1. Read the terms and conditions before signing up.
Specifically the bit about which operating systems are supported:
- 64bit OS's are supported but only for a growing subset of games
- XP, 2000 and Vista are supported
- not all games work in Vista, most do (or can be made to)
- Windows 7 - has only just hit the streets but is not yet supported by Metaboli although some users have reported some success.
- only games marked as 64bit compatible it will run on 64bit systems
- however, games not marked as compatible for a given version of Windows, or marked as "testing" for that OS, may
run in that version
- games marked as 64bit compatible will still run on 32bit systems (until someone brings out a 64bit only game)2. Read the game page.
There are two sets of information on the game page that are vital:
- "System requirements" - tells you what hardware is required to run the game. Systems below this (or which the player thinks are below this) can be forced to run the game - just click the "Run anyway" link. But if your machine is below the spec, it may not run.
- "Pre-requisites" - not specifically listed but at the foot of the "Game Info" section you will find links to additional software such as PhysX drivers that some games need. You must have these - they are not optional.3. Don't panic
This service does work most of the time for most of the people. When things go wrong they can almost always be fixed and usually fairly quickly. 4. Visit MetaClinic
Wildrides excellent MetaClinic
site includes general help on getting things working and some specific help for certain games. Read through the "General Help" section first, it will solve 90% of problems. The specific games section hasn't been updated recently so some of the newer games aren't covered.5. Ask here for help BUT ...
This is a user
discussion forum and not
the official support channel. So please bear in mind that you are mostly talking to other users. Metaboli staff do take part in discussions but its mostly just us. Having said that, it can be faster to get help here than emailing support. Some pointers to speed things up:
- be polite, we are users just like you, shouting at us wont encourage us to be helpful
- give us you system specifications, particularly which operating system
- tell us which game you are having problems with
- tell us what things you have already tried
- try other games and tell us is they work, it is important to know if the problem is with one game or all games
- we may ask things you think are trivial but remember:
- - we don't know your level of expertise
- - we don't know your system
- we may suggest things you think are wrong but we will be suggesting them because they have worked in the past - no matter how wrong they seem6. Email technical support
If all else fails email technical support at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some things to note about emailing support:
- you will
get an automated response
- the auto-response should come through within minutes, if not see the next point ...
- web based email systems (hotmail, gmail etc.) often delay or filter out the emails from Metaboli (they treat them as spam) so check your spam folder or, preferably, use an ISP based account.
- once you have tried the things it suggests reply directly to that response, without changing the message line, to get a human response7. MODs, INI's and Patches
At present very few games support MOD's as they generally change the game files, or are stored within the games folder. These folders and files are protected by the player software so cannot be MODified in any way.
Much the same story applies to changing INI files.
There are a few games (Civ IV being the only one I can remember for now) where MOD's do work - because they store them outwith the games own folders (in the "My Games" folder for Civ IV).
Both of the above look like they may be changing as the new (Yummy) player works differently and seems to store games in much the same structure as normally installed games.
Patches to games are a similar story. If you have to manually download and install a patch then it wont work. If the game has a built in patching system then it usually works as normally. Most patches must therefore be applied by Metaboli once the publishers supply them with the necessary files. The bad news is that some publishers are slow at providing the files.8. Downloading one game whilst playing another
This is possible provided that:
- both games are newer Yummy based games (mostly 64bit the compatible one)
- one game is an older Exent based game and one is Yummy based
- two old Exent based games doesn't work
All you need to do is start the game you want to play, Alt-Tab back to Windows and hit the "Start" button near the bottom of the "My Games" page. Note that some games don't like you Alt-Tab-ing back to Windows and wont work afterwards.9. Some quick tips and odd little things
- "View active topics"
is your friend on the forum's
- Firewalls, Virus scanner and other system protection software can stop the player and games from running but can usually be configured to let them run without compromising system security
- clean your system of virii, spyware, malware, etc. using your virus scanner and tools like IOBit System Care.
- clean up the rest of your system too (registry etc) - again tools like IOBit System Care are good for this (it's free by the way)
- make sure your graphics card and sound card drivers are up to date
- it is better to let the game download fully before trying to play it (even if it tells you its ready)
- shut down all unnecessary programs when you run games
- starting from a freshly stared machine generally helps
- some games don't like game controllers, joysticks and keypads (that pretend to be keyboards) being plugged in
- some older games don't like Windows itself being in high resolution (greater than 1280x1024) when they start
- some games don't like Windows being in wide screen resolutions when they start up
- Internet Explorer and Firefox are both supported but some people have problems with one or the other - so if one doesn't work for you then try the other one
- if the desktop icon or Start / Programs menu entry does not work, try running the game from the games own page or from your "My Account / My Games" page, it can make a difference
- defragging your hard disk generally wont make a game run but it can make it run smoother
- start new games with your graphics card settings set to "Application controlled" or "Defaults" - don't try and force things like anti-aliasing or "Wait for sync", once its working you can start tweaking - and some games can crash with overrides
- some games do not like dual card setups - so try with "Crossfire" turned OFF if you have problems
- some games don't like the "Catalyst AI" - turn that off too
- - the above two are specific ATI graphics cards but are probably true of nVidia cards too, just translate the terminology