How to play IPX / SPX games over LAN (WinXP)

Multiplayer games such as Diablo, C&C: Red Alert 2, Carmageddon, Age of Empires 2, Atomic Bomberman, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri and many other 90’s-era titles used IPX / SPX as their protocol of choice for local multiplayer. Windows based IPX games are fully playable after enabling and configuring a LAN connection to support IPX / SPX protocols. Be sure to check out this guide on how to establish a working LAN connection in Windows XP before attempting this tutorial.

Note: This tutorial is meant for Windows XP users. Windows Vista / Windows 7 and Windows 8 do not support IPX / SPX by default, but it may be emulated using IPX Wrapper –

Also, this tutorial is specifically meant for Windows based IPX multiplayer games (eg: Diablo, C&C: Red Alert 2 or Age of Empires 2). Older MsDOS IPX multiplayer games such as Doom, Heretic, Hexen and so on will be the subject of a future article.


1. Check your LAN Connection for IPX / SPX
2. Install IPX / SPX / NetBIOS Protocol
3. Configure your IPX / SPX / NetBIOS Protocol

Step 1. Check your LAN Connection for IPX / SPX

Open your LAN connection in the Network Connections window.
Right click on your Local Area Network and select Properties. We’re going to check to see if you have an IPX / SPX protocol installed. Search for “NWLink IPX/SPX NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol” as shown below:
If you cannot find this protocol, then read Step 2, where I’ll quickly show you how to install one.

If, on the other hand, you do have this protocol installed. skip Step 2 and move directly to Step 3 (Configure your IPX / SPX / NetBIOS Protocols).

Step 2. Install IPX / SPX / NetBIOS Protocol

From the Local Area Connection Properties window, click Install, as shown below.
Now Select Protocol.
Select “NWLink IPX/SPX NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol“.
And that’s it!

The “NWLink IPX/SPX NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol” should now appear in the Items window at the bottom of the list, just above Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).


Step 3. Configure your IPX / SPX / NetBIOS Protocol

Double click on “NWLink IPX/SPX NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol” and modify each set of values as shown below:


  • Chance Internal Network Number from “00000000” (eight zeroes) to “10000001” (one-six zeroes-one). The last digit of this number must have +1 added per each computer. (eg: 10000002)
  • In the Frame Type drop-down box, select “Ethernet 802.3”.
  • Change the Network Number to any eight-digit number you like, such as “12345678”. Enter this value for each computer.

Click OK

You’re almost done! These changes must be applied to each computer in your network. Remember to change the Internal Network Number on each computer according to their connected port number. You simply need to add +1 to the end of each number.

Computer 1, which is connected to Port 1 on your router, already has an Internal Network Number of “10000001“. Computer 2 will have “10000002“, 3 will have “10000003” and so on. All other values must be left unchanged.

After a connection has been established you’re free to host and join games at will.