GameRanger is one of the most viable and easy ways to play an old PC game’s online multiplayer with friends and/or other random players. It’s free and supports popular games such as the Age of Empires trilogy and over 700 other titles.
In this guide, we’ll go through the step by step instructions of installing GameRanger and setting it up to play with a friend who is also using GameRanger. You’ll also be able to join games that other players are hosting, as well as host your own.
Download & Install GameRanger
The first thing we’ll need to do is install GameRanger. Head over to the GameRanger website to download the program.
Installation is straightforward. Personally, I deselect the option to launch GameRanger when my computer boots up. I’d rather control when it’s running or not.
While clicking through the installation prompts, GameRanger will ask you to create an account. Doing this is what allows your friends to find you in the program.
Join or Host a Game
Once you’ve created your account and the installation is completed, you can browse the current ongoing games and join them as you wish, or click on the “Host” button to create your own room.
Hosting your own game allows you to configure the lobby to your liking, such as choosing the maximum number of players, what map to play, etc. You can also choose whether or not to make the room friends only.
Play With a Friend
If you want to play with just friends, be sure to add those players to your friends list in GameRanger. From the friends menu, you’ll be able to invite your gamer buds to your lobby and they’ll be able to see when you have a room available for them to join. You can always open the friends menu by clicking on Window > Friends. Add a friend to your list by clicking the button seen here:
Afterwards, you’ll be able to invite your friend to your hosted game by right-clicking on them in the friends menu.
Once a full party has joined your GameRanger room, click the “Start” button at the bottom to launch the game. All the players should connect and you’ll be able to play multiplayer online!
Note: If you get any alerts from Windows Firewall, be sure to click “Allow” to make sure GameRanger has network access.