Pretty much every day the NAG Online and Magazine staff lament about the disappearance of arena shooters, which offered some of the most fun anyone could ever get out of PC gaming. Well as it happens, we’re all nostalgic enough in the forums to organise a weekly Friday evening of slaughter, starting at 8PM! Here’s how you can join.

Step One:

Get yourself a copy of Unreal Tournament 2004: Collector’s Edition. There’s a copy available on Steam ($14.99) or Good Old Games ($10.00). If you’re lucky, your nearby BT Games, Look and Listen, Music or CNA might have a copy of Unreal Anthology left in stock, which will save you on the download time.

Step Two:

Install Mumble, which you can download from Sourceforge. When you install it, configure the client like so:

  • Label: [insert whatever you want to call the connection]
  • Address: mumble.isgaming.co.za
  • Port: 64738
  • Name: [this will be your call sign/gamertag/real name]

Once you can connect to the server, go into the options settings and disable the Mumble overlay. You’ll find us in the Press Start ZA group, which you’ll have to double-click to join.

Step Three:

Unless you’re still playing on a machine from 2005 with a CRT monitor and Windows XP, you’re going to need to add in a custom resolution and field of view setting in the game. You can edit this by following these instructions:

In the System folder where you installed the game, find UT2004.ini and run it with Notepad. Tap Ctrl+F and search for “FullscreenViewportX” then change it and “FullscreenViewportY” to your desired resolution. If you have a resolution of 1920×1080, you’ll want it to look like this:

  • FullscreenViewportX=1920

The recommended FOV for playing the game with a 16:9 widescreen monitor is 105 so you may want to open User.ini (also under System) then search for and change the following two lines:

  • DesiredFOV=105.000000

Step Four:

Launch your copy of Unreal Tournament and navigate to the server list under the Multiplayer menu. Right-click in the Server Name tab choose “Open IP”, and add in this address: ut2004://gaming.iteology.co.za:7777. 

Make sure you save that as a favourite as well so it always appears on the server list.

Step Five:

Once you’ve added in the address and can connect to the server, exit the game and find the system files you edited earlier in Step Three. You’ll want to right-click these files and then change their attributes to “Read-only.” The reason for this is that Unreal Tournament 2004 was made for a much older world with older hardware and much simpler operating systems, so with Windows 7 and 8/8.1 it typically bugs out and resets all your customisations if you launch the game and click anywhere on the screen while the game is still launching.

Locking these files to prevent editing saves your settings and keeps things working. If you ever want to change something, you need to change these files to become writeable again and re-lock them when you’re done.

Step Six:

Join the NAG Online Forums if you haven’t already and post in this thread if you’re going to be joining us or not. While you’re at it, join the Press Start ZA group started by forum member CyniKill to keep up with the goings-on that the group organises. There’s also a weekly RTS evening and Savage evenings are being organised as well. At some point there’s a little bit of Trackmania here and there on Saturday evenings, but this is currently under consideration to being replaced by Natural Selection 2.

Step Seven:

Please follow or at least Tweet your thanks to Robert Stevens from Iteology who is hosting the Unreal Tournament 2004 servers for us to play on for free.

See you guys tonight!

More stuff like this: