BASIC: Which patches do exist? Which one do I need?

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Patches

Patches: Which patches exist - which one do I need?!

First of all we need to distinguish between normal Unreal Classic and the expansion pack (Return To NaPali). Patches normally clearly state for which program they are, and you MUST NOT mix them up. Unreal Tournament (UT99) is of course another matter of its own.

Patch versions for the game itself carry 3-digit version numbers and often a letter (examples: 224v, 225f, 226b, 226f,...). A few special versions may be numbered slightly differently, for example one of the patches for the MACINTOSH is labelled 224b7. All these official engine patches can be downloaded right from this site, in the download section. Smirftsch also created independent patches that greatly enhance Graphics and Sound. These patches are called Oldunreal Multimedia Patches (OMP) and have to be installed separately AFTER you installed the best possible official engine patch. Do NOT install the OMP patches on your server though, only on the machine you PLAY from. You CAN install OMP on servers too, but there is no point doing it!


Patches for PLAYERS (clients)

Game Patch Recommendations
Unreal One before 224 Not recommended for anybody because with old patches like these you will NOT be able to join any servers nowadays.
Unreal One 224b7 Macintosh patch, as far as I know the last version available that actually works. Since I don't own I Mac I would not know for sure though.
Unreal One 224v Win/PC patch, 224v is a basic patch. Should only be used for playing in conjunction with Smirftsch's OMP patch, because D3D and OpenGL support is not very good the way it comes.
Unreal One 225f Win/PC patch, the best possible patch if you have a 3DFX Voodoo / Glide card or use a Glide-Wrapper! OMP for this version does NOT have Graphics update, only sound, so D3D/OpenGL users should stay away from this version!
Unreal One 226f Win/PC patch, the final patch Epic ever released. D3D support is very good, OpenGL should only be used after installing OMP for 226 too. 3DFX/Glide still functions but you don't gain anything noteworthy over 225f if you use Glide.
Return To Napali before 224 Win/PC patch, not recommended for online play, because you will NOT be able to connect any of today's servers.
Return To Napali 226 b (Gold) Win/PC patch: This appears to be the only existing modern patch for Return To Napali, and it automatically changes your game to a Gold installation. Gold comes with the fancy UT-style menues and is network-incompatible to 226f. D3D support is very good, OMP is also available and makes 226b a very commonly used and generally good client with only a few quirks. Glide/3DFX also works very well.
Unreal Tournament (UT99) 436 The only patch recommended for playing is 436. It is possible to use higher versions for playing too, but you will not gain anything by doing so, indeed for playing, higher versions than 436 will more likely cause you trouble! D3D is okay as it comes, so is 3DFX Glide, but OpenGL is better replaced by the renderer in the OMP.


Patches for SERVERs

Game Patch Recommendations
Unreal One before 224 Don't use! That's all there needs to be said.
Unreal One 224b7 Macintosh patch, I never saw a MAC server in my life, or not that I would have noticed, so no idea!
Unreal one 224v Win/PC patch, 224v is highly stable and performant as server, in some rare circumstances even more powerful than later versions. However, 224v servers came out of use mostly to some incompatibilities. I can highly recommend running a 224v server for smaller servers, especially if CPU power is a problem. Side note: Some mods are 224-server-incompatible, i.e. RealCTF...
Unreal Gold 225f Win/PC patch, the most commonly used patch when running a server. 225f is the most compatible server existing at the moment with the least known issues.
Unreal Gold 226f Win/PC patch, the final patch Epic ever released has networking issues, and 226b (Gold) clients cannot join.
Return To Napali - Running Return To Napali servers is a very special topic beyond the scope of this document. Suffice to say, it is troublesome, because there are a lot of incompatibilities. If you only want to run DeathMatch maps, just use a normal Unreal server and use 224 or pre-224 UPak.u. The older UPak.u are compatible and the deathmatch maps are as well, however, Coop servers are a lot more complicated!
Unreal Tournament (UT99) 451+ Use whatever newest version you can find from the UTPG. 436 still has network flaws especially with regards to DOS attacks which the UTPG patches fix.


Mappers

You don't have much of a pick in Unreal Tournament (436), but for Unreal One you have to make sure your maps are compatible to versions 224 and 225. If you use 224 or 225 to make maps, you are on the safe side, however, the editor appears to be quite buggy. The editor is a lot more stable for 226, but a map saved by the 226 editor will not play in 224 or 225, unless you do a bit of manual hex-editing on the 226 map file.

The tutorial how to make 226 maps compatible to 224 and 225 can be found HERE! If you want to include UPak items in your maps, you are strongly advised to use an OLD UPak from 224 or earlier.

Also, the Unreal One editor will need patching up either way before being useful, the editor patches are also in the download section.


Scripters / Mod-Writers

Unreal Tournament mod writers will use 436, not much else there to discuss.

Unreal One mod writers should, like mappers, make sure their mod is 224/225 compatible. Since 224 is the most restrictive version, I recommend to compile your mod with 224, but you must make sure to test your mods at least on 225f as well. 224 may be more restrictive, but it is more powerful in replication issues and 225 simply does not do certain things...

Here is a small list of things to keep in mind when scripting ADVANCED:

224 does not allow switch()/case statements with the condition set on a string, 225 and higher does... UWindow API is highly different between versions, especially when comparing 226b (Gold) to 224. Writing a UWindow mod compatible to 224 AND 226b is not impossible (Smartball's EDM console proves that) but extremely difficult. 224 is more powerful with replication, ie can replicate large arrays and strings easily, 225 and higher appear to have lost that ability. 224 appears to use the replication condition bNetOwner correctly at all times, 225 at least is buggy with it!


Summary

Server: 224 or 225 for Unreal, 451 or newer for UT Voodoo card players (Glide): 225f, or 226b if you have to (Napali), UT 436 (+OMP optional for sound) GForce and other OpenGL card players: 224v+OMP or 226f/b+OMP, UT 436+OMP D3D players: 226f/b (+OMP), UT436 (+OMP optional for sound) Map editors: 224 or 225f, 226f/b + hex-editing, UT 436 Scripters: Unreal 224+225, UT 436