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Command line Syntax
Homeworld2.exe Command-Line Parameters - ripped from ThoughtProcess at
Many external links obsolete.

Instructions (from the HW2 Modding FAQ)
Go to the directory where you installed Homeworld 2 and go to the "\bin\release\" folder and find the file called "homeworld2.exe"

"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe"

Right-click on this file and select Create Shortcut from the drop-down menu.
After you do this there should be a new icon at the end of the list called "homeworld2.exe". Right-click on that icon and select Cut from the menu.
Now, close all the windows you opened and right-click on any open space on your desktop. Select Paste from the drop-down menu. Now, you should have an icon on your desktop that says "Homeworld2.exe".
Right-click on this icon again and click on Properties from the drop down menu. Find the target line, which should look something like this (with quotes):
"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe"

At the end of this line add a space and then "-overrideBigFile" (without quotes). So, in the end your target line will look like this:
"c:\program files\sierra\homeworld2\bin\release\homeworld2.exe" -overrideBigFile

Finally, click on the Ok button.

-overrideBigFile Enables the data folder on the disk to be loaded over any data in the .big files.

-locale <language> Loads the specified <language>.big instead of English.big (or whatever language version you have.)

-mod <modification.big> Loads <modification.big> after the other .big files are loaded, this implies -overrideBigFile.

-luatrace Lua debugging will be outputted to hw2.log.

-w <width> Screen resolution width, has to be used in conjunction with correct height.

-h <height> Screen resolution height, has to be used in conjunction with correct width.

-d <int> Unknown, likely BPP.-depth?

-refresh <refresh rate> Changes the refresh rate. Set it to your desktop resolution and refresh rate for quick alt-tabbing.

-fullscreen Enables fullscreen view.

-windowed Enables windowed view. (-- seems to also display debug errors as popups - Tamerlane)

-debug Unknown. but confirmed disabled by relic

--useRandomSeed Used to eliminate MP sync errors. probably deprecated with 1.1 patch

-dumpPlayBalanceStats Unknown, something to do with multiplayer.
Outputs a CSV file containing additional end-of-game stats to the "\Bin\LOGFILES\" directory. -Mikail
Causes the game to lock up when entering Gamespy. -Mikail

-quickLoad Appears to load HW2 without alot of graphical 'perks', textures being one of them -Tamerlane

-port <port number> Force Homeworld 2 to use the given port.

-freeMouse In windowed mode free the mouse from being constrained by the window boundaries.

-noInt3 turns off debug code which exits the game with an error.-What? Use proper grammar please.

-lowTex Unknown.

-datapath <path> Sets the data path, where data will be loaded from. (Internally, by default, it is ..\..\Data\)

-filelog Unknown.

-logfiles <path?> Unknown.

--produceHODMemoryInfo Unknown.

-ssBW Take black & white screenshots.

-ssBoth Take black & white, and colour screenshots.

-ssTGA Take screenshots in TGA format.

-ssJPG Take screenshots in JPG format.

-ssNoLogo Take screenshots without logo.

-startFleet <int> The files in the scripts\startingfleets directory are Hiigaran00.lua and Vaygr00.lua. Create new ones with different contents called Hiigaran01.lua and Vaygr01.lua. Now you can use the -startFleet 0 or -startFleet 1 to switch between the starting lineups.

-superTurbo Makes the in-game timer go very fast. (Eg, the Hiigaran Mothership moves about the same speed as a Hiigaran Fighter in normal speed.)

--bgSim Unknown.

-noS3TC Disables S3 Texture Compression.

-noDisplayLists Disables display lists.

-nopbuffer Disables pixel buffer. effectivly disables shadows

-noRenderToTexture Unknown.

-noRenderToDepthTexture Unknown. crashes during load?

-noSoundData Unknown.

-nosound Runs the game without sound. Useful if trying to rule out sound problems.

-noRender Disables display rendering.

-texLoadNoROT Sets preference of 2D DDS and TGA resources over ROTs

-texLoadPreferROT Sets preference of 2D ROT resources over DDS and TGA resources

-texLoadMostRecent Sets preference of 2D resources via file date?

-texLoadAlwaysROT Forces loading of ROT files

-noMipMap Disables mip-mapping. does not seem to work -EJ

-hardwareCursor enable hardware cursor.

-fragment_program <int> Seems to disable scar and utility scripts in some cases

-nv_reg_combiners2 <int> Unknown. Nvidea shader spec for old cards -SC

-nv_reg_combiners_up <int> Unknown. Nvidea Shader spec only -SC

-nv_reg_combiners <int> Unknown. Nvidea shader all of above Nvidea cards

-env_combine_up <int> Unknown. ATI range cards -SC

-ATI_combine3 <int> Unknown. ATI range cards -SC

-env_combine4 <int> Unknown. ATI range cards -SC

-env_combine3 <int> Unknown. ATI Range Cards -SC

-env_crossbar2 <int> Unknown.

-env_combine2 <int> Unknown. ATI range cards -SC

-GameRules <str> Brings the requested gamerule to the top of the list, in skirmishes and MP (handy if you're doing alot of editing). Requires the gamerule filename, without the extension.

-gameendexec <str> Unknown.

-scriptFile <file?> Unknown.

-syncCheckingLevel <int> Unknown.

-unitCapsMode <str> Unknown. Probably the name of a DATA:scripts/unitcaps .lua to load?

-noVideoErrors Disables error messages caused by incompatible graphics cards, video settings, etc.

-noMovies (or --noMovies?) Skips ALL movies, including story-related ones.

-NoATITOSetting Turn off all ATI and TO (the graphics that appear over units in game). does not seem to work -EJ

-noVBO Disables support for Vertex Buffer Objects. crashes during load ? - EJ

-noHSClip Unknown.

-noHSRender Unknown. May turn off Hyperspace effect rendering?

-noBattleScar Unknown. May disable battle scar effects (scorch marks etc.)?

-battleScar_noHealthCap Unknown.

-battleScar_noTriCap Unknown.

-syncCheckingLevel <int> Unknown.

-noWinLose <bool> Unknown.

-outOfSync <int> Unknown.

-exec <str> Unknown.
Probably executes commands through the command shell (e.g. MS-DOS), like the "execute" function. - Mikail

-notForPublic Displays the not for public display ui in game, from mission 3 onwards in the campain.
There's a disabled UI screen called NotForPublicDisplay. Maybe they're related? - Mikail
Possibly, perhaps something related to Beta versions of Homeworld2? - Thought

-silentErrors Disables popup debug windows.

-campaign <campaign name> Select a 'custom' campaign to be used (best used in combination with -startinglevel)

-startinglevel <level name> Select a 'custom' level to load at start up (best used in combination with -campaign)


As in, Easter Bunny? I thought I remembered a Relic developer mentioning something about this on the Relic forums soon after the game was released. -Mikail



-Init <?>

-load <?>

-debugName <?>

-movieRecord <?>

-absCoord <bool>

-movieFPS <float>

More (thanks to SnakeChiken)


-800 800x600 Resolution

-640 640x480 Resolution

-1024 1024x768 Resolution

-1280 1280x1024 Resolution It is really 1280 x 980, if you want 1280x1024 (LCD) go to -w 1280 -h 1024

-1600 1600x1200 Resolution

-d8 8-bit Colours

-d16 16-bit Colours

-d24 24-bit Colours

-d36 36-bit Colours

-fullscreen Starts the game in a full screen - is on by default

-window -w #1 -h #2 Starts the game in a window, resolution #1x#2

-truecolour Uses 24-bit colour with sharper rendering

-d3d Uses direct 3D

-gl Forces OpenGL

-device <sw|fx|d3d> Uses RGL device

-boxes All ships become boxier

-noBG No backgrounds are shown

-sw Resets renderers to default settings

-noFilter Disables bi-linear Filters

-noSmooth Disables polygon smoothing - may improve game performace

-disablePacking Disables the packed textures

-niltextures Disables wallpapers

-noborder Disables window borders

-NoFETextures Disables front-end textures

-noshowdamage Ships will not show damage effects

-stipple Stipples renderer alpha

-docklines Shows docking lines - is on by default

-gunlines Shows the target line - is on by default


-closeCaptioned Subtitled Cutscenes

-dsound Uses direct sound driver

-noSpeech Disables all voices

-reversestereo Reverses stereo - Left becomes Right and vice versa

-waveout Output converted to WAV


-debug Debug mode - useful after a crash

-nodebugInt Disables 3rd Mode Error

-intonsync Makes an integer 3 when a sync. error occurs

-gatherstats Gathers statistics

-heap (x) Global memory size heap setter - set (x) to a number - in MB

-lightlines Light lines are shown in debug mode

-textfeedback All feedback you recieve is stored in a text file in the main HW2 directory

-luatrace Logs scripting errors to ..\Homeworld 2\Bin\Release\Hw2.log

Multiplayer & Logging

-forceLAN Allows you to play a LAN game with other versions

-logOn Enables the text files after a multiplayer match

-logOff Disables Multiplayer Logs

-logonverbose Enables verbose logging files

-logfileloads Logs data files loaded

-aiplayerlog Logs AI player data in text files

-captaincyLogOff Disables end-of-match text reports

-captaincyLogOn Enables the text files after a battle

-statlogon Enables the Stats text files - use in conjunction with the above cheat.


-demorecord Records a demo - used in conjunction with the above cheat

-demoplay Plays a demo

-packetrecord Records packets during multiplayes skirmishes - used in conjunction with the above cheat

-packetplay Plays packet recordings

-debugsync Records packets and auto-saves frequently


-determcompplayer Computer players are more determined - makes for harder matches

-noretreat Disables AI retreat tactics

-noCompPlayers Eliminates all CPU players


-locale <language> Loads <language>.big instead of the default language (e.g. English.big)

-mod <modfile.big> Loads <modfile.big> as an additional *.big file.

-disableAVI Auto-skips all cutscenes

-disableKatmai Disables KNI

-forcekatmai Use KNI

-nohint Disables the hints from the SM

-slowblits Enables slow screen blips

-smCentreCamera Focuses the camera at the center of the map when Home is pressed

-testNIS NIS testing

-testnisscript NIS testing using the SCRIPT files

-noMinimise Overrides Alt+Tab command when process is running

-noPause The game will not be auto-paused when Alt+Tab or the WinKey is pressed.

-freemouse Use F11 to toggle edge-of-screen pan (overrides all Function commands)

-overridebigfile Overrides BIG files - for mods

-ignorebigfiles Same as above

-cdpath x: path Sets path to CD - x is name of CD drive

-prepath x:path Sets path to open files - x is name of drive









-maxplayers < >



-todo (load defaults from teamcolours.lua)


Edited by Homdax on 17-10-2019 09:22
For Wide screen monitors and resolution you will want to consider 16:9 aspect.

1024 x 576
1280 x 720 HD
1366 x 768 WXGA
1600 x 900 HD+
1920 x 1080 Full HD
2048 x 1152
2560 x 1440 QHD
2880 x 1620
3200 x 1800 QHD+
3840 x 2160 4K UHD
4096 x 2304
5120 x 2880 5K
7680 x 4320 8K UHD
15360 x 8640 16K UHD

Add values to command line end like -w 1920 -h 1080 keeping the spaces between.



G:\Homeworld2\Bin\Release\Homeworld2.exe -overrideBigFile -w 1920 -h 1080

Remastered information

Mikali used these for HW@ development in HW2Classsic

E:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Homeworld\Homeworld2Classic\Bin\Release\Homeworld2.exe -overrideBigFile -luatrace -windowed -w1600 -h900 -noMovies -hardwareCursor -ssTGA -moddatapath DataGameplayEnhancedHWU

with the datafolder located here


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