generate the generic locale (e.g. de_DE), using the "old" charset (often in Europe this is ISO-8859-1): sudo locale-gen de_DE ISO-8859-1; sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

Either one should do the trick. The latter requires root access.

I downloaded the binary release version for Linux but it does not work.

Most likely a library used by Widelands is not installed or is named differently. To find out which library causes the problem, you should start Widelands in a terminal (open a terminal, change to widelands dir (cd /path/to/widelands), run Widelands with ./widelands)

Now widelands should print some lines like:

 ./widelands: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory 

So the problem in this example is that the library "libSDL_gfx" can't be found. The library your system is missing may differ but the steps are still as follows:

Install the missing library (using apt-get, urpmi, ebuild or whatever your distribution supports) and than try to start Widelands again.

If the library was already installed or the same error occurs, you should take a look in /usr/lib and subfolders to see if you can find file named the same, with just a slightly different suffix (for example or instead of

Now you should create a link to the found file (again just an example with - you should change the names to fit your problem).

Open the terminal again and type: "su" (to get root) and than type "ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/"

The first filename is the full path to the file you found, the second one the full path to the file Widelands needs - simply change them to fit your problem.

If your system doesn't support the "su" command, try "sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/"

Now try again to run Widelands via terminal using the ./widelands command -> now either it is working or another library is missing - if first is the case: congratulations, if second: well start again face-wink.png

How do I get log output in Windows for debugging?

Widelands writes a stdout.txt file next to its program file for each launch. This is the log file on Windows. If you want to have more control over the logging, you can run Widelands from the command prompt. This is how you access the command prompt:

  1. Type cmd into Windows' search field. On Windows versions older than Windows 8, you will find this search field when you press the Start button.
  2. Select Command Prompt from the search results.

If you need more detailed instructions for your Windows version, searching the web for windows how to cmd will give you good results.

Now you need to navigate to the folder where you installed Widelands. Let's assume that you installed Widelands to C:\Widelands - then you enter the collowing commands:

cd \
cd Widelands

Finally, we tell Widelands to start and write the log output into a file:

widelands.exe > log.txt

This will write the log output into C:\Widelands\log.txt.

Why won't Widelands start after upgrading to Windows 10 on my computer?

Widelands needs OpenGL Version >= 2.1. This seems to be a known issue on Windows 10 with some graphics cards due to the lack of a good graphics driver, see for example

My mouse is extremely slow on Linux

Try starting Widelands via SDL_VIDEO_X11_DGAMOUSE=1 /usr/games/widelands

Tagged with: game, help