Netplay is a process by which a person can play ACS with another person on a different computer, over the internet. This process utilizes anywhere between 1-3 programs: Lunaport R45, an IRC Chat Client, and LogMeIn Hamachi.
Playing Online with a Specific Friend
To play with a friend online, download and extract Lunaport R45 directly to the ACS folder! Then, download this .ini file, and replace the one in the ACS folder with it. If your modem or router has a built-in firewall (most router's do and some modems do as well), you will need to port forward TCP and UDP ports 6324 (by default) on your modem or router. Make sure your friend has followed the same steps and you are ready.
Hosting a game
Open up Lunaport and press "1", then wait for the other player to join. When they join, enter the input delay as "8". Now wait for the game to begin.
Joining a game
In Lunaport, press "2" and enter the hosting player's IP address. The most common way to find your own IP address is WhatIsMyIP.com or Smart-IP.net. Upon connecting successfully, wait for the host to specify the input delay, and the game will start. Alternatively, one may connect using the IP provided by Hamatchi (see below).
Playing Online with Other People
If you wish to join a public server with players from around the world, or, if you can not successfully port forward, due to restrictions placed on your modem/router, you will also need to set up an account at LogMeIn. Next, download the latest version of LogMeIn Hamachi, and install it. When the program has installed, launch it, and go to System>Preferences. Here, change your name to one that you wish to be known by (If you have one, use the same name as your Wikia account or Namco forum account, so other players know who you are).
Next, you will need to download an IRC Chat Client. The most popular one is mIRC; and do not be daunted by the warning message that asks you to pay $20, you will NEVER have to pay for mIRC. The message will simply take a few seconds before you are able to get rid of it once the 30-day trial period has passed. Other IRC Clients, such as XChat, will also work, and, if you have a "Bundle IM" program, such as Trillian, Miranda, or Pidgin, it probably supports IRC as well. Whatever your choice of client is, you will need the details below:
- IRC Server: irc.rizon.net
- Ports: 6660-6669,7000
- Channel: #A.C.S.
(Notice: Do NOT try to join #ACS, you will wind up in some League of Legends chatroom. The correct channel is #A.C.S.)
Upon joining A.C.S. IRC and finding an opponent, you will need to ascertain whether to use direct IP or Hamachi. If the both of you elect to use Hamachi, you must arrange a "Network" on Hamachi in order to connect. If one of you has a Hamachi Network that is not yet filled, it is easier to arrange for your opponent to join that one, as opposed to creating an entirely new one. The steps to do so are detailed below.
Establishing (Creating) a Hamachi Network
To create a "group" (referred to as "Network") on Hamachi, you must click the "Network" menu at the top of the Hamachi client and select "Create a new network...". You will be asked to input a Network Name and Password. Upon doing so, give those details to your opponent. Note: Hamachi Networks can be re-used up to 13 more times, as the max for Hamachi Networks is 15 participants.
Joining a Hamachi Network
To join a "group" (referred to as "Network) on Hamachi, click "Join an existing network" under the "Network" menu. Enter the Network Name and Password to connect (this should have been given to you by your opponent). Information on public servers is available further below.
Hosting and Joining
When on Hamachi, hosting a game is exactly the same as without Hamachi. See the Hosting A Game section for info.
When on Hamachi, instead of connecting to the host's IP address to join a game, you will need to connect to the host's 'Hamachi' IP address. This address is displayed next to their name on the Hamachi main screen.
MTSP (MT Special Edition) is a Japanese 3rd party netplay client for the FM2K engine, with integrated lobby and chat. It is built around a server system, a player hosts a room for other players to join and use as a matchmaking.
MTSP requires Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package, which can be downloaded here (x86 - 32bit version) and here (x64 - 64bit version). You will also needs .Net Framework 4.0, which can be downloaded from here
You can download MTSP (now called "Telepone") here
At MTSP's startup, you are shown a startup dialog. There are a few things to set here:
- Your Open Port (by default 7500)
In the Option tab, your Nickname and Tagline.
- The Tagline appears for everyone when you join a server, and it is recommend that you include your general location (e.g. East Coast or Europe)
You can change your welcome message in this dialog, too. (Only for server runners)
If MTSP was not already configured, it will ask you to set the path to the game's executable and bring you to the Settings window. If it does not, click Options, then Settings, and set the following settings:
- The game's executable path. IMPORTANT! (General tab)
- The replay folder if you want MTSP to save your replays (optional) (General tab)
- The different notification sounds (optional) (Sounds tab)
How to Connect or Host a Server
You can do these things in startup dialog
To join an existing server
- Choose Host if your port is Forwarded, or Client if your port is not Forwarded.
- Put the server's address (either IP address, domain name, or server code) in Destination IP and press OK.
- If you can't connect, try checking or unchecking the DNS box.
- As a Host, you will be able to play with everybody on the server.
- As a Client, you will only be able to play with Hosts, and the Server's creator.
If you want to host a server
- Choose Server on the startup dialog, and type a name for your server.
- Make sure your ports are forwarded properly, or no one will be able to join your server.
- You can encrypt your IP before giving it to other players.
- squirrelnet.dyndns.org (24/7)
Common Problems and Solutions
- This section needs expanding, based upon testing by the ACS community. You can help by contributing now!
In order to make the experience of playing ACS (or any game, for that matter) online happen, it is required that if a player does something on their side of the game, the same thing must happen on the opponent's side of the game. However, due to the nature of the internet, and (to some small extent) of the coding behind the Lunaport Netplay client, this does not always occur. When this happens, it is known as desync.
Desyncing almost always occurs, to some small extent, due to the way the internet works. Packet loss, temporary service loss, unstable weather conditions, sheer travelling distance from one computer to another, a low-quality ISP, and the will of whatever God(s) or otherwise omnipotent presences you may believe in, are various reasons behind this.
Chances of desyncing to the point in which a single game cannot finish without one can be controlled by two means. One is to make absolutely certain that, except for controls, both players have the same game settings (Which are stored in the game.ini file inside the ACS folder). The other is for the game host to experiment with the input delay option he/she gets upon another player's connection.
Input delay is defined as simply as: How much time the server should allow for both players to "catch up" with what is currently going on in the game. Setting this value lower will make it so when you press a button on your keyboard/joypad, the appropriate action will happen faster on your screen, however, it will allow less time for that same action to happen on your opponent's screen. If the action does not happen on the opponent's screen within that given time frame, that is a desync. In contrast, setting this value higher will make it so when you press a button on your keyboard/joypad, it will take longer for the appropriate action to occur on your screen, and it will allow more time for that same action to occur on the opponent's screen.
The plain end result of this is that lower input delay settings will occur in a more accurate and cleaner gaming experience, but will raise the chances of desyncing. Setting them higher will cause the game to be "harder to play", due to the fact that you can neither do combos that require certain timing, nor respond to your opponent's attacks in time, even if you are pressing the appropriate buttons, because those actions will happen too late; though, it will reduce the probability of desyncing.
Finding an agreeable input delay medium is paramount to playing the game with other people without wanting to blow your brains out. The Lunaport client, by design, takes the work out of that, by using an algorithm to determine what the appropriate delay setting should be, based upon how much time (in milliseconds) it takes for a connecting player to send data to the host. It is generally agreed that, if Lunaport determines delay to be above 10, both players should attempt to do whatever possible to reduce that lag.
Some things are uncontrollable, but it is recommended that, while playing, a player should make sure that there are no programs running on their computer that use an extraneous amount of resources (which can cause drops in the frame rate, ultimately resulting in both desyncing and a harder to play game), or that access the internet in any way (except Hamachi, if you're playing on a public server, since you need Hamachi in order to do so). Commonly, these are programs such as email clients, VoIP services, and instant messengers.
Lag, by definition is when an application does not respond, in a timely manner, to commands.
In the case of netplay, and ACS in general, lag is caused by inadequate computing hardware and internet speed. To run at a perfect speed, ACS require roughly 60-100 MB of RAM. In Online Mode, ACS requires roughly 30-100 kB/s to run well enough (as well as an adequate delay/ping). When this is not met, the game begins to lag.
Besides upgrading either your computer and internet service, which for most is not a mentionable solution, there are some ways to decrease lag. This includes closing background programs, closing internet browsers and increasing the game's Priority--done by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del to open the Task Manager, entering the Processes tab, righ-clicking the Image Name "ACS", and setting it's priority to High (Never Realtime). The final thing that can be done, is to remove the sound from the stages. This can be done by downloading and extracting no-BGM.lzh to ACS's directory. Remember when modifying the content of ACS's files to always back up the files.
In appearance, Disconnects look the same as Desyncs, but are caused by a seperate factor.
Disconnects, very similar to Desyncs, are caused by a mismatch in the game's files. During connection, the Guest will be unable to connect to the Host. Please note that although the game may say that you have the same version, there may still be some differences. This may be cause by missed patches and Skip-Patching.
To increase the chances of successful connection, remove any and all Mods, ensure you have the same game settings in the game.ini file, and make sure you have the same version. The best way to ensure that the Host and the Guest have the same version is to upload your client and share it with the other, however this takes a very long time, and is considered a last-ditch-effort.
When attempting to connect to either a host or while hosting, Lunaport may give an error, reporting a memory error. No connection can be made, Lunaport may close and ACS does not open.
This error is caused by a memory and/or a registry error. When Lunaport attempts to open ACS, it follows a "shortcut" of sorts, stored in your system's memory or Registry. The reason this "shortcut" was improperly created may be caused by out-of-date memory, improperly installed memory or simply a registry error.
A Memory Error may or may not be reversible, but reports seem to support the latter. Possible solutions may include a memory upgrade, a scan (and fix) for registry errors.
The best solution is to move (or copy-paste) ACS and the containing files to a USB and attempt the connection on another computer.
Character Select Error
When in battle your opponent see's you playing as a different character (or vice versa). This causes battles that end at different times, different characters being used, variable errors and general confusion (especially when communicating with the second party).
When playing online, after one match is complete (and you return to the Character Select screen), you select new characters and start another match. ACS stores the character you use in your memory (so you can immediately reselect them after a match)and after the battle, it returns you to that character. However, it returns P2 to a default character (Luke fon Fabre) and P2 changes that character. In the end, you may end up in a battle against a character that your opponent tells you he isn't, and they may see you playing as a character you aren't.
The solution is very simple. First try exiting to the Mode Select screen. If the problem presists, close ACS alltogether and restart the connection. If this problem occurs to you, you will need to do this every time you play online.