RTW Command Line Switches

By SubRosa & Primo

There are several command line switches that can be used with Rome Total War, and many of them come in very handy for trouble-shooting problems and otherwise changing the way the game plays.


The RTW command switches are used as follows: [Command Line] -Switch -Switch

You can have any number of switches after the command line. They must be separated from the command line and one another by a space.

Example: "C:\RTW Amazon\RomeTW.exe" -mod:amazon -show_err

Command Line Switches

-show_err This tells the game to display an error message when it crashes, making it the most helpful switch there is.

-nm This stands for No Movies. As the name implies it disables the videos in the game. From the intro movies to the background menu video. This switch can decrease load times significantly.

-ne This runs the game in Windowed Mode rather than Full Screen. It can be handy for people who go back and forth from the game to their desktop.

-mod:[folder] Also known as the Mod:Switch, this is one of a modders best friends. This is used to tell the game to look in the folder specified and use the game files in there rather than those in its original folders. This allows you to play a modified version of the game without altering the original game files, so that the vanilla game is still playable as well. The example above shows the switch being used to tell the game to look in the Amazon folder. Look here for a full article explaining how to implement Mod:Switch.

-strat:[campaign_name] This tells the game to skip all the preliminary menus and immediately start the game using the campaign specified. is the name of the sub-folder found in your RTW\Data\World\Maps\Campaign folder that the campaign you want to run is in. For example, -strat:imperial_campaign will start the game to the regular single player campaign of RTW. Normally this will begin the game to the Julii campaign. However, this can be changed by first editing the RTW\Data\World\Maps\Campaign\Imperial_Campaign\descr_strat.txt file and moving all the factions except the one you want to play under nonplayable. The game will then automatically begin a new campaign with the only remaining playable faction.

-enable_editor This turns on the Historical Battle Editor. To run the Editor, start the game and go to Options, then Battle Editor.

-movie_cam This command line lets you use the movie cam, often used for getting screenshots at exclusive angles, generally below head height. Once added, play a custom battle, save the replay, then watch the replay. You should now be watching it with a lot of blue text on the screen. To move the camera about use the arrow keys:

  • Up arrow key: Moves the camera forward but on a downwards slope. Watch you don't sink into the ground now!
  • Down arrow key: Exact opposite of Up arrow key.
  • Left and Right arrows keys: Swivels the camera left and right respectively.
  • Space bar: gets rid of blue text.
It can be awkward at first, but once you get used to it you can get some prime positions for some awesome screenshots.

-ai When you start a campaign, this switch gives the AI control over all factions. This allows you to watch how all the factions progress without human intervention.

-multirun This allows you to run more than one instance of the game at a time.

-na Disables the audio.

-sw Runs the game with no video at all, only sounds.

-sprite_script This is used to generate sprites. A complete tutorial on how to create sprites can be found here.

New to Command Lines and Switches?

For those of you new to the world of using switches, they are a variable that you can add onto the end of the command line that starts an application, telling it to do something specific when it starts up. You can find your command line by going to the shortcut you use to start the game and right-clicking on it. A new box will pop up, and in it left-click on Properties. This will bring up a new window called Rome Total War Properties with three tabs across the top. Select the Shortcut tab, and you will see the following (note that your "Target" and "Start In" fields will probably indicate slightly different folders than mine, as I did not use the default installation path):

The "Start In" field tells you what folder your game is located in. What we are interested in is the "Target" field however. That displays the command line of the game. A command line is simply the folder the application is located in along with the executable file used to run it, all together in one long string that is enclosed by quotation marks.

The switch is something we add to the end of that string in the "Target" field. Do not alter the string itself, rather make a space after it, then enter your switch. If adding multiple switches make sure there is a space between each. It will probably become too long to display the entire thing in your target box. If so you can scroll from one side to another simply by putting your cursor in the box and using the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it from side to side.

Here is an example of the -show_err and -nm switches being used:

When you are finished click on Ok and you will be all set. If you make a mistake, simply click on cancel and it will close the window without saving anything. Just reopen it and try again.