After every patch the Shoutbox invariably features people wanting to know how to make their old replays work. Therefore, I wanted to create this thread for people to easily link to.
The good news is that there are several methods. The bad news is that they have limited effectiveness.
Ultimately, the most reliable way to watch an old game is if it has been recorded as a video.
Steam Command for Backwards Compatibility
During a precious bout of regular updates Relic became aware that people were getting somewhat upset by broken replays. This was particularly because many of the updates didn't actually change multiplayer at all and yet still made replays not be recognised by the game because the version number was different.
To resolve this, they added a simple command line to let COH2 display old replays and attempt to play them.
- Right click on COH2 install in steam games list
- Select properties
- Select launch options
- Enter –allowIncompatibleReplays (include the dash, no spaces)
- Click OK, and launch COH2
- All replays in playback folder should now appear in replay list UI
Note: This is intended for updates where multiplayer content has not changed. Since replay files only contain step-by-step instructions for units, and not their actual rules, this can result in strange behaviour when the multiplayer rules have changed.
You should also expect a lot of sync-errors popping up.
You can find Relic's complete post on this feature here.
CELO - Company of ELO
I can't really recommend this program enough. I use it constantly for its ability to display the ranks of other players. However, it also has the ability to manually modify the game version in the replay manager. This will allow your game to see the replay if the version matches.
As before, if the instructions don't match the rules then you should expect some strange behaviour from the game.
You can grab CELO here.
Disable automatic updates
It used to be that you could just tell Steam not to automatically download updates. This would have been ideal, since you would be notified that an update was available, but able to continue running the previous version until you were finished with your replays. This method would be particularly suited to casters. You wouldn't be able to play online until you patch, of course, but this would force you to cast those replays first.
However, that option is now to only update when the game is launched. According to Valve this was simply a rename to clear up confusion and the functionality remains the same. I wouldn't personally know. Somebody claims to have found a workaround however. I have yet to test this myself, so YMMV. Please let me know how it goes for you next time there's an update.
- Import a shortcut using the 'Add Non-Steam Game to My Library' feature.
- Change the settings for the actual Steam game update options to 'Only Update When I Launch This Game.'
- Now only launch the game with the shortcut. This should prevent it from updating.