There’s plenty of talk out there about how Forgotten Hope and Project Reality start their Battlefield 2 (BF2) mod (“modification”) using their own custom executable when the user has the Steam version of BF2 installed. Those mods are Battlefield 2 Steam version compatible. But what about older mods like Nations @ War, Desert Conflict, AIX 2, Battlegroup Frontlines, Eve of Destruction, and many more (but those are some of the better one’s) ?
I could never get an answer out of anyone about this. You can start BF2 and go to “Community –> Custom Game” and start the mod from there but that means starting BF2 twice (the whole things has to restart) which is tedious. It turns out the answer is “obvious”. This is a problem I’ve found before, especially on IRC. It’s a kind of insanity that goes something like this …
“I already know how to do this, so how come you don’t ? Therefore I won’t answer you”
“The answer is SO simple he must be left to find out for himself because he hasn’t googled/thought about it enough/is stupid [insert your random excuse here, etc, etc] …”
Firstly, these things aren’t always obvious until you know the answer. Second, how do we know that the person asking the supposedly “simple” question is “stupid”. There could be any number of reasons for them not “seeing the light”. Kids crawling all over them. Late nights at the office. Or even having been tortured by your own corrupt government … but I (a’hem) digress … here’s the fix !
1. Install the mod(s) in the normal way or copy across into the “mod” directory into the “mod” directory of the Steam version of BF2. On my system it’s here: “d:\SteamLibrary_Win7\SteamApps\common\Battlefield 2\mods\”.
2. Find the shortcut for the mod you installed or retrieve whatever shortcut you were using on your non-steam copy of BF2. You will need the line after ” … BF2.exe”, which for my Nations @ War installation is “+menu 1 +fullscreen 1 +widescreen 1 +szx 1440 +szy 900 +modPath mods/naw”.
3. Now find your Steam “APPID” which is in the top left corner of the window that comes up when you look at the properties of a game (right click). For my BF2 it’s “24860” (think this is the same for everyone).
4. Now create a new Windows shortcut in the usual way. Make it a short cut to the “Steam.exe” executable wherever you have it installed. On my machine it’s in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam”.
5. Add “-applaunch <appid> <launch options>” after the ” … Steam.exe” part, which will be, in the case of Nations @ War mod, … “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam.exe” -applaunch 24860 +menu 1 +fullscreen 1 +widescreen 1 +szx 1440 +szy 900 +modPath mods/naw”.
Now Steam will launch directly into the mod without having to go through the “Community –> Custom Games” in the BF2 menu system. Have a fun game !