Retro meets Modern: Settlers 3 and HyperV

Some days ago I remembered one old game I liked to play: Settlers 3 (“Siedler 3” in German). Like it is on old games, they are not running without any problems on modern operating systems. So I decided to buy the of Settlers 3 and it works. The next step was to try to run a multiplayer session with a friend of mine. The problem we had was, that we didn’t see the sessions of our games in the lobby. After some researching on the internet we didn’t find any hints about our issue. So we started to dig.
When we started Settlers 3 the first time, DirectPlay was installed. It is a kind of old network “Framework”. So maybe we have problems with network.
We figured out, that the problem is because of the multiple network adapters of my computer. Physically there is just one but I have Hyper-V running on my PC for development purposes and Hyper-V installs several additional pseudo adapters. After uninstall Hyper-V (just for testing), it works. So we are now sure it is because of the network adapters. I don’t want to uninstall or disable Hyper-V everytime I want to play Settlers. Hyper-V is for virtualization – why not running Settlers 3 in a virtual Machine?
I installed a Windows 10 VM, installed all Updates and Settlers 3 (GoG-Edition). I started the game for the first time and it crashed. I restarted the VM. When Windows was starting there was a dialog to “connect” to the VM. In my Microsoft Trainings I learned, that this is the connection dialog for the enhanced session – a kind of RDP connection. I also know that if you are connected via RDP, the graphic card is just an emulated one for the session. So I didn’t click the “connect” button and stay in the default session instead of changing to the enhanced session. I additionally disabled all windows firewalls before starting Settlers 3 again. And voila: it started. Also the Multiplayer session was running without any problems. Ingame I recommend to press F3 to change the resolution to the largest possible.

So in summary what to do if you want to play Settlers 3 on an Hyper-V enabled machine:
1. Install a new VM on Windows XP or higher
2. Connect to that VM WITHOUT enhanced session (you can also disable this in the VM settings)
3. Disable all firewalls in the VM
4. Install Settlers 3 GoG Edition and also DirectPlay on the first start in the VM
5. Happy gaming!

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