The UESP DOSBox helper, a set of Windows and DOS batch scripts accompanied by supporting software, aims to automate as much as possible the process of installing and configuring DOSBox, as well as the process of installing and configuring the DOS Elder Scrolls games it can run. It also attempts to address DOSBox compatibility issues or outstanding game bugs with a minimum of player intervention.
While DOSBox is considerably easier to use than actual DOS ever was, properly configuring it and the games it supports can be a tiresome and sometimes daunting task for anyone just wanting to play a game, especially for those unfamiliar with DOS.
Currently the helper is only available for Windows, but there are plans to adapt it to Linux and Mac OS X.
Download (site is no longer available)
- Automatically configures DOSBox for best performance with all applicable Elder Scrolls games
- Presents an easy-to-use menu for running games
- Installs and configures games with a single key-press
- Automatically downloads Arena or Daggerfall upon request
- Automatically patches Daggerfall and Battlespire
- Windows XP or later
- An Internet connection may be required to install freeware games
- A fast processor, especially for Battlespire and Redguard
To use the DOSBox helper, simply decompress the Zip file somewhere ("My Documents" would be a good place) and double-click on "run.cmd". If DOSBox is already installed it should be found quickly. If not the helper will perform an exhaustive search, after which it will ask to download DOSBox if it could not be found.
Once DOSBox is running, simply follow the menus and prompts.
General configuration notes
- Players using for output a television or certain notebook displays may need to force a particular resolution by changing
fullresolution=640x480or some other value.
- The optical drive letter used by DOSBox may be changed by editing the line starting with
set cdrom=under the
Arena is very difficult to run at the correct speed. While testing suggests that 12,500 cycles is adequate for Arena's default detail setting (four notches) and that approximately 25,000 cycles is adequate for full detail, your mileage may vary. There is a
cyclesarena environment variable defined in the
[autoexec] section of the configuration file to facilitate tweaking how much speed to give Arena.
The freeware version of Daggerfall can take a considerable amount of time to install once downloaded. Patience is required, but once begun the process of installation is fully automatic; it need not be baby-sat.
Redguard is not currently supported. It should be supported at a future date.
- In Windows, an exhaustive search for DOSBox is slow, taking several minutes depending on number of files on the system. While the helper does a pretty good job of looking in the likelier spots, this won't always work.
- The helper assumes at least one optical drive is present on the host system; it may break spectacularly otherwise.
- IPX is not configured for Battlespire. Doing so properly would likely require considerable bother.
The UESP DOSBox helper was written by J. King with the help of many others. The author would like to extend thanks in particular to the following individuals:
- Gavin Clayton for taking time to adapt his code into a DOS extractor for Daggerfall. Without his contribution this project would have likely been for naught.
- Neil Harvey for his continuing efforts with Redguard above and beyond the call of friendship.
- rpeh and Jennifer Holshausen for their advice and patience during pre-release testing.
Additionally the UESP DOSBox helper makes use of much third-party software. The following is a complete list: