Games : Frontier : Support

Frontier was released in 1993, long before modern versions of Windows. As with many old games, some users may experience problems running it on modern systems.

Please refer to the relevant section based on which operating system you are using:

See the First Encounters support page for info on running Frontier under MS-DOS - the steps to go through are the same.

Windows 95/98/ME
Frontier will often run on these operating systems without any problems. Some users may need to make some of the configuration changes listed in the First Encounters support page related to freeing conventional memory, but then booting into Windows with these settings rather than using MS-DOS.

Windows 2000/XP
Follow these steps to get the game running under Windows 2000 or XP. This is not guaranteed to work, but should in most cases.

  • Find the file called CONFIG.NT. In Windows XP, this is located in C:\WINDOWS\CONFIG32\. In Windows 2000, it is in C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\.
  • At the bottom of this file, add a line reading: EMM = RAM
  • If you have the shareware version of Frontier: The shareware version of Frontier is supplied with a shortcut file which you should use to launch the game. You can recognise this shortcut in your Frontier directory from its MS-DOS icon.
  • If you have the non-shareware version of Frontier: Create a shortcut to FRONTIER.EXE. Right click on the shortcut you have created and click Properties. Click on the Memory tab. Set "Expanded (EMS) memory" to Auto. Click Ok and run the game using the shortcut you just created.
To get sound in Windows 2000/XP you'll need to download a utility which allows sound in DOS games to work under these operating systems. One such utility is VDMSound. When you use this and run the game with sound enabled, you should choose either the first or second options when the game asks you which sound system you want to use. Option 1 (Roland sound) gives better music quality, but sound effects may not work properly. Option 2 (Adlib sound) gives working sound effects, but poorer quality music.

The VDMSound website also allows you to download an optional front-end utility called LaunchPad, the use of which is highly recommended. It allows much greater flexibility in configuring the running of DOS games. It can also be used in place of the shortcut file which is supplied with the shareware version of Frontier. Note that if you are using LaunchPad, you need to make sure the game is installed in a directory which does not include long filenames (e.g. C:\GAMES\FRONTIER).

Our thanks go to Michael S. Grose (aka OzFalcon) for contributing some of the above Win2000/XP instructions.

Linux, Mac OS, BeOS
Refer to the instructions below regarding DOSBox.

If the game still doesn't work...
If the game doesn't work correctly after you've followed the instructions above, there are two things you can try:

DOSBox is a DOS emulator that can run on a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. It comes with built-in sound and mouse drivers, so all you have to do is mount the Frontier directory as a drive in DOSBox, and then type the name of the executable (for the shareware version, this is FRONTIER.BAT).
You can also specify the program to run on the command line. For example, if you have the shareware version of Frontier, and it is installed in "C:\GAMES\FRONTIER", you can do the following:

1) Make a copy of your DOSBox shortcut and rename it to "DOSBox Frontier"
2) Right-click on DOSBox Frontier and choose Properties
3) At the end of the "Target" line, add the following: C:\GAMES\FRONTIER\FRONTIER.BAT
4) Select 'OK', then just run "DOSBox Frontier" to play the game.

Note that a powerful PC is required to run the game under DOSBox at a good frame rate.

Amiga/ST emulation
One thing you can try if the PC version of the game won't work on your computer is to run an Amiga or Atari ST emulator, and use the corresponding version of the game under emulation. The Amiga version of the game can be downloaded from
Recommended emulators:
Amiga: WinUAE
Atari ST: SteeM

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