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How to Run Multiple Instances of Joint Operations on one Server

Some people have asked me to demonstrate how to run multiple instances of Joint Operations or other NovaLogic game on one server at a time. In this post, I intend you show you how to do that. I will stick to the step-by-step approach because many people, including myself seem to learn best that way. Keep in mind that should work with most NovaLogic games. Just be sure to use the correct port numbers and keep in mind that some older games may not work on new versions of the Windows Server operating system, in which case you may need to get creative.

So, we will begin with the three things you will need:

  1. A copy of Joint Ops with a valid license or NovaWorld account. A separate license is not needed for playing and serving simultaneously, so you may use the same license for both. A copy of Joint Ops may be legally downloaded directly from NovaLogic here:
  2. A supported version of the Windows Server OS with at least 2 GB RAM and 30 GB disk space. In my example, I will be using Windows Server 2012 R2.
  3. A text editor such as Notepad++ or the stock Notepad application included with Windows.

Step 1: First, you will need to look at your server options. If you don't have a stable connection at home or any server hardware to host with, hosting your server on the cloud is your best option. This is the most time-saving, affordable and secure strategy for most people. Depending on your situation, I have found that OVH offers the most affordable packages, great customer support and hardware choices for the money:

Either one of the VPS Cloud options will work. Other providers will work too, but make sure to contact their support to make sure everything will work with your needs.

Step 2: Once your server has been deployed (be patient, this can take up to anywhere from a minute to a few hours before they will email you and let you know that your server is ready to go), you will need to use Remote Desktop Connection to remotely connect to it. Your VPS provider should have provided you with instructions on how to do this. Some will not use Remote Desktop Connection, but rather VNC to connect. Before we do anything, we must always make sure our server is secure before we begin production of anything to the general public.

  1. Windows Update: Make sure that you've run Windows Update and checked to make sure your server has all Important updates installed. Make sure to run it a few times as Microsoft will release updates for previous updates, so you will need to keep running it until it says there are no more updates.
  2. Windows Firewall: Double check that Windows Firewall is fully enabled. We do not want to turn this off, however we will need to make some changes to it later on in this tutorial.
  3. Antivirus / Antimalware: If you're running Windows Server 2008 - Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft provides a free antivirus program called Microsoft Security Essentials and they legally allow it to be installed on servers. You may download it here: If you're running Windows Server 2016 or newer, you may disregard this step as Windows Defender is installed by default.
  4. Change your password: Your server provider provided you with a temporary password to log into Windows. Since we are exposing our server to the outside world with Remote Desktop Connection, many attackers will try to log in to our system. There are hardening steps you can take to mitigate this, but that is beyond the scope of this tutorial. You will need to press CTRL + ALT + END and click Change a password. Choose a strong, unique password that you don't use for anything else. Make sure it is something no person or computer can automatically guess, otherwise your server will be compromised by attackers within hours, if not minutes.

Step 3:

Once you've done that, open your internet browser in the server and download the JOCAG_Install.exe file shown above. Please run it and install it. From here, we don't want to launch the game quite yet. In Windows Firewall, we will need to open the appropriate ports. NovaLogic has the list of ports for all their games here:

For Joint Ops, we will need to consider the following ports: 32768, 49152, 64206, 7597.

Here's where things may get a little tricky. First, identify how many JO servers you want to run. I will be running six. Since the main port is 32768 I will need to use 5 port numbers after that, one for each instance of JO. So for example, if you want to run two servers, you will need ports 32768 and 32769 and for three servers, you will need to use 32768, 32769 and 32770 and so on. You may want to write this down. ;)

Scroll to the bottom of that page and copy the ports field for Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising with the commas included. These will work for the Escalation and/or Combined Arms as well.

From here, right click your Start Menu and click Control Panel, then click Windows Firewall as shown below. You may also search for Firewall on the top right corner search field.

Click Advanced Settings in the left pane as shown below.

Right click Inbound Rules then click New Rule...

Click Port

Click UDP, then select Specific local ports: and then paste the port numbers you copied earlier. Be sure to add on your extra ports! In my case, I entered 32768-32773, 49152, 64206, 7597. This is just telling it to open ports 32768 through 32773, including 49152, 64206 and 7597. I will show my example below where I am wanting to host six servers.

Leave the defaults and click Next for the remainder of the wizard. Enter a name for it ("JO" will work fine) and a description if you'd like. Then click Finish.

NOTE: If you are running the server behind a router, make sure to open the same ports on that router as well. If you're following along with the Cloud option, you probably don't need to worry about that.

Step 4: Now we will need to prepare Joint Ops for hosting multiple instances.

On your desktop, right click the JO Combined Arms Gold icon and at the very end of the Target: field, type /serveonly. You will also see /exp jox01 in that field. This indicates that you will be running a server with the Escalation expansion pack. If you would prefer to host a Typhoon Rising server instead, remove /exp jox01 and leave in just /serveonly at the end. Click Ok and launch the game. Then exit the game. DO NOT UPDATE THE GAME!!! If you installed the JOCAG_Install.exe to install Joint Ops, it is already running the latest version. Updating it again is known to cause stability problems for some reason.

Next, open a File Explorer window and go to C:\Program Files (x86\NovaLogic\Joint Operations Combined Arms and delete the following files from that folder:

  • Footer.bik
  • Header.bik
  • Intro.bik
  • Main.bik

These are movie files and will slow things down considerably, especially when navigating around the menus. You may keep them if you'd like, but they are not necessary.

From here, go back one folder and copy and paste the Joint Operations Combined Folder x times, x being the number of servers you are going to host. I want six servers, so I am going to copy and paste the folder five times for a total of six folders. Copying may take a while.

After they are done copying, it is a good idea to rename the folders based on how you want to name the servers. After you've done that, go into one of the folders and open game.cfg in Notepad++ or another text editor. Keep in mind the following fields that we will be editing:

  • Line 12, "video_res"
  • Line 59, "mpnovaworldportmin = "32768""
  • Line 60, "mpnovaworldportmax = "65535""
  • Line 63, "mpnovaworldlanenumsessionportmin = "32768""
  • Line 64, "mpnovaworldlanenumsessionportmax - "65535""

The rest of the fields below can be used to customize other aspects of your server, i.e. scope drift, armory reuse time, etc. You may adjust those accordingly. But for now, we need to focus on the ones mentioned above.

For line 12, set your video res to 800x600 so that it is more manageable on your remote desktop session. Lines 59-60 and 63-64 will correlate to your port numbers. Change all four of them to be the same port number. For example, my first server will have the following:

  • Line 12, "video_res = 800x600"
  • Line 59, "mpnovaworldportmin = "32768""
  • Line 60, "mpnovaworldportmax = "32768""
  • Line 63, "mpnovaworldlanenumsessionportmin = "32768""
  • Line 64, "mpnovaworldlanenumsessionportmax - "32768""

Then my second server, in one of the other Joint Operations folders we copied earlier, which will be using port 32769, will have the following configuration:

  • Line 12, "video_res = 800x600"
  • Line 59, "mpnovaworldportmin = "32769""
  • Line 60, "mpnovaworldportmax = "32769""
  • Line 63, "mpnovaworldlanenumsessionportmin = "32769""
  • Line 64, "mpnovaworldlanenumsessionportmax - "32769""

And so on...

Continue on up for the rest of your servers. Remember that your port numbers can only go as high as you defined when you opened the ports on the Firewall earlier. Feel free to go back and open more if needed.

Once you've done this in all of the Joint Operations folders, create a shortcut to Jointops.exe to the desktop from each folder. I recommend that you rename those shortcuts to correspond to the server name to avoid confusion. Remember to right click each shortcut, click Properties and add the /serveonly line at the end of every Target: field and the /exp jox01 if you want to host an Escalation server.

From here, you may launch the game and begin hosting your servers. You may use the same NovaWorld account to host multiple servers as well as play on them at the same time. Have fun! Feel free to contact me if you need assistance with anything. My email address is sean [at] cyanghost [dot] com.

Published: August 2016

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