V3.03+ 2013-01-09 has the best patches and fixes from the community at it's date, 3.03 compatibility and the expansion packs. Installer is 7-zip SFX archive.
Welcome to play the original C&C Red Alert 1 online for free!
This unofficial fansite has all the information you need to play your favourite classic RTS online with your friends over the internet. Just download the online version or the full version of Red Alert 1 above, start MiniRA.exe/FullRA.exe and you're ready to rock! Next time you play, start cncnet.exe in the MiniRA/FullRA folder.
You only need the online version to play (in single player also), but downloading the full Red Alert makes your Red Alert 1 installation complete with music and Westwood Studio's awesome cut scene videos! Both versions are standalone.
Online play is provided by CnCNet. To play with fellow comrades over the internet, just launch cncnet.exe from Red Alert 1 directory and wait for it to connect you. To gather for games or if you have any questions at all, use the chat feature from the top menu.
- What is Red Alert 1?
- Where can I get help with playing or installing Red Alert 1?
- How do I play Red Alert 1 online?
- Why my Red Alert 1 is "choppy" or slow?
- I want to play a LAN game instead of CnCNet!
- Why there are three downloads?
- Does Red Alert 1 work on Windows XP, Vista and 7?
- Can I play Red Alert 1 on Linux?
- Can I play Red Alert 1 on Mac?
- Why CnCNet instead of other online services?
- Why doesn't the Internet button work?!
- Can I get Red Alert 1 to run in higher resolution than 640x400?
- I want to play The Aftermath and Counterstrike expansion packs!
- How did my opponent get so many tanks? He must be cheating!
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.
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 Red Alert 1 by clicking cncnet.exe and you'll be dropped in the CnCNet lobby. Thats it!
Why my Red Alert 1 is "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 configtool.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 Red Alert 1 by clicking ra95.exe instead of cncnet.exe to play a LAN game!
Why there are two downloads?
There are many kinds of players and we want to keep them all happy! By providing the very core game in a small download we open up Red Alert 1 to wider audiences than over 700 megabyte package that takes ages to download.
The mini package (MiniRA) contains the essential game components with expansion packs, complete single player and multi player missions and maps are included, only music and movies are missing which are not essential for pure online gaming.
The full package (FullRA) contains of course what the mini package doesn't have, which are music and movies. So if you want to go trough the single player campaigns we recommend the
Does Red Alert 1 work on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8?
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?
YES! Linux tutorial is here!
Can I play Red Alert 1 on Mac?
YES! Mac tutorial is here!
Why CnCNet instead of other online services?
CnCNet is open source 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 cncnet.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.
CnCNet 3.0 is compatible with VPNs and LAN when you use ra95.exe instead of cncnet.exe. This is included in the current package.
Why doesn't the Internet button work?!
The Internet button is for the Westwood Online service which is not supported by CnCNet, use the Network button instead. You should also start the game with cncnet.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 (configtool.exe) that 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 (configtool.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 the knowledge page (coming soon), it has a lot of information that's required 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.