Running Battlefield 2 on Windows 7
Battlefield 2 was one such slick game that came out in 2004/2005 with the popularity of LAN/online FPS with vehicle combat. What made Battlefield 2 such a slick game (even with its compatibility issues with Windows) was the flexibility of playing a modern warfare game with tanks, planes, soldiers and helicopters. Sadly though, no direct sequels were made (maybe except for the upcoming Battlefield: Bad Company 2).
Here are the steps I’ve done after reading through the various forum sites, blogs around the internet. This works well enough for gaming. My configuration is the original Battlefield 2 game (on CD, as DVDs weren’t popular yet… four years ago!). I’ve updated it to version 1.41 as I’ve installed a Battlefield 2 Single Player 64 mod as latency was quite an issue when I started playing it back then. The following steps assume that I’ve installed BF2 and applied the patch.
1. Update the Punk Buster Client for Battlefield 2 http://websec.evenbalance.com/downloader/download.php?file=1
Add the Battlefield 2 game (it should also populate the default game path in C:Program Files). Then click on the Check for Updates button on top to download the latest patch for Battlefield 2.
2. Once Punkbuster client has been updated. It’s time to do some compatibility tweaking.
On Windows 7, Run it as a compatible application to Windows XP SP2 or SP3 (I haven’t completely tried leaving it out as default for Windows 7).
3. Try running the game on the first instance. It should load and give you a very,very low resolution game screen. Since 800×600 is quite blurry for my eyes, I can opt to increase the resolution to 1280×1024 at least. Come on, I’ve had at least 6 video cards spanning roughly 5 generations of NVIDIA video cards, my cards could handle that much easily.
However, subsequent runs would usually either kick me out unexpectedly. Originally, it would just be the old punkbuster being old and incompatible to Windows 7 and prohibits us from playing mods to the game, but this time, there’s a bug (unaddressed by Dice) wherein the refresh rate causes the game to crash. I’ve set the 1280×1024 resolution and everything on high with the screen refresh @ 75Hz. The issue is that Battlefield 2 was developed when screen refresh rates ran normally on 60Hz.
Open the video config file in our BF2 Profiles in our Documents folder. We should manually set the resolution to 1024×768@60Hz and then save the video config file as read only to avoid writing over the new settings.
And that’s it, we can now play the game consistently even with modifications installed.