If you are experiencing problems when running Total Annihilation, please explore the following options before contacting tech support. The majority of tech support calls are solved using one of the following solutions.


Problems with Start button appearing in Multi-player

Install the DirectX DirectPlay 5.0a drivers, available at and on Disc 1.

Experiencing sound-related problems or unexplained crashes.

We have found that most crashes are a result of old or non-DirectX compatible sound card drivers. There are two options to help solve these problems. On Disc 1 is a text file called Totala.ini which will allow you to use these options and get detailed instructions on how to make these changes to your system. To use Totala.ini, copy Totala.ini from Disc 1 to the folder containing Totala.exe and set the option you need equal to one. You can also pass a switch on the command line to activate these options.

UseWindowsSound (or -w on the command line) Use the standard Windows multimedia interface for playing sounds instead of DirectSound. Set this to 1 to use Windows sound, and 0 to use DirectSound.

Note: Setting this value to 1 will allow you to play the game if DirectSound does not work properly on your system. However, the audio quality will be greatly decreased, especially during heavy battles. Also, you will not get any audio narration with your mission briefings or any sound in the movies.

NoDirectSound (or -s on the command line) Disable the use of DirectSound. Set this to 1 to disable sound in the game. Set it to 0 to use sound normally. Disable the sound if you do not have a sound card or the game crashes while trying to play sounds.

The game crashes in the middle of a game, with or without an error message.

Bring up the Windows '95 task manager by pressing control-alt-delete ONCE. Exit all applications except for Explorer and Systray. Other programs such as virus scanners, video card control panels, etc. can interfere with the operation of the game. Once all unneeded applications are closed, try running the game again.

If this doesn't work, try re-installing the game and DirectX 5. You should also run Scandisk to check your hard drive for errors, and Defragment your hard drive if needed.

If nothing works, your system may not be 100% DirectX compatible. Try to find the latest video and sound drivers available for your hard drive. These are usually available from the manufacturer of the system or the cards themselves and found on the world wide web.


The game quits or an error message appears when clicking on "Play Game".

First, be sure that you have installed DirectX version 5 from the CD. Total Annihilation will not work with older versions of DirectX. Also, be sure that you have rebooted your computer after installing DirectX.

Carefully read any messages that you encounter during the installing of DirectX version 5. Many video and sound cards have drivers that are DirectX compliant, but there are many others that don't. If DirectX encounters a driver that it does not recognize, or if it has a newer version of a driver already present on your machine, it will ask you if you want to replace that driver. It is extremely important that you follow the recommendation on your screen. Also, write down the instructions given (if any) for uninstalling DirectX should you have any problems with it.

If you need more information about DirectX, check out the Microsoft DirectX web site at


Game won't run after installing DirectX 5.

Be sure that you have rebooted your system after installing DirectX 5. If this doesn't work, bring up the Windows '95 task manager by pressing control-alt-delete ONCE. Exit all applications except for Explorer and Systray. Other programs such as virus scanners, video card control panels, etc. can interfere with the operation of the game. Once all unneeded applications are closed, try running the game again.

Missing File

If you see the message "A required file DPLAYX.DLL was not found" when you run Total Annihilation this means that you have an older version of Microsoft DirectX on your machine. To correct this you will need to install the version of Microsoft DirectX included on the Total Annihilation installation CD.

Windows NT

This version of Total Annihilation has not been tested with Windows NT. A version of Windows NT with support for DirectX release 5 was not commercially available during production.

IP addresses

If you are using a modem to connect to the Internet and you want to host a game using the "Internet TCP/IP Connection for DirectPlay" we recommend you always enter the IP address of the dial-up adapter when requested to enter the IP address.

Typically an IP address is dynamically assigned each time you connect to your Internet service provider (ISP). To get the IP address of the dial-up adapter run winipcfg.exe using the Start button's "Run" option. winipcfg.exe is installed with Windows 95 into the main Windows directory (typically c:\windows). The combo box in the middle shows the IP addresses. If you have a PPP connection, look for the one that says "PPP adapter". This procedure is especially important if you have multiple IP addresses configured which might be the case if you have a network interface adapter card installed in addition to the dial-up adapter.


Other Troubleshooting Suggestions





The game may install without a sound card but it will not run properly.



Total Annihilation runs optimally when each player meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for the specified number of players.


Each map specifies a minimum amount of memory to run correctly. If you experience difficulties, please insure that you have met the minimum system requirements. If you are playing a large multi-player game you may need above the minimum system requirements in order to run the game properly.


Total Annihilation allows you to install spawned copies onto other computers for multi-player games. At least one person needs to have the multi-player CD (Disc 1) in the drive according to following chart.




A Give an attack order

B Select the Build menu for the current unit

C Give a capture order

D Use the Disintegrator Gun

E Give a reclaim order

F Toggles between Hold Fire, Return Fire, and Fire at Will in selected unit's standing orders menu

G Give a guard order

H Share resources with another player

K Toggles cloaking for selected units with this capability

M Give a move order

N Scroll to the next unit off screen

O Select the Orders menu for the current unit

P Give a patrol order

R Give a repair order

S Give a stop order (cancel previous orders)

T Track the selected unit

V Toggles between Hold Position, Maneuver, and Roam in selected unit's standing orders menu

1 - 9 Select the menu for the current unit

CTRL+A Select all units

CTRL+B Select all construction units except the Commander

CTRL+C Select the Commander

CTRL+D Destruct selected unit(s)

CTRL+F Select all factories

CTRL+S Select all units currently on the screen

CTRL+V Select all aircraft

CTRL+Z Select all units of same type

CTRL+1 - 9 Assign the currently selected units to a squad

ALT+1 - 9 Select squad

CTRL+F5 - F8 Applies a map bookmark at cursor location

F5 - F8 Centers the screen on a map bookmark

CTRL+F9 Screen capture

SHIFT Hold down to queue up multiple commands and unit orders

ESC Cancels the current command

SPACEBAR Activate the game status bar displaying the game time, number of units, maximum units, and the game speed

ENTER Activate the message bar talk options and specify which players are able to view your chat messages

PAUSE Pause the game

TAB Brings up the following multi-player features:

Options F2 game options

Allies Make and break allegiances with other players

Share Share resources, map info and units with other players

Control Available only to the game creator, used to reject players from the game

- Reduce the game speed

+ or = Increase the game speed

, (comma) Select the previous menu for that unit

. (period) Select the next menu for that unit

~ or # or ! Toggle damage bars on the units

F1 Display information on selected unit

F2 Display the Options menu

F3 Selects the unit that last reported

F4 Brings up a scorecard tallying the kills and losses for each player. The scorecard will update to reflect the status of the game as it progresses. The player with the highest kill count will appear at the top of the scorecard list.

F12 Clear all chat messages



During a multi-player game, you can preface a chat messages with an 'a' or an 'e' and your message will only be seen by certain players.

a sends message to allies

e sends message to enemies

Type a , or ; or : in between the shortcut and the message.

Example: e:this is the end of you!

(This message will only be seen by your enemies.)


Type +switchalt in the message bar to change the squad select from alt(#1-9)

to (#1-9). This changes the unit menu call from (#1-9) to alt(#1-9)


When targeting an enemy unit, your attack cursor may sometimes appear as a circle with a diagonal line through it. This denotes that either the enemy unit you are targeting is out of range or that the attacking unit lacks the resources to fire.


Clicking the orders button sets the default standing orders of any unit produced.

The destination of each unit produced from a Construction Facility can be set by clicking the move button on the Facilities' immediate orders menu and selecting a location on the battle screen or radar map.


Construction units can reclaim metal and energy from various sources including healthy units, wreckage, trees and rocks. Any construction unit set on patrol will automatically reclaim energy and metal from available sources and heal your damaged units as needed.


Multiple commands can be queued up by simply holding down the shift key while giving commands. A transparent cursor or green build square will appear to show the command and its location.


The top left corner of the main battle screen features a mini-map which reflects a number of game features, described as follows:

green circles denote radar/sonar coverage of selected unit

red circles outline radar jamming features of selected unit

white circles coverage of nuclear protectors

white dotted circles coverage provided by protector missiles

X nuclear missile in motion toward target

yellow dots weapon fire



For optimal Internet and modem play we recommend that you turn off modem compression when playing since the game performs it's own packet compression. To do this, bring up the Control Panel (Start button/Settings/Control Panel), double-click the "Modems" icon, click on the "Properties" button and then the "Connection" tab. Select the "Advanced..." button, then uncheck the "compress data" check box.

Many applications perform better when using modem compression, so rather than switching back and forth you may want to add a second, duplicate modem entry which is always configured as being uncompressed. This entry will still access the same physical modem, but you would use it instead for creating connections to other modems or the Internet for playing Total Annihilation or any other game for which modem compression is not desirable.


Microsoft has released a patch for Direct Play, dplay50a.exe, which is included on Disc 1. We

recommend running this patch to upgrade to Direct Play 5.0a after you have installed DirectX 5.

Check Microsoft's website for any future patches.

For the most recent information on DirectX 5, contact Microsoft directly or visit the Microsoft DirectX Support Home Page at

If you encounter any problems installing DirectX on your computer, please contact Microsoft directly.

Other DirectX support pages are available through the Cavedog Entertainment website at


Please see the "read-win.txt" file in the \Internet\WorldNet directory on the installation CD for additional information about the AT&T WorldNet Service. Currently, the AT&T WorldNet Service area is limited to the Continental U.S., Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Whether online or off-line, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, AT&T will provide World Class technical expertise and fast reliable responses to your questions. To reach AT&T WorldNet Customer Support, call 1-800-400-1447. Help on the web is available at

Mplayer home page:

Help on the web:

Tech support on the web:

Mplayer tech support line: 415-429-3100 (3pm to 10pm PST)

Support via e-mail:

Kali home page:

Support on the web:

Support via e-mail:

Toll-free support #: 1-800-8040-TEN

Support on the web:

General Assistance:

Technical Assistance:

For questions or technical support regarding the HEAT network please call

1-888-262-HEAT or e-mail Also, feel free to check out

the 24 hour chat with technical assistance representatives available

inside HEAT.

Telephone: 0345 577 577 10am to 10pm 7 days a week (UK)

Support via e-mail:

Website support:

Tech support on the web:

Help Desk: (318)425-5252 - 9AM until Midnight CST

Support via e-mail:



Total Annihilation allows you to play music from the game CD-ROM or any other audio CD. To do this you must have the game CD in the drive until the mission is loaded. Once loaded, eject the game CD-ROM and insert the music CD. It will automatically start playing.

You may customize the game to play selected music tracks specific to gameplay by using the music options menu. To customize the music first select a track then, using the options button above, associate an event with the track. Step through each track of your CD associating an event with each. Once you have programmed specific tracks for an audio CD, these settings will be stored and recalled next time you load that same CD.



Arm Mission 1: A Hero Returns

Objective: The objective of this mission is to secure the Galactic Gate from a Core threat.

Map: You start near the middle bottom of the map. The Galactic Gate is located in the upper section of the map in a big caldera. Core units are scattered across the map to stop you from gaining control of the Gate.

Strategy: Select all the units and use them together for more force. You can do this by clicking and dragging the green box over all the units on the screen or by using the Ctrl-A key combination. Using all your units together masses their firepower, taking out enemy units faster with less damage incurred to your own units (very important since you have no repair capabilities at this level). Keep an eye on the mini-map (upper left corner), your units will appear as blue dots. The exposed area will appear green, uncovered territory appears black, explored territory that is out of sight shows gray and enemy units are red dots. With your units still selected, click on the upper left corner of the battle map. Your units will start moving up and to the left, across the terrain at different rates. If you are trying to mass your firepower onto enemy units, it's important to keep all of your units together, so keep an eye on them and don't let them get too spread out.

Enemy units will quickly appear. Click on the Core units as they come into sight. Your units will converge and attack. Continue this until there are no more enemy units. Watch your cursor for changes. It will reflect when a unit is out of attack range, etc. You can also track unit health by turning on the damage bars, which appear as a green line under each unit. The damage bar turns red as a unit takes damage, until the unit is dead (then it turns black).

Keep referring to the mini-map (upper left corner) since you can see enemy units there before you can see them on your battle map. Move your massed units in their direction and attack as you see them. Keep moving across the map toward your goal attacking enemy units as you encounter them. Move all your units up and into the caldera containing the Galactic Gate. This will end the mission.


Arm Mission 2: Core Kbot base, destroy it!

Objective: Establish a base by building metal extractors, energy generators, defensive systems and a Kbot manufacturing facility. Destroy all Core units or just the Core Kbot lab.

Map: The map is comprised of two land masses separated by a river with two crossing points. The Core is on the larger L-shaped portion of the map from the mid-left, down and over to the lower right. Your units start in the middle of the upper right section of the map. The two crossing points are the shallow portions of the river. Just to your right is a small cliff from which several Core units will launch an attack. If you travel to the upper right side of the screen you will see the entrance to a canyon… be prepared for patrolling Core units if you go there. The Core Kbot lab is located almost directly down from your starting position.

Strategy: You start this map with a new unit, your Commander. He's a very powerful asset, but you only have one of them. Protect him at all costs!

Begin by building energy generators. Select the Commander and then the Solar Collector from the build menu on the left side of the screen. When you move your cursor back onto your battle map, your cursor will appear as a green square if it is over a suitable spot on which to build. Select a spot, click and the Commander will start building. At the top of the screen are two bars, these indicate the amount of Metal and Energy you have. This will be affected as the Solar Collector is built. Move the cursor over the unit being built to track the progress of its construction in the unit status bar at the bottom of the screen.

Once you've built the Solar Collector, build a Metal Extractor. Metal Extractors can be built anywhere, but on top of a silver metal deposit is best. Repeat this process until you have two more Metal Extractors and Solar Collectors then build a Laser Tower. This will help protect you from patrolling Core AKs that might wander into your camp. To queue, or issue consecutive orders, to the Commander, select a unit from the build menu, move your cursor over the battle map, hold down the "Shift" key and left click the green build box where you want the next unit to be built. As soon as the Commander finishes building one unit, he will start building the next. Select a Kbot lab to build next.

You can wait until the Kbot lab is complete or start attacking the enemy now. Select all the offensive Kbots, except the Commander. Either click and drag the green box over them or hold down the "shift" key and select each unit individually with the left mouse button. Once you have them all selected press the CTRL-1 key combination. If damage bars are visible, a number "1" should now appear under all selected units. They are now grouped and can all be reselected by using the ALT-1 key combination. Move them around the map to search for the enemy. Mass your firepower against one Core unit at a time. Stop the units at the mouth of the canyon, they will finish up any Core units that try to come through there.

Once the Kbot lab is complete click on it and the build menu will appear. As you move your cursor over the menu you will see the cost of metal and energy to manufacture the available units. Click on the Jethro 4 times. You should see a +4 superimposed over the Jethro icon. This means your Kbot lab will build 4 Jethros before stopping production. Don't stop there, click 4 times each on a Hammer, Rocko and PeeWee. The Kbot lab will start to "nanolathe" or build a small assault force. As units are nanolathed they walk off the platform. Move them to a clear area to wait until all the other units have been produced.

Once all the units have been manufactured select the whole group and use the CTRL-2 key combination to set them as Group 2. Move them all down to the river. Find the shallow crossing point in the river and click on the other side. As the first unit reaches the other side it will start taking fire from the Laser Tower on the top of the ridge in front of you. Head toward the Laser Tower and as soon as you see the ridge crest, click on it. You can click on the Laser Tower to attack as soon as you see it, but it's on higher ground and your fire will not be as effective. Run your units to the ridge top and then attack it.

You will encounter more enemy units once you reach the top of the ridge. Continue toward your objective attacking as you go. When you see Core structures (a Radar Tower, an Energy Storage Unit and a Solar Collector), destroy them but keep attacking the Core units as you see them. None of the structures can kill you but the Kbots can! Once you have destroyed all the buildings and aren't being attacked by roving Core units, continue moving toward the goal. You should see the Core Kbot lab as you move forward. Attack and destroy it. The mission ends as soon as the lab is demolished.


Arm Mission 3: Spider Technology

Objective: Save at least one Spider by returning it to your base.

Map: The map consists of three land masses separated by a "Y" in a river. Your Commander and units start at the lower right side of the "Y". The spiders are located at the very top center of the map, at the summit of a steep hill.

Strategy: The key to this mission is time. Build up your base with some energy generators, a Metal Extractor and a couple Laser Towers for defense (placed on the outside of the Dragon's Teeth). If you start running low on resources use your Commander to reclaim trees for energy and rocks for metal. Build a manufacturing plant of some sort and start producing units. Slowly advance your units up the map to the Spiders; staying on your side of the river makes it easier. Once you've cleared a path for the Spiders to get to your base, select them and walk them down. You might have to walk them around the base a little to complete the mission.

Arm Mission 4: Core Contamination Spreads

Objective: Eliminate all Core units and structures from this map.

Map: You start this mission in the lower right hand corner of the map. The enemy base is located in the center left side of the map. There is a hill in the left center of the map that is very heavily defended by Core units and Laser Towers.

Strategy: Units at the beginning of this mission are few; conserve them (don't send them off to attack everything). Build your base as normal, balancing your energy and metal extraction. Use a couple of Laser Towers to reinforce your defensive perimeter. Slowly expand, gaining metal resources and space to build, while protecting structures with Laser Towers. A Radar Tower will give you early warning if enemy units are approaching, even if you haven't explored the territory.

As your units go into battle they will become damaged. You can repair them with your Commander, or any construction unit, by selecting the "Repair" button from the orders menu. Or select your Commander (or other construction unit), press the "R" key and then select the unit you want to repair. If you have several damaged units you can select the Commander (or other construction unit), then press the "P" key (Patrol) and click a point in the area; the Commander will walk around on patrol while repairing the damaged units.

Keep your eye out for enemy units attacking from the top along the right hand side of the map and from the lower left.


Arm Mission 5: The Gate to Thalassean

Objective: To capture the Core Galactic Gate.

Map: This map is primarily land from the center left all the way to the right, with water on the left side and a well-defended island on the lower left portion (which is where the gate is). You start in the top center. There is an extensive Core base from the lower center bottom to the lower right bottom.

Strategy: Build enough energy generators and Metal extractors to construct a row of Laser Towers, beginning from where you start and moving to the right side of the map. Space them evenly and keep expanding until you reach the edge of the map. As you move along you will find ore deposits from which to extract metal. Keep building energy generators and the occasional Radar Tower. Once you've built either a Kbot lab or Vehicle Plant, make a couple construction units to help you repair, build and reclaim metal wreckage as you go. Start moving down the right side of the map, destroying Core patrols as you go. Make at least one Level 2 Vehicle Plant, so you can build amphibious tanks. As you start producing advanced units add them to your ranks and keep attacking down the right side of the map. Once you've reached the bottom of the map, start moving to the left. This will allow you to destroy all the Core land units and concentrate on taking the island with the Gate. Move about 6-10 amphibious tanks onto the island, and destroy each offensive Core unit. Then bring your Commander out to the island to capture the gate.



Visit for last minute information, downloadable units and maps, and news about tournaments and other special events.


If you require technical assistance please visit our technical support web page on This will provide you with the most accurate and up to date information concerning Total Annihilation. If you require additional assistance, please feel free to contact using one of the methods below.

*No game play hints will be given from the Technical Support number*

Prior to contacting us, please have the following information ready:

DirectX information can also help troubleshoot the problem. To do this, run c:\program Files\directx\setup\Dxsetup.exe from the Start, Run menu and write down all the DirectX components along with their version numbers and if they are certified or not.


Technical Support

Phone (716) 871-4393

Fax (425) 482-2642


U.S. Mail Technical Support

Cavedog Entertainment

13110 NE 177th Place

Suite B101 #180

Woodinville, WA 98072-9965


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