Arena:Running Under Windows

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The page contains various tips and tricks on getting Arena (as well as Daggerfall, Battlespire and other old Elder Scrolls games) running on the various modern versions of Windows.

NOTE: Many of these suggestions involve messing around with the Operating System and can result in you messing up your computer. Please be cautious and backup files as necessary.

Dual Booting Windows for Arena/Daggerfall[edit]

People have reported great problems trying to run the game under these versions of Windows. In fact, I have yet to hear of anyone actually getting Arena to run under them so indeed it may not be possible. The best bet is to use a dual boot configuration to a DOS 6.2 disk and run the game from there, or put together an old/cheap 486 to run it on. For some dual boot information check out:

Windows 95/98 for Arena/Daggerfall[edit]

There have been troubles getting the game to run or install correctly under Win95 and 98. Here are some tips and tricks to the problem (some tips are as directed by Bethesda).

If you have the CD version -- it does not install to the hard drive, but plays exclusively from the CD -- The install program only allows you set up your sound options and creates a directory for your saved game. When you configure sound/music -- you must configure them both at the same time before you exit the Install menu.

Here are the directions for running the game under Win95. Type install and select configure music and sound options - complete all music and sound configuration before leaving the install menu. Right click on the *.BAT file in your ARENA directory on your hard drive. Select properties - go the memory tab and make sure all options are set to auto. Also under its "Properties" set:

  • Prevent DOS apps from detecting Windows
  • Do not allow screensaver
  • Always Suspend in background
  • Usage: Full Screen
  • Mouse Exclusive

If you create a short cut the properties of the short cut must be identical to those of ARENA.BAT. This solution will NOT work for everyone. Only those people who are using sound cards and CD-ROM drives which Win95 supports. If you do not have Win95 support for your peripherals, please contact the manufacturer for specific Win95 drivers. DO NOT CREATE A CONFIG.SYS or AUOTEXEC.BAT.

Many people can't get Arena to run under Win95/98 so they may need to run the game in DOS mode. Follow these steps for creating a custom config to run Arena under Win95/98.

  • On the desktop Right-Click and choose New->Shortcut
  • Type 'COMMAND.COM' for the command line
  • Enter a convenient name, like 'Arena Config' or something
  • Right-Click on the new shortcut and choose Properties
  • Select the 'Program' tab at the top
  • Click the 'Advanced' button at the button of the window
  • Select the 'MS-DOS' option and 'Specify New Configuration'
  • Here's where the config files I gave you last time are entered.
                    SET TEMP=C:\TEMP
                    LOADHIGH MOUSE
    Again, things might be a bit different depending on your setup, especially the mouse file. You will need some sort of DOS mouse driver to play the game.
  • Click 'Ok' until all the windows are closed.
  • Things should now be done. Just double-click on the new shortcut to start a custom MSDOS mode session in which Arena should run... it works for me (I have Win95, but it should be about the same in 98 too).