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Armagetron: Documentation
First Start Network Play Configuration FAQ Bugs Todo List Changelog Compilation

First Start

WARNING: (READ IT! it's NOT legaleese, I mean it!)

Some people react on flashing lights in a very unpleasant manner: they experience epileptic seizures. Even if you did never have such a seizure, you may still be affected by those induced seizures. Since ArmageTron contains rhythmic flashing lights (the grid you race over...), there is a higher risk of induced seizures than in normal computer games. FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY, do NOT play ArmageTron on a wide TV screen or in a dark room and allways keep a good eye distance form your monitor. I DO NOT FEEL RESPONSIBLE for anything that might happen to you while playing ArmageTron, even if you do respect these advices (See legal stuff below).

Legal stuff: license and warranty

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

According to the GPL, you should get a copy of the source code from the same place where you got the executable; unfortutately, most Windows-specific shareware/freeware sites don't seem to know that. Well, don't go suing them; grab the sources from


Installation and start is system specific; read the Linux or Windows instructions.

You should end up with a directory called "armagetron" containing the following directory tree:

  • armagetron(.exe) (the main executalbe)
  • models (the directory for the cycle models)
  • sound (the directory for sound files)
  • textures (the directory for textures and the icon)
  • doc (the documentation you are just reading)
  • COPYING.txt (your copy of the GNU General Public License)
  • default.cfg (the configuration file loaded at first start)
  • settings.cfg (the configuration file loaded every time)
Additionally, if you installed the moviepack/moviesounds from the addons page at armagetron.sourceforge.net/addons.html, you'll see the two directories
  • moviepack
  • moviesounds
containing ONLY files and no subdirectories. When you have run Armagetron, you'll see the additional files
  • highscores.txt,ladder.txt,won_matches.txt and won_rounds.txt (score statistics files)
  • artr.cfg (Armagetron custom configuration file (for Windows users; Linux users will find it at ~/.ArmageTronrc))
  • stdout.txt and stderr.txt ((Windows only) output and error log)
You may want to create your own configuration file
  • autoexec.cfg (config file read at every start)
so your custom modifications don't get overwritten by the defaults the next time you install an update.

Command line switches

-fullscreen start Armagetron in fullscreen mode (default)
-window start Armagetron in windowed mode
Windows specific:
-directx don't use DirectX for screen initialisation and input (default)
+directx use DirectX for screen initialisation and input; causes Armagetron to not work at all on VooDoo Banshee and VooDoo 3.

How to play

The rules are simple: you ride a lightcycle (a kind of motorbike that can only turn 90 degrees at a time, leaves a wall behind and cannot be stopped). Avoid running into a wall. Make your opponent run into a wall. (Just in case you do not know: this idea is stolen from the Disney movie "Tron" from 1982 (did they steal the idea from someone else? I don't know).)

One thing is different than in other Tron-Clones: You can accelerate. Oh, not by pressing an acceleration button, that would not be new. You accelerate by driving close to walls (Only player walls count, the rim has no such effect.) That allows some interesting tactics. (of course, the AI players are not smart enough for that..) Every time you make a turn, you loose 5% of your speed, so don't be to nervous; speed is your only resource against other players!

First start:

First thing you shold do is go into the "Player Menu", set your name and your keyboard and mouse configuration. Then, go into the "Game Menu" and start a single player game against one AI opponent (the game mode does not really matter here). Then, get some friends together and try the multiplayer modes!

Menu navigation:

Move up one itemCURSOR UP
Move down one itemCURSOR DOWN
Enter Submenu/Activate itemRETURN/ENTER/SPACE
Leave MenuESCAPE

change controls (in "Player Menu"/"Player x"/"Input Configuration"):

Press ENTER or SPACE on the control you wish to change, then press the key/mousebutton you want to assign to that control. Moving the mouse also works.
Press DELETE or BACKSPACE to reset the control binds for the selected functions.

Special keys during the game:

g:grabs/ungrabs the mouse pointer
p:pauses/unpauses the game; not allowed in client mode
q/ESC:quits to the game menu

From everywhere: SHIFT-ESC is the "boss key" and quits Armagetron as fast as possible.

Default keyboad configuration:
Player 1 turn left : y,z
Player 1 turn right : x
Player 1 chat : s
Player 1 switch camera : c
Player 2 turn left : cursor left
Player 2 turn right : cursor right
Player 2 switch camera : cursor down
show scores : TAB
scroll message console : page up/down

If you want some speed control, you have to assign a key to the brake function. As you usually want to go as fast as possible, there is no default bind for that. Currently, the brake function is disabled completely on the internet server to maintain compatibility with older versions.

What is the purpose of this release?

To have fun and make you hungry for more! The AI players are not dumb as hell, the different camera perspectives work, so does multiplayer mode on one computer. Network mode may still be buggy. See the ToDo list and Buglist for details.


Thanks go out to:
  • Fabrice Holbé (fholbe@ubisoft.fr) for the font and most importanly: the GREAT MOVIEPACK! Yes!
  • Chaz Guarino (Clockwiser@aol.com) for extracting the sounds from the movie in high quality.
  • (Both the moviepack and the movie sounds are available for download separately on the Addons page because of their size and copyright stuff)
  • My brother Benjamin and my girlfriend Sibila Madzalik de Morais (what a name!) for extensive testing
  • All the other fans that sent me their suggestions and comments!

Author of this piece of shit:

This software was written by the ONE AND ONLY ME, Manuel Moos. :)


Check the main site at armagetron.sourceforge.net/tron.html


I created three mailing lists: you can join them on the links below. The purpose of the lists is:

  • armagetron-announce: I will announce new major releases of Armagetron there; this will not happen often. If you like this game, join the list.
  • armagetron-users: This list is open for all users; here, you can handle out meetings, discuss technical questions, whatever YOU like. If you are addicted to Armagetron, join this list, too.
  • armagetron-devel: this list is for everyone who wants to help me with the game. Join only if you love Armagetron and have some skill or ideas that may help the game.
Subscription is as easy as it can be: just enter your email address in the form, pick a password and hit the subscribe button. Then, you'll get a mail you just have to reply to to acknowledge your subscription. I am on all three lists and will reply to general questions there.

Alternatively, just mail me at
I am glad about all kind of feedback (Bug report, found spelling mistakes, telling me how great I am,....). Of course, you should check the FAQ before asking a question, the Buglist before sending a bug report and the Todo list before suggesting a new feature. And if you think your message may be of public interest, consider posting it to the armagetron-users mailing list instead. You can do so without subscribing.
If you have a bug to report, don't forget to tell me
  • The OS you're using
  • your version of Armagetron
  • your graphic board
  • the contents of stderr.txt and stdout.txt (for Windows users)
  • maybe the error message you got?
as well as
  • Your sound board if you have problems with the sound,
  • Your network configuration, IP address and ISP if you have network problems
And, most importantly, if I give you suggestions how to work around the bug/fix it, MAIL ME IF IT WORKS! That way, you can help me improve Armagetron.

This document was created by Manuel Moos.

Last modification: Don Nov 16 21:34:25 CET 2000

First Start Network Play Configuration FAQ Bugs Todo List Changelog Compilation