The game doesn't run, instead a message about MSVBVM60.DLL appears.

This is because the Visual Basic 6 Runtime is missing. This is a rather uncommon problem, but it has been reported. Download the Runtime and the problem will disappear. Here's a mirror location to the runtime.

The game doesn't run, instead a message about Comdlg32.ocx or RICHTX32.OCX  appears.

Try to locate the Comdlg32.ocx/RICHTX32.OCX in your system folder. Do a backup copy of your old Comdlg32.ocx/RICHTX32.OCX. Download updated versions of Comdlg32.ocx/RICHTX32.OCX here. Then copy the new recently downloaded Comdlg32.ocx/RICHTX32.OCX to you system folder, replacing the old, outdated ones.

The sound doesn't work, switches itself off, is played at the wrong pitch, etc.

It's amazing how updating the soundcard drivers tends to solve this problem.

RoboWar is running slow. What can I do to increase the battle speed?

Try the standard procedures: close all other running applications, turn of sounds. You can also consider overclocking your processor (can be risky, be very careful!), or simply wait 'til the next version of RoboWar is finished, since I'm trying to increase battle speed in new versions. Also go to the Vote section and vote for higher battle speed.
RoboWar 5 runs around twice as fast on Windows XP compared to Windows 98.

Will buying more RAM Memory speed up RoboWar?

I don't think so, at least not if you have a decent amout of memory (more than 64 MB).

Will overclocking/new processor speed up RoboWar?

Most likely yes.

Conversion of Robots

How can I convert robots?

There are two ways: either use Sam Rushing's converter or do it manually. Sam Rushing's converter can be downloaded here. Works on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X!

After you've converted the robot(s) to rwxml you have to use the application called RoboConverter in the game folder.

Compatibility with the Mac version

Will my old Robots I've coded on Mac RoboWar work?

Yes. If they don't work as supposed to, please email me and I'll fix the problem.

Has any instructions been changed?

DEBUG doesn't do a sync instruction before the debugger starts.
The weapon instructions can't be read anymore.
Variables that doesn't any effect if they're written can't be written.

Does the limit of 5000 instructions in a robots program still exist?

(For additional info about this question please read the next question too.)

Are there any incompatibilities?

Except all bugs, which will be corrected eventually, there are some incompatibilities.

  • There are some differences in what the compiler accepts and not:
    Windows Mac
    5000 instruction code limit. In Windows, icons and sounds counts as instructions, period. In the Mac version there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding this. I've managed to make robots' code too long just with icon0 instructions. However, you can compile a robot with more the 5000 instructions if some of the instructions are iconx and sndx.
    Number of iconx and sndx instructions. No limit in how many iconx and sndx instructions you can have. You can't compile a robot with more than 100 iconx or sndx instructions in the Mac version.
    Labels. No limit in the length of labels. Each label must be less than 20 characters long.  
  • The no negative energy option is not supported in this version of RoboWar. The reason for this is that it'll slow down battle speed and nobody was ever using it.

How does the Scoring System differ from the Mac version?

Kill Points: 1 Point is given to a robot for every other robot that it kills provided that the killing robot hasn't been dead for longer than 20 chronons the chronon killing takes place.
Survival Points: Same as Mac.

Now days there's also the option to use the Mac Scoring system (4.5.2) in the Win version.


Is the tournament results printed as a file?

Yes! The file is called "Tournament Results" and is located in the game's directory. So, if you've installed the game in "C:\Program Files\RoboWar 5\" you'll find the results file at "C:\Program Files\RoboWar 5\Tournament Results.txt".

Results from test tournaments are named "Test Results -xxxxx.txt" where xxxxx is the name of the robot you've tested. They are also placed in the games directory, in others words they're placed at "C:\Program Files\RoboWar 5\Test Results -xxxxx.txt".

How does the icon factory work? Can I cut/copy/paste icons?

To turn the automatic icons on/off, click on the text below the icon.

To draw an icon, Paint the icon in your favorite painting program (like Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, mspaint etc). Make sure the icon is 32x32, and then press Ctrl-V. The cursor will change to a cross. Click on one of the 10 squares and the icon will be pasted. If you change your mind about pasting an icon you can press the ESC key.

To cut or copy and icon, click on the icon you wish to cut or copy, then press Ctrl-X/Ctrl-C. You should be able to paste the icon in any picture editing program (e.g. SuperUltraMagnificentWayNiftyAndExpensivePaint) and edit it, then paste it back to your robot.

When I start up RoboWar, it's resizing my screen to 640x480. This is highly annoying. I don't want it to do that any more. How do I make it stop?

Just make sure that Auto Change Resolution at the Preference menu is not checked.

Non-Displayed battle doesn't seem to work!

Switching from Displayed to Non-Displayed doesn’t take affect until the next battle.

Alternative Ports

Is there any Mac version available?


Is there any MacOS X version available?

At the moment, there's only a beta version available. It can run battles but lacks 'bot creating utilities. You can email the creator (Sam Rushing) here. (Where is says "Black Knight Consulting").

Are there any other Windows ports?

As far as I know, there are three available:

  • Disch C++ RoboWar port
    Can mostly run old bots, and doesn't support interrupts or doppler.
  • Mark Wagner's RoboWar II
    Nice stable port, but does not have full backwards compatibility. In other words, you probably have to change the code of your old bots a lot to make them run at RoboWar II.
  • Lucas Dixon's JRoboWar
    Currently at Alfa-stage. I doubt it'll ever leave alfa stage either. However, it's Java, so it's totally cross platform. And you can run most simple bots.

Programming Related

What programming language is RoboWar 5 written in?

Visual Basic 6.

Is the source code downloadable?


How about a Linux version? Or another Mac version/Mac OS X version?

See this page for an answear to that question.

How can I contribute to improving Windows RoboWar?

Just test your robots. Check if they behave as they do in the Mac version. And if they don't or if there's anything else that annoys you, email me.

I can code in Visual Basic. I've read the source code and I have some suggestions for improvements.

Send me an email (and attach your new version with it if you like).

Can I compile and distribute my own version?

Yeah, sure.

Why isn't it written in C like the Mac version of RoboWar?

I simply can't write applications in C.

Wouldn't writing in C increase the compatibility?

I try to maintain compatibility as high as possible. Almost all robots act exactly as they do in the Mac version. And if they don't I'll try to fix the problem.

Isn't C/C++ much faster than Visual Basic?

What's affecting battle speed most is how the code is written. In other words: a skillfully written VB code is still way much faster than a badly written C code. And there are still a lot of room for improvements in the VB code.

I'm right now mostly interested in improving the battle speed in undisplayed battles, since it's hardly possible to see the fight if the battle speed is above 1000 chronons per second. The performance of Drones have to be improved too.

Isn't C/C++ much more portable?

In this case, apparently not. Both David Harris as well as Lucas Dixon and most others regard the Mac C source quite importable.

Do you consider switching to VISUAL BASIC.NET? After all, it's the latest Visual Basic version.

Visual Basic.NET keeps finding new ways of disappointing me every time I try it. Sign the petition here.


Why is it called RoboWar 5?

The name RoboWar 5 was initially suggested by Lucas Dixon for the (not) upcoming cross platform C++ port that was planned. When no RoboWar 5 was in sight however, I decided I would make my own Windows version.

By tradition David Harris switched the first digit in the version number with every major update, like

2.0 for all the new weapons and instructions.
3.0 for interrupts and Doppler.
4.0 for native PowerMac support.

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