Open Alpha + How to set up a match?

Join the open alpha games and learn how to set up games with friends!

October 1, 2020

Alpha games are running daily. Join in!

Hello and welcome everyone! After 17 months of active development with the current dev team we are proudly announcing that Beyond All Reason (BAR) is in a fully playable alpha stage now! What exactly do we mean by that? You can already enjoy the greatness of what BAR gameplay has to offer. Open alpha test games run daily. Currently BAR includes:

  • Two playable factions with a total of 392 functional and distinct units
  • Singleplayer with a choice of AIs with a range of difficulties
  • Multiplayer servers with team, FFA, duel, and coop games
  • Two survival modes - Scavengers (against robots) and Chicken Defense (against alien swarms)
  • 20 BAR-certified quality maps and thousands of legacy maps from the SpringRTS community
  • Two temporary game lobbies – both run on Windows and Linux!
  • New goodies coming in every day :)

Below is a guide on how to get started.

BAR awesome!

Since we don't yet have our ideal launcher/multiplayer lobby, we avoided active promotion so we could prepare. However, with a gem like BAR it was impossible to stay under the radar for long. In April, a wild post appeared on Reddit by a fan who randomly stumbled across this project. The reception of BAR by RTS fans was remarkably positive, so since the post we're no longer in stealth mode. :) It's hard to describe how happy we are with all the positive feedback. You guys are awesome!

1000 members in bar discord

New commanders on the battlefield

Since the information about BAR surfaced, our dev discord has been flooded with new players, developers and content creators interested in contributing. We are at 1000 members and growing! We've been able to thoroughly test the game and get rid of tons of bugs. Big thanks to everyone who took part in that!

Discord is also a great place to find other players for a multiplayer game.

How to download and run BAR?

Find all relevant information in the download page. Read further to see how to setup a multiplayer match and control basic game settings. (Since the dedicated BAR lobby system is currently in construction, we provide with two temporary lobby solutions. A new, upgraded system is coming!)

Find players and enjoy!

Join the Discord server and check the #looking-for-players channel.

We also suggest you #give-yourself-a-role so you will be notified when games are running. (You can chose which game types you would like to be notified about - 1v1/FFA/Team/Coop.)

You v.s. AI

For lone-wolves and all who want to try out the game before joining multiplayer battles, it's super easy to set up singleplayer mode. We suggest using Chobby for this. Note that for singleplayer you currently need to download maps manually (or automatically, by joining a multiplayer battleroom). More intel below.

Option 1: Using Chobby (recommended)

After opening your lobby client, you will be prompted with a Register/Log-in window. If you want to play alone, you can skip this step - just click cancel. Now, go to the Single player tab, chose a map and add a bot to the opposite team. By default, a bot will be already there. If you want to battle a different bot, right-click on it and kick it. Currently there are few bots to chose from:

  • NullAI - sandbox mode - doesn't build anything, good for exploring units, builds etc.
  • SimpleAI - very easy bot, building basic units and sending without much micro
  • DAI - medium level versatile AI, building all types of units and using all tiers
  • STAI - medium level AI, less versatile, using a limited unit roster
  • BARbarian - currently the best AI, which also is super performant. It's by all means equivalent to an average/good player, rather hard for beginners. BARbarian is however x64 only and for now needs a custom setup – see the pinned message in #ai on the BAR Discord for a setup guide.
  • Chicken - survival mode vs aliens, nice for learning defense structures. There are 8 difficulty levels.

After adding the bot, just smash the Start button and enjoy!

Option 1: Using Spring Lobby

Disclaimer: there may be bugs on the way! If you see any bug notifications just chill out and ok through them ;)

After logging in to the server (info in downloads), join any of the multiplayer rooms and accept the auto-download of the BAR and game engine. This also downloads the map currently set on the auto-host. In order to chose a different map say !map <mapname> in the chat.

Once all the downloads finish, you can open the "Skirmish" tab. there, on the bottom you should chose the game, map and engine. It's the one you just downloaded by default. Now, select Add bot and choose one (options described above). Click Start and enjoy!

Setting up a multiplayer room

BAR has a great multiplayer experience. Be sure to try it with friends and other random folks on the server! It features games with up to 16+ players, which is a lot of fun. Here's how to do it:

Once you log in, open the multiplayer tab and you will see a list of battle rooms. These are called autohosts as they are controlled with in-chat chat commands and votes. You can control all game options,  team balance mode, and even game mode (1v1/FFA/Team/Survival). Using them you can modify almost everything about the game. Below we list the most essential commands for setting up a decent match with your friends (don't type in the brackets):

Every preset/map change will have to be voted for. Say !vote y or !vote n to give your vote.
Note that you can join a running game too, clicking the Spectate button.

I. Chose a preset:

  • !preset teams - creates two teams, and sets a start position type to "Chose in game" which means you and your enemies will be able to chose starting positions within restricted start boxes. These boxes are in hosts memory for most maps, if not you need to set them up manually.
  • !preset FFA - free-for-all, puts all players alone in separate teams and sets start position type to "Fixed". It means that once game loads, everyone will be spawned in locations pre-determined by the map. FFA maps are designed in a way that makes all start positions equally good. This preset may be also used for 1v1 matches.

II. Chose a map and set start positions:

  • !list maps - sends you a PM listing all selectable maps
  • !map [mapname] - sets the map to [mapname] (selects the closest if there is no exact match)
  • !nextmap - chooses a random map
  • !split [v/h/c1/c2/s] [number] - creates start boxes (only for team games), ie. "!split h 20" puts two boxes on west and east ends of the map spanning a 20% of the map total area. h is for horizontal, v for vertical, c1 for corners (top left and bottom right), c2 for the opposite corners, s is for all sides (4 teams). Don't create boxes in FFA/1v1 games as they use fixed start positions.

III. Balance the teams:

If you chose the teams preset the teams will be balanced automatically using the estimate of players true skill (TS). For first few games this balance way will not work very well, because server needs more data to estimate players skill ranking. In order to put players in teams manually you need to do the following:

  • !autobalance off - will tell the host to stop balancing the teams using TS. "on" toggles it again.

Now everyone is free to chose their teams manually. In Springlobby team choice is in the panel between the chat and the player list. You can also vote to !force <player> team <number>, e.g. !force IceXuick team 2

Important: Make sure you change "Ally" number instead of "Team" number. Players with the same Ally number are allied, players with the same Team number share the same units (coop).

Alternatively you can try:

  • !balancemode random - puts players in random teams, disregarding skill/rank
  • !rebalance - rolls the dice again

IV. Ready and go!

Once the map and balance is set make sure that every player has downloaded all the needed content (map, game, engine). If there is something missing, a player will be displayed as unsynced and the game won't be able to run. Everyone now should click the Ready button. If using Chobby, disregard that - you are automatically ready if you are in a team.

  • !ring - reminds people to click "Ready"
  • !ring [playername] - rings someone, whether ready or not
  • !start - starts the match… if everyone is ready
  • !forcestart - Begins a vote to start an uneven match (e.g. 2v3).

Additional useful commands:

  • !s - checks the status of a running game
  • !spec [playername] - if someone is AFK, you can force him out of teams, he will be set as a spectator
  • !stop - votes to immediately stop the game. Use it if you messed something up with settings or e.g. some player can't join the game. Note that if you crash, you can reconnect to a running game by clicking Start (in Springlobby) or Rejoin (in Chobby).
  • !help - lists all available autohost commands. Use it to learn stuff beyond this guide :)

Coop & Survival

Autohosts can also be used for coop games against AI, and survival modes. You can also put players and bots on the same team. Both lobbies have a button for adding bots to the game. Play around with the settings and see what interesting games you can come up with!

We are preparing a separate guide for setting up the coop/survival modes. Stay tuned!

Final Remarks

We hope this guide is comprehensive enough to make you able to run your own multiplayer games. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in our Discord channel! (And remember there's an awesome new lobby system on the way!)

See you on the battlefield!

Alpha games are running daily. Join in!

Hello and welcome everyone! After 17 months of active development with the current dev team we are proudly announcing that Beyond All Reason (BAR) is in a fully playable alpha stage now! What exactly do we mean by that? You can already enjoy the greatness of what BAR gameplay has to offer. Open alpha test games run daily. Currently BAR includes:

  • Two playable factions with a total of 392 functional and distinct units
  • Singleplayer with a choice of AIs with a range of difficulties
  • Multiplayer servers with team, FFA, duel, and coop games
  • Two survival modes - Scavengers (against robots) and Chicken Defense (against alien swarms)
  • 20 BAR-certified quality maps and thousands of legacy maps from the SpringRTS community
  • Two temporary game lobbies – both run on Windows and Linux!
  • New goodies coming in every day :)

Below is a guide on how to get started.

BAR awesome!

Since we don't yet have our ideal launcher/multiplayer lobby, we avoided active promotion so we could prepare. However, with a gem like BAR it was impossible to stay under the radar for long. In April, a wild post appeared on Reddit by a fan who randomly stumbled across this project. The reception of BAR by RTS fans was remarkably positive, so since the post we're no longer in stealth mode. :) It's hard to describe how happy we are with all the positive feedback. You guys are awesome!

1000 members in bar discord

New commanders on the battlefield

Since the information about BAR surfaced, our dev discord has been flooded with new players, developers and content creators interested in contributing. We are at 1000 members and growing! We've been able to thoroughly test the game and get rid of tons of bugs. Big thanks to everyone who took part in that!

Discord is also a great place to find other players for a multiplayer game.

How to download and run BAR?

Find all relevant information in the download page. Read further to see how to setup a multiplayer match and control basic game settings. (Since the dedicated BAR lobby system is currently in construction, we provide with two temporary lobby solutions. A new, upgraded system is coming!)

Find players and enjoy!

Join the Discord server and check the #looking-for-players channel.

We also suggest you #give-yourself-a-role so you will be notified when games are running. (You can chose which game types you would like to be notified about - 1v1/FFA/Team/Coop.)

You v.s. AI

For lone-wolves and all who want to try out the game before joining multiplayer battles, it's super easy to set up singleplayer mode. We suggest using Chobby for this. Note that for singleplayer you currently need to download maps manually (or automatically, by joining a multiplayer battleroom). More intel below.

Option 1: Using Chobby (recommended)

After opening your lobby client, you will be prompted with a Register/Log-in window. If you want to play alone, you can skip this step - just click cancel. Now, go to the Single player tab, chose a map and add a bot to the opposite team. By default, a bot will be already there. If you want to battle a different bot, right-click on it and kick it. Currently there are few bots to chose from:

  • NullAI - sandbox mode - doesn't build anything, good for exploring units, builds etc.
  • SimpleAI - very easy bot, building basic units and sending without much micro
  • DAI - medium level versatile AI, building all types of units and using all tiers
  • STAI - medium level AI, less versatile, using a limited unit roster
  • BARbarian - currently the best AI, which also is super performant. It's by all means equivalent to an average/good player, rather hard for beginners. BARbarian is however x64 only and for now needs a custom setup – see the pinned message in #ai on the BAR Discord for a setup guide.
  • Chicken - survival mode vs aliens, nice for learning defense structures. There are 8 difficulty levels.

After adding the bot, just smash the Start button and enjoy!

Option 1: Using Spring Lobby

Disclaimer: there may be bugs on the way! If you see any bug notifications just chill out and ok through them ;)

After logging in to the server (info in downloads), join any of the multiplayer rooms and accept the auto-download of the BAR and game engine. This also downloads the map currently set on the auto-host. In order to chose a different map say !map <mapname> in the chat.

Once all the downloads finish, you can open the "Skirmish" tab. there, on the bottom you should chose the game, map and engine. It's the one you just downloaded by default. Now, select Add bot and choose one (options described above). Click Start and enjoy!

Setting up a multiplayer room

BAR has a great multiplayer experience. Be sure to try it with friends and other random folks on the server! It features games with up to 16+ players, which is a lot of fun. Here's how to do it:

Once you log in, open the multiplayer tab and you will see a list of battle rooms. These are called autohosts as they are controlled with in-chat chat commands and votes. You can control all game options,  team balance mode, and even game mode (1v1/FFA/Team/Survival). Using them you can modify almost everything about the game. Below we list the most essential commands for setting up a decent match with your friends (don't type in the brackets):

Every preset/map change will have to be voted for. Say !vote y or !vote n to give your vote.
Note that you can join a running game too, clicking the Spectate button.

I. Chose a preset:

  • !preset teams - creates two teams, and sets a start position type to "Chose in game" which means you and your enemies will be able to chose starting positions within restricted start boxes. These boxes are in hosts memory for most maps, if not you need to set them up manually.
  • !preset FFA - free-for-all, puts all players alone in separate teams and sets start position type to "Fixed". It means that once game loads, everyone will be spawned in locations pre-determined by the map. FFA maps are designed in a way that makes all start positions equally good. This preset may be also used for 1v1 matches.

II. Chose a map and set start positions:

  • !list maps - sends you a PM listing all selectable maps
  • !map [mapname] - sets the map to [mapname] (selects the closest if there is no exact match)
  • !nextmap - chooses a random map
  • !split [v/h/c1/c2/s] [number] - creates start boxes (only for team games), ie. "!split h 20" puts two boxes on west and east ends of the map spanning a 20% of the map total area. h is for horizontal, v for vertical, c1 for corners (top left and bottom right), c2 for the opposite corners, s is for all sides (4 teams). Don't create boxes in FFA/1v1 games as they use fixed start positions.

III. Balance the teams:

If you chose the teams preset the teams will be balanced automatically using the estimate of players true skill (TS). For first few games this balance way will not work very well, because server needs more data to estimate players skill ranking. In order to put players in teams manually you need to do the following:

  • !autobalance off - will tell the host to stop balancing the teams using TS. "on" toggles it again.

Now everyone is free to chose their teams manually. In Springlobby team choice is in the panel between the chat and the player list. You can also vote to !force <player> team <number>, e.g. !force IceXuick team 2

Important: Make sure you change "Ally" number instead of "Team" number. Players with the same Ally number are allied, players with the same Team number share the same units (coop).

Alternatively you can try:

  • !balancemode random - puts players in random teams, disregarding skill/rank
  • !rebalance - rolls the dice again

IV. Ready and go!

Once the map and balance is set make sure that every player has downloaded all the needed content (map, game, engine). If there is something missing, a player will be displayed as unsynced and the game won't be able to run. Everyone now should click the Ready button. If using Chobby, disregard that - you are automatically ready if you are in a team.

  • !ring - reminds people to click "Ready"
  • !ring [playername] - rings someone, whether ready or not
  • !start - starts the match… if everyone is ready
  • !forcestart - Begins a vote to start an uneven match (e.g. 2v3).

Additional useful commands:

  • !s - checks the status of a running game
  • !spec [playername] - if someone is AFK, you can force him out of teams, he will be set as a spectator
  • !stop - votes to immediately stop the game. Use it if you messed something up with settings or e.g. some player can't join the game. Note that if you crash, you can reconnect to a running game by clicking Start (in Springlobby) or Rejoin (in Chobby).
  • !help - lists all available autohost commands. Use it to learn stuff beyond this guide :)

Coop & Survival

Autohosts can also be used for coop games against AI, and survival modes. You can also put players and bots on the same team. Both lobbies have a button for adding bots to the game. Play around with the settings and see what interesting games you can come up with!

We are preparing a separate guide for setting up the coop/survival modes. Stay tuned!

Final Remarks

We hope this guide is comprehensive enough to make you able to run your own multiplayer games. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in our Discord channel! (And remember there's an awesome new lobby system on the way!)

See you on the battlefield!

Some images

Mentionable team members

Intel received from

Beherith
Damgam
Floris
IceXuick
PtaQ
AF

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