SWTOR:HOWTO Launch multiple instances

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Launching multiple instances of Star Wars: The Old Republic on the same PC is not normally possible. However, ISBoxer makes launching multiple copies of SWTOR possible through virtualization technology built into Inner Space (the gaming platform that ISBoxer configures for multiboxing). This guide will take you as far as launching two or more instances of SWTOR!

Part 1: Get ISBoxer

First, you must download and install ISBoxer and Inner Space from the Get ISBoxer Now! page here on ISBoxer.com.

The next parts of the guide will assume you have followed steps 1, 2 and 3 from the Get ISBoxer Now! page, so that ISBoxer and Inner Space are installed and running.

Part 2: Add Star Wars: The Old Republic to Inner Space

Inner Space may not have SWTOR in its list of games already, so you may need to manually add it. Right click the Inner Space icon in the system tray (notification area), and check the list of games above the "Add Game" item in the menu. If Star Wars: The Old Republic is already listed, then you can skip to Part 3. Otherwise, select "Add Game" from the menu to add the game yourself.

In the Add Game window, first name the game. It is not important what you name it; "SWTOR" is fine. The important part is the Game executable. You will want to click the "..." button to browse for the Launcher.exe file in the SWTOR folder. Commonly this may be found at C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\BioWare\Star Wars - The Old Republic\Launcher.exe, but may be at another location on your PC. The SWTOR shortcut on your desktop or Start menu can point you in the right direction if you are not sure where to find it (right click it and select Properties). The "Parameters" field in the Add Game window can be left blank, just click OK to complete the process.

After adding the game to Inner Space, it should be possible to launch ONE instance (but not a second one until we use ISBoxer) of the game by selecting the Game Profile (e.g. "SWTOR Default Profile") through the Inner Space menu. Try it now to ensure that the SWTOR launcher will work through Inner Space. If the SWTOR launcher does NOT work, this may be due to incompatibility with some software on your PC (the Zone Alarm browser plugin has been a recent culprit); if you have this problem it might be a good idea to ask for help in the ISBoxer.com SWTOR forum.

ISBoxer will link up to this new Game and Game Profile, and make it possible to launch more than one instance at a time. Let's get a move on!

Part 3: The ISBoxer Quick Setup Wizard

This part is actually pretty simple, but follow along.

In the ISBoxer software at this point, you have a blank slate. Start by going to the Wizards menu and select Quick Setup Wizard (or you can hit Ctrl+Q within ISBoxer for a shortcut). The first page asks what game you will be playing, and also needs to know what Game and Game Profile from Inner Space it will need to launch. Select "Star Wars: The Old Republic" from the first drop-down, and select your Game and Game Profile from Part 2 in the other drop-down boxes, then click Next.

The next page of the Quick Setup Wizard asks for "the names of the Characters you will be playing at the same time". You don't need to use an actual character name for this game, so you can choose do this by account, or I use "swtor one", "swtor two", "swtor three", etc. The "character name" will, however, be used to keep different configuration files (such as replacing client_settings.ini with client_settings-swtor one.ini or client_settings-swtor two.ini). After naming your new "characters", click Next.

Now for the Window Layout. SWTOR has a special multi-process design model that is different from other MMORPGs, which used to negative affect some of ISBoxer's Window Layout features. However, as of a new Inner Space release, all standard Window Layouts should work great. :) Change any individual options in the properties pane to the right, and then select a style of Window Layout from the top drop-down that looks like it will work for you, and click Next. You can use the Window Layout Wizard later at any time to try out a different style.

Next up is the CPU Strategy page. This will allow you to tweak CPU usage if you so desire. For now, you can probably leave it at the defaults and click Next. You can use the CPU Strategy Wizard later at any time to try out different settings.

Finally, the last page gives you the option of letting ISBoxer set up some basic Key Maps and broadcasting functionality that is standard for all games. I see a relatively common question "how can I just launch two instances, I don't need broadcasting" -- well if you really don't want the option, you can uncheck the boxes on this page. But I would recommend leaving them as-is. Click the Finish button to complete the Wizard.

Part 4: Export to Inner Space

Yes, this deserves its own section. After making configuration changes through ISBoxer, you must purposefully activate the changes. To do so, go to the File menu and select Export All to Inner Space. (Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+E)

You will not be able to launch your new Character Set without doing so.

Part 5: Launch your new Character Set

Yes, you really did everything that you need to do already.

To launch your new Character Set you can right click the Inner Space icon in the system tray (notification area) and, under the ISBoxer Character Sets menu, select your newly created team. Alternatively, you can also right click on your Character Set in ISBoxer and select Launch. If you prefer a shortcut on your desktop, there is also a "Create desktop Launch shortcut" option in the right-click menu on your Character Set.

Your Character Set should be launching at this point. The first launcher should come up, and you should log into the first account (for the first Character) in your Character Set. After clicking Play on the launcher, the first game client should come up. Once the first game client is up, ISBoxer will automatically start the second launcher instance for you!

If you get a popup box that says "Only one instance of this application can run" instead of the launcher coming up, this happens if the SWTOR launcher is already running, and a second instance of it launches. It is possible to get this message under normal circumstances if ISBoxer tries to launch the next instance too soon (before the first launcher fully closes). At the time you get this message, you can probably manually close the first launcher instance and launch your Character Set again (with the first game clients still running) -- doing so will refresh the Character Set and fill in any missing slots, so this is also what you should do if you closed one instance and want to re-launch it, or if one crashed, etc. If it normally works, but you get this message once in a while, you may be able to increase the "Launch each Character ___ seconds after another is ready" setting in your Character Set to mitigate the problem.

Part 6: There is no part 6

You are now multiboxing. For tips and tricks on how to do things with multiple characters in this game in a EULA-safe manner, check out Quick Start Guide 40, Part 4: Gameplay as a multiboxer, the Common modifications page, the ISBoxer.com SWTOR forum and the Dual-boxing.com SWTOR forum!

Things to try if it doesn't work right

  • Sometimes issues with Inner Space are fixed in the "development build" before they are pushed to the live build (much like games offer Test servers, beta builds, etc). If it's not working for you, this is the first thing you should try. To try the development build of Inner Space, right click on Inner Space in the system tray (notification area), check "Download development (test) patches" and then close and restart Inner Space.
  • If the game itself is set to Fullscreen mode, you may have odd graphics issues (such as the game looking zoomed in) or mouse interaction problems. If your graphics look completely wrong, try hitting Alt+Enter. This will reset the game's graphics and switch into Windowed Mode (or to full screen mode... in which case you want to switch back again and this may correct the problem you were having). After doing so, the game's UI may look out of place and the window may be on the wrong monitor; either do an Export to Inner Space, or close the game and re-launch your team and it should correct itself.
  • The HOWTO: Multibox SWTOR on one PC with ISBoxer! post has all of the known troubleshooting information in it, so it may help to check that for more information.
  • If you have multiple monitors, this Multi display issue. thread may also have useful information.

See Also